Student talking to staff

MSc Economics

Designed for those who have already studied Economics and wish to deepen their subject knowledge, this degree opens up careers in a wide range of fields.

About The Course

This Masters programme in Economics is intellectually demanding and stimulating, designed to give those who aspire to a high-flying analytical career in Economics the tools they will need to succeed. You will be immersed in a diverse student group from various backgrounds, all with a strong knowledge of Economics and the ambition to pursue a career in this area. Throughout your studies, you will quickly develop rigorous training in theory and methods that will help you develop very marketable skills to launch yourself successfully into the job market.

Your teaching will be delivered by experts at the forefront of their disciplines, who have contributed to the Department's outstanding international research reputation in the areas of game theory, industrial organisation, econometrics, applied microeconomics, empirical macroeconomics, labour economics, and the economics of education. Our graduates often secure successful positions in consulting companies, research centres, government departments, international agencies, or in the financial sector. The programme is also excellent preparation for a PhD programme.

For a list of modules you will study, please take a look at our course content section.

Key Facts


12-month course, starts in October.


Designed for Economics graduates interested in a wide range of careers involving Economics.

20

Average class size

Course Content

The MSc Economics programme is made up of core and optional modules.

In your first term from October to December, you will take the following four core modules.

  • Microeconomics

    Building on your undergraduate microeconomics knowledge and providing a foundation for the more advanced and specialist material in elective modules, this module focuses on theoretical and analytical techniques in microeconomics and highlights policy applications of material. Topics covered include consumer theory, market structure (with particular attention given to game theory analyses of oligopoly), general equilibrium and welfare, incomplete information and incentives, and mechanism design.

  • Macroeconomics

    Building on your undergraduate studies, this module focuses on theoretical and analytical techniques in macroeconomics, highlighting policy applications of material. The module aims to give you a framework with which to analyse the macroeconomy and macroeconomic policy. Topics include the Ramsey model, aggregate consumption and investment, open economy models, DSGE models, the neoclassical growth model, RBC theory, and productivity and growth.

  • Econometrics

    This module introduces you to the main techniques that are used for empirical analysis in fields ranging from microeconomics to macroeconomics and finance. The main goal is to teach you how to become both a producer and a critical consumer of empirical research. This is achieved by focusing on the practical implementation of econometric techniques.

  • Research Skills for Economists

    This module lays the foundations for preparing you for research in economics or for work as a professional economist, and covers different aspects of the research toolbox of modern economists. The module is organised in three sub-modules: Mathematical Methods for Economists, Academic Skills for Economists, and Empirical Skills for Economists. The aim of these sub-modules is to develop the tools you need in order to master the material presented in the taught part of the MSc in Economics and to progress towards independent research for the dissertation, and ultimately to work as a professional economist.

During your second term from January to March, you will choose four out of the below optional modules.

  • International Money and Banking

    The first four sessions aim to establish an understanding of banks’ behaviour and balance sheets, including capital structure, lending decisions and attitudes to risk. These sessions also study the banks’ role in transmitting the monetary policy decisions of the central bank, i.e. the choice of official interest rates and ‘quantitative easing’. This enables a discussion of the effects of monetary and fiscal policy on the main macroeconomic variables. Session four looks at the origins of the financial crisis and the policy responses.

    Sessions five to seven cover developments in international banking regulation before and since the crisis. This includes the regulation of capital and liquidity under the Basel accords, the attempts to address the moral hazard and the ‘too-large-to fail’ problems, and the influence of regulation on the shadow banking industry.

    The final three sessions study banking and monetary policy in the international context, with a particular focus on problems in the Eurozone and the operation of the eurosystem of central banks.

    In this course, the treatment will generally be non-technical and will be based on developing an understanding of institutional practices and their implications.

  • Behavioural Finance

    This module looks at what can happen to the asset pricing in situations where market imperfections coincide with imperfections in investor rationality. It therefore explores the boundary between mispricing which can be exploited and that which cannot be exploited profitably.

    The module lays foundations for arbitrage, investment and wealth management, investment banking, and corporate finance. The material covered is at the frontier of academic and industry research, forming a conceptually advanced body of knowledge (CFA level III) which is of relevance for theory, research and practice.

    Topics covered include:

    • The efficient markets hypothesis and competing theories

    • Limits to arbitrage

    • Heuristics, biases and prospect theory: mental accounts and evidence in market prices

    • Myopic loss aversion, disposition effect and overtrading

    • Professional investors and analysts: over- and under-reaction

    • Bubbles: observational and experimental, rational and non-rational

    • Closed-end fund discounts, co-movement and sentiment

    • The equity premium puzzle and the volatility puzzle

    • Herding

    • Behavioural portfolio theory

  • Public Economics and Political Economy

    This module gives an overview of public economics and political economy, providing you with research tools for theoretical and empirical work. It focuses on understanding the role of government in the economy through taxation, expenditure and institutional design, and the effect of political dynamics on governments’ decisions. Alongside classic topics such as public good provision and optimal taxation design, you will explore contemporary themes such as political economy, tax competition, endogenous institutions and the effects of political competition on public finance.

  • Labour Economics

    This course covers the advanced microeconomics of labour markets, covering contemporary theory and empirical evidence. In doing so, this course will provide an understanding of the role of labour markets and labour market policy in the economy. A range of standard topics in labour economics are covered including labour demand and supply, models of wage determination and wage inequality, discrimination, unions and unemployment.

  • Industrial Organisation

    Giving you a rigorous background in the theory of industrial organisation, this module covers theoretical work and supporting empirical papers on the structure, behaviour and performance of firms and markets. Topics include the organisation of the firm, monopoly, price discrimination, oligopoly, product differentiation, research and development, merger strategies, and auctions.

  • Financial Economics

    The credit crunch and subsequent events have challenged modern financial theory, emphasising the need to develop better pricing and hedging models for financial products. They have also sparked renewed interest in how financial markets and institutions function. Striking a balance between theory and practice, this module gives you a firm grounding in the economics of financial markets, and covers a variety of finance topics, focusing on the valuation of stocks, bonds, derivatives (futures and forwards, options, swaps), portfolio management and hedging strategies.

  • Health Economics

    The aim of this module is to cover the advanced microeconomics of health and healthcare, covering theory and empirical evidence. The emphasis is on the interpretation of microeconomic models and the most current empirical evidence. The course provides a comprehensive set of economic tools to critically appraise fundamental issues in the economics of health while offering a broad overview of health care systems around the world. The course covers the economic issues facing the main actors and institutions in the healthcare markets: individuals, medical practitioners, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and governments. Practical aspects of cost benefit analysis in healthcare technology assessment are also covered.

From May to July you work solely on your Masters dissertation, with support from your dissertation supervisor. You will submit it at the start of September, at the end of your Masters programme.

  • Dissertation

    The dissertation is a substantial piece of independent work where you can apply research techniques and relevant economic theory to a research topic. This can be an area which has attracted your attention in the course of your studies, or may be linked to an aspect of your professional working experience. You choose your topic during the second term, in consultation with the MSc Director. You are then assigned to an appropriate member of teaching staff who acts as a supervisor and gives you guidance on the structure and content of the research.

  • Term 1

    In your first term from October to December, you will take the following four core modules.

    • Microeconomics

      Building on your undergraduate microeconomics knowledge and providing a foundation for the more advanced and specialist material in elective modules, this module focuses on theoretical and analytical techniques in microeconomics and highlights policy applications of material. Topics covered include consumer theory, market structure (with particular attention given to game theory analyses of oligopoly), general equilibrium and welfare, incomplete information and incentives, and mechanism design.

    • Macroeconomics

      Building on your undergraduate studies, this module focuses on theoretical and analytical techniques in macroeconomics, highlighting policy applications of material. The module aims to give you a framework with which to analyse the macroeconomy and macroeconomic policy. Topics include the Ramsey model, aggregate consumption and investment, open economy models, DSGE models, the neoclassical growth model, RBC theory, and productivity and growth.

    • Econometrics

      This module introduces you to the main techniques that are used for empirical analysis in fields ranging from microeconomics to macroeconomics and finance. The main goal is to teach you how to become both a producer and a critical consumer of empirical research. This is achieved by focusing on the practical implementation of econometric techniques.

    • Research Skills for Economists

      This module lays the foundations for preparing you for research in economics or for work as a professional economist, and covers different aspects of the research toolbox of modern economists. The module is organised in three sub-modules: Mathematical Methods for Economists, Academic Skills for Economists, and Empirical Skills for Economists. The aim of these sub-modules is to develop the tools you need in order to master the material presented in the taught part of the MSc in Economics and to progress towards independent research for the dissertation, and ultimately to work as a professional economist.

  • Term 2

    During your second term from January to March, you will choose four out of the below optional modules.

    • International Money and Banking

      The first four sessions aim to establish an understanding of banks’ behaviour and balance sheets, including capital structure, lending decisions and attitudes to risk. These sessions also study the banks’ role in transmitting the monetary policy decisions of the central bank, i.e. the choice of official interest rates and ‘quantitative easing’. This enables a discussion of the effects of monetary and fiscal policy on the main macroeconomic variables. Session four looks at the origins of the financial crisis and the policy responses.

      Sessions five to seven cover developments in international banking regulation before and since the crisis. This includes the regulation of capital and liquidity under the Basel accords, the attempts to address the moral hazard and the ‘too-large-to fail’ problems, and the influence of regulation on the shadow banking industry.

      The final three sessions study banking and monetary policy in the international context, with a particular focus on problems in the Eurozone and the operation of the eurosystem of central banks.

      In this course, the treatment will generally be non-technical and will be based on developing an understanding of institutional practices and their implications.

    • Behavioural Finance

      This module looks at what can happen to the asset pricing in situations where market imperfections coincide with imperfections in investor rationality. It therefore explores the boundary between mispricing which can be exploited and that which cannot be exploited profitably.

      The module lays foundations for arbitrage, investment and wealth management, investment banking, and corporate finance. The material covered is at the frontier of academic and industry research, forming a conceptually advanced body of knowledge (CFA level III) which is of relevance for theory, research and practice.

      Topics covered include:

      • The efficient markets hypothesis and competing theories

      • Limits to arbitrage

      • Heuristics, biases and prospect theory: mental accounts and evidence in market prices

      • Myopic loss aversion, disposition effect and overtrading

      • Professional investors and analysts: over- and under-reaction

      • Bubbles: observational and experimental, rational and non-rational

      • Closed-end fund discounts, co-movement and sentiment

      • The equity premium puzzle and the volatility puzzle

      • Herding

      • Behavioural portfolio theory

    • Public Economics and Political Economy

      This module gives an overview of public economics and political economy, providing you with research tools for theoretical and empirical work. It focuses on understanding the role of government in the economy through taxation, expenditure and institutional design, and the effect of political dynamics on governments’ decisions. Alongside classic topics such as public good provision and optimal taxation design, you will explore contemporary themes such as political economy, tax competition, endogenous institutions and the effects of political competition on public finance.

    • Labour Economics

      This course covers the advanced microeconomics of labour markets, covering contemporary theory and empirical evidence. In doing so, this course will provide an understanding of the role of labour markets and labour market policy in the economy. A range of standard topics in labour economics are covered including labour demand and supply, models of wage determination and wage inequality, discrimination, unions and unemployment.

    • Industrial Organisation

      Giving you a rigorous background in the theory of industrial organisation, this module covers theoretical work and supporting empirical papers on the structure, behaviour and performance of firms and markets. Topics include the organisation of the firm, monopoly, price discrimination, oligopoly, product differentiation, research and development, merger strategies, and auctions.

    • Financial Economics

      The credit crunch and subsequent events have challenged modern financial theory, emphasising the need to develop better pricing and hedging models for financial products. They have also sparked renewed interest in how financial markets and institutions function. Striking a balance between theory and practice, this module gives you a firm grounding in the economics of financial markets, and covers a variety of finance topics, focusing on the valuation of stocks, bonds, derivatives (futures and forwards, options, swaps), portfolio management and hedging strategies.

    • Health Economics

      The aim of this module is to cover the advanced microeconomics of health and healthcare, covering theory and empirical evidence. The emphasis is on the interpretation of microeconomic models and the most current empirical evidence. The course provides a comprehensive set of economic tools to critically appraise fundamental issues in the economics of health while offering a broad overview of health care systems around the world. The course covers the economic issues facing the main actors and institutions in the healthcare markets: individuals, medical practitioners, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and governments. Practical aspects of cost benefit analysis in healthcare technology assessment are also covered.

  • Term 3

    From May to July you work solely on your Masters dissertation, with support from your dissertation supervisor. You will submit it at the start of September, at the end of your Masters programme.

    • Dissertation

      The dissertation is a substantial piece of independent work where you can apply research techniques and relevant economic theory to a research topic. This can be an area which has attracted your attention in the course of your studies, or may be linked to an aspect of your professional working experience. You choose your topic during the second term, in consultation with the MSc Director. You are then assigned to an appropriate member of teaching staff who acts as a supervisor and gives you guidance on the structure and content of the research.

Scholarships

Our programme-specific scholarship for 2018 entry include the Academic Excellence, UK-EU and International scholarships aimed at high-achieving students with a strong academic or personal profile. We'll automatically consider you for these when you apply and if you are shortlisted we'll be in touch with the next steps. You may also be eligible for our other scholarships - please visit our Apply for Masters page to find out more.

Apply for Masters

Careers

Our Economics Masters courses will ensure you develop a comprehensive understanding of the discipline, including advanced methods to equip you with the skills required to succeed in this ever changing environment. In addition to specialised skills, you will also gain many transferable skills to prepare you for a successful career in a variety of sectors:

Analysis and Research – the ability to critically analyse data and conduct research

Communication – presenting complex information accurately

Problem Solving – developing solutions using available data and making recommendations

Time Management – the ability to produce high quality work within set deadlines

Computing – using a range of specialist and general software packages

Numeracy – Statistical and mathematical analysis

Find out more about our Careers support.

Graduates