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Economics - MSc

2019

The Economics MSc is designed to provide an education in advanced economic theory and quantitative methods while allowing students to specialise or take options in a range of subjects that reflect the School's main areas of research expertise.

2019

Overview

The Economics postgraduate degree provides training in advanced economic theory and econometric methods, developing comprehensive understanding of how modern market economies function. Using the results of cutting-edge practice-oriented research, it offers deep insights into strategic interactions in core markets and characterizes the role of government in regulating market activity. The programme prepares you for work as a professional economist in the private and public sector.

All of our MSc degrees equip you with a range of quantitative and analytical skills and the ability to communicate complex economic concepts in a clear and concise style. Our programmes not only offer a stimulating education in economic theory, but also develop your ability to apply economic knowledge, analytical tools and skills to a range of national and international problems in the areas of finance, development, agriculture and the environment. 

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.

National ratings

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 Taught Experience Survey (PTES) in 2018, our overall performance placed us in the top quarter in the UK with an 88% student satisfaction rate.

Course structure

The Economics MSc 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.

There are compulsory modules in Advanced Macroeconomics, Advanced Microeconomics of Consumers, Markets and Welfare, Econometric Methods and Research Skills. There are a further three core econometrics modules: Development Economics, International Economics and Labour Economics. The core modules build upon students’ existing knowledge, understanding and skills. Students develop a deeper understanding of economic and econometric theory, quantitative and research methods, and policy applications. The teaching and learning of skills are carefully integrated into the structure of the modules and degree programme. The final two modules are chosen from a range of options based upon the research interests of members of staff.

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 Economics/Economics topic. 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 Skills module. Student dissertations are supervised by academic staff.

Download the School of Economics postgraduate study guide (PDF)

Modules

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.

Compulsory modules:

  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Microeconomics of Consumers, Markets and Welfare
  • Econometric Methods
  • Research Skills
  • Development Economics
  • International Economics 
  • Labour Economics 
  • Dissertation of 12,000 words 

Plus two optional modules from:

  • Microeconometrics
  • International Finance
  • Money and Credit
  • Time-Series Econometrics
Modules may include Credits

This module examines the workings of the economic system from a disaggregated viewpoint. It is a standard module on advanced microeconomic theory and contains the basics of general equilibrium, including Walrasian equilibrium and welfare economics, and disequilibrium.

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This module is the core macroeconomic theory module in the MSc programmes in the School of Economics. The first part of the course deals with the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics. The second part deals with short-term fluctuations in macroeconomic performance and how macroeconomic policy may be used to address these. The third part deals with a fundamental measure of long-term macroeconomic performance, economic growth.

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This module helps prepare students to acquire and develop the employability and transferable skills necessary to search and successfully apply for work experience and graduate opportunities in the commercial and public sector and for PhD programmes.

The curriculum will include guidance and practical exercises in application writing, CVs, careers advice, interview and assessment centre techniques, numeracy and competency tests, and psychometric evaluation.

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Empirical evaluation of economic models is crucial to the study and application of economics. This module aims to study basic econometric techniques in an intuitive and practical way to develop students understanding and ability to apply econometric methods.

Students will develop an understanding of the conventional linear regression model and the problems associated with the application of regression methods to economic modelling. The module is concerned with the application of econometric methods, with less emphasis on the mathematical aspects of the subject (which may be studied in other modules). The microcomputer software package Intercooled STATA will be used for practical work throughout this module, both as a means of providing realistic applications of the theory developed in lectures and to give students hands-on experience in the use of such software as a preparation for their own empirical research. With the development of new software this choice could change.

The specific topics dealt with are: the Linear Regression Model, dummy variables, omitted variable bias, non-linear models, multicollinearity, failure of classical assumptions, instrumental-variable methods and simultaneous equation systems

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This module is designed to introduce you to the main theoretical and empirical models of international financial relations. Exchange rates, capital flows, financial crises, current account and debt dynamics, and uncertainty are the most widely debated economic topics in the media and political arena. This module provides the economic foundations for a full understanding of these debates from a rigorous point of view. Working on the areas of financial economics and development (whether in private or public institutions) requires a solid knowledge of the topics studied in this module.

The module is focused on both the theory and empirical evidence. That is, we focus not only on the analytical side of the stories but also on their empirical relevance. This helps your understanding of the role of data analysis and econometric work on a research project such as the one you have to write for your dissertation.

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Since the probability theory revolution in econometrics, it has been standard to view economic time series, that is, chronological sequences of observations, as realisations of stochastic processes. This approach allows the model builder to use statistical inference when estimating relationships between economic variables and testing hypotheses from economic theory. Analysing the nature of time series and their description in some parametric statistical way are essential for empirical macroeconomic and financial modelling. Forecasting the macroeconomy and financial markets demands some knowledge of its structure. Designing and evaluating economic models often involves comparisons of their statistical implications against the true nature of time series such as inflation and growth. We consider these issues from both a univariate and a multivariate perspective, but often the multivariate statistical models turn out to be straightforward extensions of the univariate ones.

Most macroeconomic and financial time series follow a stochastic trend, so that temporary shocks have permanent effects. These time series are called nonstationary; they differ from stationary series which do not grow over time, but fluctuate around a given value. While statistical methods used for stationary time series can yield misleading results when applied to the analysis of nonstationary data, specific combinations of nonstationary time series may exhibit stationarity, thereby allowing for correct statistical inference. This phenomenon is called cointegration and is of special interest to this module.

The module offers a research-oriented introduction to the econometric analysis of economic and financial time series. Students are introduced to the methods and models used in central banks, research institutions for the analysis of macroeconomic data for policy purposes and forecasting as well as in financial institutions for the analysis of financial data as the foundation to investment decision.

This module aims to present a systematic and operational approach to econometric modelling, which combines the understanding of theories and techniques with their practical implementation for empirical research using econometric software. You also gain insight into contemporary empirical macro- and financial economics by linking the econometric theory to empirical studies of the macroeconomy and financial markets. The introduction to financial econometrics focused on the statistical properties of low-frequency financial market data and econometric methods that can be used for their analysis. The focus is on the modelling and forecasting of the time-varying volatility of asset returns, covering the tools of financial econometrics with a moderate degree of sophistication.

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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.

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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.

Programme aims

The programmes aims:

  • To provide a stimulating education in the principles of Economics and their application, in which high quality teaching motivates students to achieve their full potential. The teaching is informed by the research and scholarship of teaching staff.
  • To build on the existing knowledge, abilities and skills of all students, and to develop a deeper understanding of economic theory, econometric and quantitative techniques and policy applications to specific areas.
  • To provide options to enable students to study selected areas of Economics in depth.
  • To develop in students the ability to apply economic knowledge, analytical tools and skills in a range of theoretical, applied and policy problems.
  • To develop the skills necessary for independent research and to prepare students for work as professional economists or an area related to Economics.
  • To provide information and advice on future employment and further postgraduate study.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • The concepts, principles, theories, models and methods of modern advanced microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and quantitative methods.
  • The econometric, mathematical, statistical and computing methods used in Economics.
  • Sources of economic data and methods used to analyse such data, and ability to make use of sources and methods.
  • Model building in microeconomics and macroeconomics and critical analysis of such models.
  • Application of core economic theory and reasoning to applied topics.
  • Research methods and management.
  • Specialist supervised dissertation topic and quantitative methods project.
  • Economic analysis of policy.
  • Chosen specialist areas in Economics selected from a range of options.
  • Critical evaluation of major debates and articles in advanced economic literature

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • Ability to abstract the essential features of a complex system.
  • Ability to think about what are the important variables and fixed parameters in analysing a problem.
  • Ability to analyse complex issues using deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • Ability to organise and use information to analyse complex issues and construct and test different hypotheses.
  • Ability to review literature critically and appreciate alternative explanations and analyses of a problem.
  • Ability to effectively work under supervision for the dissertation and manage quantitative projects.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • Analytical skills in Economics.
  • Ability to develop and understand models of Economic behaviour.
  • Ability to apply economic principles and analysis to a range of issues, problems and policies.
  • Ability to abstract the essential features of an economic issue, problem or system.
  • Knowledge of the principal sources of economic data and information and ability to use and present this information. 
  • Be able to carry out economic/econometric analysis of economic data.
  • Ability to synthesize and compare critically different economic analyses of an economic issue.
  • Ability to research the literature on an economic issue.  
  • Research management skills.
  • Ability to apply economic skills to investigate supervised dissertation and quantitative methods projects.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Effective communication of analysis and ideas both orally and in written form.
  • Ability to assemble, analyse, use and present data. 
  • Understanding and ability to use economic, mathematical and quantitative methods to analyse issues and problems. 
  • Development of Information Technology skills through using statistical and econometric packages, bibliographic searches and word processing coursework.  
  • Independence in initiating and executing work. 
  • Ability to analyse and solve problems.
  • Ability to think critically about proposed analyses and solutions to a problem or issue.
  • Ability to define and test hypotheses.
  • Become responsible for managing own learning and academic performance.
  • Research management skills acquired through managing supervised dissertation and quantitative methods projects.

Careers

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 92% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2017 and responded to a national survey were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). 

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.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

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.  

Entry requirements

A good first degree (good second class honours or equivalent) in economics or a combined degree in economics and another subject.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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.

Research areas

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, political economy, networks and the economics of taxation.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Economics - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7500 £15700
Part-time £3750 £7850

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 information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: