Modern economics is an increasingly rigorous discipline and advanced degrees are now essential for careers in international institutions, government and industry. The Economics MSc at UCL will equip the professional economist with the powerful tools required to understand the rapidly changing, complex and uncertain modern world economy.
The programme aims to provide all students with a sound and worthwhile education in modern economics and econometrics, developing important transferable skills of problem-definition, analysis and self-motivation. Students will learn to use the formal tools that are necessary to understand and conduct cutting-edge research in both theoretical and applied economics.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
At least two of the following advanced core modules:
Remaining applied options (taking the total to four) from a list including:
The dissertation of 10,000 words will be a piece of lightly supervised research, including a brief critical review of the literature in the relevant area.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, and practical and problem classes. The MSc degree is awarded on the basis of written, final examination papers and the research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Economics MSc
Graduates go on to a variety of roles, including those in the civil service, research, finance and political sectors.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The UCL Economics MSc is a passport to a career in major national and international institutions that demand the deeper, more rigorous analytical reasoning in economics. In these roles, MSc graduates draw on a theoretical grounding and wealth of practical analytical tools to formulate relevant questions in economics and produce high-quality economic analysis valued by employers and prestigious PhD programmes. Students benefit from the international reputations of the programme’s academic staff and the academic excellence and international perspectives of their fellow MSc students. Major employers invite UCL MSc graduates to apply for roles.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Economics has an outstanding international reputation in the areas of applied microeconomics, labour economics, development economics, economic theory, experimental economics, econometrics, and macroeconomics. The department is a global leader in policy-oriented research, with members actively involved in policy design and evaluation. The Research Excellence Framework 2014 ranked the UCL Department of Economics as the top department in the UK for economics and econometrics, as well as the top department in any field in terms of overall score. The high quality and policy impact of research undertaken by faculty are reflected in an excellent teaching and research environment for graduate students.
UCL is located in central London at the heart of the UK centre of government. Recognised as the world's best connected city, 75% of the Fortune 500 companies have offices in London.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Economics
99% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
You can start this MSc Economics degree in September or January. It can be tailored to two specialist fields: International Economics or Business and Financial Economics. On successful completion of this programme, you will graduate with one of the following degrees:
There is increasing demand for economics graduates in business and public sector decision making. This demand is evident in national and international institutions, including:
All these employers increasingly look for high-quality, evidence-based decision makers with an ability in applied economics and advanced data analysis. Our Master's degree will enable you to respond to this increasing demand.
The programme combines solid training in theory and method with stimulating exposure to economics and financial data sources. We will prepare you to contribute to an international global economy and to respond to its policy changes.
Our courses weave a three-way linkage between alternative theories of economics and finance, data analysis, and application of theory and method to policy and strategy issues in the world of economics, business and finance.
Our Master's degree has a number of distinctive features to enable you to combine theory and real word examples to develop evidence-based answers to economic and business problems.
The aims of this degree are:
In 2015, Greenwich was named by The Economist as one of four institutions in the country leading the way on curriculum change.
We are proud to say that our economics subjects were ranked:
Greenwich is one of the top two most globally diverse universities in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, by Hotcourses Diversity Index.
We have also been named as one of the "most international" universities on the planet by Times Higher Education magazine.
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.
Students are required to choose 4 courses from this list of options.
For a Business and Financial Economics specialisation, you study the following courses in addition to the compulsory courses listed above.
Students are required to choose 15 credits from this list of options.
For an International Economics specialisation, you study the following courses in addition to the compulsory courses listed above.
Students are required to choose 15 credits from this list of options.
The courses listed above will be split across two years.
You are assessed through:
You can expect to find employment in:
We have developed strong relations with companies in London's financial centres, including in the City and Canary Wharf as well as think-tanks, civil society organisations and research centres both in the UK and abroad such as New Economics Foundation Hans Boeckler Foundation, or Foundation of European Progressive Studies. This offers you networking, mentoring and internship opportunities in a perfect location to develop your career.
You can also reach out to top employers through our dedicated Business School Employability Office (BSEO). The team develops your employment skills through CV support, interview skills workshops and guidance through mentors to progress in the industry.
The BSEO team was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, which shows its dedication to actively support your career development.
Want to develop a rewarding career as a development economist in the public or private sector? This course will appeal to you if you have a quantitative background. You will develop your understanding of the key issues in economic development, and explore the economic theory and statistical tools you need to analyse policies and assess their impact on economic and human development.
You have the option of studying full-time over the course of one year or part-time over the course of two years.
The Development Economics MSc will help you:
Should you wish to pursue further study, the dissertation track can also serve as a stepping stone to an Economics PhD.
As a Masters student at City, you will benefit from our excellent London location, which places you in close proximity to the centres of decision-making in development economics. For example, we are just six tube stops away from the Department for International Development.
Your teaching consists of a flexible combination of lectures, classes and computer lab sessions:
In addition, econometric methods will be taught in lab sessions, so you will have the opportunity to apply econometric software to empirical research in development economics.
When appropriate "practitioner slots" will be incorporated into module delivery, such as research seminars conducted by external experts in development policies and presentations by invited academics.
Assessments are typically a combination of unseen written examinations (70% for each module) and coursework (30% for each module), but this can vary by module.
The teaching takes place over two terms, from September to June. Full-time students who pass all the taught modules during the main exam sessions finish the programme at the end of September when they submit their dissertation or literature review. Full-time students who successfully complete the taught modules in the August re-sit exam session submit their dissertation or literature review in December.
Part-time students complete their modules over the course of four terms, from September to June, before undertaking their dissertation or literature review.
Pre-sessional activities covering Micro-and Macroeconomics, Stata, Excel, Probability and Mathematics run in September before the start of term. These are available for all students who secure a place on the MSc Development Economics course. Pre-sessionals are included in your degree fee and are designed to prepare you for the course. We therefore strongly encourage you to make every effort to attend. Dates of the sessions are as follows:
You are not required to register for the above pre-sessionals, you just need to turn up on the day. Further information, such as the exact times and locations will be provided in your induction schedule.
You will complete 180 credits. This includes taught modules worth 120 credits, plus 60 credits through either of the following paths:
Each module typically has a weekly two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial, but this may vary.
It is not possible to give an exact indication of hours per week, as these can vary from one term to the other, depending on which electives you choose.
Modules for the dissertation path
Modules for the literature survey path
Elective modules for both paths
* Students on the dissertation path can take only 1 of these modules, which are taught in the Department of International Politics. Students on the literature survey path can take up to 2 of these modules.
Graduates of this course enjoy a wide range of rewarding employment possibilities, in both the public and private sectors, including consultancy and economic analysis.
As a Masters in Development Economics graduate, you will have the skills to work in:
The MSc also provides a solid academic foundation for students wishing to pursue doctoral research in economics.
The course is suitable for recent graduates in economics, psychology and related social science or quantitative disciplines who are looking to develop a career in the fast-paced world of behavioural economics, either in the public or private sector.
As the course is offered in full-time and part-time modes, it is also suited to professionals who want to enhance their theoretical knowledge and practical skills and would benefit from an academic environment.
Behavioural economics applies psychological insights into human behaviour to investigate how people make economic decisions under various conditions of constraint (e.g. time and knowledge) and influence (e.g. social pressure). This is an important field in modern economics, and the social sciences more generally.
Commercial organisations have long known the limitations of individual decision making and they routinely use this knowledge in their commercial practices (e.g. anchoring effect of minimum payment on credit cards). The practical implications of behavioural economics are varied and significant, and acknowledged to provide a powerful and cost-effective approach to improving human welfare.
The Behavioural Economics MSc will develop your skills and knowledge to prepare you for a wide variety of roles in the private or public sector that require a solid understanding of human behaviour.
The modules are taught by lecturers from the economics and psychology department with research interests in behavioural economics.
In each module you will receive typically 30 hours of face-to-face contact, supported by online resources (e.g., videos and advanced readings provided on the learning platform Moodle) for your self-directed study. You will be required to take responsibility for your own learning and to take advantage of the learning opportunities offered (e.g., invited speakers programme and online resources). The learning and teaching strategies for each module will expose you to a range of methods, comprising: lectures, guest lectures, seminars, group work, workshops, small group discussions, tutorials, reflective reports and research project supervision.
In order to assess your full range of learning, you will complete reflective reports, essays, examinations, interpretation of statistical analyses, formal research proposals and a research dissertation. Most individual modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. In addition, you will be directed to independent study and receive detailed feedback on your coursework as an aid to your further learning. These different forms of assessment have the aim of assessing your knowledge, skills and appreciation in different areas of behavioural economics (e.g., theoretical knowledge and applied aspects of behavioural techniques).
Full-time students take four modules in each of the first two terms, followed by a written research dissertation in the third term.
Most of the modules are structured as a combination of two-hour lectures (to present information) and one-hour seminars or clinics (to understand and assimilate lecture material) or lab sessions. Teaching and learning is enhanced by technology-supported resources, and teaching staff are available for one-to-one interaction and feedback.
It is expected that full-time students will spend about three hours in lectures/seminars plus self-directed, independent study hours for each module per week. You should also expect to attend seminars given by invited speakers and seminars on dissertation writing (about one to two hours per week).
Your workload might vary from week to week.
Students with a strong background in Economics may substitute 'Principles of Economics' with a microeconomics module from one of the MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics. You may also substitute an appropriate elective from one of the MSc modules offered by the Department of Economics for 'Professional Aspects of Behavioural Economics' - this will allow a pathway through the programme that is focused on theoretical and research economic themes.
Whilst there is not yet a specific occupation of 'behavioural economist', the knowledge and skills acquired are highly valuable in a range of sectors:
City’s Behavioural Economics postgraduate course would be especially valuable for professionals who already work in occupations which involve the need to understand the scientific dynamics of human decision making and behaviour (e.g., financial traders who require the right psychological attitude as much as appropriate strategy knowledge).
The School Direct Programme (Salaried) is a new route into teaching at both primary and secondary levels. Participating schools, or clusters of schools that join together, are allocated a set number of student-teacher places which can be applied for. Students will earn a salary while they train.
Students will be part of a school team from the start and will receive intensive support from experienced teachers in the classroom. Opportunities will exist to build networks with fellow trainees. This route leads to the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).
There are two compulsory school placements. Students are expected to complete the associated tasks, and to build a portfolio of evidence during the academic year to demonstrate they have met national teaching standards.
Students do not undertake academic credits on this programme. However, all components will need to be assessed to gain QTS.
As part of the programme students will spend time in placement at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. For this programme students will spend the majority of the programme in school, employed as an unqualified teacher.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered via a series of lectures and workshop at the UCL Institute of Education for 15 days (10 days Professional Studies and five days subject-specific training) spread over the autumn and spring terms. The placement schools are responsible for providing an additional 45 days of training activities, alongside the practical teaching experience. Students are assessed on their practical teaching of Economics and their progress in achieving the standards for Qualified Teacher Status by gathering evidence in the form of a portfolio.
Further information on modules and programme structure is available on the department website: School Direct (Salaried): Economics QTS/Teacher Training
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of UCL Institute of Education's Economics teacher training programmes are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers of economics and/or business, while others have jobs as middle and senior managers in schools. Graduates in this area can also be found working as education officers, teachers in international schools and as entrepreneurs running businesses offering consultancy in schools.
Most of the student teachers trained through this route are employed by the training school or within the cluster after completing programme. The nature of this route to Qualified Teacher Status is for schools to train student teachers who are committed to the values and ethos of the school or academy and wish to develop their teaching career within the school or cluster which invested in their training.
The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has been providing first-class teaching training, in partnership with schools and colleges for over 100 years and all of their initial teacher training programmes have been rated as outstanding. Founded in 1902, as a teacher training college in London, the IOE is a world-class research and teaching institute. IOE graduates are highly sought after in schools and colleges throughout London and the UK. The central location in historic Bloomsbury means that you are in the heart of London.
There are over 40 schools and colleges in the Greater London area and beyond participating in the School Direct (Salaried) programme.
Each of these offer student-teacher places in at least one national curriculum subject area and many of them have places across a broad range of subjects.
This route leads to the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).