SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Graduate Diploma in Economics (2018 entry)

Entry requirements

  • Students with a first degree or equivalent, but with no previous qualifications in Economics (or insufficient for direct entry onto any of the MSc degrees offered by the Department of Economics), may be considered for the Graduate Diploma in Economics. A Second Class pass or its equivalent is normally expected. If you are unsure whether your qualifications are at an appropriate level, complete an application form, attach a copy of your transcript, and ensure that your referees send their reports. We will then be able to make a decision regarding the most appropriate course of study for you.

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Q&A
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

This one-year diploma is administered by the Department of Economics and provides students with a solid understanding of the main topics in economics. It is a programme largely at an undergraduate level, designed both as an entry qualification for postgraduate study and as a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate work.

The programme is suitable as a standalone qualification for those wishing to change their career path or develop within their present profession. Alternatively, the Diploma acts as a conversion course for students without previous economics training who wish to take an MSc programme in Economics.

The programme is offered on a full-time basis, over a period of nine months commencing in  early September with a three weeks long pre-sessional. Subsequently, students take four courses: Microeconomic Analysis, Macroeconomic Analysis, Quantitative Techniques in Economics OR Econometrics, and EITHER Issues in Economic Development OR International Economics OR Banking and Finance. Assessment is in the form of written examinations and course work. Completion of the Graduate Diploma at an acceptable level allows students to take one of the MScs in Economics in the following year.

The Graduate Diploma may also be taken on a part-time basis over two years. Students undertaking the programme on that basis must take Microeconomic Analysis and Quantitative Techniques in Economics OR Econometrics in the first year, and take Macroeconomic Analysis and EITHER Issues in Economic Development OR International Economics OR Banking and Finance in the second year. The pre-sessional in September requires full-time attendance.

The entry requirements are normally a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Other relevant experience, including good qualifications in a less relevant subject area may be considered. Applicants can apply using the postgraduate online application form. online application form.

Student Profiles

Loading the player...

Samantha Horn, Graduate Diploma in Economics Student 2014-15

Loading the player...

Yano Moussavi, Graduate Diploma in Economics Student 2014-15

Academic Transcript and Certificate

Academic transcripts will be sent to students in early August and students who have successfully completed all requirements may expect to receive their Diploma certificate in September.

Convenors

Q&A

Introducing the Graduate Diploma in Economics
Hannah Bargawi

Dr. Hannah Bargawi, Senior Lecturer in Economics explains how the Graduate Diploma in Economics can form either a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study, or stand as an intensive programme in Economics in its own right.

What does the programme involve?

The Graduate Diploma in Economics (GDE) is a unique programme at SOAS and is not offered in this format by any other institution in the UK or internationally. It is a one-year full time (or two-year part time) course in Economics that acts either as a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study or as an intensive programme in Economics in its own right.

The GDE has traditionally been a course that prepares students that do not have an Economics undergraduate degree for postgraduate study in Economics in the UK and overseas. It’s an intensive programme and, in the space of a single academic year, students master the major areas of economic theory and technique, condensing a three year Economics undergraduate degree into one year. The GDE provides a solid understanding of the foundations of economics, beginning with a condensed introduction to the fundamental concepts of micro and macroeconomics.

What kind of students will the programme appeal to?

As the GDE falls between undergraduate and postgraduate study it attracts a real diversity of students. It’s a rigorous programme, so students need to be able to devote sufficient time to attending classes and studying in their own time. In previous years, students have included: an engineer with experience of working on complex engineering projects in the Middle East and now wanting to shift direction by completing a Masters in Economics in the longer-term; an experienced fundraiser at Oxfam with a first degree in anthropology, looking to move to a research role within the organisation; a secondary school teacher now contemplating an academic career in Economics with an international development focus.

What facilities are available?

The course is taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials in our central London campus. Students have access to all the facilities of SOAS, including its world-renowned library and the shiny new Senate House campus with its student hub. But more important than the buildings is the general learning environment of the Economics department of SOAS, with its numerous cutting-edge research seminars and events, including those targeted at careers and further study. The range of events really reflects the interests of academics in our department and also feeds into our research-led teaching. Take a look at our department’s events page to get a sense of this: https://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/events/   

What is special about the programme at SOAS?

The GDE tends to be quite small, compared to our larger undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which means students on the programme get to know each other and members of staff in the department well, supporting each other in their learning and often forming strong friendships. As convenor, I really enjoy teaching and interacting with GDE students. I teach Development Economics and am always struck by the array of experience and different backgrounds of GDE students, which really enriches our tutorial discussions. The only downside is that we sometimes have to continue our conversations and debates outside the classroom because we run out of time! Two other things that are unique to SOAS Economics are our pluralistic approach to teaching economics and our global, real-world focus. This means that GDE students are taught standard economic theories and approaches but are also exposed to other approaches and theories, such as feminist, Marxist and institutional approaches. As a quick look at our department’s research interests will reflect (take a look here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/research/)  we also tend to teach Economics with the aide of examples and applications from across the globe, from Brazil and China to Egypt and East Africa.

Can you recommend a good book to read on Economics?

Trying to identify one good book on Economics is difficult, although I’ve just started reading Marianna Mazzucato’s The Value of Everything, which is well worth a read. Two other books, by SOAS graduates! are Tony Norfield’s The City and Arkebe Oqbay’s Made in Africa.

But to really keep up to date with fast-changing debates and topics in Economics, I tend to follow some big (and some less big) names on Twitter. Some insightful contributors that I can recommend are @jomichell @DianeCoyle1859 and @DietzVollrath and of course our own @SOASEconomics

What do students do after completing the diploma?

Given the programme is often used as a bridge to postgraduate study, around three quarters of our students go directly on to study for a Masters degree in Economics, either at SOAS or elsewhere in the UK or internationally. However, some GDE graduates choose to return directly to employment upon graduation, but may shift industry or direction or take on a new role within their organisation. Interestingly many of our best Masters and PhD students at SOAS have started their studies in Economics through the GDE route, so the programme is an integral part of the Department of Economics at SOAS.

 

Structure

The course is offered on a full-time basis, over a period of nine months commencing in early September with a three weeks long pre-sessional. 

Pre-sessional (Preliminary Economic Analysis)

The aim of Preliminary Economic Analysis is to provide a condensed introduction to the fundamental concepts of micro- and macroeconomics. It is designed to give students a rigorous, systematic and comprehensive overview of basic microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Through the introduction and analysis of theoretical concepts, ideas and techniques, it provides the necessary background for students to successfully complete the Diploma courses Microeconomic Analysis and Macroeconomic Analysis.  Please go to Preliminary Economic Analysis for further detail.

Full-time Study

Standard structure for those WITHOUT strong quantitative background (see *)
Core Modules

Students will take the following three core modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Microeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400131 30 Full Year
Macroeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400132 30 Full Year
Quantitative techniques in economics (Dip) 153400116 30 Full Year
Optional Modules

Students will take one of the following three modules

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Issues in Development Economics (Diploma) 153400118 30 Full Year
International Economics (Diploma) 153400117 30 Full Year
Banking and Finance (Diploma) 153400122 30 Full Year
Standard structure for those WITH strong quantitative background (see *)
Core Modules

Students will take the following three core modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Microeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400131 30 Full Year
Macroeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400132 30 Full Year
Econometrics 153400103 30 Full Year
Optional Modules

Students will take one of the following three modules

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Issues in Development Economics (Diploma) 153400118 30 Full Year
International Economics (Diploma) 153400117 30 Full Year
Banking and Finance (Diploma) 153400122 30 Full Year

Part-time Study

The Graduate Diploma may also be taken on a part-time basis over two years.

Standard structure for those WITHOUT strong quantitative background (see *): Year 1
Core Modules

Students will take the following two core modules in their first year:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Microeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400131 30 Full Year
Quantitative techniques in economics (Dip) 153400116 30 Full Year
Standard structure for those WITH strong quantitative background (see *): Year 1
Core Modules

Students will take the following two core modules in their first year:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Microeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400131 30 Full Year
Econometrics 153400103 30 Full Year
Part-time Study: Year 2
Core Modules for all Part-time Students

Students will take the following core module:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Macroeconomic Analysis (Diploma) 153400132 30 Full Year
Optional Modules

Students will take one of the following three modules

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Issues in Development Economics (Diploma) 153400118 30 Full Year
International Economics (Diploma) 153400117 30 Full Year
Banking and Finance (Diploma) 153400122 30 Full Year
*Quantitative Assessment

To be considered having a strong quantitative background students must have:

EITHER

GCSE mathematics grade A or B (or equivalent), plus A-level mathematics grade A or B (or equivalent), plus one full year module of mathematics AND statistics in their undergraduate studies with a mark of 60% or more.

OR

GCSE mathematics grade A or B (or equivalent), plus TWO full year modules of mathematics AND statistics in their undergraduate studies with a mark of 60% or more.

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Our teaching and learning approach is designed to support and encourage students in their own process of self-learning, and to develop their own critical grounds of the economics discipline.

Contact Hours

All full-time Diploma programmes consist of 120 credits over one year, in four modules of 30 credits, taught over 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional/

As a rough guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. In the Department of Economics, most Diploma modules have a two-hour lecture every week, followed up by either a one or two-hour tutorial. Per week this amounts to between 12 and 16 contact hours per week spread over Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 18:00.

More information is on the page for each module.

If you are taking the Diploma on a part-time basis the programme consists of 120 credits over two years (i.e. two modules of 30 credits each per year). Contact hours for part-time study are between six and eight hours per week spread over two to three days (we try hard to limit this to two days but this is partially dependent on timetabling and on the options taken by students). 

Modules

Teaching combines innovative use of audio-visual materials, practical exercises, group discussions and conventional lecturing. Modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Tutorials are sessions in which students are expected to take the lead in discussions and/or present reports or presentations, or solve problem sets and applied exercises in quantitative modules. Assessment of most modules is through a combination of a written examination (in May-June) and coursework throughout the year.

Pre-Sessional Programme

Preliminary Economic Analysis

Our Graduate Diploma programme attracts students with a wide range of backgrounds. Our teaching therefore begins with a three-week preliminary course in Preliminary Economic Analysis.  The aim of Preliminary Economic Analysis is to provide a condensed introduction to the fundamental concepts of micro- and macroeconomics. It is designed to give students a rigorous, systematic and comprehensive overview of basic microeconomic and macroeconomic theory. Through the introduction and analysis of theoretical concepts, ideas and techniques, it provides the necessary background for students to successfully complete the Diploma courses Microeconomic Analysis and Macroeconomic Analysis.  Please go to Preliminary Economic Analysis for further details. This course usually takes place in the last three weeks of September.

Learning Resources

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.
 

Fees and funding

Apply