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 MSc Business Economics / International Business Economics is for students who want to apply economics to real-world issues. From transfer pricing, to the complexity of financial markets and the pros and cons of EU membership, you will need to be strong at statistics and quantitative methods to get to grips with the material that makes up the core modules. The MSc is designed to give you the tools to apply your knowledge, so we expect you to be downloading the free FT app and getting on top of current issues from the second you start.
On the MSc Business Economics / International Business Economics you won’t be deriving equations. Instead, we use them to apply economics to current business issues.
The programme has been designed to equip students with a wealth of resources combining data banks from City’s Cass Business School and School of Arts and Social Sciences. This means you have access to everything from Datastream, Bloomberg and Bankscope, to Morning Star and Orbis.
MSc Business Economics / International Business Economics maximises City’s central London location. With high-profile guest lecturers such as Jim O’Neill, former Chief Economist from Goldman Sachs, you gain insight straight from the City studying in the heart of "the world's biggest financial centre" (Economist, 2012.)
The course is taught through a series of lectures (which are also available as online resources), seminars, student presentations and interactive group work. Computer laboratory teaching gives you practical experience using software packages to develop statistical and econometric skills that are formatively assessed by computer-based exercises.
You also undertake a research project or economics literature survey on a subject that is of interest to you. This must cover a current topic that is within the remit of Business Economics or International Business Economics.
Pre-sessional activities covering statistics, mathematics, and Stata run in September before the start of term. These are available for all students who secure a place on the MSc International Business Economics and MSc Business Economics courses. 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 for 2018 are TBC.
You are assessed by coursework and examination. Your overall degree result is based on your performance in the taught modules and the dissertation.
The core content is covered in the first term, making this a programme with a lot of choice. There is an economics and econometrics focus, but you also can study topics including the economics of micro-finance, e-commerce, asset pricing and the history of economic thought.
If you choose to study MSc International Business Economics you will need to study the International Business Economics elective in the second term, and your research project has to cover more than one country. So, for example, you could not focus on a single-country subject such as privatisation in the UK.
When it comes to employer recognition, City is well established. City has become synonymous with quality and the Government Economic Service regularly recruits postgraduate students from this programme. There is also a range of career service events across the School of Arts and Social Sciences and Cass Business School, which you can attend throughout the programme.
Our graduates include Yuliya Bashmakov, Senior Gas Control Scheduler for ExxonMobil and Youssef Intabli who is now working as an account manager at Bloomberg.
Some of our graduates also choose to study an Economics PhD programme. Find out more about our Economics research degrees.