- MSc/PGDip min. 2 years / PGCert min. 1 year
Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)
MSc/PGDip/PGCert in Agricultural Economics
Online and Distance Learning Programme
2018 Entry requirements
- A good first degree in an appropriate subject area, as accepted by the University of London, and a high level of English language ability in reading and writing and in study skills.
- Teaching and Learning
- Fees and funding
Start of programme: This programme is now closed to new applicants
Mode of Attendance: Distance Learning
This programme provides students with the essential tools required for theoretical and empirical economic analysis, particularly in relation to the renewable natural resources sector. It aims to equip students with the rigorous technical skills that are generic to the field of agricultural economics, while maintaining a focus on applications rather than abstract analysis. Students are able to take modules orientated towards development, production, marketing, policy, and economic transition. The course is designed for those who wish to pursue a career as an agricultural economist or to undertake higher studies within this area.
The programme will facilitate the development of:
- an extended knowledge of contemporary economic theory
- the skills to analyse problems concerning choice and resource allocation on national and international markets
- the ability to access and synthesise the relevant economic literature to undertake further research or study in the field of agricultural economics
- the skills to communicate the results of economic analysis to interested parties
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7898 4050
Agricultural Economics is available as a Master of Science, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate. The table below outlines the programme structure of each level.
* including one free choice from across all programmes (subject to approval on the Programme Convenor)
- either Economic Principles or Economics and Institutions for Development [the chosen module must be taken in the first year]
- Agricultural Policy and Trade
- Food Security and Social Protection
- Political Economy of Public Policy
- Applied Econometrics
- Climate Change and Development
- Natural Resource Economics
- Project Planning and Management
- Rural Development (this module will run until 2018)
- Rural Finance (this module will run until 2018)
- Sustainable Land Management (this module will run until 2018)
- Understanding Poverty (subject to approval by the Programme Convenor)
- Water Resources Management
- One module selected from another programme, with the approval of the Programme Convenor
Research component (MSc only)
Strengthening quantitative skills
It is recommended that students whose basic quantitative analysis skills are weak should also take a non-examined module:Quantitative methods (CF04) at or near the start of their studies. Study materials may be obtained from CeDEP’s online learning environment.
Individual Professional Award students are registered for two years, programmes can be upgraded to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc. The registration will then be extended by five years.
Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc Students are registered for a maximum of five years, as per the University of London International Programme Regulations. If a student upgrades from a PG Certificate to PG Diploma or PG Diploma to MSc the five year registration period will apply from the date the students commences study on the first programmes.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching & Learning
All CeDEP programmes are taught to Master’s (Second Cycle) level, which involves building upon existing knowledge and understanding typically associated with the Bachelor’s (First Cycle) level or its equivalent. Study at Master’s level requires:
- originality in developing and/or applying ideas, and extending or enhancing previous learning
- application of knowledge and understanding, including problem solving in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts
- integration of knowledge and handling of complexity
- formulating judgements with incomplete or limited information, including reflection on social and ethical responsibilities
- clear and unambiguous communication of conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
- learning skills to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.
Prospective students should note that distance education of this kind demands a high degree of commitment, determination and self-discipline. Whilst CeDEP provides significant support through the tutorial system and by other means, students taking on programmes of this nature should possess a strong measure of self-reliance.
How long will it take?
For students in full time employment, the MSc and Postgraduate Diploma usually take three or four years to complete and the Certificate 2 years.
Master of Science (MSc)
|Postgraduate Diploma||Postgraduate Certificate|
|Minimum registration period||2 years||2 years||1 years|
|Minimum registration period||5 years||5 years||5 years|
Below is a recommended progression pathway for those intending to complete an MSc in three years:
|1st Year||2nd Year||2nd Year
|3 x core modules||
1 x core module
|Dissertation||2 x elective modules|
Students wishing to register for more than three modules in their first year should satisfy their academic programme convenor that their personal circumstances will allow sufficient study time for this on a weekly basis (e.g. those students not in employment or in part-time employment).
When can I study?
You can begin your studies in February. The examinations for all students are in late September or early October. The study periods are 30 weeks for students starting in February.
How many hours a week?
You will need to allocate 5 hours of study time per module, per week.
How you will be assessed
The final assessment for each module is a two-hour unseen examination held on a specific date in late September or early October. This exam is worth 80% of your total module mark.
The remaining 20% of your mark is determined by an Examined Assignment. This assignment is submitted during the study year and marked by your tutor. Assignments are submitted to CeDEP electronically via the virtual learning environment.
Examinations are held in students’ countries of residence, using the University of London’s network of approved Overseas Examination Authorities. Fees for taking examinations are the responsibility of the student.
Assessment of the Research Component
The Research Component comprises two modules:
- Research Methods, and
Research Methods is assessed through two examined assignments (each worth 50% of the module mark) submitted during the study year.
The Dissertation is assessed through a proposal (worth 20% of the module mark) submitted in February, followed by a 10,000 word dissertation (worth 80% of the module mark) submitted in September.
In order to qualify for an MSc, it is mandatory for CeDEP students to pass the Research Component.
The Dissertation is usually carried out during the final year of registration, once all core modules and the Research Methods module are complete.
The Research Methods module provides skills and techniques which will assist with the subsequent development and conduct of your research and preparation of your Dissertation. Research Methods can only be studied in the February study session. Therefore, if you are intending to complete your MSc in two years, you must register for Research Methods alongside your core modules in February of your first year.
You can apply to study the Dissertation once
- you have completed all your core modules and Research Methods, or
- you have submitted all the relevant assignments and exams, and are awaiting results.
You will be required to submit a short topic form, outlining your initial ideas for your Dissertation research, when you make your application.
The Dissertation involves conducting desk or field-based research in a relevant topic of their choice. All research topics are subject to approval and each student is assigned a personal supervisor. The period between November and February is used for background reading and preparation of the assessed proposal, after which the main research work takes place.
Fees and funding
Pay as you Learn
Our distance learning programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you only pay for the module you are enrolling on.
If you have been a resident in England for 3 years you may be eligible. Click here to learn more.
Alternatively, we recommend students approach their local British Council, British High Commission or British Embassy, for information on local funding.
Dependent on nationality, employment circumstances and other factors, funding and sponsorship sources can include:
- United Nations (UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, UNEP etc)
- Bilateral Aid Agencies (SIDA, GTZ, etc)
- European Union
- British Council
- UK Department for International Development / Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- Educational and other charitable trusts
Career prospects for graduates
Typically, graduates of this programme will find work as applied economists in the following fields:
- government ministries undertaking work in agricultural policy analysis
- public and private sector companies involved in upstream and downstream agricultural industries
- international and non-governmental organisations concerned with the economic analysis of agricultural sector issues
- applied research and teaching in institutions of research and higher education
A Student's Perspective
Caroline Makasa, Zambia
When I discovered the MSc course in Sustainable Development on the internet I was thrilled because I could study part-time and work, all at the same time. The fact that the degree can be studied over a five year period is excellent especially as I have a very busy schedule.
Find out more
- By phone:
- +44 (0)20 7898 4098
- By email:
Got a question?
If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.
CeDEP distance learning applications should be made through our online application form.