For more information about Development Economics at City, University of London, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 5000 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 7500 per year

All study options

About Development Economics at City, University of London

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.

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.

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

Applications for 2018 are now open

To apply for this course, please fill out your application online, uploading all relevant documents, including:

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

To begin your application please click on the appropriate link below.

Apply for MSc Development Economics (full-time)

Apply for MSc Development Economics (part-time)

Your application will be processed within three weeks.

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 - date TBC

Mathematics - date TBC

Microeconomics - date TBC

Excel - date TBC

Probability - date TBC

Macroeconomics - date TBC

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 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)

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.

Download the relevant programme specification

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.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 5000 per yearInternational course feesGBP 7500 per year
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 10000 per yearInternational course feesGBP 15000 per year

Notes about fees for this course


Full-time: £10,000

Part-time: £5,000 per year


Full-time: £15,000

Part-time: £7,500 per year

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. 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).


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.

Academic views

Professor Saqib Jafarey

Professor Saqib Jafarey talks about City's Development Economics MSc

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.

Learn a language for free

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

Find out how to apply

Entry requirements

Contact City, University of London to find course entry requirements.

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