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Bridge the gap between economics and development, and learn how to apply economic and quantitative analysis to solve problems that face policy-making and decision-making in developed and developing countries.

Who is it for?

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:

  • Develop your analytical, quantitative and modelling abilities
  • Develop your knowledge of modern economic theory, at both a micro and macro level
  • Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant empirical and theoretical research methodology
  • Develop your knowledge of econometric theory and techniques and how they apply to development
  • Critically interpret current research in a combination of fields, namely development, behavioural and experimental economics, financial economics, health economics, macroeconomics, regulation and competition.

Should you wish to pursue further study, the dissertation track can also serve as a stepping stone to an Economics PhD.

Academic facilities

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.

Teaching and learning

Your teaching consists of a flexible combination of lectures, classes and computer lab sessions:

  • Lectures: Will introduce you to key theories, concepts and economic models.
  • Classes: You will have the opportunity to solve problems, run empirical studies, analyse the results of existing studies and make presentations of research published in academic journals.
  • Computer labs: Gain practical experience of using computer software to run regressions to analyse models and policies and perform statistical tests.

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.


You will complete 180 credits. This includes taught modules worth 120 credits, plus 60 credits through either of the following paths:

  • Literature Survey: two extra taught elective modules of 15 credits each and a Literature Survey worth 30 credits
  • Dissertation: a 60 credit Economics Research Project.

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

Core modules:

  • The Economics of Micro-Finance (15 credits)
  • Development Economics (15 credits)
  • Microeconomic Theory (30 credits)
  • Econometrics (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules:

  • Asset Pricing (15 credits)
  • Macroeconomics (15 credits)

Modules for the literature survey path

Core modules:

  • The Economics of Micro-Finance (15 credits)
  • Development Economics (15 credits)
  • Microeconomic Analysis (30 credits)
  • Quantitative Methods (30 credits)
  • Literature Survey (30 credits)

Elective modules:

  • Welfare Economics (15 credits)

Elective modules for both paths

  • International Macroeconomics (15 credits)
  • Economics of Regulation and Competition (15 credits)
  • Health Economics (15 credits)
  • History of Economic Thought (15 credits)
  • Corporate Finance (15 credits)
  • Experimental Economics and Game Theory (15 credits)
  • Development and World Politics (15 credits)*
  • Political Economy of Global Finance (15 credits)*
  • The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)*

* 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.

Career prospects

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:

  • Consulting firms specialising in development.
  • Governmental bodies, such as the Department for International Development (DFID).
  • Major international, financial and development institutions, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the United Nations.
  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI), which regularly recruits MSc students for overseas postings.

The MSc also provides a solid academic foundation for students wishing to pursue doctoral research in economics.

Visit the Development Economics - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!






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