MSc Global Governance

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Politics and International Relations
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The MSc Global Governance equips you with the necessary tools to understand how key global challenges are addressed by numerous global actors and institutions in the absence of a world government. The programme is a pathway to a range of academic and non-academic careers, but is particularly suitable for individuals who hope to pursue international careers as policy makers, evidence providers, policy analysts, advisers, advocacy workers, public management consultants and administrators in the wide array of institutions that are involved in addressing global problems.

The programme combines the strengths of the Politics Department at Exeter and builds on Exeter’s tradition of offering postgraduate programmes with a strong applied bias.

You will learn to use theories and empirical research findings from the fields of international relations, public policy and politics in order to understand the role of, as well as the way in which global institutions and actors deal with global problems. The different perspectives will be put to work, illustrated and evaluated against the backdrop of crucial challenges constituting today’s global policy environment:

  • Democratization and Human Rights
  • International Institutions of Global Finance
  • World Trade & Tariffs
  • Economic Development, Poverty and Global Inequalities
  • Public Health in a Global Context
  • Climate Change and Migration
  • Global (in)security

The Programme Director is Dr. Athanassios Gouglas.

Programme structure

The programme is studied over 12 months full time, or 24 months part time. It comprises 180 credits, out of which 120 worth of credits for taught modules and 60 for the dissertation.

The compulsory modules of the programme offer a first-hand insight to the structures of global governance and the key challenges the world is facing and global actors are addressing. They also advance your knowledge of the political and working policy environment of global governance actors, and equip you with the skills to conduct independent analyses and research.

POLMXXX Global governance: institutions and challenges 30 1
POLM877 Dissertation 45 1
POLM876 Dissertation skills 15 1


Optional modules

The optional modules account for 90 credits and allow you to choose freely from a list of courses offered in the Department of Politics, or other Exeter University Departments. If you choose optional modules from a Department/discipline other than Politics, this will have to amount to a total of 30 credits maximum and always with the agreement of the module convenor. The offered modules are clustered around specific global governance themes. The thematic clusters are not formal pathways. They are there to better inform your choice of optional modules, depending on your own individual preferences, in particular the academic and professional skills you would like to acquire from studying global governance at Exeter.

Global Governance Theory

POLM156 The Transformation of Politics in the Global Age 30 1

Global Governance in Practice

POLM152 Post-Conflict Human Rights and Transitional Justice 30 1
POLM160 Yes Special Adviser. Political Advisers and Policy Making in a Global Perspective 30 2

Global Governance Research and Analysis

POLM086 Quantitative Data Analysis 30 1
POLM140 Qualitative Methods in Social Research 30 2
POLM030 Mathematics and Programming Skills for Policy Analytics 15 1
SOCM028 Policy Analytics: Data Driven Policy Analysis and Evidence Based Decision-making 30 1&2
SOCM029 Data Visualisation 15 2
SOCM026 Using Longitudinal Data in Family Policy Studies 15 2
SOCM031 Evidence-Based Policing 15 2

Global Public Policy Challenges

POLM154 European Union Politics and Policy 30 1
POLM155 The Politics of Populism: Domestic and global challenges 30 2
POLM148 Brexit: Causes, Interpretation and Implications 30 2
POLM157 Global Issues in European Politics 30 1
POLM158 Digital Politics and Policy 30 2

Global Political Economy

BEAM051 Principles of International Taxation 15 1
BEAM058 Comparative Taxation 15 1
BEEM108 International Trade and Regional Integration 15 2
BEAM052 Corporate Finance and Governance 15 2

International Law

LAWM116 International Law of Cyber Operations 30 2
LAWM097 International Law of Armed Conflict 30 1
LAWM671 International Human Rights Law 30 2
LAWM127 Law of the Sea 30 2

International Relations

POLM082 International Relations of the Middle East 30 1
POLM090 East Asian Regional Order 30 2
POLM144 The West, Civilizations and World Order 30 1
POLM503 Foreign Policy Decision-Making 30 2
POLM651 State and Society in the Middle East 30 2
POLM060 Global Security 30 1
POLM088 State-building after Civil War 30 2

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes place over the first two terms leaving the third to concentrate on your dissertation.

With the exception of the dissertation, which is a 15,000 word hands-on research project, each module on this programme is normally taught through small academic seminars expanded through seminar discussion, presentations, group work, reading and essay assignments.

Teaching is research-led, ensuring that what you learn will be cutting edge and at the heart of contemporary public debate.

Learning is student-led. In practice, this consists of two core activities:

  • Extensive reading and reflection in preparation for the seminar discussions
  • Group work, class debate and discussions, small-group and individual presentations.

By the end of the programme you will have acquired a series of valuable skills ranging from conducting analyses and research to presenting, debating, formulating arguments and managing groups.


The MSc in Global Governance offers high quality graduate training that combines both academic excellence and a strong applied bias. The optional modules offered in the cluster Global Governance in Practice, are being specifically designed to enhance your applied skills and help you connect with the global governance market place. All of the offered modules aim to help you develop a set of crucial personal skills which are highly valued by all employers, whether in academia or not.

  • Policy and political analysis
  • Empirical research and analysis
  • Effective communication and presentation
  • Argument development and debate
  • Negotiation
  • Leadership
  • Group management

As such the programme is a pathway to a range of academic and non-academic careers, but is particularly suitable for individuals who hope to work in international, national, regional and non-governmental organisations, as well as private firms that address global problems.

Students can also go on and work in government agencies such as the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office, and the Diplomatic Service. We also expect to provide students for Civil Service Fast Stream and similar programmes.

The Exeter University careers advisory service offer expert guidance to all students and will help you plan your future through activities such as psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation. Visit the employment and professional development pages for more information, including podcasts and profiles, about the range of support available.

Research areas

Students can take advantage of our seminar series and its long-running and highly successful annual postgraduate conference which brings together researchers from across all humanities and social sciences disciplines.

Our research is funded by leading research councils and is used by governments and networks around the world.

Entry requirements

Normally a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree (or international equivalent) in an appropriate subject from a recognised university. Appropriate subjects include Politics, Philosophy, History, and Sociology.

Non-standard applications will be considered on their merits and mature students are encouraged to apply.

We have a strong commitment to the widening participation remit and encourage applications from all sections of society, particularly from ethnic and religious minorities. We welcome applications from people with disabilities or special needs and will endeavour to provide all reasonable support for your study.


Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

University funding

The funding section has information on all available Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.

Tuition fees per year 2019/20

  • UK/EU: £8,850 full-time; £4,425 part-time
  • International: £18,200 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.

Contact us

Please contact us if you would like more information about this programme, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.

Postal address

University of Exeter
Amory Building
Rennes Drive
United Kingdom

Current students

Phone: 01392 723301 

Postgraduate Taught admissions

For all enquiries relating to this programme, please contact:

SSIS Student Recruitment Office
Tel. +44 (0)1392 723192
WebEnquire online

Where to find us

Politics is located on the University's Streatham Campus. For information on how to find us, please see our directions to Streatham Campus and the Streatham Campus map.

Visit the Politics and International Relations website

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Dr Athanassios Gouglas talks about MSc Global Governance.

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