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MScApplied Economics

Why this course?

The MSc Applied Economics focuses on developing your technical and analytical skills alongside your practical experience of how these skills are used to solve real-world economic problems and inform decision-making in a variety of environments. This unique feature sets it apart from other degrees in economics.

You will gain knowledge and an understanding of the core principles of economic analysis, and the experience in how to apply them.

You will acquire skills in economics, data analysis and modelling techniques, as well as key transferable skills in leadership, project management, problem solving, communication and negotiating that are sought after by employers.

The programme has been designed in consultation with key employers of our graduates, as well as the business, consulting and policy communities for the aspiring professional economist. This means that what you learn on the course is exactly what employers look for when recruiting new economists.

The Department of Economics is the home of the Fraser of Allander Institute, a leading independent economic research institute. Besides teaching several classes, the institute is able to offer at least three scholarships and summer internships each year.

Through our link with the institute, you will have a unique opportunity to engage with staff working at the cutting edge of applied economics research, industry engagement and policymaking. There will also be opportunities to publish articles on the Fraser of Allander Institute's blog and in the quarterly Fraser of Allander Institute Economic Commentary report

The practitioner seminar series within our Professional Development for Economists class provides you with opportunities to learn from senior figures in business, consultancy and government about the key economic issues of the day and their own journey to the top of their chosen career. Many of the speakers are our own graduates.

You’ll study

Core classes will give you a solid grounding in the core concepts and techniques of an applied economist. Elective classes will give you experience in applying these skills to hot-topics of the day.

The programme will provide you with:

  • a comprehensive understanding of key economics concepts and theories
  • core skills in economic modelling and data analysis which can be used to inform decision-making
  • understanding of, and the ability to use, techniques of economic appraisal in a variety of contexts
  • experience in the application of economic analysis to day-to-day activities of public and private sector organisations

Summer Project

Your summer project topic can be chosen from any of the areas/issues covered on the programme. This is your opportunity to develop a substantive piece of applied work on a topic that is of particular interest to you, with supervision provided by an appropriate member of staff. It’s also a key opportunity to put into practice what you have learned during your MSc studies. 

Each year, we offer a number of opportunities for you to undertake the summer project in partnership with leading companies and public sector institutions. This gives you the opportunity to engage with users of economic analysis outside of academia. You will undertake your summer project with both academic supervision and partner input. We are also able to supervise those part-time or full-time students who are sponsored by their employer and wish to work on a topic of interest to both them and their employer.

Flexible study options

You can take modules towards a qualification which suits your career aspirations and is convenient to your life. There are four ways to study our Applied Economics course.

  • full-time study over 12 months
  • part-time study over 24 to 36 months - core modules run on one day a week for each term of study, so can fit around family, work or other commitments
  • taking classes towards either a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) qualification in Applied Economics
  • ‘modular’ basis – taking modules on a class-by-class basis

Strathclyde Business School

Strathclyde Business School was founded in 1948 and is a pioneering, internationally renowned academic organisation with a reputation for research excellence. One of four faculties forming the University of Strathclyde, SBS is a triple accredited business school (AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB) and was the first business school in Scotland to achieve this accolade in 2004. The Business School is home to seven subject departments and a number of specialist centres, all of which collaborate to provide a dynamic, fully-rounded and varied programme of specialist and cross-disciplinary courses.

Strathclyde Business Network

As a postgraduate student at Strathclyde Business School, you may choose to join the Strathclyde Business Network, a student led initiative that facilitates interaction with business and industry leaders. The Network aims to foster knowledge sharing, facilitate discussion and enable networking opportunities with the very best business professional in industry. Every year the Network organises Glasgow Business Summit, which is the first ever student led business conference in Scotland, and brings together students with leading businesses from across the UK.

Course content

Core classes

Analysis of Economic Data

You’ll learn about the skills in data analysis that make up an essential part of the work of an applied economist.  This will include carefully chosen applications of methods and techniques that permit insightful analysis of data, the specification and testing of hypotheses, and estimation techniques.  

The class is taught via lectures and hands-on lab sessions, ensuring that you gain experience in both undertaking the analysis of economic data and in interpreting results.

Economic Appraisal & Economic Modelling

Economic appraisal and modelling lie at the heart of what most economists in business, consulting and government do on a day-to-day basis.

You will examine the key principles and techniques of economic appraisal and learn – through your own applications - how these are used in private and/or social analysis. Techniques covered will include cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis and multi-criteria analysis.

The economic modelling component will provide you with insights into how models designed to describe the operation of any economy can be used to help inform decision making. You’ll drawing on the practical modelling expertise gained within the Fraser of Allander Institute which has – for over forty years – developed an international reputation in the development and use of economic modelling for analysing policy-relevant issues.

Fundamentals of Macroeconomics

You’ll learn about key macroeconomic variables and how changes in GDP, unemployment and inflation can impact on day-to-day policy and business decisions. You'll also study objectives and challenges in the design of macroeconomic policies by central banks and government’s finance departments and gain an understanding of how policies impact on the macroeconomic environment.

Fundamentals of Microeconomics

This class will introduce you to some key concepts and principles of economics, focusing particularly on consumer theory and the theory of the firm. You’ll be shown how these concepts and theories are applied to the analysis of a range of contemporary real world issues.

International Macroeconomics

This course will enable you to understand global trends and to study the key drivers of international economics, including how exchange rates move; what determines flows of international investment; and why some countries grow more quickly than others.  With the global economy becoming ever more integrated, understanding of these issues is important for the applied Economist working within business, consulting and policy.

Professional Development for Economists

This class is a truly distinctive feature of our MSc, combining a practitioner seminar series with site visits and skills development sessions. You will learn about topical issues in economics from invited speakers who are working as Economists in business, consultancy or policy roles as well as developing core transferable skills that extend the applied Economist’s toolkit. These skills include writing accessible briefing notes, presenting data, team working, planning and delivering on consultancy projects, leadership skills and gaining experience in presenting findings. This class is complementary to the other classes and is fundamental to developing the skills that are sought after by employers.

Topics in Public Economics

This class builds on the knowledge acquired in Foundations of Business Economics to explore the role of government and public policy in the economy. You will learn about why governments often intervene in the economy when markets do not operate as planned, and gain an understanding of the trade-offs faced when intervening. You will also learn about how public utilities operate and why and how they are regulated.

Elective classes

You'll have the opportunity to choose four classes from the following list. You'll also have the option to take up to two elective classes from a wide range offered across Strathclyde Business School and across the wider University.

Energy Economics

In this class you will explore key economic issues at the heart of topical energy questions – building on the University’s outstanding reputation as a centre of excellence in energy technology and policy. The class covers the objectives of energy policy; private and social perspectives on energy supply and demand; the special case of regulation of energy markets; the use of economic models in energy analysis; the economics of oil and gas activity and links between energy use and the energy sector and an economy.

Environmental Economics

A growing, and increasingly important, part of the work of many applied Economists includes the economic analysis of environmental issues. Additionally, many professionals working in the fields of energy, the natural environment, or business more generally will find that their careers require some working knowledge of economic approaches to environmental problems. The main objective of this class is to provide a thorough grounding in the economics of the environment, with a particular focus on environmental protection in an international policy context, such as climate change the loss of biological diversity.

Games of Strategy

In this class you will study decision making in strategic scenarios where the outcome of a decision depends not only on your decision but also the decisions made by others. This is a key class for those considering careers in industry where competition is crucial and effective market strategies are vital to the success of the business. You will learn how to make effective decisions in such environments and to gain an advantage over your competitors.

International Development

This class will introduce policy relevant issues and knowledge in the economics of development. Lectures will combine insights from theoretical economic models with policy-relevant empirical evidence on in low-income countries. Moreover, through the thorough analysis of empirical research, the class will assist students in developing skills required to make an effective contribution working as an applied economist.

International Trade

In this class you will gain an understanding of the essential economic issues in international trade, market structure, and the role of international institutions in promoting trade liberalisation and disciplining international commercial interaction. You will analyse the distribution of the gains from trade, identifying the circumstances where trade liberalisation is mutually beneficial and those where there are winners and losers at the international or national level. The class will also address current issues facing the world trading system – such as Brexit – and how these might be resolved.

Learning & teaching

Core and elective classes will be taught across two semesters running from September to December and January to March. Classes will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, group and individual projects, labs, workshops and visits. Summer projects are undertaken during the summer months and submitted in August.

Assessment

Every class will either have a class test or assignment during semesters 1 and 2. Exams will take place at the end of each semester in December and April/May.

Entry requirements

Minimum second class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent (see our country pages for further information) in any subject. 

English language

Students whose first language is not English must have a minimum of 6.5 IELTS score, with no individual score lower than 5.5. Find out more about our English language requirements. Find out more about our English language requirements.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

2019/20

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • £10,300

Rest of UK

  • £10,300

International

  • £18,450

How can I fund my studies?

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Careers

Many of our graduates have gone on to senior positions in business, in consultancy and within government, while some have progressed to PhD level study and careers in academia.

Recent examples include former students working in the following areas:

  • global economics and financial consulting firms including Analysys Mason in Edinburgh, Ernst and Young and DeVere Group in London and Function Capita in Shanghai, China
  • financial advisor/analyst roles within Investment and Asset Management companies including JP Morgan and KPMG and Franklin Templeton Investments in Edinburgh, Dune Real Estate Partners in New York and Fraser Spy Financial Services Ltd in Glasgow
  • a range of banks including Clydesdale Bank in Glasgow, China Merchants Bank and Dongguan Rural Commercial Bank, both in Guandong, China and Pareto Bank in Oslo
  • international organisations such as the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris
  • economic development agencies including the Scottish Council for Development and Industry
  • the UK Government Economics Service, within the Office of National Statistics, the National Audit Office and the Scottish Government
  • economic policy roles within the governments of Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan and the Central Bank of the Seychelles
  • public and industry bodies such as the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scottish Renewables and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland

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Applied Economics

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Applied Economics

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Applied Economics (flexible)

Qualification: , Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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