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Development Economics - MSc

Course Description

This new Masters is designed to bridge the gap between economics and development, providing strong training in quantitative and policy analysis in development economics.

Who is it for?

The Development Economics MSc course at City is designed for those looking to gain an understanding of key issues in economic development and provide you with rigorous economic theory and statistical tools to be able to analyse policies and assess their impact on economic and human development.


The aim of this course is to develop your critical and analytical abilities in economics, with particular reference to development. By the time you graduate, you should be able to:
-Demonstrate that modern economic theory is relevant to development economics.
-Critically interpret current research in development economics and evaluate its relevance to development practice and policy analysis.
-Understand the enduring determinants of poverty.
-Analyse the issues of fertility, education, health, work, migration and microfinance and their contribution to economic development.
-Develop microeconomic models to explain how people make such decisions and how policy is likely to affect their choices.
-Assess policies designed towards helping the poor by taking into account how people react to policy interventions, and statistically assess the success of such policies.
-Undertake empirical investigations in development economics, using appropriate quantitative methods.

Academic facilities

You will benefit from City's London location, and our proximity to the centres of decision-making in development economics. (We are six tube stops away from the Department for International Development, for example.).

Teaching and learning

The Development Economics MSc course is designed to be flexible in the range of teaching methods used. You learn through a mixture of lecturing, discussions, analysis of case studies, student presentations and particularly for the quantitative elements of the course, interactive computer-based exercises. You are encouraged to participate actively in the classes.

The taught modules usually run for a term and have three hours of teaching each week. This time may include workshops and tutorials as well as lectures.

Outside your timetabled hours you have access to City’s library and computing facilities for independent study. Your independent study will include reading recommended books and papers, and “reading around” the field to develop a deeper understanding.

In your third term we organise for experts from outside City to come in and present current research on both methodological and applied topics.

For the dissertation or literature survey, each student is allocated a supervisor, who will guide you in your research and writing for this module. We also offer pre-sessional induction courses covering topics such as probability, microeconomics and the Stata software.


For each taught module in the Department of Economics, you are assessed through a combination of coursework and one final examination. For most modules the coursework contributes 30% of the overall mark and the examination contributes 70%. The nature of the coursework which the lecturer assigns varies according to the module, for example essays, presentations or computer-based data analysis and calculations. Modules taught in the Department of International Politics are usually assessed solely by coursework.

Overall assessment is based on your performance in the taught modules and a dissertation or literature survey. Students require 180 credits to pass the MSc. The weighting of each module within the overall mark is determined by the credit value assigned to that module.


You will complete 180 credits. This includes taught modules worth 120 credits plus 60 credits through either of the below paths.
-Literature Survey: two extra elective taught 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.

Note: It is not possible to give exact hours per week because these can vary from one term to the other, depending on which electives you choose.

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)

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

Upon completion of this course 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 World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations or the Overseas Development Institute, which regularly recruits MSc graduates for overseas postings.

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

(Student Profile)

Nouf Abushehab

City helped me form the career path I envision for myself.

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
I essentially wanted to pursue a masters degree in Development Economics. I chose the one offered at City because of the unique course the MSc programme included; The Economics of Micro-finance which is a subject I'm very much interested in.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
I mostly enjoyed the class discussions that took place after lectures. Since classes were not comprised of a large number of students, this allowed an opportunity for everyone to engage and participate in these discussions. That, coupled with the diversity of the courses in the programme, ensured that each discussion was rich and rewarding.

What was your favourite module and why?
My favourite was the Development Economics module. Each lecture tackled a different development topic, presenting new ideas extracted from the currently prevailing field of development policy.

What was the highlight of your time at City?
I would have to say the highlight of my time at City was the people I met and the friendships I formed. Meeting people from all over the world with inspiring aspirations, and with the bonds developed through coursework sessions, exam preparations and the social events at City, I formed exceptionally special friendships.

What have you done after graduating from City?
After graduating from City, I worked in the Research and Development unit of a leading micro-finance institution in Jordan. Now I work in the Research and Programme Development department of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development, where I work on evaluating education programmes in Jordan.

How has City helped you get to where you are today?
Beyond the significant role City has played in preparing me for the "real" professional world, City helped me form the career path I envision for myself. Through the courses I took, and the work I did on my dissertation, I realised where exactly in the field of development I would like to build my career; conducting research aimed at evaluating development policies and programmes.


School of Arts & Social Sciences Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme - No. of awards TBC

The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a number of scholarships for postgraduate students. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Worth up to £2,000


In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:
- be a self-funded student and not in receipt of any other scholarships;
- be a full or part-time student;

Application Procedure

Applicants who meet our entry requirements will be automatically considered for a non-means tested scholarship as part of the application process.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You should have some mathematical background (A-level, IB, AP or any other equivalent secondary school qualification) and one (or equivalent) of the following: a 2.1 undergraduate degree in economics or a related discipline (e.g. finance); a 2.1 undergraduate degree in business, management, politics, law, accounting, psychology, quantitative sociology or financial journalism; a 2.1 undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline (such as mathematics, engineering, computer science or a natural science). Students with a good 2.2 in one of the above disciplines might be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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