Become a professional economist
- Located in the renowned Strathclyde Business School
- Judged by independent external review bodies we have received the highest possible teaching quality rating
- Offers an exciting new postgraduate degree programme that provides a unique opportunity to train as a professional economist.
- Our MSc Applied Economics degree programme will add value to your existing qualifications through the use of innovative teaching and learning methods, and by focusing on the application of techniques for decision-making and problem-solving in private and public sector, and international, organisations.
- Glasgow is a vibrant city in both business and cultural life, and the Strathclyde Business School is a known centre of excellence in the fields of economics, finance, management and marketing.
- If you are seeking a qualification that enables you to step directly into employment as a professional economist, take a look at how the Strathclyde programme can deliver this.
- We provide what employers want from Economists. Judge this yourself by reading the following document, giving an employer's point of view : PowerPoint version PDF version
The MSc in Applied Economics is an exciting and distinctive programme in which you will not only learn and understand the fundamental principles of economic analysis, but will also learn to apply the insights obtained from these principles in particular contexts. The aim of the programme is to equip students with the skills that are necessary to excel in your career as a professional Economist in the public or private sector, or as an applied Economist in a think tank or research group, for example.
The programme is oriented towards developing skills that are useful in a broad range of careers that use Economics in an applied context, rather than being focused on training academic Economists. It focuses on the application of techniques for acquiring and analysing information, and for supporting decision-making, problem solving and policy making in private and public sector organisations. Participants will be exposed, through projects, case studies and some small group work to the multi-faceted nature of the problems with which such analysis has to contend.
Through careful design, the programme will develop and enhance the key skills that employers of professional Economists find very desirable, acquisition of which will give you an edge in your career. Indeed, the MSc Applied Economics degree updates a masters degree offered by the Economics Department which was the first in the UK to be recommended by the Government Economic Service.
Who should study this programme?
The MSc in Applied Economics is suitable for those intending to develop their careers in economics, finance, statistics, consultancy, banking, energy, environment, health administration, central and local government, think tanks, regulatory agencies, charities, management, international agencies, NGOs, and many more.
For those already working in one of these areas, the course will enhance their effectiveness by developing skills in data analysis, decision making, policy formation and communication.
Although this is not a central objective of the MSc in Applied Economics programme, a substantial number of our former graduates have chosen, after completing their masters degree, to go on to PhD study and careers in academia.
Aims and Objectives
The programme will provide participants with:
- a good understanding of micro and macroeconomic theory that reinforces and extends economics-related knowledge that you may have acquired previously and which is heavily used by professional economists;
- experience in the application of relevant economic theory to policy development and decision making in public and private sector organisations;
- an appreciation of the nature and functioning of markets, institutions and policy-making environments that condition and shape policy choices;
- a good working knowledge of statistical and econometric modelling techniques that support analysis and decision-making;
- skills in the methods and techniques of economic appraisal of projects and programmes: and
- a choice of elective classes that enable participants to orientate their degree studies to particular areas within economics (such as environmental, or financial, or international economics) that are most suitable for their intended career paths.
How will we deliver these aims and objectives?
The first foundation of our ability to achieve the aims and objectives of the MSc Applied Economics degree is the outstanding research strength of the Economics Department itself. This research - applied and policy-oriented – underpins and supports our teaching activities.
Secondly, our programme design simulates as far as possible decision making processes in the job destinations of our graduates. Thus the emphasis is on applying the insights of economics in particular contexts and the adaptations which are required when theory has to confront the complications of the real world. Students will be exposed, through projects, case study analyses and group work, to the multi-faceted nature of the problems with which policymaking has to contend.
Thirdly, the modes of delivery used in the programme use ways of learning that develop generic transferable skills: project work, problem solving, team working, communication, data analysis, desk-based research, and methods of dealing with uncertainty and strategic interaction. Detailed class specifications (see related documents) show how these learning outcomes are to be achieved at the the individual class level.
Core classes – The degree contains eight compulsory “core” classes that cover the set of key competencies required by any applied economist, and all of which will be central to the work you do you as an applied economist. Six of the core classes are studied in the first semester, the other two in semester 2.
Elective Classes - This is where you have the opportunity to specialise your learning to suit your specialist interests or to focus on applications that are most relevant for your intended career. In addition to taking electives in Economics, you can also choose electives from among classes offered throughout the whole Strathclyde Business School faculty, subject to some restrictions.
Dissertation– Your MSc study culminates in a period of independent research. You will be directed to study appropriate research methodology and, supported by a member of staff in the Economics department, will work on a dissertation. Topics can be chosen from within the broad range of issues covered on the programme, giving you the opportunity to develop your particular areas of interest. You’ll be assessed on your ability to select and apply relevant theory and research methods.
All participants are required to take six compulsory “core” classes during Semester 1. These are
- Foundations of Microeconomics
- Further topics in Microeconomics
- Principles of Economic Appraisal
- Economic Appraisal of Programmes and Policies
- Analysis of Economic Data
- Quantitative Methods
A mix of assessment methods will be used for first semester classes, including examinations, individual written class work, computer-based class work, and teamwork-based written and oral presentations.
During Semester 2, participants are required to take two further core classes:
- Macroeconomics for the Business Environment
- Macroeconomics for the Global Business Environment
Participants must also take four elective classes. Six elective classes (listed below) are offered as part of the MSc Applied Economics programme. Normally, you would be required to take any four of these six elective classes. However, you will also have access to HoweverHHelectives classes offered by other postgraduate degrees in the Business School, and you may substitute up to two of your four electives with classes offered elsewhere in the Business School.
Fundamentals of Business Economics
- International Trade and Policy
- Games of Strategy
- Public Policy and Finance
- Environmental Economics
- Energy Economics
The dissertation represents the main distinction between MSc and PG Diploma awards. Students will be strongly encouraged to give serious thought to their dissertation topic from the middle of the first semester. Producing a good dissertation will not only be a very rewarding experience in itself, but it will also be a key component of your CV, and may prove to be of great value once you have finished your studies with us. The emphasis that we, and prospective employers, attach to a substantial dissertation is reflected in the high weighting attached to this component in overall assessment.