This unique MSc is designed for students whose first degree was only partially in economics or who have already studied a lot of economics and want to do an MSc that enables them to do a wider range of options. Instead of the usual compulsory courses in micro, macro and econometrics (they are still available as options), this MSc has compulsory courses in institutional economics, development economics, research methods and statistical techniques.
Students will benefit from our unique pluralist approach to economics, covering both conventional as well critical and institutionalist economics paradigms, and our range of regional modules covering different developing and emerging regions in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. We believe economists have to be confident in their use of competing methodological approaches to participate in global policy debates. You will leave with a knowledge base that is essential for further work in development policy, business and finance and research work in political economy at the global level.
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
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- 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.
- 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 course of study.
Students registered for this MSc must take all the core courses listed below.
All students will take the following four core modules:
All students will take modules to the value of 60 credits from list of options (below)
List of Modules (subject to availability)
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 & LearningThe MSc includes eight taught modules plus a preliminary module 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.
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 a 10,000-word dissertation in applied economics.
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 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 modules 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. Further details on the Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics Course.
A postgraduate degree in Political Economy of Development 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. Graduates will develop their regional expertise as well as an advanced understanding of issues of development in their political and economic context. 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 Political Economy of Development 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.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
SOAS is a place that accepts everyone for who they are, and where your individual talents are encouraged to shine. I do not regret my hesitant decision to come to SOAS, and hopefully, neither will you.