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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2021
Study at City

MSc Development Economics

Entry Year:
Bridge the gap between economics and development, and learn how to apply economic and quantitative analysis to solve problems that face policy-making and decision-making in developed and developing countries.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates


Full time: 1 year

Part time 2 years


Full-time: £10,610

Part-time: £5,305 per year


Full-time: £15,920

Part-time: £7,960 per year


Full-time: £15,920

Part-time: £7,960 per year

Application period

From September 2020

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


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

Want to develop a rewarding career as a development economist in the public or private sector? This course will appeal to you if you have a quantitative background. You will develop your understanding of the key issues in economic development, and explore the economic theory and statistical tools you need to analyse policies and assess their impact on economic and human development.

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


The Development Economics MSc will help you:

  • Develop your analytical, quantitative and modelling abilities
  • Develop your knowledge of modern economic theory, at both a micro and macro level
  • Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant empirical and theoretical research methodology
  • Develop your 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.

Should you wish to pursue further study, the dissertation track can also serve as a stepping stone to an Economics PhD.

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 an upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in one of the following:

  • Economics or a related discipline (e.g. finance)
  • Business, Management, Politics, Law, Accounting, Psychology, Quantitative Sociology or Financial Journalism
  • 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.

You must also meet the English language requirement for the programme.

International Equivalences

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.

  • China: Bachelor degree (Xueshi) in a suitable subject with an overall grade of 75 – 85% (depending on the standing of the awarding institution)
  • USA: Bachelor degree in a suitable subject with CGPA 3.2
  • India: Bachelor degree in a suitable subject with CGPA 6.5 / overall 65% / 1st Division classification
  • Turkey: Lisans Diplomasi or a Műhendis Diplomasi with a minimum CGPA 3.0 or 65%
  • Italy: Diploma di Laurea in a suitable subject with a minimum score of 104.

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.

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

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, 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:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for 2021 entry are now open.

To apply for this course you will need to please fill out your application online and upload all relevant documents, including

  • Your application
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • English requirement (if necessary)
  • At least one reference.
the gap between economics and development
combination of lectures, class and computer lab sessions
During your course

More about fees

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).

Academic views

Professor Saqib Jafarey

Professor Saqib Jafarey talks about City's Development Economics MSc

Online events

If you are interested in applying for the MSc Development Economics but cannot make it to an Open Evening, you may be able to register for one of our upcoming online sessions for prospective students.

View upcoming events and register now

Academic facilities

As a Masters student at City, you will benefit from our excellent London location, which places you in close proximity to the centres of decision-making in development economics. For example, we are just six tube stops away from the Department for International Development.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

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

Find out how to apply


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.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

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.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

Your teaching consists of a flexible combination of lectures, classes and computer lab sessions:

  • Lectures: Will introduce you to key theories, concepts and economic models.
  • Classes: You will have the opportunity to solve problems, run empirical studies, analyse the results of existing studies and make presentations of research published in academic journals.
  • Computer labs: Gain 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, so 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 presentations by invited academics.


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
  • Mathematics
  • Microeconomics
  • Excel
  • Probability

You can join the following sessions if you are on a Literature Review path:

  • Stata
  • Mathematics
  • Microeconomics

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.

Download a copy of the Pre-sessionals schedule


You will complete 180 credits. This includes taught modules worth 120 credits, plus 60 credits through either of the following paths:

  • Literature Survey: two extra taught elective 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.

It is not possible to give an exact indication of hours per week, as 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)

Modules for the literature survey path

Core modules

  • The Economics of Micro-Finance (15 credits)
  • Development Economics (15 credits)
  • Business Economics (30 credits) OR Microeconomic Theory (30 credits)
  • Quantitative Methods (30 credits) OR Econometrics (30 credits)
  • Literature Survey (30 credits)

Elective modules for both paths

  • Welfare Economics (15 credits)
  • Macroeconomics (15 credits)
  • International Macroeconomics (15 credits)
  • Economics of Regulation and Competition (15 credits)
  • Health Economics (15 credits)
  • Trade Policy (15 credits)
  • Financial Markets (15 credits)
  • Corporate Finance (15 credits)
  • Applied Econometrics (15 credits)
  • Experimental Economics and Game Theory (15 credits)
  • Cognitive and Economic Science of Rational Choice (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.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

After you graduate

Career prospects

Graduates of this course enjoy a wide range of rewarding employment possibilities, in both the public and private sectors, including consultancy and economic analysis.

As a Masters in Development Economics graduate, you will have the skills to work in:

  • Consulting firms specialising in development.
  • Governmental bodies, such as the Department for International Development (DFID).
  • Major international, financial and development institutions, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the United Nations.
  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI), which regularly recruits MSc students for overseas postings.

The MSc also provides a solid academic foundation for students wishing to pursue doctoral research in economics.

Application Deadline

Applications for 2021 entry are now open.

To apply for this course you will need to please fill out your application online and upload all relevant documents, including

  • Your application
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • English requirement (if necessary)
  • At least one reference.

Contact details

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