SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

MSc Economics and Environment (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Testimonial
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


Overview and entry requirements

MSc in Economics and Environment programme combines environmental concerns with development economics and political economy. It draws on the specific strengths of SOAS, namely expertise in development economics, multi-disciplinary environmental focus, and area specialisations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The MSc in Economics and Environment provides a unique specialisation in one of the most rapidly developing areas of economics. The effects of development on the environment and access to resources is one of the most challenging fields that has grown over the past decades and is now one of the key areas of study.

At SOAS, we understand the environment in a broad sense and the scope of courses offered includes various areas such as natural resources, agriculture, economic development, finance, and regionally - specialised courses.

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

Why study MSc Economics and Environment at SOAS

  • we are 12th in UK for course satisfaction Guardian League Tables 2021 and 5th in London Complete University Guide 2021
  • it provides rigorous training in both mainstream and heterodox economics
  • it makes explicit links between economic theories and the real world, using pluralist and political economy perspectives
  • it provides economic knowledge for specific regions, drawing on the rich regional expertise of SOAS
  • contemporary topics (like environmental policies and the gendered effects of monetary and fiscal policies) are incorporated in the core modules of the programme; they are not just taught in optional modules
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Q&A video with Risa Morimoto, convenor of the MSc Economics and Environment


Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2: ii (or international equivalent) or higher in Economics. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references. All students must complete the Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics module which is taught over three weeks in August/September.

Featured events

One calendar year (full-time) Two or 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 ccourse of study.



Ngao Mubanga graduated in MSc Economics with reference to Environment and Development (now renamed MSc Economics and Environment) in 2015. She now works as an Economist for the World Bank in Zambia.

ECO - PG - 2105 - Ngao Mubanga - MSc Economics with reference to Environment and Development

“I really enjoyed the broad range of modules within my course, which have enriched my perspective of different areas in my field. The interactive and practical elements of the lectures stimulate a broad evaluation of the issues beyond the headlines, which has helped develop my communication and critical thinking skills.”

Why did you choose to study in the UK?

My desire to study in the UK was driven by a strong yearning to learn varying perspectives and interact with well-respected and established scholars and academics.

Why did you want to study a postgraduate course?

I always wanted to advance my education with a Master’s degree. The MSc in Economics with reference to Environment and Development has enabled me to better understand linkages between environment, poverty and population, as well as the importance of natural resources in economic growth.

Why did you choose SOAS and your course?

I specifically chose SOAS for its diversity in both students and academic staff. The programme offered by SOAS provides a unique specialisation in one of the most rapidly developing areas of environmental economics with a focus on climate change, making it distinct to other degree programmes offered in other universities. This perfectly suited me for my career in development.

How important was the School’s reputation in helping you decide to come here?

The School’s international reputation for academic excellence and its cosmopolitan community of students was a motivating factor for me to decide to study at SOAS.

What did you most enjoy about your course?

What I enjoyed most in the course was that the modules offered a rich exploration of the historical context of different countries’ economic policy, and allowed a rich exploration of the south-south knowledge exchange. SOAS is a place that inspires and challenge you to think more broadly, to pick up a newspaper and see past the headlines, to actually care about the world around you, and not be scared to talk about it.

What did you like most about studying in London?

London is a fluid community where nobody would think to distinguish a student from anyone else. I felt at home except for the ‘terrible’ weather compared to my sunny and warm country Zambia!

What are you doing now?

After my Master’s, I returned to Zambia and, within my first month back home, I got an opportunity to join the World Bank in Zambia as a consultant on a BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) project. I have since been working for the World Bank as a consultant for the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice in Zambia. The skills and technical knowledge I acquired from my Master’s degree gave me a great head start in this role and I have relied on that experience in my work.

How did your time at SOAS help your career development?

I really enjoyed my time at SOAS and gaining my Master’s in Economics with reference to Environment and Development has enriched my knowledge in environmental and development economics. It provided me the exposure to modules in economic policy, theory and history of not only African economies but also the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. With this I have joined a group of development practitioners that provide solutions for development with a rich respect and understanding of the historical and social-economic context prevailing in the respective countries.



The MSc Economics and Environment consists of 120 taught credits delivered through lectures, classes, and tutorials and a 10,000-word dissertation (60 credits) as outlined below.

The degree is awarded on the basis of coursework, examinations written in May/June, and a dissertation which is submitted in September.The following is a complete list of modules in the programme, not all of which are offered in any single year. Please note that some modules may be taught in other departments of the School.


Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation for MSc Economics and Environment 15PECC993 60 Full Year

Taught Component

Core Modules

All students will take the following four core modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Macroeconomics 15PECC005 15 Term 1
Microeconomics 15PECC006 15 Term 1
Econometrics 15PECC008 15 Term 1
Economics of Environment and Development 15PECC048 15 Term 1
Compulsory Module

All students will take either Advanced Econometrics A or Advanced Econometrics B.

Module Code Credits Term
Advanced Econometrics 15PECC045 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term
Advanced Microeconometrics 15PECC051 15 Term 2
Guided Options

All students will take modules to the value of 45 credits from the list of options (below).


Taught Component for students with a strong background in Econometrics

For students with a strong background in Econometrics, the following alternative combination of modules is available; this allows them to take both Advanced Econometrics A and Advanced Econometrics B without having to complete Econometrics first:

Core Modules

All students will take the following five core modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Macroeconomics 15PECC005 15 Term 1
Microeconomics 15PECC006 15 Term 1
Advanced Econometrics 15PECC045 15 Term 2
Advanced Microeconometrics 15PECC051 15 Term 2
Economics of Environment and Development 15PECC048 15 Term 1
Guided Options

All students will take modules to the value of 45 credits from the list of options (below).

Module Code Credits Term
Essay Writing Workshop - Postgraduate Economics 15PECH031 0 Term 1

List of Modules (subject to availability)

Note: Advanced Econometrics A / Advanced Econometrics B can only be chosen as an option if is has not already been taken as a core module.

Module Code Credits Term
Advanced Econometrics 15PECC045 15 Term 2
Political Economy of Development and Change in the Middle East 15PECC028 15 Term 1
China and World Development 15PECH023 15 Term 1
Economic development in the Asia Pacific region 15PECC030 15 Term 2
Financial Systems and Economic Development 15PECC036 15 Term 1
Gender Economics (PG) 15PECH026 15 Term 1
Global Economic Policy Analysis 15PECC063 15 Term 2
Green Finance 15PECH030 15 Term 2
Growth and Development 15PECC007 15 Term 2
International Finance 15PECC019 15 Term 1
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
Political Economy of Institutions 15PECC020 15 Term 1
Water and Development: Commodification, Ecology and Globalisation (Development Studies) 15PDSH049 15 Term 2
Advanced Microeconomics 15PECH021 15 Term 2
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 15 Term 2
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
Economic development of Africa (PG) 15PECH034 15 Term 2
Research Methods 15PECC040 15 Term 1


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 MSc includes eight taught modules plus a preliminary course in Mathematics and Statistics and an 10,000-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.

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 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 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 10,000-word dissertation in applied economics.

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.

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 econometrics 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 econometrics 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 econometrics 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.



Economics graduates leave SOAS with a solid grounding in statistical skills and an ability to think laterally, take a global perspective, and employ critical reasoning.

Recent graduates from the Department of Economics have been hired by:

  • Deloitte
  • NHS England
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • HSBC
  • National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi
  • University of Bayreuth
  • HM Treasury
  • Department for International Development
  • PwC
  • UNDP
  • King’s Investment Fund
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • The World Bank
  • EY
  • British Chamber of Commerce

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A Student's Perspective

Highly regarded as one of the best educational institutions in the world, SOAS offers world class regional modules in economics and politics in the region of Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Yousef Mahmoud

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