Overview and entry requirements
The unique MSc Political Economy of Development 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.
If you want to benefit from pluralist theoretical training in institutional economics and development economics, are interested in understanding how inequalities, corruption and climate change affect economic development, and want to apply policies to real world economic issues in the Global South, the MSc in Political Economy of Development is ideal for you.
See Department of Economics
Why study MSc Political Economy of Development 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
The SOAS MSc in Political Economy of Development and the pluralist approach to real world economic and development issues will prepare students to work in international organisations, government, business and finance, and NGOs. The research training in political economy and economics also serves as an excellent foundation for PhD studies.
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
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.
Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics course
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.
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:
- NHS England
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi
- University of Bayreuth
- HM Treasury
- Department for International Development
- King’s Investment Fund
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- The World Bank
- British Chamber of Commerce
- Department For Communities And Local Government
- European Commission
- Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
- Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE)
- International Climate Change Economics
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A Student's Perspective
Tamara Bah, American University, Washington
Before I came to SOAS, I knew that my grade would depend on either one or two large assignments and I was apprehensive about that—almost scared, however I am glad as I got to learn a lot about myself as a student. I became more independent academically and got to see what I can really accomplished without teachers “coddling” me along the way. Extremely refreshing!