Pritam took his DPhil from Oriel College, Oxford where he was awarded the Edward Boyle/Charles Wallace Scholarship. He took his BA Honours School in Economics and MA Honours School in Economics degrees from Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh. He was awarded the Junior Research Fellowship by India's University Grants Commission to study at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi from where he passed his MPhil with distinction. Before coming to Oxford, he taught at University of Delhi as a Lecturer in Economics and at PU as a Reader in Economics. In 2007, he was elected as a Research Associate at Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, and he was a Visiting Professor at JNU in 2009, at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2013 and at University of Uberlandia, Brazil in 2018 . After teaching for three decades at Oxford Brookes University, he recently retired and was awarded the Distinguished Professor Emeritus status.
Pritam's research has focussed on political economy of Indian capitalism and Punjab with special reference to aspects of federal economic relations, nationalism, religion and human rights. Most recently, he has been studying from an eco-socialist perspective the sustainability implications of the spatial shift taking place in global capitalism.