Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Economics Conversion Programme - MSc

2019

If you are looking to change your career direction and have an undergraduate degree in a subject other than economics, the Conversion programme offers you a two-year route to our range of MSc programmes in economics and financial economics.

2019

Overview

The Economics Conversion programme offers a two-year route to an MSc for those with a degree in a subject other than Economics.

During the first year, you take the Diploma in Economic Analysis (DEA). This brings you up to the standards required to continue with MSc study. Students who pass the DEA with 60% and above then proceed to one of our MSc programmes. Students who pass but do not achieve 60% are awarded the DEA.

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

Year 1

During the first year, you take the Diploma in Economic Analysis (DEA), which is a qualification in its own right, and brings you up to the standard required to continue with MSc study. The DEA consists of six compulsory modules.

Year 2

Students who pass the DEA with 60% and above can then proceed to one of our MSc programmes in year two:

Programmes in economics

Programmes in financial economics:

Students who pass but do not achieve 60% are awarded the DEA.

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.

Modules may include Credits

This module builds on the Stage 1 teaching of microeconomics to provide an intermediate course, which takes full account of the policy issues and controversies in the application and understanding of microeconomic issues. It introduces the fundamental theoretical foundations of microeconomics and provides examples of their application.

The module provides an analysis of the way in which the market system functions as a mechanism for coordinating the independent choices of individual economic agents. It addresses the behaviour and decision making of consumers and firms, and evaluates the efficiency and equity implications of competition and other market structures. The role of government in incentivising types of economic behaviour and addressing market failure is also explored.

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This module builds on the Stage 1 teaching of macroeconomics to provide an intermediate course, which takes full account of the policy issues and controversies in the world macroeconomy.

Autumn Term considers the basic methodology of macroeconomic models and examines how macroeconomic theories of aggregate demand and aggregate supply are derived. It is important to be aware that there are many theories of aggregate demand and supply and that consideration of these theories involves studying the markets on which they are based. The Autumn Term develops and extends use of the IS-LM model to derive a theory of aggregate demand in both open and closed economies. It also scrutinises the labour market to derive a theory of aggregate supply and study the relationship between inflation and unemployment.

Spring term starts with studying the long-run, that is, what determines the standard of living of countries in the long term, as opposed to short-run economic fluctuations. It then considers microeconomic fundamentals of macroeconomics to understand in-depth the determinants of consumption, investment, and labour supply decisions. These considerations and the ideas developed in the autumn term are then used to extensively examine macroeconomic demand management policies (fiscal and monetary) and their shortcomings. Finally, we consider the role of the financial system in the macroeconomy and the causes behind some financial crises. Particular focus is given to the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

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The quantitative estimation and evaluation of economic models is an essential feature of the study and application of economics. This module provides an introduction to econometric theory and the application of econometric techniques to economic models and data. This is achieved by explaining key economic and econometric issues using applications of econometrics that quantify and evaluate economic theory and which provide an empirical evaluation of economic behaviour and the assessment of economic policy.

The module provides both an analytical and practical introduction to econometric theory, equipping students with the analytical tools to carry out applied econometric work and to explore more advanced areas of econometric theory at later stages of their chosen degree programme. The practice and application of econometrics is achieved using both Microsoft Excel and specialist econometric software (e.g. Eviews &/or Stata).

The topics considered in the module include:

• Models and data; ordinary least squares (OLS), properties of OLS, simple and multiple linear regression, inference, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, dummy variables, functional form, linear restrictions, diagnostic testing and basic panel data.

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The module provides an analytical introduction to time-series econometrics and the challenges that present themselves with the analysis of time-series economic data. Traditional econometric techniques such as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) are poorly suited to the estimation of economic models or data which exhibit non-stationary processes. This module provides an introduction to econometric methods that are suitable for stationary and non-stationary time-series analyses.

The module is both analytical and practitioner based providing students with the knowledge, understanding, application and interpretation of time-series techniques using specialist econometric software. The module equips students with the analytical tools to carry out advanced time-series econometrics work at a later stage of their degree programme.

The topics considered in the module include:

• Stationary and non-stationary data; trend- and difference-stationary processes, stationary autoregressive models, multivariate stationary models, spurious regression, cointegration, ADF tests, forecasting.

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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 programme aims to:

  • Provide the opportunity for students who already have a degree to proceed to study Economics at master’s level when they have not previously studied Economics. 
  • Provide students with the knowledge, analytical and other skills from which they can proceed to further study in Economics and develop a deeper understanding of economic theory, econometric and quantitative techniques and policy applications to specific areas.
  • Provide a stimulating education in the principles of Economics and their application, in which high quality teaching motivates students to achieve their full potential.
  • Provide options to enable students to study selected areas of Economics in depth.
  • Develop in students the ability to apply economic knowledge, analytical tools and skills in a range of theoretical, applied and policy problems.
  • Develop the skills necessary for independent research and to prepare students for work as professional economists or an area related to Economics.
  • Provide information and advice on future employment and further postgraduate study.
  • Prepare students for employment or further study.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • 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 Economics supervised dissertation topic and quantitative methods project. 
  • Economic analysis of policy.
  • Key concepts affecting decision-making.
  • Chosen specialist areas in Economics selected from a range of options.

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 solving a problem.
  • Ability to analysis complex issues using deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • Ability to organise and use information to analyse complex issues and test different hypotheses.
  • Ability to review critically alternative explanations and analyses of a problem.
  • Ability to manage supervised dissertation and 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 synthesise 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.
  • Understand career opportunities and challenges ahead and begin to plan a career path.

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 a degree other than Economics, plus evidence of a strong quantitative background.

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. 

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 Conversion - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7500 £15700

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: