- 2 - 5 years
Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)
MSc in Agricultural Economics
Distance Learning Programme
2017 Entry requirements
- A good degree in an appropriate discipline acceptable to the University 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: February / May
Mode of Attendance: Distance Learning
This course 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.
For the MSc in Agricultural Economics students will take:
- 4 core modules
- 3 elective modules*
- 2 research modules
* 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
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.
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.
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|
|Maximum registration period||5 years||5 years||5 years|
Below is a recommended progression pathway for those intending to complete an MSc in three years:
(February / May)
(February / May)
|Modules||3 x core modules||1 x core module
1 x elective 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).
You can begin your studies in either February or May. The examinations for all students are in late September or early October. The study periods are 30 weeks for students starting in February and 15 weeks for those starting in May.
For the 30 week study period starting in February, you will need to allocate 5 hours of study time per module, per week. For students starting their studies in May with the shorter 15 week session, 10 hours per module, per week is recommended.
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 (excluding London) are the responsibility of the student.
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.
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
How to Apply
Not ready to apply? Take a look at our guides on applying below:
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.