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.
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.
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.
If you are applying with an overseas degree, the following is an indication of international equivalents of an upper second class degree from a UK institution. Please note these figures are intended as a guide only and individual applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.
If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of English proficiency. We only accept the following English language qualifications:
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.
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:
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:
For more information see our main Visa page.
Applications for 2020 are now open.
You will be expected to provide:
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
T: +44(0)20 7040 0249
Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).
Professor Peter Ayton
Professor Peter Ayton talks about City’s Behavioural Economics MSc
We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.
Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.
Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.
We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.
The modules are taught by lecturers from the economics and psychology department with research interests in behavioural economics such as the decision making and behavioural research group, and the behavioural economics research group.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.
Whilst there is not yet a specific occupation of 'behavioural economist', the knowledge and skills acquired are highly valuable in a range of sectors:
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).