Programme Structure

Programme Structure

This is a 2-year full-time degree with two pathways:

  • “Global History & Creative Cities" Pathway A (Glasgow, Barcelona, Rotterdam) that stresses economic orders, creative cities and industries, and the history of international relations and globalization. Pathway A is suitable for applicants from Arts and Humanities academic background (English Language, Literature, Anthropology, Languages etc.) 
  • “Global Markets & Development” Pathway B (Glasgow, Barcelona, Göttingen) that stresses global political economy, immigrant entrepreneurship, and global marketing and mass consumption. An academic background in History, Economics, Business, Management, Finance, Sociology, Political Science, International Relations, or another Social Science is strongly recommended for Pathway B.

Other majors (such as Engineering, Sciences, Architecture etc.) will also be considered for entry into the programme and for the fellowship if they have academic background in the targeted fields listed above.  Those applying for Pathway B are highly advised to have a strong background or some professional experience in the Social Sciences

When applying candidates must indicate their pathway preference. Pathway selection will be considered during the application process and it is expected that the applicants will progress with the selected pathway unless under exceptional circumstances. 

All students will spend their first semester in Glasgow and the second semester in Barcelona, and then choose between Rotterdam (Pathway A) and Göttingen (Pathway B) in the third semester depending upon available positions, interests, and language capabilities.  All teaching is in English. It is encouraged that prospective students attend additional language study throughout the programme, which has the potential to stretch over four semesters.  The programme also includes for-credit and non-credit bearing internships and industrial placements.

The final semester will be spent researching and writing a dissertation under the primary supervision of Rotterdam or Göttingen professors.  Students will have the opportunity to have co-supervision with other university professors and live in or near one of the four partner universities depending on research interests, visa issues, and access to primary materials.


Intended Learning Outcomes

GLOCAL: Learning Objectives for Students:

  • offering an integrated, international and coherent programme comprising the history, theory, institutions and cultures of global capitalism;
  • providing students with a series of perspectives on the globalised economy, including a focus on creative and cultural economies/industries, urban ecosystems that foster entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation, and business cultures;
  • enriching historical understanding and perspectives on global economy;   
  • encouraging and supporting students, through a variety of teaching and assessment methods, to develop high-level critical, analytical and practical skills, thus enhancing their employability in the global marketplace;
  • developing intercultural communication and cooperation skills within a European and global framework, thus developing heightened levels of cultural sensitivity and active global citizenship;
  • providing students with ongoing professional development and transferable skills including the opportunity to acquire additional languages and key employability skills through work placements (such as team work, communications and public speaking skills, cultural awareness and others);
  • imparting a greater awareness of the European project and EU values;
  • and providing students with a greater degree of initiative, confidence, and entrepreneurship.

Core Courses

University of Glasgow

This course will examine the nature and development of the globalized economy and explore the concept of globalization and the economic theories used to explain its development. Issues to be investigated include the process of globalization in comparative perspective, the participation of various institutions at both micro-economic and macro-economic levels, the variety and diversity inherent in globalization and the impact on economic performance of various economies in the global system.

A survey of research in the varieties of capitalism. The course provides theoretical approaches, emphasizing the role of actors and institutions in economic development. Comparing European, Asian, Latin- and North American economies, the course explores differences and similarities between liberal and coordinated market economies. Special emphasis will be given to questions of innovation and relative stagnation of “Rhenish Capitalism” in various branches of industry within a comparative framework.

University of Barcelona

The main objective of the course is to understand the process of creation of new enterprises in emerging sectors through real cases. Students will be able to learn from the experience of founders or managers of new organizations, which are individuals who have gone through the process of creation or growth of new businesses.

The most up-to-date traits of dynamic cities are presented in the context of economic globalization. In the 21st century, interdependence on a country and city scales, flexible work and networking, delocalization, the new comparative advantages become new topics. Particularly, the new formulations presented by the processes of clusterization are studied, in their search for new synergies between creative and innovative businesses. In this context, talent and innovation flows (open innovation) acquire new dimensions. The territory has not lost relevance in the new competitiveness specific to globalization. However, public authorities use new mechanisms together with traditional ones, to become a node in the reception of business talent. In this block, we study traditional and innovative ways to generate entrepreneurial dynamics in the territory.  Case studies of Barcelona, Helsinki, and Milan are presented prior to student presentations on cities and their policies and programmes in Europe.

The overall objective of the course is to provide conceptual and empirical tools that allow us to highlight the importance of family businesses in developing long-term innovation, both in developed economies and in the so-called emerging economies of the world.

  • Port cities in historical perspective (taught by Rotterdam)

This course offers an overview of the role of port cities as central nodes in international social, economic and cultural networks since 1500. Through their extensive maritime trade network port cities provide a window on a wider world. As gateways they generate opportunities for the establishment of widespread international communities. Port cities are places of transhipment of goods, but the extensive maritime networks resulting from such trade connections also generated innovations, as international operating merchants used these networks to transfer technological knowledge and information. Already in pre-modern times proto-global networks influenced local innovations. For instance seventeenth century Rotterdam shows how an international merchant and refugee network, comprising of French and British scholars, created an early centre of Enlightenment. The nineteenth century has been called the age of port cities, and indeed in this period such cities more then ever became international centres of trade and cultural contacts. In the twentieth century, however, port cities faced enormous economic, social and infrastructural challenges. Despite, or due to, these challenges, post-industrial port societies are still recognised as important hub cities not just of goods, but also and maybe even primarily of knowledge. Students will learn how these creative urban communities adapted to different historical contexts and reacted to long-term developments. 

Erasmus University Rotterdam: Pathway A "Global History and Creative Cities"

  • Creative industries in the global economy (taught by Glasgow)

Cultural and creative industries are increasingly recognized as important generators of revenues and jobs, as well as powerful drivers of cultural globalization, especially as the world moves into the digital age. One 2015 survey estimated that they created $2.2 trillion in revenue and around 30 million jobs. The high profile of multinational media companies belies the diversity and multipolar nature of the creative industries.  This course examines the growth of the global creative industry, their relationships to cities or creative clusters, and the debates surrounding its increasing prominence in development, cultural branding, its monetization, and the idea of  "creative class."

  • Mapping global order

This course combines two specialisations: International Relations Theory and World History (or Global History). The perspective of the course is the highest possible level of international relations and global interactions, including empires, regions or continents. The two course books are examples of this type of historical research. Besides the course books, we shall discuss scholars that have produced historical perspectives on the rise and decline of empires and regions since about 1600 until present. Their publications contain global visions, covering both western and non-western countries. All authors use theories and/or paradigms to explain the history of these empires and regions. The focus is on therefore on 'Big questions, large theories and huge comparisons'. Some questions we will ask: What general theory or model is presented in the book? What is precisely new and innovative about the book? What is the motor behind historical processes and in what direction are we developing? Has the book stimulated related research by other scholars? How to relate these theories with research on lower levels of analysis, including states, NGO's and Multinational Corporations? What can we learn from these books for our own research (e.g. MA thesis)?

  • Rise and fall of the American Empire

Both in military, political, cultural and economic terms, the United States of America grew into the most powerful empire of the world during the twentieth century. At least that is what many people outside the US believe, but most politicians, scholars and ordinary men and women in the streets of the US would deny that fiercely. The US is not an empire and it never has been one, they say. One of the aims of our workshop is to find some answers to the question whether the US was or is an empire. Historically, there are many arguments that a least it resembles an empire, like the British Empire for example. Like Britain, the US endeavoured to bring free markets, the rule of law, and democracy to the rest of the world. In the last decades, America's power is seriously challenged. Rising economies like China, India and Brazil threaten its dominant economic position. Militarily, the Russians and the Islamic State are challenging the US right now. Is seems that Obama is not sure how to react upon Putin's firm military actions in the Crimea, East-Ukraine, and very recently Syria. The last war fought in Iraq didn't do the US as a state particularly good, although some private companies made tremendous profits, and Western oil companies are again pumping oil in Iraq. The so-called Arab Spring, which indirectly was a result of US intervention in the Middle East, has not brought rule of law and democracy. On the contrary, peace seems further away than it has ever been since World War II. This research workshop explores the (economic, cultural, political, and military) rise and fall of the American empire in the long twentieth century.

Göttingen University: Pathway 2 "Global Markets and Development"

  • Global history of marketing and mass consumption

The course will familiarize students with basic aspects of the development of mass marketing structures in the 19th and 20th century. Special emphasis will be on rise of the advertising and consulting industries as creative centers of modern consumer capitalism. Texts and discussion will focus particularly on transnational exchanges, the global role of the American consumer society and regional differences and variations in consumer culture. In many industries, marketing long had to pursue global strategies with strong regional and local accents.

  • Immigrant entrepreneurship

This seminar offers analytical insights into the ways immigrants contribute to their chosen host countries and their former home countries in serving basic and advanced needs and creating new services and goods. In contrast to the dominant view on small scale businesses, a special emphasis will be given to larger, creative firms. The main focus will be on the United States and Germany, currently the world’s leading immigration destinations. The seminar will combine the rich literature in sociology and economics with well documented historical case studies from the German Historical Institute’s online research project “Immigrant Entrepreneurship.”

The course offers insights into the global entanglements of markets and business sectors such as, for example, the energy industry. The course analyzes the interplay of economic and governmental actors as well as non-governmental organizations in changing global markets. Special attention will be paid to global differences between industrialized countries and resource rich countries, between centers and peripheries of the global economy.

Optional Courses

University of Glasgow 

Recommended optional courses:

This course examines the core human dimension of the growth of the globalised economy: its impact on labour, meaning both employment for money wages, and the collective organisation of workers in trade unions. It relates the organisation, rewards and problems of labour – including class, gender and racial inequalities – to the competitive pressures of the integrated, globalised economy.  It examines changes in the organisation of work arising from globalisation, including migration of labour as well as capital, analyses the impact of globalisation on the conditions of labour, including monetary rewards and social benefits, and finally explores the changing collective identities and institutions of workers in the globalised economy.

This course examines the notion of technology transfer, how it has taken place over the past two centuries, and how it has been shaped by the emergence of big business.


Other optional courses may be available.


University of Barcelona

The course deals with the main health problems and challenges in today’s world. The topics studied are the main actors and architecture of global health; health regulation and financial mechanisms to fight pandemic; the social determinants of health; the economic dimension of health; access to medication; climate change and health.

In this course the focus are the economic concepts, theories, events, socio-political actors and processes relevant in Latin America. It includes an overview of the geography and history of Latin America, an analysis of the main economic problems of the area, and of the policies implemented to deal with poverty and inequality. Finally the economic integration processes in course (NAFTA, ALCA, CAN, MERCOSUR) will be examined critically.

New realities and new rules: internationalization and globalization. International trade: classical analysis and new realities. Trade in tasks and global value chains. Competitiveness. Distributive effects of globalization. International trade system: Protectionism and regionalism in the world economy. Macroeconomics and international finance. Exchange rates’s role. International financial system and its possible reforms. External imbalances in the global economy. International financial crisis and post-crisis. Monetary integration: the experience of the euro. 

The course will analyze the contemporary international system in a process of globalization, the players involved in this system, their typologies and relational processes, the structural trends of change and continuity in the system. Empirical case studies will be examined, with special attention to the Europeist process, its nature and functions in the global system.


Other optional courses may be available.


Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • International relations theory

The Master Global History and International Relations attempts to combine history and theory. In this course the focus is on theory: International Relations Theory (IRT). We will, however, try to connect theory and history, more particularly the problem of using theory in historical research. We hope that this may help you to write your MA thesis research proposal in the Research Workshop.The Oxford Handbook of International Relations (2008) offers a comprehensive overview of the field of international relations. It debates the nature of the field, critically engages with the major theories, and examines the field's relation with other disciplines. This course studies and discusses selected articles of the Oxford Handbook to introduce the subject of international relations studies. The selection of chapters is complemented by a series of articles on Non-Western International Relations, focusing on East-Asia. During class we will apply theories of international relations to historical and contemporary issues, like the 'The Opium Wars in China in the 19th century', 'The Nuclear Threat of North Korea', 'Somalia: a failed state' and 'The Rise of China'.

  • Maritime history and port cities

More information for this course will be published soon.

  • Research workshops to prepare for master level thesis

Research methods workshops will be provided in order to prepare students for their master level thesis. 

  •  Business History of Fashion

Fashion has often been studied from a cultural or costume history perspective. This course aims to highlight other important aspects of fashion and focuses on the fashion industry. The main objective of this minor is to gain insight into the business historical dimensions of the fashion industry and the importance of fashion for the global and local economy. It delves into the history of fashion companies and intermediaries, the economic characteristics of the fashion products and its markets. Students will thus study past and recent developments in the fashion industry. They will gain a historical, business, economic perspective of the fashion industry through a mix of lectures, seminars, guest lecturers and field trips. The main objective is to look into the history of the fashion industry and the world behind the glamorous catwalks and shiny magazines. It aims to analyse fashion from a business history perspective, to look for similarities and differences with other industries. 


Göttingen University

  • Development economics 1 - Macro issues

Expose students to macroeconomic issues in economic development, including how economic growth, trade, inequality, aid, capital flows, and population issues affect economic development.

  • Development economics 3 - Regional perspectives

Allow students to apply theoretical and empirical concepts in development economics to understand differences in regional economic development (East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and Africa).

  • Globalisation and development

In-depth study of linkages between globalization and economic development – opportunities, risks and challenges.

  • International Human Resource Management

Students get insights into major topics of Human Resource Management (HRM) in an international context. The course will introduce the context international managers need to consider, e.g. cultural differences, and major HRM functions, e.g. global staffing.

  • Sustainable development, trade and environment

The seminar focuses on environmental issues in globalized context, emphasizing the concept of sustainable development and the role of international trade as well as global enforcement mechanisms.

  • Selected topics in Asian business and management

The seminar will place particular focus on selected Asian countries, e.g. China, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia. It will cover research fields related to Asian business and management issues (e.g. market entry, employee retention, expatriates, M&A).

  • Political construction of Europe

Introduction into the historical dimensions of the European integration process into current debates about Europe.




Summer School

A two week summer school will take place in the summer at the end of year 1 and will be held with a different partner each year and this will include associate partners from around the world. The topic will be decided on an annual basis and relate to trends and issues of the moment.

Important information:

The summer school is optional. The cost of the summer school fees is embedded in the total programme fees whether students decide to attend the summer school or not. However, the travel costs and living costs incurred during the summer school, are not included in these fees and must be covered by the student.