This course comprises 120 credits of core and optional taught modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation on a subject of your choice. You will receive one-to-one support from an expert academic supervisor, and methodological and practical guidance through our Economic Research Methodology module.
In semester one, you will take modules in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, econometric theory and economic data analysis.
In semester two, you will take two further required modules in behavioural economic theory and experimental methods in economics, and choose two optional modules from a wide range (see the list below. You will also start work on your dissertation by taking a module in economic research methodology.
After completing your semester two modules, you will undertake a 15,000-word supervised dissertation which will demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of behavioural economics.
Behavioural Economic Theory
The module explores the psychological underpinnings of economic behaviour and of recent theories in behavioural economics. Topics covered include:
- Introduction to behavioural economics
- Choice and risk
- Reference-dependence and loss aversion
- Choice and time
- Social preferences I: inequality aversion
- Social preferences II: reciprocity and psychological games
- Models of strategic thinking
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
This module covers:
- modern techniques of microeconomic theory
- foundations and applications of game theory
- information economics
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
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.
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.
Advanced Microeconomic Theory
This module examines central theoretical aspects from modern microeconomic theory, paying particular emphasis on game theory, imperfect competition and incomplete information.
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
Time Series Econometrics
The module covers fundamental properties of time series and various classes of stochastic processes. Issues in estimation and forecasting of time series models; concepts of contemporary interest to time series econometricians are also covered.
Financial and Macroeconometrics
The module extends the coverage of advanced econometric modelling techniques and considers their application through the study of selected topics in finance and macroeconomics, developing familiarity and critical awareness of empirical research in these areas.
It covers techniques for the analysis of stationary ARMA processes, Vector Autoregressions (VARs), linear regression models, linear systems of simultaneous equations, cointegration, long-run structural VARs, forecasting, and models of changing volatility. The selected topics include the econometric analysis of business cycle fluctuations, wage, price and (un)employment determination, portfolio choice and stock market returns.
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
Advanced Macroeconomic Methods
This module covers the theory for the solution and estimation of dynamic stochastic models that are widely used in all fields of macroeconomics. The module is structured in a way such that you will be exposed both to theory and the practical implementation of the methods taught.
It covers topics from approximation methods for stochastic non-linear macroeconomic models, such as linear and higher-order Taylor approximation as well as dynamic programming techniques. It also exposes students to the empirical evaluation of these models ranging from calibration to classical and Bayesian estimation methods.
The module applies the techniques to contemporary general equilibrium macroeconomic models designed for positive and policy analysis such as the New Keynesian model but also models that are designed to explain partial equilibrium behaviour such as consumer saving and industry investment.
Monetary Theory and Practice
This module covers monetary aspects of advanced macroeconomics and is suitable for students of mainstream economics, finance and international economics. It focuses on the theory and practice of central banking, monetary policy and control.
It covers concepts such as time inconsistency, the problem of inflation bias with solutions, credibility, transparency and accountability of monetary institutions, inflation targeting and price stability, the choice of instruments for monetary policy and their control, and finally monetary transmission. It combines some theory with evidence and practice.
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.
Economics of Household Finance
This module covers the central issues in the economics of household finance. Increasingly economists are interested in the decisions of consumers as well as the decisions of firms.
Household finance is the study of the behaviour of individuals and households in financial markets including those for secured (for example, mortgage) and unsecured (for example, credit card) lending and related economic models of consumption smoothing, liquidity constraints and household behaviour.
The module begins with the central topic of consumption smoothing, focusing on the role of credit markets and income risk in household behaviour. Later topics include financial literacy, self-control, mortgage market design, stock market participation and the regulation of consumer credit markets.
The module content includes come theoretical material but is mostly applied, with a focus on how large-scale individual level proprietary and survey datasets can be used to understand household financial behaviour.
Economics of Corporate Finance
This module offers an introduction to the economics of corporate finance. It is designed to provide you with the basic theoretical background in this area that is necessary for any applied work. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of simple models and their applications.
The module covers a variety of topics with substantial time devoted for covering issues directly related to the financial needs of firms, such as capital structure, credit rationing and corporate governance.
The module also examines the role of financial intermediaries analysing bank failures and, consequently, the scope for banking regulations. The last part of the module looks closely at the relationship between the financial sector and the real economy thus offering the background for any applied work related to the link between financial development and economic fluctuations.
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
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.
Topics will include taxation, general principles and specific taxes (income, consumption, wealth), political economy, procurement/regulation and expenditure (health/education/welfare).
The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework at the end of the relevant semester.
This course is particularly relevant if you wish to pursue behavioural or experimental economics research at PhD level, or a career in a wide range of fields, including finance.
A masters in economics 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.
Former MSc students are spread around the globe, working in academia, government and the private sector. Economics graduate destinations include Barclays, Bloomberg, Deloitte, Economist Intelligence Unit, Goldman Sachs, IBM, PwC, and Thomson Reuters.
William Mailer studied economics in Australia and the USA before applying for MSc Behavioural Economics during a visit to Nottingham. It's fitting that he now describes his route to this life-changing decision as "a complete long shot", as he was actually in the city to play in a football tournament.
Since graduating he has returned to Sydney to work for PwC, establishing the company's behavioural economics consultancy practice in 2014. The initiative has proved such a success that PwC is now building behavioural economics expertise into its services around the world.
Average starting salary and career progression
94.4% of postgraduates from the School of Economics secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £31,750 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £45,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will 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.