Business, International Relations and the Political Economy

  • Online certificate course
  • Department of International Relations
  • Application code OCC-BEP
  • Starting 2021
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Global

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The Covid-19 outbreak is but the latest shock to the global economy and international stability. Populist discontent with economic globalisation and rising geopolitical tensions between the US and China have undermined confidence in the existing global political-economic order. Globalisation has had a profound impact on the world we live in, yet its continued rise can no longer be taken for granted.

In today’s volatile and unpredictable global order, it has become increasingly important for decision makers in business to have a grounded understanding of the various political, social, economic, technological and environmental drivers of global change.

This course focusses on the core concepts for understanding globalisation and global change, from the disciplines of international relations, political science, political economy and macroeconomics. It addresses real world problems using historical reflection, conceptual discussion and in-depth case studies. You will explore key events that have shaped the evolution of globalisation from the 19th century until today.

You will analyse, in particular, how corporate organisations are impacted by events such as the 2008 financial crisis, changes in global supply chains, global power shifts and the emergence of China as a global economic power, instability in key areas of the developing world, technological and environmental disruption from automation and robotics to cybersecurity and climate change, and the rise of populism in the western world.

CPD Certified

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 80 hours of learning. 

Programme details

Key facts

Registrations close: 11 May 2021   

Course start (Orientation opens): 19 May 2021

Module 1 starts: 26 May 2021

Duration: 8 weeks (excluding orientation)

Commitment: 7 - 10 hours per week

Fee: £ 2,100

Course outcomes

  • Identify and maximise the opportunities – and mitigate the business risks – associated with globalisation and a global economy
  • Acquire a deeper understanding of the political, social, economic, technological and environmental shifts that have taken place as a result of globalisation
  • Learn about the economic forces that drive production, investment and growth globally 
  • Cultivate an ability to analyse events from different perspectives, in order to make strategic business decisions
  • Understand and participate in some of the most pressing academic debates centred around the challenges of globalisation
  • Propose a business and/or investment strategy for an organisation that wants to expand internationally, using your newfound knowledge and frameworks

Programme structure

  • Orientation Module
  • Module 1: The evolution of globalisation
  • Module 2: Business, production, and investment in the global economy
  • Module 3: Governing the global system
  • Module 4: Global power shifts
  • Module 5: Contesting globalisation
  • Module 6: Conflict and instability
  • Module 7: Responding to disruptive forces
  • Module 8: Corporate responses to a changing global environment


  • Convenor: Dr Robert Falkner - Associate Professor of International Relations
  • Co-designer: Professor Chris Alden - Professor of International Relations
  • Co-designer: Professor Mick Cox - Emeritus Professor of International Relations
  • Co-designer: Professor Saul Estrin - Emeritus Professor of Management Economics and Strategy


This course is presented entirely online, in collaboration with leaders in online education, GetSmarter. View the Business, International Relations and the Political Economy online certificate course on the GetSmarter website.

Modules are released on a weekly basis, and can be completed in your own time and at your own pace.

This interactive, supportive teaching model is designed for busy professionals and results in unprecedented certification rates for online courses. 

Reading materials

All reading materials for this course will be made accessible to you through the Online Campus. Notes for each module are often downloadable, and you are able to save any information or collateral you use to your personal profile.

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