SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

MA Economic Policy (2020 entry)

MA Economic Policy

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning


The programme offers training in the understanding and critical evaluation of economic policy issues, design and solutions, their foundation in the evolution of economic theory and methods, as well as critical discussion of the application of policy design to real-world problems without requiring a first degree in Economics for enrolment. It offers distinct core modules that enables students to engage with debates in Economic theory and policy in advanced as well as developing regions. It also provides a programme structure that develop qualitative and quantitative research capabilities.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Who is this programme for?:

Anyone with a strong interest and need in gaining a thorough academic foundation in, and understanding of, current developments in the area of economics and economic policies. Such professionals (whether working in the public, private or NGO sectors of society) place high value on obtaining degrees based in economics departments and require a programme designed to take them up a steep learning curve that also remains oriented towards their primary focus on understanding current issues in economic policy.

This programme can be attractive to graduate students from other disciplinary backgrounds wishing to further their understanding of economic policy issues and debates through systematic academic study.

Why is the SOAS MA Economic Policy unique?

  • Masters degree in Economics open to those WITHOUT a first degree in Economics. Replaces the need to take an additional Economics bridging degree, such as a Graduate Diploma in Economics.

  • A combination of economic theory and global policy application, taught in small classes (one of the best student-staff ratios in the UK – 11.3:1).

  • Develop and apply quantitative and qualitative research skills through a variety of inclusive teaching and learning methods, from team-based assessments to Pecha-Kucha presentations. See some recent work we have been doing around inclusive assessment at Advance HE.

  • First-class teaching in the heart of London with access to events and libraries across the University of London (see our latest Economics departments events).

  • #33 in the World - THE University Impact Rankings 2019: Decent work and economic growth*.

  • Opportunity to plan and undertake your own research project in economics or economic policy under close supervision from SOAS academics.

  • Join a close-knit SOAS Economics community with strong links with our alumni, across economics policy, research and private sectors internationally, from Accenture in Abuja to the OECD in Paris. Through targeted alumni networking and careers events we will help you to plan your next career move, whether in the UK or internationally.

*Measures universities’ economics research, their employment practices and the share of students taking work placements.

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

One calendar year (full-time); two years (part-time, daytime only); three years (part-time, daytime only).



Masters programmes (with the exception of two-year full-time MAs) consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS) such as reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. Also included is class time, for example lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects may have more class time than others – a typical example of this are language acquisition modules.

At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information can be found on individual module pages.


Module Code Credits Term
Research Project in Economic Policy 15PECC987 60 Full Year

Taught Component

Core Modules

All students will take the following five core modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Debates in Economic Theory 15PECH033 15 Term 1
Global Economic Policy Analysis 15PECC063 15 Term 2
Introductory Statistics 15PECH032 15 Term 1
Statistical Research Techniques 15PECC039 15 Term 2
Research Methods 15PECC040 15 Term 1


All students will take modules to the value of 45 credits from the list of options below:

List of Modules (subject to availability)

Module availability in any given academic year will be communicated via the website.

Module Code Credits Term
Political Economy of Development and Change in the Middle East 15PECC028 15 Term 1
Economic development in the Asia Pacific region 15PECC030 15 Term 2
China and World Development 15PECH023 15 Term 2
Gender Economics (PG) 15PECH026 15 Term 1
Green Finance 15PECH030 15 Term 2
Political Economy of Institutions 15PECC020 15 Term 1
Economic development of Africa (PG) 15PECH034 15 Term 2


Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

The MA Economic Policy consists of six core modules and one optional modules, each worth 15 credits. Two of the core modules cover economic theory and analysis, one of the core modules covers research methods, while the two other core modules give training in statistics.  In addition, the MA Research Project in Economic policy accounts for 60 credits.

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

The MA is taught over a period of twelve months of full-time study withing a structured programme. In case of part-time study, the degree will be taught over two or three years. 

For a two year study, four modules are studied each year, with the dissertation normally being completed in the second year, while the number of modules taken is decided in consultation with the programme convenor for a three year study.

Contact Hours

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation/research project of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. In the Department of Economics, most postgraduate modules have a two hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information is on the page for each module


Most courses involve a 2-hour lecture as a key component with linked seminar or tutorial classes.


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.

Research Project

Students are required to complete an 10,000-word research project relating to economics or economic policy. 

Find out more