[skip to content]

Department of Economics

MSc Economics with reference to Africa

Duration: One calendar year (full-time) Two or Three years (part-time, daytime only). We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their studies.

Overview

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Economics. Applicants without a first degree in Economics may be admitted to the Diploma in Economics in the first instance. Satisfactory completion of the Diploma, at a level acceptable to the School, may allow students to take the MSc in the following year. All students must complete and pass the preliminary Mathematics and Statistics course which is taught over three weeks in August/September before the start of the MSc.

Start of programme: September intake only

All the courses offered by the Department of Economics approach the subject matter from a development perspective. Students on the MSc Economics with reference to Africa will complete courses on macro, micro, quantitative methods and growth. In addition, students must complete two courses dedicated to the study of the economics of Africa, one focusing on microeconomic issues, the other on macroeconomic issues, as well as an optional module and a dissertation in applied economics with a focus on one or more African countries.
The objectives of the programme are:

  • To enable students to apply the principles of economic analysis to the design of economic policy with reference to Africa
  • To teach postgraduates the technical and analytical skills to qualify them to practice as professional economists
  • To enable practising professional economists to improve and update their skills and knowledge
  • To impart the skills and knowledge that enable students to progress towards PhD research
Students will benefit from studying with experts on African economics within the Department. More broadly, a large number of open lectures on topics relating to Africa will be available in various departments of the School throughout the year.

Structure

The following is a complete list of courses in the programme, not all of which are offered in any single year.

Core Courses
Students May Choose Two of the Following Regional Courses:
And One from the Following:

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

The MSc includes eight taught modules plus a preliminary course in Mathematics and Statistics and an 8,000-word dissertation.

The courses are taught in seminar groups and lectures. The degrees are awarded on the basis of assessed coursework, examinations and the dissertation.

The MSc degrees are taught over a period of twelve months of full-time study within a structured programme. In the case of part-time study, the degrees will be taught over two or three years. Four modules are studied each year, with the dissertation normally being completed in the second year.

Lectures

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

Dissertation

Students are required to complete an 8,000-word dissertation in applied economics.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Pre Entry Reading

Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics Course

Our MSc programmes attract students with a wide range of backgrounds including many who have worked for a few years before coming to SOAS. Our popular quantitative courses are designed to be accessible to all of our students including those with a relatively small quantitative component in their first degree. Our well-received quantitative courses focus on applying basic methods used in empirical research. They equip students to carry out their own high quality empirical work and critically evaluate research, with relatively little emphasis on advanced econometric theory and mathematical proofs.

Our quantitative methods teaching begins with a three-week preliminary course in mathematics, statistics and computing. The objective of the course is to review the basic quantitative skills assumed once formal teaching commences. This course is compulsory.
Further details on the Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics Course.

Destinations

A postgraduate degree in Economics with reference to Africa from SOAS equips students with a range of important skills to continue in the field of research as well as a portfolio of widely transferable employability skills valued by a wide range of employers.  These include numeracy, analytical thinking and general skills such as organisation and effective communication skills.  Graduates will develop their regional expertise and understanding of the African market.  In addition the study of Economics gives students particular problem solving skills including: abstraction, analysis, quantification, strategic thinking and adaptability.

Postgraduate students from the SOAS MSc in Economics with reference to Africa have followed successful careers in both academic work and also in international banking and financial analysis, in national governments in many parts of the world, in international development agencies and in a range of non-government organisations. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

In addition the study of Economics gives students particular problem solving skills including: abstraction, analysis, quantification, strategic thinking and adaptability.

Graduates of Masters programmes in the Department of Economics at SOAS have followed successful careers in international banking and finance, in national governments in many parts of the world, in international development agencies and in a range of non-governmental organisations. Graduates have been very successful in gaining highly competitive Overseas Development Institute (ODI) fellowships which have allowed them to work in government agencies in countries ranging from Mozambique to Papua New Guinea.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

SOAS is a unique British university, as it adopts a global view, but specialises in Asia, Africa and the Middle East: something it is very good at. This is evident in the passion and expertise of the teachers, the interests of the students and the many colourful exhibitions and cultural events regularly hosted here.

Nunons Tagoe-Borllons