SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

MSc Development Economics

One calendar year (full-time) Two years(part-time, daytime only) 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.

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. This is a Band 3 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Economics

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

All the courses offered by the Department of Economics approach the subject matter from a development perspective. Students on the MSc Development Economics will complete courses on macro, micro, quantitative methods and growth. In addition, students must take three optional courses and complete a dissertation in an area of applied economics.
The objectives of the programme are:

  • To enable students to apply the principles of economic analysis to the design of economic policy
  • To teach postgraduates the technical and analytical skills to qualify them to practice as professional economists
  • To enable practicing professional economists to improve and update their skills and knowledge
  • To impart the skills and knowledge that enable students to progress towards PhD research

Students will benefit from studying with experts in development economics within the Department. More broadly, students will benefit from the Department's Political Economy of Development seminar series and other open lectures offered in the School.

All students are required to complete the compulsory preliminary course in Mathematics and Statistics (including Computing) to begin studying on this programme. This course is taught over a three week period from the beginning of September covering mathematics, statistics and computing. For further information about this course including a timetable please see here: Preliminary maths and Statistics Course

Student Profile

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Kshiti Gala, MSc in Development Economics Student 2015-16



The MSc Development Economics is a taught Masters degree, taught within a structures programme being obtained mainly by research and dissertation. It consists of eight course modules delivered through lectures, classes, and tutorials and an 8,000-word dissertation. The degree is awarded on the basis of examinations written in May and a dissertation which is submitted in September. All students must complete and pass the Basic Mathematics and Statistics course which is taught over three weeks in August/ September before the start of the core courses of the MSc.

The structure of the modules for this programme is similar to the MSc Economics with reference to a certain area courses except that students have three modules for their options. A complete list of courses in the programme is listed below, not all of which are offered in any single year. Please note that some courses may be taught in other departments of the School. CORE All students need to choose eight courses from the list below. A 8,000-word dissertation on an approved topic is compulsory and is in addition to the taught courses. The structure is as follows:

Core Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Macroeconomics 15PECC005 15 Term 1
Microeconomics 15PECC006 15 Term 1
Growth and Development 15PECC007 15 Term 1
Econometrics 15PECC008 15 Term 1
Dissertation for MSc Development Economics 15PECC995 60 Full Year
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Advanced Econometrics A 15PECC045 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Advanced Econometrics B 15PECC051 15 Term 2
AND any THREE of the following:

Choose from the optional modules listed below, students cannot choose two regional options from the same region. If Advanced Econometrics A or Advanced Econometrics B is not taken as a core module, Advanced Econometrics A or Advanced Econometrics B can be taken as an optional module.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
African economies 1: applied microeconomic analysis 15PECC024 15 Term 1
African economies 2: applied macroeconomic analysis 15PECC025 15 Term 2
Applied economics of the Middle East 1 15PECC028 15 Term 2
Applied economics of the Middle East 2 15PECC029 15 Term 1
Economic development of South Asia a) the macroeconomy 15PECC026 15 Term 1
Economic development of South Asia b) major sectors & the internationa 15PECC027 15 Term 2
Economic development of the Asia Pacific region 1 15PECC030 15 Term 1
Economic development of the Asia Pacific region 2 15PECC031 15 Term 2
Advanced Econometrics A 15PECC045 15 Term 2
Advanced Econometrics B 15PECC051 15 Term 2
China's Economic Transformation 15PECH024 15 Term 1
China and World Development 15PECH023 15 Term 2
Economic Development of Japan 15PECH025 15 Term 1
Economics of environment and development 15PECC048 15 Term 2
Financial systems and economic development 15PECC036 15 Term 1
Gender Economics 15PECH026 15 Term 1
Global Production and Industrial Policy 15PECH027 15 Term 1
Global Economic Policy Analysis 15PECC063 15 Term 1
History of Economic Analysis 15PECH006 15 Term 1
International Trade and Investment 15PECC018 15 Term 1
International Finance 15PECC019 15 Term 2
Institutions and Governance 15PECC064 15 Term 2
Marxist political economy and world development 15PECC047 15 Term 2
Political Economy of Agriculture and Food 15PECC049 15 Term 2
Political Economy of Institutions 15PECC020 15 Term 2
Theory of financial institutions & policy 15PECC021 15 Term 2


This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification


Teaching and 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.


Most modules 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.


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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 3 tuition fee.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
£10,995 £18,790 £5,498 £9,395 £3,665 £6,263
Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


A postgraduate degree in Development Economics 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. 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 Development Economics have followed successful 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.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

African Development Bank
Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Department For Communities And Local Government
Department for International Development
Department of Foreign Affairs
Emerging Markets Direct
European Commission
Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Ghana Education Service
Government of Pakistan
HM Treasury
Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE)
International Climate Change Economics
Ministry of East African Community Affairs
National Bank of Bahrain
Overseas Development Institute
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
The National Economics University
United Nations Development Programme
World Bank

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Development Economist
Broadcast Journalist
Fair Trade Producer Support Manager
Latin America Country Risk Analyst
Economic Adviser
Senior Policy Officer
Deputy Commissioner
Research Fellow
Advocacy Officer
Consultant - Development Sector Practice
Senior Policy Economist
ODI Fellow
Research Officer
Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist
Operations Manager
Web Writer & Founder

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

A Student's Perspective

SOAS is a unique British university, as it adopts a global view, but specialises in Asia, Africa and the Middle East: something it is very good at. This is evident in the passion and expertise of the teachers, the interests of the students and the many colourful exhibitions and cultural events regularly hosted here.

Nunons Tagoe-Borllons


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