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Course overview

Our Development Economics MSc explores the theories, issues and evidence in economic analysis, as applied to developing countries. It focuses on the specific economic challenges of some of the poorest countries in the world and looks at the success and failure of different economies.

You will learn from experts in their field and our teaching is informed by the research of the Centre for Research in Economic Development and International Trade. The centre’s principle interests are trade policy, macroeconomics of aid, and analysis of household surveys, especially for sub-Saharan Africa.

You will take specialist core modules and choose from a range of options to suit your interests. You will also receive one-to-one guidance to enable you to complete your research project.

With an advanced economics degree from the University of Nottingham, you will graduate with all the knowledge, practical skills and confidence you need to stand out to employers and progress as a professional economist or academic researcher.

Why choose this course?

One-to-one supervision

by a faculty member for your dissertation

Earn two degrees

with the opportunity to transfer to our dual degree, spending a second year in Germany

Gain real experience

by applying for internships and placements through our faculty placements scheme

Top 100

in the world for economics

Active seminar series

featuring distinguished visitors from across the world

Course content

The course is made up of 120 credits of core and optional taught modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Semester one

In semester one, you will take modules in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, econometric theory and economic data analysis.

Semester two

In semester two, you will take two further required modules in development policy analysis and development microeconomics, and choose two optional modules. You will also start work on your dissertation by taking a module in economic research methodology.

Dissertation

After completing your semester two modules, you will undertake a 15,000-word dissertation, with one-to-one support from an expert academic supervisor. This will demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of development economics.

Modules

Core modules

Development Policy Analysis

Examples of types of policy issues addressed include:

  • randomised controlled trials to evaluate policy interventions
  • trade policy reform
  • welfare impact of economic partnership agreements
  • growth and innovation
  • dealing with public debt
Development Microeconomics

This module employs tools of microeconomic analysis to address topics central to development issues in low-income countries. One part concentrates on issues concerning household behaviour covering intrahousehold allocation, production, risk, migration and rural markets (especially credit), while the second part focuses on poverty and income distribution, covering measurement, income dynamics, and poverty reduction strategies.

Microeconomic Theory

This module covers:

  • modern techniques of microeconomic theory
  • foundations and applications of game theory
  • information economics
Macroeconomic Theory

This module will cover analytical and theoretical issues in macroeconomics including:

  • modelling aggregate variables under adaptive and rational expectations
  • modelling with imperfect competition
  • constructing overlapping generations models
  • price inertia
Econometric Theory

This module teaches the core techniques of econometric theory, including:

  • detailed analysis of the multiple linear regression model
  • large sample theory
  • asymptotic testing procedures
  • non-linear techniques
  • mis-specification testing
Economic Data Analysis

This module provides you with 'hands on' training in the use, presentation and interpretation of economic data, including time series, cross-section and panel data. It comprises of:

  • an introduction to basic principles of economic data analysis
  • descriptive statistics
  • hypothesis testing
  • simple and multiple regression
  • introduction to panel data
  • introduction to dynamic modelling
  • time series models

The module will include a series of practical classes using econometrics software packages.

Economic Research Methodology

This module covers the following:

  • A review of perspectives on the principles and philosophical foundations of economic enquiry
  • The construction and evaluation of theories and research programmes
  • The role of models and concepts of rationality in economics
  • Alternative empirical methods
  • Professional practice
MSc Dissertation: Economics

A period of research and study designed to allow you to demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of economic theory or policy, or of applied economics or econometrics, and the ability to apply a specific analytical and/or empirical technique.

Optional modules

Two from:

Advanced Microeconomic Theory

This module examines central theoretical aspects from modern microeconomic theory, paying particular emphasis on game theory, imperfect competition and incomplete information.

Applied Behavioural Economics

The module will cover a selection of topics in applied behavioural economics where a substantial literature has already developed.

Possible areas include behavioural approaches to: labour economics, public economics, financial economics, development economics.

Applied Microeconometrics

The module considers modern econometric techniques for modelling microeconomic data. It covers four broad econometric techniques:

  • Robust standard errors and applications
  • Discrete choices model
  • Microeconometric policy evaluation methods for observational studies
  • Instrumental variables and GMM estimation
Experimental Methods in Economics

This module covers the following:

  • Foundation in the research method of modern laboratory experimentation
  • Economics as an experimental subject
  • Rationale for experiments, applications and practicalities, considered in the context of specific experiments and programmes of experiments
International Macroeconomics

This module covers the following:

  • International linkages in economics as a result of exchange rate movements, capital movements and spillovers
  • Factors which determine the level of the exchange rate and trade effects
  • International effects of monetary and fiscal policies
International Trade Theory

This module provides an overview of the theory of international trade, the theory of trade policy and each of their applications, utilising the techniques of general equilibrium theory and the theories of perfectly competitive and imperfectly competitive markets as appropriate. Recent developments in these areas will be emphasised.

Trade Analysis and Policy

This module covers empirical models of international trade and several topics in trade policy. It discusses firms’ decision to export; the evaluation of export promotion policies; the link between globalisation and labour markets; the gravity model of international trade; free trade agreements; multinational firms; the political economy of trade policy.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 28 April 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Project work
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework at the end of the relevant semester.

Contact time and study hours

Each module in semester one will have three contact hours per week, made up of a mixture of lectures, tutorials and lab classes. For each contact hour, we expect you to spend an additional three hours of self-study, reading, completing homework, assignments and studying for exams.

Each module in semester two will have two contact hours per week, and we expect you to spend slightly more time in self-study as you start to work on your dissertation. During June, July and August, you will work on your dissertation, supported by a minimum of three one-to-one supervision meetings with your supervisor.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in a discipline with significant economics content, including some mathematical and quantitative methods modules

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc
Home / UK £13,000
International £23,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £60.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our masters provides a logical and rigorous perspective on human behaviour which is valued by a wide range of employers around the world, in banking, business, consulting, government and academia.

Our graduates now work in academia, government and the private sector, at organisations such as Barclays, Bloomberg, Deloitte, Economist Intelligence Unit, Goldman Sachs, IBM, PwC, and Thomson Reuters.

Career progression

93.8% of postgraduates from the School of Economics secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £31,605.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

This course does not include an integrated placement option. However, you will have the opportunity to apply for internships and placements through the Postgraduate Placements Nottingham (PPN) scheme and the Faculty of Social Sciences placements scheme.

Dual degree options

The school has professional links with the University of Konstanz and the University of Tübingen in Germany. If you complete the taught component of this course, you can transfer onto our dual degree and spend a second year in Konstanz or Tübingen (dependent upon any travel restrictions). This is a great opportunity to travel abroad and study at a highly ranked university in beautiful parts of Germany.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" Nottingham not only exposed me to a broad range of cultures through studying with so many international students, but also helped me move from a very analytical undergraduate to a more policy-focused outlook. I am now Deputy Country Director for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, supporting the Ministry of Health and Sanitation daily on how to save lives. "
Noemi Schramm, MSc Development Economics, Deputy Country Director, Clinton Health Access Initiative

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Wednesday 28 April 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.