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Public Economics (MSc)

Course Description

Our MSc programmes in Economics will give you the opportunity to equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a career in economics and related disciplines. The programme consists of a set of core and elective modules, culminating in a practice- based business project or a research-based dissertation.

Core and elective modules

Core modules provide a foundation of essential knowledge and understanding.
-Advanced Macroeconomics
-Advanced Microeconomics
-Public Choice
-Public Economics

You'll also study one of the following pairings:
-Econometrics I and Econometrics II
-Econometrics I and Microeconometrics
-Econometric Methods and Microeconometrics
-Econometric Methods and Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting

You will then choose two elective modules. The list of modules may vary from year to year, but has typically included:
-Behavioural Finance and Economics
-Development Economics
-Econometrics II
-Environmental Economics and Policy
-Environmental Valuation
-Experimental Economics and Finance
-Game Theory
-Industrial Organisation
-International Economics
-International Finance
-Market Microstructure
-Monetary Economics
-Money and Banking
-Natural Resource Management

Dissertation/Business Project or Placement

In the third term you will complete a 12,000 word dissertation which may be undertaken as a consultancy project within an organisation, during a placement or with one of our international partner institutions. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you’ll investigate in greater detail a subject that you’ve already studied as part of your programme.

This is an opportunity for you to develop your business insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner; combine critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others.

Additional Resources

The School has made a significant investment in database resources to give you access to both live and historical data from providers which include Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Datasteam and Orbis. These state-of-the-art databases give you the opportunity to interrogate the financial records of millions of companies worldwide and add valuable insight to your research.

Adding to your experience

International Opportunities
We’re proud of our strong international connections. Helping you get an inside perspective on global business is a key part of the programme. That’s why we offer a range of opportunities to help you immerse yourself in a country’s business and academic environment, make new contacts and stand out in a competitive job market. These include:
Dissertation Abroad: If your ambitions lie beyond the UK, we offer a number of places on our unique Dissertation Abroad scheme. This will involve writing a dissertation at one of our international partner institutions in the period June to August. A number of scholarships are available.
International Study Tour: We organise an optional International Study Tour to a European destination, typically Switzerland. This intensive programme takes place over several days, normally in March/April, and offers you a great opportunity to get an ‘inside perspective’ on international business, and to network with key staff within organisations.

Guest Speakers
As part of your programme, you have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals and leading academics , providing an ideal opportunity to gain practical knowledge and progressive insight.

Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and practicals. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Occasionally lectures might be delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, staff and alumni.

Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to solve problems and discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practicals are medium sized group sessions, where students practice computer software, applying topics from lectures and seminars.

Students study 5 core modules including the dissertation, a further 2 compulsory paired modules (which vary depending on students’ prior knowledge), and 2 elective modules chosen from a list of options. This enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. The 12,000 word dissertation allows students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor who monitors their progress and provides advice.

Academic Support:
Throughout the year, students may have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. They also have the opportunity to attend an International Study Week at an overseas location at the end of Term 2, which gives students the opportunity to learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, gain an ‘insider perspective’ on international businesses and network with key business staff.

Learning Resource:
Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All students have an Academic Adviser who is able to provide general advice on academic matters. Teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.

Students also have access to the facilities available at Mill Hill Lane including dedicated postgraduate working spaces, an onsite library and IT helpdesk.

Other admission requirements

The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme. Consideration of any application received by the University after expiry of the deadlines specified herein, shall be made at the sole discretion of the University. The Masters in Economics is designed for new or recent graduates. You should have a strong background in a related discipline.

Visit the Public Economics (MSc) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree with evidence on your degree transcript of strong grades in statistical modules in your second, third or fourth year and that your programme contained a substantial Economics component. There is high demand for places on these programmes. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible, but no later than 31 August. See course description for further admission details.

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