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International Economic Policy and Analysis (MSc/MA)

Course Description

This innovative course offers both MSc and MA streams. It has been designed to develop your ability to apply economic analysis to policy issues and business problems, which are often ambiguous and multi-faceted. Although there is a strong theoretical core, the course focus is very much on the practical application of economic techniques to problems, and on developing the ability to communicate the insights that economic analysis can provide. It has been created in conjunction with the Government Economic Service (GES), the major employer of economics graduates in the UK. Indeed, the University of Westminster is the only English university to have secured GES recommended status for a postgraduate course in economics.

The course aims to provide you with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the latest developments in economics, with a focus on practical skills and development of the skills needed by a working economist. It is specifically aimed at those with a genuine interest in the application of economics to real-world situations.

As well as enhancing your ability to apply relevant economic principles in the support of policy and strategy development, the course aims to develop your ability to communicate complex issues to wide audiences; your awareness of significant sources of economic and financial data; the problems faced when carrying out policy evaluation; and your capability for self-awareness and group working.

Course content (MSc/MA)

You will gain an understanding of the key concepts in economics that underpin public sector policy and business decision making. This includes the various scenarios where we explore opportunity cost, equilibrium and disequilibrium, strategic interaction, market failure and the related concept of externalities.

You'll develop your analytical skills by applying these concepts to current challenges that face the profession, at both macro and micro levels, and in both private and public sectors. This will provide you with the latest insights drawn from both the academic and practitioner arenas.

Around a common core of modules covering key theoretical and practical elements, the MSc stream offers the possibility of pursuing a course of study in economics with a greater quantitative focus, while the MA stream has a stronger international emphasis.

Common core modules (MSc and MA streams)

- Economic Evaluation Project
This module provides you with the framework within which to develop your full project (dissertation) from the proposal submitted as part of the Research Methods module. The majority of projects undertaken by MSc students would be expected to involve an empirical component and appropriate quantitative analysis. Projects undertaken by MA students are likely to be of a more applied nature, possibly issue or problem based.

- Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy
This module reviews the historical evolution of macroeconomic policy and, through a review of the theoretical and empirical literature, develops the analytical framework of macroeconomics underpinning contemporary macroeconomic policy.

- Microeconomic Analysis and Policy
You will review theoretical and empirical microeconomic approaches in order to shed light on business decision making and microeconomic policy in mixed economies.

- Research Methods
This module aims to enhance your knowledge and competence of the research process, and the application of research methods in the area of applied economics.

- Strategy and Appraisal in Economics
This module applies the theoretical tools, concepts and methodology of economics to private and public sector scenarios, with an emphasis on communicating and appraising policy and strategy options.

Core modules (MA)

- International Economics
This module offers a critical, theoretically informed, issue-based approach to the study of international trade and investment, finance, economic institutions, globalisation and economic integration.

- Managing Data
The ability to access, manipulate and interpret data from a range of sources, both primary and secondary, is an essential skill for economists and business professionals. This module offers a practical introduction to relevant data sources and to the tools necessary to critically explore these sources.

Option modules (MA)

- Development Economics and Policy
By exploring the concepts and theories that have been developed and applied by economists to the study of the problems of developing countries, this module explores the implications for the framing of development policy.

- Global Financial Markets
This module provides you with an in-depth understanding of the structure and operation of foreign exchange markets, financial instruments used in global markets and the operation of financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies expanding across a number of financial markets.

Core modules (MSc)

- Data Analysis
Through this module you will cover a range of data analysis methods and concepts.

- Economic Policy Perspectives
This module analyses economic policy issues regarding inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, European Monetary Union, unemployment, the causes and effects of changes in income distribution, growth, financial stability, and crisis, in particular the great recession of 2008-2012.

Option modules (MSc)

- Innovation Economics
This module reviews the theoretical literature in this field and examines the central role that knowledge, entrepreneurship, technology and innovation play in supporting business expansion and shaping government economic policies.

- Labour Economics
Providing you with the techniques and critical insights needed to effectively analyse topics in labour economics, this module uses practical applications to explore the value and limitations of theory and empirics in the field.

Accredited internship

All students on our full-time business Masters courses can apply to undertake the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module. This is an 8 week unpaid accredited internship, which can be taken in addition to option modules and will help students to gain invaluable work experience. The internships, which are with London-based organisations, take place during the summer period. To apply, students must submit a completed application form and a copy of their updated CV to the Business Experience Team; the team then shortlist from the applications and conduct group meetings with the applicants.

Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship. We have received very positive feedback from both postgraduate students and employers and expect that the internship programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.

Associated careers

As an economics postgraduate, you can look forward to excellent career prospects. Our students have gone on to successful careers in government and consultancy as economic analysts, regulatory economists and market analysts. The strong international focus of the course provides an excellent opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in multinational companies or international organisations. Many graduates return to their countries of origin and are employed in developing international business opportunities or government institutions, while other graduates develop their careers with international charities or other nongovernmental organisations.

While this vocationally-oriented programme develops skills for devising and evaluating policies and strategies, rather than simply training academic economists, several of our recent graduates have also found that it has opened up opportunities for PhD study.

Visit the International Economic Policy and Analysis (MSc/MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class), or international equivalent. If your first degree is in Economics or a cognate discipline such as Business, Geography, Development Studies or Mathematics, a minimum Lower Second Class (or international equivalent) is acceptable. If you have a more general first degree you would normally require an Upper Second Class (or international equivalent). The University operates a system of awarding credit for accredited prior learning either through formal study (APL) or experience (APEL).

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