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Department of Economics

MSc Political Economy of Development

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 course of study.

Overview

Minimum Entry Requirements: Good undergraduate degree in, or including, Economics

Start of programme: September intake only

Course Profile

The MSc in the Political Economy of Development is the latest addition to a portfolio of Masters programmes offered by the Department of Economics, and is designed for economists who want to concentrate on applied theory and to expand their regional expertise.

The MSc is a taught masters degree consisting of eight course modules taught by lectures, classes and tutorials and an 8,000 word dissertation.

There are four core units and four optional modules that make up the course.
The precise modules available vary from year to year, but include units on Agriculture, Finance, the Environment, Industry and International Macro- and Microeconomics.

Eight in-depth regional economic development modules are also available, covering:

  • Africa
  • The Asia-Pacific region
  • The Middle East
  • South Asia

Structure

All students registered for this MSc must take the SECOND Research Method module. However, if appropriate, Quantitative Methods I and II can be substituted for the FIRST Research Method module, where Quantitative Methods I takes place in term 1 and Quantitative Methods II in term 2. Please note that it is NOT possible to choose only one of the two Quantitative Method modules in place of FIRST Research Methods module and there is no overlap between Quantitative Methods II and the second Research Methods module.

CORE COURSES
IN ADDITION STUDENTS MAY CHOOSE FOUR FROM THE FOLLOWING:

- four optional modules from those on offer in the other Department of Economics MSc courses.

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 Political Economy of Development 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 as well as an advanced understanding of issues of development in their political and economic context.  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 Political Economy of Development 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.

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

A Student's Perspective

While being lectured in class by world experts in the field of development, SOAS events have also allowed me to hear and meet some of the originators of many of the ideas taught in class! Being at SOAS almost feels like being seated at the forefront of policy debate and this is what I enjoy the most.

Anita Nwachukwu