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Course overview

Our Economic Development and Policy Analysis MSc explores current theories, issues and evidence in economic policy employed by developing countries.

You will apply an advanced-level knowledge of economics to practical and policy issues. You will be introduced to a range of techniques for development policy analysis, and review many of the most important areas of economic policy in developing countries.

Our teaching is informed by 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. This work is incorporated into the modules we offer and you will learn from experts who are passionate about their field.

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

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 economic policy analysis, macroeconomics, microeconomics and economic data analysis. The macroeconomics and microeconomics modules are designed with a focus on policy.

Semester two

In semester two, you will take two further required modules in trade policy analysis and development policy analysis, 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 economic development and policy analysis.

Modules

Core modules

Economic Policy Analysis

This module covers a series of topics in economic policy. The first part looks at policies relating to growth, technology, investment and exporting/trade. The second part covers international economic policies and institutions including:

  • policy transfer
  • macroeconomic policy (IMF)
  • development (World Bank)
  • aid
  • capital flows
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.

Microeconomics: Consumers and Firm Behaviour

This module covers foundations of consumer theory, decision-making under risk, elements of the theory of imperfect competition, and incomplete information in markets.

Macroeconomics: Economic Cycles, Frictions and Policy

We start by laying the foundations of macroeconomic models with the use of very stylised one and two-period models in which consumers, firms and governments interact in the goods and factor markets. We will discuss how to solve macroeconomic models in the computer with the aid of these simple economies.

We next move to study the determinants of long-run economic growth. The overarching question that we will study is: why are some countries so much richer than others? We will study several mechanisms that can potentially account for these differences, namely, capital accumulation, knowledge production and institutions. This section does not seek to be an exhaustive survey of models of economic growth; it intends to highlight the mechanisms at play in a broad class of models. We will also place a strong emphasis on how to take the predictions derived from these models to the data.

In the last section of the module, we turn our attention towards the ‘short run’. We will embed the consumption and labour supply decision studied at the beginning of the semester into a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the macroeconomy, the standard real business cycle (RBC) model developed by Kydland and Prescott. We will study the investment decision of firms, and close the module by studying the search and matching model of unemployment of Mortensen and Pissarides.

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.

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
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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Additional electives from existing MSc semester two modules will also be available.

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 Monday 28 June 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 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in a discipline with significant economics content

Applying

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

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in August 2021.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students 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 information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

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.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

This course is particularly relevant if you wish to work as a professional economist in the private or public sector.

It 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.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
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Umme Marzana, MSc Economic Development and Policy Analysis

Umme tells us what made her chose her masters degree.

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 undergraduate 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 Monday 28 June 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.