1. Undergraduate
  2. Postgraduate
  3. Research Degrees
  4. CPD
  5. Short Courses
  1. Development Economics
  2. 2017

MSc Development Economics

This MSc is designed to bridge the gap between economics and development, providing strong training in policy analysis and decision-making in development economics to be applied in both developed and developing countries.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017


Full time: 1 year

Part time 2 years


Full-time: £10,000

Part-time: £5,000 per year


Full-time: £14,000

Part-time: £7,000 per year

Application period

From September 2016

There is no fixed application deadline. However, applications will close when the course is full, so we encourage you to apply early.

Who is it for?

This course is designed for anyone with a quantitative background interested in developing a career as a development economist working for the public or the private sector.

You have the option of studying full-time over the course of one year or part-time over the course of two years.


The aim of this course is to develop your analytical, quantitative and modeling abilities as well as to provide you with the background and theoretical foundations of development economics. The dissertation track also serves as a stepping stone to an Economics PhD.

By the time you graduate, you should be able to

  • Demonstrate knowledge of modern economic theory, at both a micro and a macro level;
  • Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant empirical and theoretical research methodology;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of econometric theory and techniques and how they apply to development;
  • Critically interpret current research in a combination of fields, namely development, behavioural and experimental economics, financial economics, health economics, macroeconomics, regulation and competition.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

You should have some mathematical background (A-level, IB, AP or any other equivalent secondary school qualification) and one of the following:

  • an upper second class degree (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in economics or a related discipline (e.g. finance)
  • an upper second class degree (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in business, management, politics, law, accounting, psychology, quantitative sociology or financial journalism
  • an upper second class degree (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline (such as mathematics, engineering, computer science or a natural science)

Students with a good lower second class degree in one of the above disciplines may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All students must also meet the English language requirement for the programme.

English requirements

If English is not your first language you will need the following qualification:

  • IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 for each sub-test) OR
  • A first degree from a UK university or an overseas institution recognised by City as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia or the USA.

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.

All applicants that require a Tier 4 visa must meet the 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

Don’t meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses. Learn more about INTO’s English for University Study programme.

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 fill out the application online, uploading all relevant documents (application, CV, transcripts, English requirement if necessary and at least one reference). The application is then processed within three weeks.

in the UK for Economics
combination of lectures, class and computer lab sessions

More about fees


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.


The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a number of UK scholarships for this course. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements. Applications are now closed and successful applicants will be notified in May 2017.

Find out more about Scholarships for the Arts and Social Sciences.

Academic views

Professor Saqib Jafarey

Professor Saqib Jafarey talks about City's Development Economics MSc

Academic facilities

You will benefit from City's London location, and our proximity to the centres of decision-making in development economics. (We are six tube stops away from the Department for International Development, for example.)

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

You will be taught on a flexible combination of lectures, class and computer lab sessions. Lectures will be used to introduce key theories, concepts and economic models. In classes you will have the opportunity to solve problems, to run empirical studies, to analyse results of existing studies, to make presentations of research published in academic journals. The computer labs will provide you with the practical experience of using computer software to run regressions to analyse models and policies and perform statistical tests. In addition, econometric methods will be taught in lab sessions, thus you will have the opportunity to apply econometric software to empirical research in development economics. When appropriate "practitioner slots" will be incorporated into module delivery, such as research seminars conducted by external experts in development policies and presentation by invited academics, etc.

Assessments are typically a combination of unseen written examinations (70% for each module) and coursework (30% for each module), but this can vary by module.

The teaching takes place over two terms, from September to June. Full-time students who pass all the taught modules during the main exam sessions finish the programme at the end of September when they submit their dissertation or literature review. Full-time students who successfully complete the taught modules in the August re-sit exam session submit their dissertation or literature review in December.

Part-time students complete their modules over the course of four terms from September to June before undertaking their dissertation or literature review.


Pre-sessional activities covering Micro-and Macroeconomics, Stata, Excel, Probability and Mathematics run in September before the start of term. These are available for all students who secure a place on the MSc Development Economics course. Pre-sessionals are included in your degree fee and are designed to prepare you for the course. We therefore strongly encourage you to make every effort to attend. Dates of the sessions are as follows:

  • Stata – 23rd September 2017
  • Mathematics – 26th September 2017
  • Microeconomics – 27th September 2017
  • Excel – 28th and 29th September 2017
  • Probability – 30th September 2017
  • Macroeconomics – 1st October 2017

Please note that you are not required to register for the above pre-sessionals, you just need to turn up on the day. Further information such as the exact times and locations will be provided in your induction schedule.


You will complete 180 credits.

This includes taught modules worth 120 credits plus 60 credits through either of the below paths.

  • Literature Survey: two extra elective taught modules of 15 credits each and a Literature Survey worth 30 credits
  • Dissertation: a 60 credit Economics Research Project.

Each module typically has a weekly two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial, but this may vary.

Note: It is not possible to give exact hours per week because these can vary from one term to the other, depending on which electives you choose.

Modules for the dissertation path

Core modules

  • The Economics of Micro-Finance (15 credits)
  • Development Economics (15 credits)
  • Microeconomic Theory (30 credits)
  • Econometrics (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules

  • Asset Pricing (15 credits)
  • Macroeconomics (15 credits)

Modules for the literature survey path

Core modules

  • The Economics of Micro-Finance (15 credits)
  • Development Economics (15 credits)
  • Microeconomic Analysis (30 credits)
  • Quantitative Methods (30 credits)
  • Literature Survey (30 credits)

Elective modules

  • Welfare Economics (15 credits)

Elective modules for both paths

  • International Macroeconomics (15 credits)
  • Economics of Regulation and Competition (15 credits)
  • Health Economics (15 credits)
  • History of Economic Thought (15 credits)
  • Corporate Finance (15 credits)
  • Experimental Economics and Game Theory (15 credits)
  • Development and World Politics (15 credits)*
  • Political Economy of Global Finance (15 credits)*
  • The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)*

* Students on the dissertation path can take only 1 of these modules, which are taught in the Department of International Politics. Students on the literature survey path can take up to 2 of these modules.

  • Alumni - Assistant Economist
    The Development Economics MSc at City provided the analytical skills needed to effectively work as an Assistant Economist within government services.
  • Academic expert
    Reader in Economics working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Student
    Through the courses I took, and the work I did, I realised where exactly in the field of development I would like to build my career.

Career prospects

Upon completion of your Masters in Development Economics, you will have the skills to work in consulting firms specialising in development; governmental bodies such as the Department for International Development (DFID); in major international, financial and development institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the United Nations; or in the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), which regularly recruits MSc students for overseas postings.

You may also be offered the opportunity to pursue your academic career by starting a PhD programme in economics, at City, University of London or another institution.

Application Deadline

You will be expected to fill out the application online, uploading all relevant documents (application, CV, transcripts, English requirement if necessary and at least one reference). The application is then processed within three weeks.

Contact details

Request a prospectus

Find out more about City and all our postgraduate degree programmes.

Get your prospectus

Find us

City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

Back to top

City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.