MSc Economics modules

Our flagship taught postgraduate course

The MSc Economics prepares you for a career as an economist in commerce, academia or government. You'll advance your analytical skills and you can specialise in your chosen area of economics or finance.

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Core modules 

Microeconomic Analysis 

Microeconomics is concerned with the behaviour of individuals, households and firms, and their interactions. This module aims to develop the skills required for you to analyse microeconomic problems and theories. Provide an introduction to recent developments in advanced microeconomics. Develop your mathematical and analytical skills and further develop your skills of critical evaluation and appraisal in the context of advanced microeconomic theory.

The syllabus will aim to include; Consumer Theory, Choice Under Uncertainty and Insurance, The Theory of the Firm, Imperfect Competition: Oligopoly, Competitive General Equilibrium.

Macroeconomic Analysis

To analyse the aims of monetary policy in advanced economies, including the design of optimal monetary policy. To provide you with an advanced understanding of fiscal policy, debt dynamics with references to sovereign debt crises. An introduction to the concept of financial frictions in the context of the recent financial crisis. Setting up dynamic framework with which to analyse long-run economic growth (Ramsey Model) as well as short-run fluctuations (real business cycle theory). To examine the role of exchange rates and current accounts in dynamic open economy macroeconomics.

The syllabus may include; inflation, unemployment and a framework for monetary policy analysis, monetary policy in macroeconomic model, the design of optimal monetary policy, fiscal policy, the role of state and debt dynamics, debt crises & fiscal consolidation in the context of the recent European experience, financial frictions in macroeconomics, ramsey’s model of economic growth, real business cycle theory, aspects of open economy macroeconomics.

Econometric Methods

This modules aims to; provide thorough grounding in econometric techniques of the classical linear regression model; hypothesis testing and problems of non-spherical disturbances; introduce students to topics in microeconometrics including modelling discrete binary variables, censoring and sample selection; introduce students to topics in macroeconometrics including economic forecasting, stationarity, and cointegration; enable students to grasp the essentials of regression output to allow them to access journal articles; develop experience of using specialist econometric software STATA.

The syllabus may include; Linear Regression Analysis, Linear Regression Analysis & Hypothesis Testing in the Linear Model, Multiple Regression Analysis and Data Transformations, Heteroscedasticity & Autocorrelation, Dummy Variables, Microeconometrics: Binary Dependent Variables, Microeconometrics: Censored Regression Analysis and Sample Selection, Macroeconometrics: Unit Roots, Spurious Regression and Cointegration, Macroeconometrics: ARIMA Modelling and Forecasting. Note that the schedule of topics may be altered.


Modern Theory of Banking & Finance

The aim of this module is to introduce you to concepts associated with money, financial institutions, monetary policy and the economy. Particular attention will be paid to the role of money and interest rates in the economy and how they are interconnected to determine monetary policy.

The syllabus may include; the importance of finance. financial system in Europe, USA and Asia; financial system and economic performance, capital markets consumption and investment, corporate financing and agency costs, do financial institutions matter?, why do banks exist? Note that the schedule of topics may be altered.

Health Economics

The aim of this module is; to apply economic analysis to the market for health and health care and develop the skills required for the analysis of key issues in health economics.

The syllabus may include; introduction to health economics; characteristics of health and health care, production of health, health care insurance, information, welfarist and non-welfarist health economics, equity and equality, cost benefit analysis vs cost effectiveness analysis/ cost utility analysis, incorporating public views in health care priority setting, health care systems and equity in finance, competition in health care provision: a case study. Note that the schedule of topics may be altered.

Modern Finance

The aim is to introduce some of the main principles of modern finance. This is an analytical module, which reflects the quantitative nature of the subject and in which each topic is developed from first principles.

The main topics covered will include; motivation, statistical foundations, nature of risk and return, portfolio selection, utility theory in finance, the capital asset pricing model, the market model, arbitrage pricing theory or an advanced research topic.

Core modules

At least one from (the other may be taken as an option module):

Applied Microeconometrics

Applied Microeconometrics builds on the skills provided in ECN6540 Econometric Methods in order to develop further your econometric skills, using examples from different areas of applied microeconomics.

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics; instrumental variables, panel data, interaction effects with continuous and binary outcomes, policy evaluation methods, count data models, ordered choice models, multinomial choice models.

Applied Macroeconometrics

The module aims to; enable you to understand recent applied literature in core journals of macroeconomics and finance which uses time series methods and prepare you for possible later research involving time series.

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics: Fundamental concepts: white noise processes, stationarity, autocovariance and autocorrelation functions. Stationary time series: autoregressive models (AR), moving average models (MA), autoregressive moving average models (ARMA). Model building: identification, estimation, diagnostic checking, model selection criteria. Non-stationary time series: trends, unit roots, testing for unit roots, structural change. Time series models of heteroscedasticity: autoregressive and generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models (ARCH and GARCH). Multivariate time series models: cointegration, error correction mechanisms, vector autoregressive models (VAR) - estimation, identification and causality. Multivariate time series models: cointegration in a VAR, vector error correction models (VEC), illustration: money demand, Fisher relation and risk premium. Forecasting: properties of optimal forecasts, computation of forecasts, updating forecasts.

Optional modules

Three from:

Development Finance

Development Finance aims to give you the skills necessary to analyse the main sources of financing for development and the manner in which they may optimally contribute to the development process.

The course is split into four parts: The global financial system and proposals for its reform in a context of chronic vulnerability to crisis. The finance of the domestic private sector in developing and ‘emerging’ countries. The finance of the domestic public sector in developing and transitional countries. Interconnections between the above; a return to global themes.

Asset Pricing

Asset Pricing aims to introduce you to advanced principles of derivative asset pricing in finance theory and to understand the use of derivatives in risk management.

The module will cover both theoretical models of derivatives pricing and the practical use of these models, drawn from the following: introduction to derivatives, forwards, futures, swaps and options. Forward and futures pricing, hedging. Binomial and Black Scholes Merton option pricing and the Greeks. Hedging applications.

International Money and Finance

International Money and Finance aims for you: to acquire an understanding of the relationship between domestic and international economic activity in an open economy, to relate the various motives underlying international financial flows to their effects on real economic variables, to become familiar with mainstream theories of the determination of equilibrium exchange rates, both in the short run and the long run, to explore the causes of the 2007-8 global financial crisis.

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics: adding "the rest of the world" to macroeconomic models, open economy macroeconomics with keynesian assumptions, attainment of full employment in the Mundell-Fleming Model, the macroeconomic trilemma, Covered Interest Parity, and Purchasing Power Parity, open economy macroeconomics with monetarist assumptions, monetary models of exchange rate determination, empirical evidence on exchange rates, the role of risk and recent innovations in international finance: derivatives, deregulation and eurocurrency, the Chinese RMB as an international exchange currency; optimal currency areas and the eurozone crisis, the current global financial crisis: are reforms to prevent future crises feasible?

Industrial Organisation

This module covers contemporary topics in Industrial Organisation (IO) with a particular emphasis on the role of economic analysis in strategic decision making by senior managers.

Topics covered include: strategic positioning, innovation, vertical boundaries, game theory, agency, incentives

Monetary Economics

Monetary Economics aims: to provide a formal analysis of Monetary Economics and an understanding of how monetary policy works, to provide an understanding of the role of monetary policy in the macro economy, to expose students to the latest theoretical developments in monetary theory and policy, to equip students with the analytical framework for solving dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models, to understand some of the limitations of monetary policy

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics: empirical evidence on money, prices and output, representative agent models and money, solving real business cycle models, the role of money in the short run: business cycle models, new Keynesian monetary economics, monetary policy and time inconsistency, open economy monetary models.

International Trade

International Trade covers the key theoretical models in international trade and search for evidence for and against them. The module puts the same weight on theory and on empirical evidence. During the module you will use a number of analytical tools as well as different empirical methods for analysing international trade, and its related policy issues.

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics: stylised facts on international trade, gains from trade, neoclassical models of international trade, new trade theory. Imperfect competition, scale economies, product differentiation and trade, new trade theory: firm heterogeneity, multinationals and global fragmentation of production, theory of protection.

Public Economics

The module provides you with a comprehensive grounding in public economics. Government policies, through fiscal policy instruments, can have a massive impact in the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy.

This module evaluates the government’s ability to identify and achieve more efficient and equitable outcomes than the situation without intervention. Then it seeks to apply the theory in the analysis of real world public policy programmes, which might include fiscal redistribution, education and health.

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics: introduction and road map, market failures, income taxation, tax evasion, fiscal decentralisation, aggregating social preferences, preferences for redistribution, historical development of the public sector. Note that the schedule of topics may be altered.

Public Policy Evaluation

This module offers a grounding in public policy issues at local, regional and global levels, and explains various possible techniques of quantitative evaluation that are commonly used in economics and applied in the ‘real world’. Examples are drawn from health, labour, education, and development economics.

The syllabus will aim to include the following topics: methods for ex-post impact evaluation, randomised control trials (RCT), matching methods (propensity score matching), difference-in-difference methods, instrumental variables methods, regression discontinuity methods, critique of experimental methods, structural approaches for ex-ante impact evaluation.

Once you've successfully completed your taught modules, you will need to produce a dissertation of no longer than 10,000 words. The dissertation presents your research findings on an approved topic of your choice, which is related to the course and chosen in consultation with academic staff. Normally this involves the equivalent of at least ten weeks' full-time study. You must achieve a pass mark at the dissertation stage to be awarded an Masters.

During the second semester, we'll support you in developing a suitable and detailed proposal for your dissertation. The dissertation is then supervised through a series of research seminars and workshops. It tests your ability to apply the skills developed in the taught part of the programme to put together an original and academically critical and robust piece of research.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 11 November 2019

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Postgraduate taught scholarships

We're offering 100+ scholarships worth £10,000 each for home students starting a taught postgraduate course in 2020.