The MA in International Political Economy (IPE) is an interdiciplinary course with a broad scope, and has a solid foundation in Bifröst University’s position as a Nordic university in close proximity to the Arctic region. This study course prepares students for undertaking professional responsibilities in internatinal forums, including international organisations, NGO´s, multinational corporations, media and other agencies and practices in which understanding of global interdependence between processes of economic flows and political governance is valuable.
International Political Economy is concerned with the relationship between the market, law and the public sector; nowhere in the world do pure markets exist, unmarked by government intervention. Parallel to the development of world affairs over the last decades, globalization and growing international trade, the discipline has matured and expanded and its importance as an independent discipline increased. International Political Economy scrutinizes the interaction between international markets and the state system and analyses how economic, social, political, and legal factors intertwine, facilitating or impeding the exchange of goods and services, technology, labour, monetary flows, natural resources, and cultural values. In this sense, IPE breaks down the conventional analytical boundaries between economics, politics, and sociology, as it challenges the idea that states and markets exist in a social vacuum. States effectively construct national identities, shaped by a variety of actors and institutions complementary to the markets that play an important role in shaping global behaviour. The MA course dedicates special attention to the Nordic model of political economy, with its emphasis on human capital investment, scientific research promotion, progressive social policy, fair distribution of resources, gender equality, and socio-political stability.
The study programme is 90 credits at the Master’s level and is taught primarily through distance learning, during autumn and spring semesters, along with two intensive on-campus seminars. The programme starts with kick of session on campus in August. During regular term time students must complete eight separate subject specific modules. All individual modules are taught in seven-week sessions, each of which concludes with student learning assessment (see course descriptions for individual courses). There are two sessions to a semester, and courses are divided equally between sessions. Teaching concludes with an on-campus session in Iceland during summer term.
Normal study progress involves completion of five courses (30 ECTS) in the autumn semester (including kick-off session), five courses (30 ECTS) in the spring/summer semesters and a final Master’s thesis project (30 ECTS) in the fall semester of the following academic year. A full-time student will thus complete the programme in 18 months.
The study programme emphasises scientific methods, comprehension and student research competences in the field of international political economy. The objective of the study programme is to qualify students to carry out research in the field of international political economy at the same time as they gain the knowledge and proficiency to hold positions in administration or at institutions of all stripes with an involvement in international business and politics.
One ECTS credit is considered to correspond to 25-30 hours of student work. This work includes all reading, assignment work, preparation for final examinations, presentations, lectures and all other work that students complete in connection with a course.