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Athabasca University

BA Political Economy Concentration

This program is closed to new admissions, effective April 24, 2018.

As a graduate of Athabasca University’s Political Economy program, you will get the opportunity to develop a greater appreciation of diverse politics, economics, cultures, and regions of the world. The course selection allows you to critically engage with Canadian and global political and economic issues in an era of globalization. Students may focus their studies in either Global Political Economy or Canadian Political Economy. For more information, visit the Political Economy website.

Athabasca University has developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Did you know? Athabasca University also offers:

For specific degree requirements view each program page.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.

Program Requirements

Requirements in addition to the general program requirements for the 3-year BA with Concentration:

  1. 60 Political Economy major credits outlined below.
  2. A minimum of 15 credits in designated Political Economy concentration core courses. It is strongly recommended that students complete these courses at the beginning of the program.
  3. A minimum of 15 credits in one of the two Political Economy areas of focus. Students must take at least one course from Economics, Political Economy, and Political Science.
  4. A minimum of 12 credits from the designated Political Economy general electives courses.
  5. 18 remaining elective credits selected from: Communication Studies (CMNS); Global Studies (GLST); Governance (GOVN); History (HIST); Information Systems (INFS); Labour Studies (LBST), Industrial Relations (IDRL); Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST); Indigenous Studies (INST).

Required core courses (15 credits)

ECON 247 Microeconomics (3)
ECON 248 Macroeconomics (3)
MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics

MATH 216 Computer-oriented Approach to Statistics

MGSC 301 Statistics for Business and Economics I
POEC/GLST/INTR 230 Globalization and World Politics (3)
POEC 302 Introduction to Political Economy (3)

A minimum of 15 credits in one of the two areas of focus. Students must take at least one course from each of the following areas: Economics, Political Economy, and Political Science.

Area of Focus I: Global Political Economy

ECON 401 The Changing Global Economy*
*Students who have taken ECON 301 may not take ECON 401.
ECON 366 Economic Development (3)
ECON 475 International Trade (3)
ECON 476 International Finance (3)
ENVS/GLST 243 Environmental Change in a Global Context (3)
GLST 308 Americas: An Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean (3)
GLST/HIST 381 Modern China (3)
HIST 486 The Industrial Revolution (3)
POEC/GLST/INTR 395 Political Economy of Development: People, Processes, and Policies (3)
POEC/GLST/INTR 483 International Political Economy: The Politics of Globalization (3)
POLI/INTR 330 International and Global Politics (3)
POLI 342 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3)
POLI 480 The Politics of Cyberspace (3)
SOCI 435 Theories of Social Change (3)


Area of Focus II: Canadian Political Economy

CMNS 401 Cultural Policy in Canada (3)
ECON 385 Money, Banking and Canadian Financial Institutions (3)
GEOG 311 Canadian Urban Development (3)
GLST/GOVN 450 Public Budgeting and Financial Management in a Globalized World (3)
GOVN 301 Governance, the Public Sector and Corporate Power (3)
HIST 326 Contemporary Canada: Canada after 1945 (3)
IDRL 320 The Law of Work (3)
IDRL 309/LGST 310 Human Rights, the Charter and Labour Relations (3)
LBST/SOCI/WGST 332 Women and Unions (3)
POEC 393 Canada and the Global Political Economy (3)
POLI 309 Canadian Government and Politics (3)
POLI 311 Aboriginal Politics and Governments (3)
POLI 325 Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics (3)
SOCI 291 Canadian Society (3)
SOCI 321 Sociology of Work and Industry (3)
TAXX 301 Taxation I (3)


Select a minimum of 12 credits from the following designated political economy general elective courses. You may also select from Area of Focus I or II provided you have not used the courses already to fulfill the Area of Focus requirement.

ANTH 320 Ancient Cities and Civilizations (3)
ANTH 362 Aboriginal Cultures of North America (3)
ANTH 375 The Anthropology of Gender (3)
ANTH 394 Urban Anthropology (3)
CMNS 402 Global Communication (3)
CMNS 423 The Television Age (3)
CMNS 385/SOCI 378 Social Problems and Social Movements (3)
ECON/HADM 321 Health Care Economics (3)
ECON 380 Public Finance and Expenditure (3)
ENTP 212 Entrepreneurship (3)
ENVS 435 Transformative Change in Building Sustainable Communities
FREN 100 French for Beginners I (3)
FREN 101 French for Beginners II (3)
GEOG 201 Introductory Human Geography (3)
GEOG 302 The Canadian North (3)
GEOG/GLST 200 World Regional Geography
HADM 336 Community Health Planning (3)
HADM 339 Organization of the Canadian Health Care System (3)
HIST 336 History of Canadian Labour (6)
HIST/GLST/WGST 460 Famous Feminists and Their Times: Global History of Feminism (3)
HIST/LBST 470 Pre-Industrial Origins of Labour and Socialist Thought (3)
INST 111 Introductory Cree I (3)
INST 112 Introductory Cree II (3)
MATH 244 Business Math (3)
MATH 265 Introduction to Calculus I (3)
PHIL 371 Ethics, Science, Technology, and the Environment (3)
SOCI 381 The Rich and the Rest: The Sociology of Wealth, Power, and Inequality (3)
SOCI 450 Environmental Sociology (3)
SOCI/WGST 345 Women and Work in Canada (3)
SPAN 200 Introductory Spanish I (3)
SPAN 201 Spanish for Beginners II (3)
WGST 401 Contemporary Feminist Theory (3)

18 remaining elective credits selected from the following disciplines:


  1. It is strongly recommended that students who want to pursue graduate work in Political Economy or international affairs include among their options, POEC 499.
  2. Language proficiency: It is strongly recommended that students in Canadian Study areas who want to pursue employment in the federal civil service or foreign affairs take French as an elective or option. Students interested in North American integration should take Spanish. Likewise, students interested in governance capacity building for First Nations communities should take First Nations language courses. Students interested in the economic integration of Europe should consider taking German. Students are advised that "language proficiency" usually means one of the following:
    • the ability to read French, Spanish, or German at a level consistent with the usual requirements of a junior French language course. This ability may be proven by one of the following: either by completing 6 junior language credits in French (for example French 200 and French 201) or by passing a reading proficiency examination in French, Spanish or German;
    • speak fluently one of Canada’s First Nations languages (for example, Cree or Inuktitut);


    • read one of Canada’s First Nations languages (for example, Cree or Inuktitut), at a level consistent with the usual requirements of a second-year university language course.
  3. Writing proficiency: Given the importance of good writing skills for success in post-secondary studies and the workplace, it is strongly recommended that students take ENGL 255 as an elective or option course. Students for whom English is a second language should also take ENGL 177.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated May 17 2018 by laurab

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