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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MSc Global Governance

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Global Governance Programme codePTS1HPSHPS04
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MSc Global Governance equips you with the necessary tools to understand how key global challenges, such as democracy and human rights; global trade, finance and development; health; the environment; international security; and others are addressed by different global actors 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, political and policy advisers, advocacy workers, public management consultants and administrators in the wide array of international, national, local, state and non-state organisations involved in addressing global problems.

The programme is unique in that it combines the strengths of the Politics Department at Exeter with the strengths of other departments, such as for instance Law and the Exeter Business School, and builds on Exeter’s tradition of offering postgraduate programmes with a strong applied bias.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

You will learn to use theories and empirical research findings from leading research in the fields of international relations, public policy and politics in order to understand the role of, as well as the way in which global actors address 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

If you so wish, the programme offers you the opportunity to expand your scientific perspective beyond the confines of the various politics subfields offered in the Politics Department, by bringing in insights from international law and international political economy with modules offered by the Exeter Law and Business schools respectively.

Moreover, the programme has a strong practical element giving you the opportunity to follow a series of applied modules, as well as a work placement module, which is specifically designed to introduce you to the practice of global governance and prepare you for a career in global governance organisations.

Teaching takes place over the first two terms leaving the third to concentrate on your dissertation, and if you so choose your work placement.

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, simulations, 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. Additionally, some seminars are practitioner lead, meaning that you will be introduced to the ‘lived experience’ of workers in global governance organisations.

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, simulations.

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, leading and managing groups. You will subsequently enter the work environment of global governance organisations, having acquired vital knowledge and skills to prepare you for future employment in the field.

4. Programme Structure

The MSc Global Governance is a 1-year full-time programme of study at Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ).

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Stage 1

Compulsory Modules

The compulsory modules of the programme offer a first-hand insight to the structures of global governance, the main global institutions and organisations, 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 in which global governance is embedded, and equip you with the skills to conduct independent analyses and research.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
POLM167 Global Governance: Institutions and Challenges 30Yes
POLM886 Dissertation 60Yes

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 programme director.

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.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Global Governance Theory 2023-24
POLM156 The Transformation of Politics in the Global Age 30 No
POLM168 From Oppression to Resistance: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class and Gender 30 No
Global Governance Research and Analysis 2023-24
POLM086 Quantitative Data Analysis 30 No
POLM140 Qualitative Methods in Social Research 30 No
Global Public Policy Challenges 2023-24
POLM148 Brexit: Causes, Interpretation and Implications 30 No
POLM158 Digital Politics and Policy 30 No
International Relations 2023-24
POLM082 International Relations of the Middle East 30 No
POLM088 State-building after Civil War 30 No
POLM144 The West, Civilisations and World Order 30 No
POLM503 Foreign Policy Decision-Making 30 No
POLM651 State and Society in the Middle East 30 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Articulate in detail the concepts, theories & empirical research on global governance.
2. Critically discuss key contemporary global challenges.
3. Examine in depth the political and policy making dynamics developed during the practice of global governance.
4. Evaluate and apply these concepts, theories and empirical findings from past and frontier research in global governance in order to explain and critically appraise the role of global governance actors and institutions in addressing global policy challenges.
5. Apply research design principles and research methods in the study of global governance.

ILOs 1-4 are developed in the core module ‘Global Governance: Institutions and Challenges’, through a variety of teaching and learning activities ranging from traditional knowledge transfer lectures by the module convenor and guest academic and practitioner speakers, to hands-on practical work in seminars, group work, group debates and simulations.

ILO 5 is developed via the dissertation module, traditional lectures and independent research work.

ILOs 1-4 are assessed through coursework assignments in the core module ‘Global Governance: Institutions and Challenges’ (combination of term time essays and presentations)

ILO 5 is assessed via the independent conduct of research and the drafting of the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a variety of primary and secondary academic and non-academic sources.
7. Make effective use of academic subject specific journals and electronic resources.
8. Construct reasoned arguments, synthesize relevant information, and critically analyse empirical and theoretical subject material.
9. Apply theoretical arguments to empirical case studies and the professional practice of the subject.
10. Exhibit an understanding of the relationship between knowledge and practice

ILOs 6-10 are developed and achieved throughout the degree programme within both core and optional modules, with progression to independent control of the process by the dissertation phase (term 3).

Overall, teaching is research-led and in many cases also practitioner-led. Learning is student-led, consisting of extensive reading and reflection in preparation for the seminar discussions, group work, class debate and discussions, small-group and individual presentations, simulations.

ILOs 6-10 are assessed through

a) coursework assignments in the core and optional modules (combination of term time essays, hands-on projects and presentations);

b) exams in some of the optional modules;

c) the dissertation

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

11. Communicate ideas effectively both formally and informally in speech and writing.
12. Use information and communication technology (ICT) for the retrieval and presentation of information.
13. Work independently, demonstrating professionalism, initiative, self-organisation and time management.
14. Work as a participant, or leader of a group and contribute effectively to the achievement of objectives.

ILOs 11-14 are developed and achieved throughout the degree programme in both core and optional modules, with progression to independent control of the process by the dissertation phase (term 3)

ILOs 11-14 are assessed through

a) coursework assignments in the core and optional modules (combination of term time essays, hands-on projects, group-work, class debates; group and individual presentations);

b) the dissertation

7. Programme Regulations


Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring : It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

As a postgraduate taught student in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies you will be allocated a Personal Tutor at the commencement of your studies.  In normal circumstances your Personal Tutor will remain your tutor throughout your study programme. You should make contact with your Personal Tutor three or four times a year and these meetings may typically commence soon after registration. These meetings will take place once or twice per-year to discuss your progress and to perhaps consider Personal Development Planning (ePDP) and once to discuss your overall performance. The ePDP is a particularly useful developmental tool which you are encouraged to utilise and which is accessible though the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). Each student will in addition receive formative feedback from various discussion forums and exercises (administered by teaching staff) throughout the delivery of modules and therefore receive essentially continuous feedback during the taught component of the programme. Your dissertation supervisor will provide academic and tutorial support once students move on to the research component of the course. Student progess will be monitored and students can receive up-to-date records of the assessment, achievements and progress at any stage.

You should feel that you are able to approach your Personal Tutor for advice, pastoral support or academic support in a wider sense.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision. For those learning in distance mode, nominations to the PGT SSLC will be undertaken democratically online. Where appropriate SSLCs will make use of telephone conferencing facilities to ensure those on the distance learning programme are included.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

MSc Global Governance

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Politics and international relations

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision