MSc Development Economics
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Science
- Course Length
- 1 years
- Course Start Date
- September 2024
Explore the complexity of economic development with an approach that is analytically rigorous, problem solving, and policy oriented.
On this MSc Development Economics course, you'll learn to apply rigorous economic analyses to real-world problems, like poverty, inequality, and macroeconomic instability. Importantly, you'll integrate methods, and new insights from behavioural and experimental economics.
While taught by specialised development economists, the MSc is housed in the multidisciplinary School of International Development. This gives you the chance to take two taught modules from a wide range of modules taught by political scientists, anthropologists, experts in environmental studies, gender, and education – making this course a fascinating and rewarding choice.
Please note we are changing our name to the School of Global Development from 1 August 2023, as we mark our 50th Anniversary.
You’ll be taught by a team of internationally respected development economists with very strong experience in the field. Specifically, the use of experimental and behavioural economics puts this group in the forefront of innovative development research internationally – and you'll benefit from their learnings.
The programme applies rigorous economic analyses to real-world problems, like poverty, inequality, and macroeconomic instability to identify effective policy solutions. International development organisations and agencies (like the World Bank, IMF, DFID, Oxfam, Action Aid, WIDER) recognise the need for these skills.
It is unique because it integrates methods, research findings and new insights from behavioural and experimental economics. Compared to traditional development economics courses you will acquire a more subtle understanding of development processes and more realistic policy analyses.
It provides strong links with the MSc in Impact Evaluation taught within the same School; its two core modules may both be taken as optional modules. You can also take up to two out of your six taught modules from a long list of modules taught by political scientists, anthropologists, experts in environmental studies, gender, and education, among others.
This degree provides excellent employability prospects, with graduates employed in both development and non-development organisations, including international organisations, academia, NGOs, government ministries and the private sector. It also provides solid grounding if you would like to pursue a PhD in development economics.
Study and Modules
You’ll explore micro and macroeconomics of development through two core modules. You’ll be provided with sound building blocks for economic reasoning across core topics and questions of development. Why are people poor? How do we understand inequality? Do health and education matter for economic performance? How to understand the roles of markets, government, and various institutions? Who runs the household?
The second core module will provide you with an understanding of macroeconomic theory and policy in developing countries. This will include an evaluation of alternative theories of economic growth and their policy implications, and an analysis of the macroeconomic effects of external shocks. By the end of the module, you’ll have a good understanding of modern theories of economic growth and open economy macroeconomics and be able to apply those theories to economic policy issues in developing countries.
In addition, you’ll be introduced to econometrics and provided with sufficient knowledge and practical skills for competent use of econometrics in empirical research, and to understand and interpret econometric results. By the end of the module, you’ll have acquired sufficient knowledge and skill to apply multivariate analysis of cross-sectional and time-series data to a wide range of macro- and micro-economic problems of development. In addition to lectures, the module includes computer workshops where STATA software is used and seminars.
You'll also examine a selection of topics in applied development economics that are important for government policy – chosen from areas such as international trade, foreign investment, government taxation and spending, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), labour markets and employment, and health. You’ll look at the economic theory relevant to each topic, and how government policies have worked in practice, making use of contemporary examples and evidence.
A range of seminars and IT workshops are offered during your Master’s programme for the teaching and strengthening of your skills (e.g. STATA). Sessions to support learning – in particular essay and dissertation writing – occur throughout the year. Additional training in a wide range of professional skills used in international development is also provided.
Research in the School of International Development addresses contemporary challenges in developing and transitioning economies via disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. Research is organised into a series of Research Groups. The Behavioural and Experimental Development Economics Research Group offers seminars and invites guest speakers on a regular basis.
Optional B Modules(Credits: 20)
Optional C Modules(Credits: 20)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching methods include mainly lectures and seminars. Your lectures go beyond the customary ‘chalk-and-talk’ approach and include a range of interactive tasks and activities. The use of technology is also widespread, for example through visual representation of empirical evidence in international development (e.g. through statistical programs). Other examples include the use of online reading materials and lecture screencasts.
Through seminar group work and presentations, you'll also be able to develop transferable skills such as articulating an argument both orally and in writing and presenting academic information in a clear and cogent manner.
You’ll read suggested state of the art academic articles and papers, submitting assignments as specified for each module. Your independent study gives you the chance to prepare for in-class sessions and assignments, and to concentrate on the areas that interest you the most.
You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including presentations, essays, exams and a dissertation. Further assessment methods will differ depending on the optional modules you choose.
You’ll receive oral feedback on your arguments and ideas during seminars, which helps you develop skills in articulating an argument orally.
You’ll also be encouraged to prepare essay plans or outlines in advance of essay deadlines, and to discuss these with the relevant lecturer during their office hours or by email. In addition, you’ll typically receive written and oral feedback on an initial coursework assignment well in advance of your deadline for the main coursework assignment.
Finally, the dissertation enables you to develop specific research skills such as conducting research using primary and secondary data, researching specific topics and questions, thinking critically, and linking theoretical concepts to practical issues.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors degree (minimum 2:1 or equivalent)
- Degree Subject
- Social Science with a strong background in Economics.
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
IELTS: 6.0 overall (with minimum 6.0 in Writing & Speaking and 5.5 in Listening & Reading)
Test dates should be within 2 years of the course start date.
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:
- This course is open to UK and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year .
Additional Information or Requirements
September Pre-Sessional Courses
All applicants are expected to attend an introductory course in Mathematics and Statistics for Economists in the fortnight preceding the Masters programme in September. This course is compulsory and incorporates the techniques of calculus and matrix algebra; in addition, students are introduced to the econometric software package which will be used in their MSc programme.
Our Admissions Policy applies to the admissions of all postgraduate applicants.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2024/25 are:
UK Students: £10,150 (full time)
International Students: £21,200 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying, please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
Upon completing your MSc, you’ll be equipped with a range of transferable skills, which means you can pursue a variety of exciting careers both in and beyond international development.
You'll also be well qualified to enter a PhD programme with a view to continuing to an academic career both in the UK and overseas.
Previous graduates have gone on to work at a range of national and international organisations, including: the British High Commission in Ghana, UNITAR in Japan, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, DFID, The World Bank, IPA, and PhD studies in development economics.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Example of careers that you could enter include:
Governmental and non-governmental organisations
Discover more on our Careers webpages.