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This programme is designed for graduates with a background in economics who want to develop a solid understanding of policy analysis, design and management relevant to developing countries. You will develop significant quantitative skills and a thorough understanding of the main models related to economic growth and development. It will help equip you for further academic research in this field or for an internationally oriented career as development economist.

Why this programme

  • This Masters in Economic Development will provide you with a good understanding of:
  • how analytical frameworks can be used to evaluate strategies of growth and development
  • the role of finance in growth and development
  • how the economies of transition evolve from less developed to developed status
  • the main social and developmental problems facing less developed countries
  • possible policy responses to developmental issues, with an emphasis on human capital, environment, international trade and market liberalisation
  • It is ideally suited if you are interested in economic challenges and policies in developing countries. It is at the research frontier, with special attention devoted to the policy and practical implications of different theories.
  • This programme provides you with the empirical tools, data and software training that will enable you to investigate economic development and help prepare for your dissertation.
  • You will be taught by experts in the field, many of whom have worked with international and government organisations including the IMF, World Bank, UN, the Asian Development Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat and central banks.
  • You will have access to all conferences and seminars hosted by the Glasgow Centre for International Development. This means you will be exposed to interdisciplinary research and approaches to development in the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine, environmental management, sustainability or education.
  • The Adam Smith Business School celebrates the legacy of Adam Smith by developing enlightened, enterprising and engaged graduates and internationally recognised research with real social impact.

Adam Smith Business School is triple accredited

Programme structure

You will take two core and four optional courses, and complete a substantial independent piece of work, normally in the form of a dissertation.

Core courses

  • Development policy
  • Growth and development.

Optional courses may include

  • Aid and development
  • Basic econometrics 
  • Behavioural economics: theory and applications
  • Economics of inequality and deprivation
  • Environmental economics 
  • Foreign direct investment and development
  • IMF, World Bank and economic growth
  • International trade
  • Money, finance and growth 
  • Policies for sustainability and development 
  • Project planning, appraisal and implementation 
  • Theory and principles of sustainability.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the third and public sector in roles such as research analyst, economics and climate change consultant, climate change economist and economic researcher. We have a dedicated careers and employability team who provide 1-2-1 support and advice, group workshops, employer events on campus and networking opportunities throughout the year to help you with your career prospects.


Visit the Economic Development (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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