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  1. Behavioural Economics
    1. 2018
Courses

MSc Behavioural Economics

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Behavioural economics applies psychological insights into human behaviour to explain how real people make economic decisions.

Key Information

Start date

September 2018

Duration

Full-time: one year

Part-time: two years

UK/EU

Full-time: £14,500

Part-time: £7,250 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £19,500

Part-time: £9,850 per year

Application period

From October 2017

There is no fixed application deadline. Applications will close when the course is full, so you are encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment.

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for recent graduates in economics, psychology and related social science or quantitative disciplines who are looking to develop a career in the fast-paced world of behavioural economics, either in the public or private sector.

As the course is offered in full-time and part-time modes, it is also suited to professionals who want to enhance their theoretical knowledge and practical skills and would benefit from an academic environment.

Objectives

Behavioural economics applies psychological insights into human behaviour to investigate how people make economic decisions under various conditions of constraint (e.g. time and knowledge) and influence (e.g. social pressure). This is an important field in modern economics, and the social sciences more generally.

Commercial organisations have long known the limitations of individual decision making and they routinely use this knowledge in their commercial practices (e.g. anchoring effect of minimum payment on credit cards). The practical implications of behavioural economics are varied and significant, and acknowledged to provide a powerful and cost-effective approach to improving human welfare.

The Behavioural Economics MSc will develop your skills and knowledge to prepare you for a wide variety of roles in the private or public sector that require a solid understanding of human behaviour.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

At least an upper second class degree in Psychology, Economics or a related discipline (or equivalent in terms of professional qualifications). An equivalent qualification from an overseas university is acceptable. Selection is by application form, personal statement and references. It is not a prerequisite to have a background in Economics or Psychology.

English requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of English proficiency. We only accept the following English language qualifications:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by City as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Ireland or the USA.
  • GCE O-level/GCSE English Language or English Literature, grade C minimum
  • IELTS - 7 or above in each section
  • Pearson test with a score of at least 67 in each area.

All applicants that require a Tier 4 visa must meet the course requirements and minimum Home Office English Language ability requirements before City can issue the Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS) that is needed to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

INTO English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, INTO City, University of London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Please click the links below for more information:

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

You will be expected to provide:

  • A short personal statement (c800-1200 words) outlining why you are applying for this programme
  • A copy of your degree transcript: We require one of the following: an original transcript; a copy certified by your university; an electronic scan of your transcript; or a provisional copy of your transcript including all marks received to date. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your final degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.

We do not require you to submit any references with your applications, however we may request one at a later date.

If you require assistance regarding your application or have any queries then please contact:

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom
T: +44(0)20 7040 0249
E: SASS-enquiries@city.ac.uk

Unique
The only MSc of its kind in central London.
Balanced
across both Psychology and Economics departments.
Speakers
include eminent individuals from the world of business, government and academia.

More about fees

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Academic views

Professor Peter Ayton

Professor Peter Ayton talks about City’s Behavioural Economics MSc

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Teaching and learning

The modules are taught by lecturers from the economics and psychology department with research interests in behavioural economics.

In each module you will receive typically 30 hours of face-to-face contact, supported by online resources (e.g., videos and advanced readings provided on the learning platform Moodle) for your self-directed study. You will be required to take responsibility for your own learning and to take advantage of the learning opportunities offered (e.g., invited speakers programme and online resources). The learning and teaching strategies for each module will expose you to a range of methods, comprising: lectures, guest lectures, seminars, group work, workshops, small group discussions, tutorials, reflective reports and research project supervision.

Assessment

In order to assess your full range of learning, you will complete reflective reports, essays, examinations, interpretation of statistical analyses, formal research proposals and a research dissertation. Most individual modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. In addition, you will be directed to independent study and receive detailed feedback on your coursework as an aid to your further learning. These different forms of assessment have the aim of assessing your knowledge, skills and appreciation in different areas of behavioural economics (e.g., theoretical knowledge and applied aspects of behavioural techniques).

Modules

Full-time students take four modules in each of the first two terms, followed by a written research dissertation in the third term.

Most of the modules are structured as a combination of two-hour lectures (to present information) and one-hour seminars or clinics (to understand and assimilate lecture material) or lab sessions. Teaching and learning is enhanced by technology-supported resources, and teaching staff are available for one-to-one interaction and feedback.

It is expected that full-time students will spend about three hours in lectures/seminars plus self-directed, independent study hours for each module per week. You should also expect to attend seminars given by invited speakers and seminars on dissertation writing (about one to two hours per week).

Your workload might vary from week to week.

Term 1

  • Principles of Economics
  • Cognitive and Economic Science of Rational Choice
  • Psychological Processes: Individual and Social
  • Behavioural Research Methods: Design and Analysis

Term 2

  • Experimental Economics and Game Theory
  • Fundamentals of Cognitive Science
  • Applied Econometric and Psychological Research Methods
  • Professional Aspects of Behavioural Economics

Term 3

Research Dissertation

Students with a strong background in Economics may substitute 'Principles of Economics' with a microeconomics module from one of the MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics. You may also substitute an appropriate elective from one of the MSc modules offered by the Department of Economics for 'Professional Aspects of Behavioural Economics' - this will allow a pathway through the programme that is focused on theoretical and research economic themes.

  • Academic expert
    Associate Dean Research & Deputy Dean Social Sciences working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Professor of Psychology working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Reader in Behavioural Economics working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Lecturer in Behavioural Economics working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Professor in Psychology working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer in Psychology working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Lecturer in Behavioural Economics working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

Career prospects

Whilst there is not yet a specific occupation of 'behavioural economist', the knowledge and skills acquired are highly valuable in a range of sectors:

  • Economic consultants undertaking marketing activities
  • Health economics consultants developing sales/markets for products (from branded medicines to health insurance schemes)
  • Public policy specialist who advises on the choice architecture of decision making (e.g., transport decisions)
  • Political campaigns and public relations more generally
  • General marketing, sales and consumer psychology (preferences, sensitivity to incentives, and default behaviour)
  • Brand awareness consultancies
  • Financial trading and risk assessment
  • Internet auction companies
  • Design consultancies (e.g. websites)
  • In large international institutions, e.g. World Bank, EBRD, Central Banks etc.

City’s Behavioural Economics postgraduate course would be especially valuable for professionals who already work in occupations which involve the need to understand the scientific dynamics of human decision making and behaviour (e.g., financial traders who require the right psychological attitude as much as appropriate strategy knowledge).

Application Deadline


You will be expected to provide:

  • A short personal statement (c800-1200 words) outlining why you are applying for this programme
  • A copy of your degree transcript: We require one of the following: an original transcript; a copy certified by your university; an electronic scan of your transcript; or a provisional copy of your transcript including all marks received to date. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your final degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.

We do not require you to submit any references with your applications, however we may request one at a later date.

If you require assistance regarding your application or have any queries then please contact:

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom
T: +44(0)20 7040 0249
E: SASS-enquiries@city.ac.uk

Contact details

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