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.
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.
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.
A good honours degree (minimum 2:2) from the UK or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a subject other than economics. Applicants must also have a sufficient level of quantitative skills.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
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.
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.
Duration: PDip 1 year full-time; MSc 2 years full-time
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The module will introduce students to the topic of political economy using microeconomic analytical tools. In particular, the module will provide students with an overview of microeconomic theories and empirical methods that have been used to bring new insights to issues related to political economy. The module will also explore how these issues relate to themes in development, public and environmental economics. The following topics will be covered in the module.
1. Electoral rules, voting and their economic implications:
2. Political Reforms and their Economic Impacts:
3. Institutions and Development:
4. Ethnic and Civil Conflict:
5. Climate Agreements:
The module will introduce students to a range of mathematical techniques, which are useful in economic analysis. The aim is to deepen and extend the mathematical preparation of undergraduate students considering technical modules at Stage 3. Emphasis will be placed on a clear and rigorous presentation of the various technical concepts and their applications. The module will cover a range of relevant mathematical tools and techniques that are typically required for postgraduate study in economics.
• Matrix Algebra and Multiple Equation Systems
• Optimisation Theory
• Dynamic Models
This module applies economic theory and statistical methods to the understanding and critical assessment of economic policy. It focuses on the policy application of economic concepts and provides an introduction to material that may be studied in greater depth at Stage 3. A key aspect of this module is the relationship to contemporary policy issues.
The module introduces students to a variety of microeconomic policy issues. Alongside formal lectures, workshops and seminars are designed to develop academic research skills and the ability to communicate ideas both verbally and in writing. This focus provides opportunities to develop a range of highly transferable skills and to develop as autonomous learners.
The module provides a starting point for understanding financial markets. It attempts to link models of money, banking and finance into one generic, or foundation, view and provides insight into what determines the set of equilibrium prices required to provide an appropriate level of savings in an economy to finance the expected level of expected activity. It considers how financial and economic innovations have evolved over time, and explores why and how it seems to be that when finance fails, so does the modern market economy.
Important considerations within the module include:
• How can we analyse the appearance of money in an economy?
• What is the link between money and finance?
• What explains bank runs?
• Can we explain the occurrence of financial crises?
This module introduces students to the skills of economic reasoning and argument by exposing them to critical debates within the discipline. It is designed for students who have completed Stage 1 Economics.
The module draws on current and past controversies to give students a critical insight into theoretical and empirical differences of opinion and approach to economics in the real world. The curriculum provides an insight into the academic and professional development of the discipline, and provides opportunities to develop a range of highly transferable skills. It also lays the foundations to many of the skills required for modules taught at Stage 3.
Four controversies will be covered each drawn from a range of topics pertinent to the discipline and relevant sub-disciplines. Students must study two controversies.
This module applies various aspects of environmental economic theory in combination with mathematical and statistical methods to provide students with an understanding of the link between economic theory and policy application. It introduces students to fundamental key skills used by environmental economists in the application of economics to real world environmental issues.
The main focus will be on how economic theory is applied to real world environmental issues and how this can be demonstrated using EXCEL. Therefore, it continues the development of students' use of information technology within a structured environment. This module will provide students with an enhanced understanding of how economic theory can be translated into practical policy advice.
The module introduces students to a variety of environmental economic practical issues. Alongside formal lectures, computer workshops and seminars are designed to develop academic research skills and the ability to communicate ideas both verbally and in writing.
Examples of topics the module may cover include:
• Pollution control instruments – will consider taxes and permits using market simulation and potentially the development of equilibrium displacement models;
• Non-market evaluation – will consider stated and revealed preference approaches to non-market valuation, consider experimental design, survey design and delivery and data analysis using linear regression and binary choice models;
• Renewable resource management – will consider fisheries and/or forestry management as a dynamic programming problem using the EXCEL solver; and
• Non-renewable resource management – will consider oil reserve management as a dynamic programming problem using the EXCEL solver.
This course examines the economic relevance of human capital. It begins by defining and categorizing different types of human capital, and then considers the economic importance of human capital both to individuals and to society. The course then proceeds to explore the connections between human capital and the labour market, as well as social outcomes such as crime. Finally, it will discuss the challenges faced in identifying a causal effect of human capital on individual and social outcomes. Specific consideration will be given to how econometric techniques can be used to obtain causal effects.
The course will also study how human capital is formed and how it can be influenced by policy intervention. It will consider the effects of specific policy interventions on human capital development, drawing on examples from developing and developed countries.
Assessment is through a wide variety of methods including seminar presentations, extended essays, short projects, in-class tests, examinations, and the dissertation.
The programme aims to:
You gain a knowledge and understanding of the following:
You gain the following intellectual skills:
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
You gain the following transferable skills:
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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