The MSc in Applied Economics and International Development provides training in the application of economic principles to the problems of international development.
The programme is designed for students with a good first degree in a sciences or social sciences subject, who would like to pursue a career in economics and international development. You must also have some previous quantitative background, eg a good mark in mathematics from a pre-university school course.
The programme offers great flexibility and breadth of choice in module options in the areas of international finance, trade and development, environment and rural economies.
About the School of Economics
The School of Economics is dedicated to excellence in both teaching and research, as demonstrated by our results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 and recent national student surveys. Our academic staff are active in research, and teaching and learning are informed by the School’s thriving research culture and strong cosmopolitan academic community.
We currently have 35 academic staff, with about 35-40 MSc and PhD students, which has the benefit of a good community for interaction between students but also means that each student receives a good deal of individual attention in classes and workshops. It also means that we are able to offer excellent facilities for research.
Our postgraduate student community is global with many of the students originating from outside the UK and Europe. There are also a number of different nationalities represented within the academic staff. You will be able to integrate into this multicultural environment and build yourself an international professional network for the future.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Economics was ranked 21st in the UK for research intensity and 84% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.
In the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PTES) 2016, our performance placed us in the top quarter in all seven theme areas. Overall, the School achieved an 89% student satisfaction rate.
The programme is studied over one year full-time or two years part-time and is divided into two stages: eight taught modules (six of which are compulsory) and a dissertation.
The compulsory modules provide a basis for you to acquire the basic skills for the programme, while the optional modules enable you to choose from applied subjects in the first and second terms. All MSc students take a module in Research Methods, which provides practical skills and knowledge for MSc-level research.
All of our MSc programmes require some mathematical analysis, and we recognise that students have widely differing backgrounds in mathematics. The first week of all our MSc programmes includes compulsory intensive teaching in mathematics, refreshing and improving your skills in order to equip you with the techniques you will need for the rest of the programme.
Students who successfully pass the taught element of the programme, proceed to the dissertation stage, where you undertake a supervised project of your choice on an issue in international development. Advice on choice of dissertation topic and management is given during the taught stage of the programme. The dissertation stage develops students’ research skills and follows on from the Research Methods module. Student dissertations are supervised by academic staff.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
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EC831 - Rural and Peasant Economies
This module demonstrates the unique role that agriculture plays in economic development, poverty alleviation and the development of rural non-farm sectors, looking at the relationship between urban and rural economies based on the way in which these economies trade with each other and are influenced by public policy. It discusses the importance of the rural non-farm sector in the reduction of poverty and demonstrates the importance of market and infrastructural development in this process. It then goes on to look at theoretical approaches and empirical models that characterise peasant and rural household behaviour and analyses opportunities and constraints on development of rural economies and commercialisation of peasant households. Finally it assesses different government reform programmes and their impact on rural areas and small scale farming.
Rural and peasant economies: importance, definitions and analytical approaches
Development and rural development
Agriculture, poverty and rural development
Development of rural-urban terms of trade
Rural non-farm sectors and pro-poor growth
Economic objectives of rural inhabitants
Rural households: profit maximisation and risk preferences
Households as producers and consumers
Analysis of opportunities and constraints facing rural farm households
Land and land institutionsRead more
EC832 - Political Economy of Public Policy
This module aims to provide an in introduction to the economics of public choice, the work of democratic institutions in the policy process and the overall policy process with reference to national and supra-national policies. In doing so it examines the behaviour of participants in policy process (politicians, bureaucrats, interest groups and voters) in developed and developing countries, and the ways in which policy decisions are made in the area of agriculture, rural development and international trade negotiations, and provides an overview of the main types of political economy models.
Political economy and the origins of government
Collective choice: normative analysis
Collective choice: positive analysis
The government and special interest groups
The political economy of bureaucracy
Empirical political economy models
Policy process in Europe: political economy of CAP and regional policy; main institutions involved in the policy process; voting procedures
Policy process in other OECD countries: political economy of US agricultural policy and New Zealand economic policy reform
Political economy approach to agricultural policy and market distortions in developing countriesRead more
EC833 - Economic Principles
The aim of the module is to introduce and develop knowledge of widely applicable economic principles with a focus on their applications to development issues. The module is intended for students at the Masters level with an interest in the study of applied economics and international development, who have not had economics at the undergraduate level.
The module introduces you to the core principles of microeconomics, with the aim of providing you with an understanding of the general analytical framework for the work by neoclassical economists on development issues (as well as deviations from this framework). Moreover, it provides an introduction to macroeconomic topics that are central to current debates about economic development, including Growth Theory and international trade. The module provides you with the foundation to engage with research literature on development carried out by economists.Read more
EC835 - Quantitative Methods for Economists
The aim of the module is to train students who have not had enough quantitative training during their undergraduate degree in the techniques economists use to quantify economic relationships in order to test hypotheses or assess the impact of economic policy. This is approached in a practical way so that you gain experience in using spreadsheets and suitable computer software (Stata) to investigate empirical relationships, which you apply in the other modules of the MSc programme and in your research dissertation.
Nature of data, describing data and interesting datasets
Sampling and point estimation
Dummy variablesRead more
EC837 - Applied Econometrics for Business and Economic Development
This module builds on the material covered in EC835 Quantitative Methods for Economists. It provides an introduction to common issues and related econometric techniques relevant to the empirical evaluation and analysis of data pertinent to the fields of international business and economic development.
The module is approached in a practical way that focuses on the application and interpretation of econometric techniques to business and economic data, with less emphasis on statistical theory. This approach ensures that students gain knowledge and experience in using suitable computer software to undertake business and economic research, and to investigate and understand empirical relationships which may arise in other modules of the MSc programme and the research dissertation.Read more
EC815 - Growth and Development Theory
Some of the greatest and most important books written in economics have been about the progress of nations. Some of the most distinguished economists in the world are development economists concerned with the economic progress of developing countries. Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why do some countries grow faster than others, and why have some countries got left behind? This graduate module, Growth and Development Theory, introduces you to theories of growth and development both old and new looking at the various influential models that have been propounded over the years from Adam Smith and other classical economists in the 18th and 19th centuries to new endogenous growth theory in the modern era. As well as aggregate models associated with the names of Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Harrod, Solow, and the 'new' growth theorists (Barro, Romer, Lucas), there are also sectorial models emphasising the role of particular factors of production or sectors of the economy, such as Arthur Lewis's famous model of economic development with unlimited supplies of labour, and Nicholas Kaldor's stress on the role of manufacturing industry based on increasing returns. We also look at centre-periphery models of growth and development associated with Gunnar Myrdal and Raul Prebisch, and constraints on growth imposed by the balance of payments and inflation.Read more
EC817 - Research Methods
The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of research methods and sources available in modern economics, and enable you to gain an understanding of their application in the context of your own MSc dissertation topic. In more practical terms, this module deals with the practicalities of postgraduate level research: acquiring and reviewing basic analytical skills, choosing a dissertation topic, deriving interesting and well-focused research questions, addressing questions with data or theory, and interpreting and writing up results. It aims to ease the transition of students who merely learn about existing research to being researchers working on their MSc dissertations. The module is taught by various members of the School and as such will expose you to some topics we work on and the methodologies we use. It has two components. The first focuses on specific skills: mathematical skills, use of library resources, writing skills, and data collection and management. The second aims to prepare you for the dissertation stage by giving you some concrete help and feedback in choosing a research topic and planning your work.Read more
EC829 - Environmental Valuation
This module assesses the monetary techniques commonly used for the economic valuation of environmental impacts, and looks at the importance of integrating environmental assessment and valuation into the policy development and project design. It illustrates the theory with applications of the valuation techniques in economic decision making at national and project level.
Introduction - why value the environment?
Theory of environmental valuation
Non demand curve approaches
The Travel Cost Method
Hedonic Pricing Methods
The Contingent Valuation Method
Policy applications of environmental valuation
Critiques of environmental valuation and cost-benefit analysis
New horizons in environmental valuation
Conclusion - the role of economics in environmental valuationRead more
EC803 - Trade and Development
This module is designed for students with interests in both development and international economics. It aims to discuss some of the fundamental models (and their extensions) in international economics and link them to the growth and development process of regions and countries. Throughout this module we provide you with the analytical tools and theoretical knowledge necessary to understand these links. We also focus on both the theoretical foundations and extensions of trade theory and the empirical evidence available to the current theoretical debates. The module consists of two main sections. The first one is devoted to the foundations of trade theory and it is the basic building block around which the rest of the module pivots. The second section deals with the relation between trade liberalisation, exports and long run growth, covering both the theory and empirical evidence.Read more
EC998 - Dissertation:Economics
The dissertation work is carefully structured across the whole academic year. On entry to the MSc programmes, you are made aware of the need to consider your dissertation during the taught part of the programme and to do some preparatory work in terms of selection of research topic and investigation of the availability of data before the beginning of the dissertation working period. You receive guidelines on the writing of economics dissertations, and various talks and advice above the researching and writing of your dissertation. You are allocated an appropriate member of staff as dissertation supervisor.Read more
Teaching and Assessment
Assessment is through a wide variety of methods including seminar presentations, extended essays, short projects, in-class tests, examinations, and the dissertation.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
A postgraduate degree in the area of economics is a particularly valuable and flexible qualification that can open the door to exciting careers in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work as economists in international organisations, the financial sector, business, UK and overseas governments, and to further postgraduate training and academic careers at Kent, UK and overseas universities. Recent MSc graduates have gone on to work for companies in the UK such as BNP Paribas, AXA, FactSet and PwC.
The School's employability officers and the University's Careers and Employability Service are available throughout the year to offer one-to-one advice and help on all aspects of employability at any stage in your postgraduate studies. We also offer online advice on employability skills, career choices, applications and interview skills.
The School provides rooms specifically for use by MSc students, with computer facilities and open space for discussion and group work.
All MSc students are assigned an academic adviser to be their point of reference for advice, support and guidance during their studies. They are also allocated a supervisor for the MSc dissertation, who can advise on data and provide comments on methodologies and the written material.
The School has an active and inclusive research culture involving all postgraduate students, with a regular seminar programme during the year mixing internal workshops with events to which we invite outside speakers. There is also a student Economics Society, which invites its own speakers for discussion of economics topics, and Kent Invest Society which manages a virtual portfolio.
An international school
Our postgraduate student community is global with about half the students originating from outside the UK and Europe, including Africa, China, India, the Middle East, Pakistan, Russia and the USA. We have strong links with universities in Australia, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Japan and the USA, among others. Economics staff teach on the postgraduate courses provided by the University of Kent at Brussels. You will be able to integrate into this multicultural environment and build the foundations for an international professional network.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Journal of Economics; Journal of Applied Economics; Journal of Public Economic Theory; Journal of Agricultural Economics; Journal of International Money and Finance.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
A good first degree (good second class honours or equivalent) in a sciences or social sciences subject plus evidence of a quantitative background (eg a pre-university school qualification in Mathematics).
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
The School of Economics has a strong research culture and an international reputation in several fields, particularly applied microeconomics (labour and agri-environmental), quantitative macroeconomic theory, macro and microeconometrics and economic development.
The School is home to two research centres and one research group:
Centre for Agri-Environmental Studies (CEAS)
CEAS has a long history of participating in agri-environmental research and policy debate. Founded in 1974 to conduct research into the implications of the UK's entry to the European Economic Community, CEAS has developed into a centre of research excellence, focusing on food and agri-environmental policy in the UK and Europe.
Macroeconomics, Growth and History Centre (MaGHiC)
MaGHiC brings together a large number of researchers at the School whose main interests lie in the wide area of macroeconomics. MaGHiC is the focal point for macroeconomic research, impact and training at the University of Kent. The centre's main focus is on the analysis of macroeconomic issues, including productivity and growth, labour markets, income distribution, business cycles and macroeconomic phenomena from a historical perspective. The group also has technical strength in computational economics, macroeconometric modelling and forecasting, and expertise in building long-run macroeconomic time series and reconstructing historical national accounts.
Microeconomics Research Group
In addition to the two research centres, the School has an active microeconomics research group, whose members' research spans applied and theoretical microeconomics, and microeconometrics. The group's research covers a wide range of areas with the main focus being on development economics, labour and education economics, microeconometrics, games and behavioural economics, the economics of food, economic geography, industrial organisation and the economics of tax.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Applied Economics and International Development - MSc at Canterbury:|
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com
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