Dissertation in International Political Economy

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ranjit Lall CBG.08.01


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in International Political Economy (Research). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

MSc students are required to write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic within the field of IPE approved by the student's dissertation lead. The dissertation need not be an account of original research and may rely on secondary sources. 


1 hour of lectures in the MT. 4 hours of lectures and 4 hours of workshops in the LT. 1 hour of workshops in the ST.

There will be a 60-minute preliminary lecture in the MT about the Dissertation process and 4 lectures in the LT on specific topics  and concepts relevant to the dissertation process. In the 60-minute of small group workshops, the students apply the concepts introduced in the lecture to their own research projects. Two members of the teaching faculty will work between groups to support them and answer questions. The last ST session will be a ‘drop in’ opportunity for students to raise questions and discuss their specific concerns.

Formative coursework

Students submit the initial topic and research question early in LT; and a more detailed 4-5 page dissertation plan later in LT.

Indicative reading

George, A., & Bennett, Andrew. (2005). Case studies and theory development in the social sciences (BCSIA studies in international security). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Gerring, J. (2006). Case study research : Principles and practices (Second ed., Strategies for social inquiry).

King, G., Keohane, Robert O., & Verba, Sidney. (1994). Designing social inquiry: Scientific inference in qualitative research (Princeton paperbacks).

Seawright, J., & Gerring, J. (2008). Case Selection Techniques in Case

Study Research: A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options. Political Research Quarterly, 61(2), 294-308.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 81

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills