Economic Development and Policy Analysis MSc


Fact file

MSc Economic Development and Policy Analysis
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in a discipline with significant economics content.
Other requirements
6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element).

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course explores current theories, issues and evidence in economic policy as applied to developing countries.
Read full overview

It is ideal if you have a particular interest in development and want to apply an advanced-level knowledge of economics to practical and policy issues.

It will introduce you to a range of techniques for development policy analysis and reviews policy and practice in many of the most important areas of economic policy in developing countries. Core modules provide a solid grounding in economics, while specialised modules give you the opportunity to address current theories, issues and evidence in economic policy.

Content for this course is influenced by the Centre for Research in Economic Development and International Trade (CREDIT), equipping you the knowledge and application of techniques for economic policy analysis in developing countries.

At the end of the course, you will be able to read and understand current and classic research papers in the field of economics and development economics and will have received one-to-one guidance to enable you to complete your first simple theoretical model or experimental or empirical project.

This course has provided me with advanced knowledge in economics, whilst covering policy issues related to development economics, for instance, the policies involved in poverty reduction. The lecturers have been first class and are enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable and always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Alastair Haynes

Key facts


Course details

This course comprises 120 credits of core and optional 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 economic policy analysis, macroeconomics, microeconomics and economic data analysis. In semester two, you will take two further required modules in trade policy analysis and development policy analysis. You will also start work on your dissertation by taking a module in economic research methodology, and choose two optional modules from a wide range.

After completing your semester two modules, you will undertake a 15,000-word supervised dissertation which will demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of economic development and policy analysis.


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




Development Policy Analysis

This module considers various policy issues for development. Topics covered include education policy, conducting randomised controlled trials, the effects of aid, trade costs and export barriers, migration and the "brain-drain". The aims of the module are to familiarise students with a range of techniques for development policy analysis; provide a review of analytical methods, policy and practice in important areas of economic policy in developing countries; provide experience in presenting economic policy analysis through interactive group seminars.

Development Policy Analysis is usually taught by Professor Oliver Morrissey, Professor Chris Milner and Professor Abigail Barr. All three have a wealth of experience of "hands-on" analysis of developing countries, including advising governments in Africa and the Caribbean.

Economic Data Analysis

Empirical testing and validation of economic theories is a crucial ingredient to policy-relevant research in economics. The Economic Data Analysis module provides students with the necessary tools and hands-on experience to employ econometric techniques to achieve this aim. The module includes lectures and computer labs which cover the analysis of cross-section and panel datasets (using Stata statistical software) as well as that of economic time series (using EViews), and is assessed by empirical coursework. No previous knowledge of these software packages is assumed, thus making EDA a crucial building block for students' supervised research projects on the MSc dissertation.

Economic Data Analysis is usually taught by Dr Yang Zu and Dr Chrystalleni Aristidou. Dr Zu's research is in the area of time-series and financial econometrics, while Dr Aristidou has a PhD in Applied Econometrics from the University of Nottingham.

Economic Policy Analysis

This module addresses a series of topics in economic policy with the specific intention of providing a critical appraisal of the grounds for policy intervention and the tools for policy appraisal. For example, how can we be sure that a policy change had the expected effects? The policies considered focus around the theme of increased participation in international markets. For example, what are the effects of trade liberalisation when firms are different? What are the effects of trade openness on economic growth? What is the relationship between trade, foreign interventions and domestic conflict? This module is designed to demonstrate the applications of the knowledge developed during the Economic Data Analysis module and to develop critical-appraisal skills that you will use later as part of your ERM project and in the dissertation.

Economic Policy Analysis is usually taught by Professor Richard Kneller, whose research focuses on firm behaviour and the impact of that behaviour on economic growth. He has published widely in international journals including the Journal of International Economics, the Economic Journal and the European Economic Review.

Economic Research Methodology

The purpose of this module is to lead you into your dissertation and to provide ideas and advice as you embark on your research. Since each MSc dissertation must be an independent project with some degree of originality you should not expect that the ERM module will define narrowly what you should do, or how you should do it. The purposes are broader ones of orientation and reflection.

ERM is designed to help you take your first steps in the direction of independent research and to help you think through the strategy for developing and completing your research. More ambitiously, it aims to help you develop a more reflective and sophisticated approach to research, both as a consumer and (soon-to-be) producer of research! The module includes lectures on how to approach your dissertation, how to undertake applied economic research, what methods to use, and asks what constitutes "good" research? The module is assessed by a written assignment, in which you will review a key paper related to your dissertation topic.

Macroeconomics: Economic Cycles, Frictions and Policy

The purpose of this course is to consider a number of key areas in macroeconomics which are important both for model-building and policy analysis. We seek to provide a solid microeconomic foundation of macroeconomic analysis and will emphasize quantitative implications of the models presented. We will examine various fundamental issues and how they have been approached and interpreted by the literature over time. In so doing, we will keep a critical eye and highlight the policy implications.

Macroeconomics is usually taught by Dr Alejandro Riaño. Dr Riaño’s current research explores how individuals and firms adjust to globalisation. Dr Riaño has published in the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the World Bank Economic Review and the Review of World Economics.

Microeconomics: Consumers and Firm Behaviour

This module provides students with the basic theoretical tools of microeconomics which form the starting point for any applied economic analysis, including the analysis of policy. The module covers topics including consumer choice, risk and uncertainty, game theory, oligopoly and asymmetric information.

Microeconomics is usually taught by Dr Jake Bradley. Bradley has a PhD in Economics from the University of Bristol and was a research associate at the University of Cambridge before his appointment at Nottingham. His main research interests are in labour economics, search and matching models and the structural estimation of economic models.

Trade Analysis and Policy

This module has an empirical and applied focus, and aims to show how the tools of trade theory and trade policy analysis can: explain and model trade flows; test trade theories; investigate the effects of trade flows; measure and model trade policy interventions and understand the impacts of trade policies.

Trade Analysis and Policy is usually taught by Dr Alejandro Riaño and Dr Mariá García-Vega. Dr Riaño's research focuses on firm-level adjustment to globalisation and its aggregate implications. Currently he works on quantifying the impact of trade liberalisation on firm-level technology adoption and its implications for wage inequality, understanding how exporting affects firm-level sales volatility and exploring the labour market impact of offshoring in developing countries. Dr García-Vega's research focuses on international economics, research and development, globalisation and the economics of innovation.

MSc Dissertation: Economics

The module comprises of a period of student research and study, designed to allow students 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. All MSc students receive 'one-to-one' supervision for their dissertation. Their supervisor will be a research-active member of the academic staff who can provide genuinely expert guidance.



Advanced Macroeconomic Methods

This module covers the solution, calibration and simulation of dynamic stochastic models (DSGE) that are widely used in all fields of macroeconomics. It is structured in such a way that students will be exposed both to theory and the practical implementation of the methods taught. The focus is on the application of these techniques to contemporary general equilibrium macroeconomic models, designed for policy analysis. Such models have become the standard framework for the analysis of business cycle fluctuations and monetary policy in central banks and policy institutions.

We will first study these models in their simplest form and then, we will extend it to introduce nominal rigidities and financial frictions. Finally we will touch upon topics that are at the frontier of research such as financial stability and macroprudential policies, in the context of DSGE models. This course is of particular interest for those who wish to work at a central bank or an international institution, or who want to do research on applied macroeconomics. Many students taking this course have afterwards used the methods and techniques acquired to write their MSc and PhD dissertations and have gone onto jobs and internships at institutions such as the ECB and other central banks.

Advanced Macroeconomic Methods is usually taught by Dr Margarita Rubio, who has taught this module at a Master and PhD levels at The University of Nottingham, the University of Konstanz, as well as in Central Banks on demand. She has collaborated in the building of DSGE models in several central banks and institutions (International Monetary Fund, Bank of Spain, Central Bank of Luxembourg, Central Bank of Costa Rica, Bank of Lithuania). She has also published several articles using a DSGE framework in highly ranked journals such as the Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Journal of International Money and Finance and Journal of Banking and Finance.

International Macroeconomics

The module will teach you the theoretical foundations of open-economy dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) models. We first discuss the key seminal contribution of Obstfeld and Rogoff (OR, 1995). In particular, we will carefully learn the roles of key features of their model such as monopolistic competition and nominal rigidities in the effects of monetary and fiscal policy in an international context. We then move on to discussing subsequent works in the literature, including Corsetti and Pesenti (2001), Betts and Devereux (BD, 2000), and Ganelli (2010), which are all closely related to the Obstfeld and Rogoff model. Even students who are not interested in open-economy aspects of macro models, will still develop strong intuition which can be applied to DGE models in general.

International Macroeconomics is usually taught by Dr Yoshi Morozumi, whose research interests are in macroeconomic and monetary theory. Specifically, he studies the role of credit market imperfections in business cycle dynamics. He has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics since 2009, and has also been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund.

Advanced Microeconomic Theory

The aim of this module is to show you various important models taken from modern microeconomic theory. Topics covered include the economics of auctions, matching, voting, incentives and contracts. Although the treatment is theoretical, these topics have important practical applications, such as how to assign kidneys from donors to patients, how to make a decision as a group, and so on.

Advanced Microeconomic Theory is usually taught by Dr Mariá García-Vega. Dr García-Vega's research focuses on international economics, research and development, globalisation and the economics of innovation.

Behavioural Economic Theory

This module studies ways in which economic behaviour differs from that assumed in standard economic theory. Behavioural economic theory attempts to unify psychological and economic models of behaviour. This module looks at alternatives to expected utility theory, exponential discounting, and the standard models of forward-planning. Behavioural economic theory is relevant to a wide-range of economic decisions, and is still a relatively new and emerging field.

Behavioural Economic Theory is usually taught by Professor Robin Cubitt and Dr Daniele Nozenzo. Professor Cubitt is Professor of Economics and Decision Research. His research studies individual and interactive decision-making, using theoretical and experimental techniques. Dr Nosenzo is Co-Director of the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx). His main research interests are in the areas of behavioural and experimental economics, and he is particularly interested in topics such a social norm compliance and the study of positive and negative incentives. Both have published widely in the leading economics and economic psychology journals.

Experimental Methods in Economics

Experimental economics provides tools for observing human behaviour under controlled conditions. Using these tools, we can test theory, inform policy and measure behaviour. This module will show you how and why experiments are used in economics, how to design and analyse your own experiments and allow you to develop skills for critically assessing experimental designs and results. Part of the module assessment includes a project in which you design and run your own experiment.

Experimental Methods in Economics is usually taught by Professor Chris Starmer and Dr Elke Renner. Professor Starmer is Professor of Experimental Economics and the Director of the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) and Director of the ESRC Network for Integrated Behaviour Science (NIBS). His main research interests are in individual and strategic decision making, experimental economics and the methodology of economics, and has published widely in the leading economics and economic psychology journals. Dr Renner's research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, game theory and organisation theory. Her work on the design of efficient economic organisations has focused on microfinance institutions and corruption behaviour. Current projects include cooperation problems and leadership. She has published in journals including Science, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Monetary Theory and Practice

The aim of this module is to address the major developments in macroeconomics with an emphasis on monetary economics. The module covers the theory and practice of central banking and monetary transmission. Topics covered include: central bank policy; reputation; solutions to the inflation bias problem; targets for monetary policy; quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates.

Monetary Theory and Practice is usually taught by Paul Mizen, Professor of Monetary Economics and Director of the Centre for Finance and Credit Markets. He has relevant experience for teaching this module from the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Deutsche Bundesbank, the European Central Bank, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. He has published six books and over 100 articles on monetary economics including the Economic Journal, European Economic Review, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Journal of Banking and Finance, Oxford Economic Papers and Economics Letters.

Industrial Organisation

This module covers both theoretical and experimental research on a number of Industrial Organisation topics. Rather than give a broad overview of the field the module focuses on a few topics in depth. Examples of topics covered in previous years are: dynamic oligopoly models, models of endogenous commitment, price competition with consumer inertia, anti-trust leniency policies. Lectures are organised around two or three key readings, usually recently published research papers, and cover necessary theoretical background for a detailed discussion of the key readings. As part of the module students also give group presentations on an assigned paper. Thus, the module develops an understanding of research methods and skills applied to questions in Industrial Organisation.

Industrial Organisation is usually taught by Professor Martin Sefton and Dr Danielle Nosenzo. Professor Sefton has research interests in the area of game theory and experimental economics. He has published in leading journals and is on the editorial board of the journal Experimental Economics. Dr Nosenzo's main research interests are in the areas of behavioural and experimental economics, and he is particularly interested in topics such as social norm compliance and the study of positive and negative incentives. He has published a range of papers including articles in the Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, and the Journal of Public Economics.

International Trade Theory

The key objective of this module is to describe the nature of trade, its causes and its effects on welfare. We will discuss the gains from trade and their measurement, different causal explanations for trade (comparative advantage from technological differences, comparative advantage from endowment differences, increasing returns to scale internal and external to the firm in the presence of firm heterogeneity), determinants of the pattern of trade, trade's effect on factor rewards. The emphasis in this section of the course is on explaining why countries trade and what are the effects of trade on wages, prices, and production patterns. Particular attention will be devoted to study the effects of globalization on unemployment, inequality, and growth.

International Trade Theory is usually taught by Dr Giamarrio Impulliti, whose research focuses on two major sreas. The first studies the effects of globalization on growth and on labour market outcomes, such as unemployment and income inequality. The second line of research zeros in on the role of innovation policy in promoting growth and development. He has published in top international journals such as the Journal of International Economics, International Economic Review, Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.

Economics of Household Finance

The module covers the central issues in the economics of household finance. Household finance is the study of the behaviour of individuals and households in financial markets including those for secured (eg mortgages) and unsecured (eg credit cards) 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.

Economics of Household Finance is usually taught by Dr John Gathergood. Dr Gathergood's research considers many issues relating to personal finance, and has published in the Economic Journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association and the Journal of Banking and Finance.

Economics of Corporate Finance

This module provides an overview of the corporate finance literature, with a particular focus on the sources of market frictions that can account for the presence of financial constraints. The module attempts to provide answers to fundamental questions such as: Why do we need debt? Why do we need corporate governance? Why do we need banks?

Economics of Corporate Finance is usually taught by Professor Spiros Bougheas, who has taught related modules at The University of Nottingham for over ten years. His research focuses on the impact of financial constraints on firms and international trade; financial panics; systemic risk in banking, systemic risk and the real economy. His publications include papers in the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Population Economics, the Canadian Journal of Economics and the Journal of Macroeconomics.

Applied Behavioural Economics

Behavioural economics considers the ways in which the behaviour of real people differs systematically from the standard economic models of human behaviour. This module focuses on various applied aspects of behavioural economics, and includes topics such as consumer behaviour, the behaviour of organisations, behavioural development economics and behavioural environmental economics.

Applied Behavioural Economics is usually taught by Dr Abigail Barr and Dr Elke Renner. Dr Barr's research focuses on the socially embedded decision-maker. She has designed and implemented a variety of lab and lab-type experiments involving students in several countries, villagers in Zimbabwe, Colombia, Uganda, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, private-sector waged workers and unemployed people in the UK, Chile, Peru, Ghana, South Africa, and Spain and health workers and teachers in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Albania. Four themes have dominated her work to date: the role of other-regarding preferences in individual decision-making; how people set up and hold each other to mutually beneficial agreements; citizens' willingness and ability to hold public service providers to account; and the factors and mechanisms determining individual preferences and values.

Dr Renner's research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, game theory and organisation theory. Her work on the design of efficient economic organisations has focused on microfinance institutions and corruption behaviour. Current projects include cooperation problems and leadership. She has published in journals including Science, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Development Microeconomics

Development microeconomics considers vital issues such as absolute poverty, famine and malnutrition, preventable disease and wasted lives. There have been dramatic global changes which we will consider in this module, such as the rise of China and India and the marginalisation and (perhaps) recovery of African countries. We will consider various topics relating to development economics in this module, including risk and insurance, migration, population and fertility, poverty, health and nutrition.

Development Microeconomics is usually taught by Professor Oliver Morrissey. Oliver's research interests are in the economic analysis of aid, taxation and trade performance and policy, especially in Africa, and analysis of African household surveys. He joined Nottingham in 1989 and was promoted to his current position in 2004. He has published many articles in international journals, mostly on aid policy and effectiveness , trade policy reform , conditionality and adjustment, and supply response in agriculture.



The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

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Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



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

An economics MSc 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.

Nottingham economics postgraduates are spread around the globe, working in academia, government and the private sector. Our courses provide specialist skills in theoretical and empirical economics, which are sought-after by employers.

Employability and average starting salary

90% of postgraduates from the School of Economics who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £29,500 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £32,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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