SM9730 - The Rise of the Global Economy

What will I learn on this module?

The module overviews the past three hundred years of global economic and business history and in providing students with the context necessary to acquire an in-depth understanding of the global business environment, is related to some of the key themes explored within the rest of the International Business Management course. In particular, we will examine various political economic systems – capitalism, socialism, colonialism and imperialism – and their divergent experiences of economic development. We will also examine the evolution of the governing institutions of the global economy such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation – understanding the origins of these institutions is key to understanding how they function today – and how business has interacted with national and supra-national entities.
Through the course’s Learning and Teaching activities, students will become familiar with interpreting a varied range of quantitative and qualitative evidence, and to synthesise them into coherent analysis. A research-rich module is underpinned by the faculty’s world-leading research in business and economic history.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through weekly lectures (of one hour duration) and seminars (two hours), which will be offered in a mixed method approach (both online and in-person). Each week’s lecture and seminar will be organised around a particular theme or phenomenon, such as ‘Preindustrial economies’ or ‘Socialism in Action 1920s-80s’, with the lecture providing an overview of the topic and the seminar providing the opportunity for more in-depth group work and discussion. Given the emphasis on student-centred learning in postgraduate education, you will be expected to engage actively in the seminars and to complete a weekly reading list and other assigned tasks in order to enable you to do so. The semester programme proceeds chronologically to help students make sense of longer term developments.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through this module by the Module Tutor and the wider teaching team who all have relevant expertise in the subject area; students will be able to arrange 1-2-1 appointments with the module team if necessary. You will also support each other. There will be an emphasis on active student participation in seminars and this is partly to help foster collegiality and informal collaboration.

You will have access to a Blackboard site for the module, which will provide you with all the necessary learning materials, assessment guides, and a discussion board to address module queries. A full electronic reading list will be also made available, allowing you to access the necessary reading materials. For the assessment, there will be in-class time allocated to help students prepare for each component.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1 By examining its long-term development, to acquire an in-depth understanding of the global business environment (MLO1)
2 To understand how business practice(s) have adapted to changing environments (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3 Ability to communicate complex and varied information in writing and verbally (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4 To appreciate the variability of national and regional growth trajectories, and the consequences thereof (MLO4)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
The seminar sessions will be collaborative and will require students to participate in group tasks such as presentations and debates. Formative feedback will be provided by tutors and peers in these sessions which will help students achieve the MLOs.

Summative assessment:
The summative element of the assessment is made up of two components.

Component 1: In groups, students will describe and analyse the long-term development of a key facet of the modern global business environment. Example topics would be the development of the Chinese economy since 1949 or long run changes in inequality. This component will be weighted at 25% and will assess MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4

Component 2: Students will write a 3000 word essay exploring a facet of business and/or economic history. This will test students' ability to engage in personal research, to analyse quantitative and qualitative evidence, and to deploy this evidence to explore a detailed question. It will also test their ability to deploy basic economic concepts related to growth and development. This component will be weighted at 75% and will assess MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.





Module abstract

To survive and thrive, every business must navigate a plethora of ever-changing environmental factors – a non-complete list would include relations with government, societal norms of behaviour, demographic change, technological development and geo-politics. The goal of this course is to provide students with the tools to do so, by studying the past three centuries of economic and business history. In particular, students will acquire an ability to analyse the most fundamental contours of the modern economic and business environment – so fundamental that they often recede into the background. Why have economies evolved in such distinct ways and why are there significant global inequalities?
Students will also practice how to ‘read’ a varied range of quantitative and qualitative evidence, and to synthesise them into coherent analysis.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time (with advanced practice in second year)
2 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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