Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £9,500 *
International Fees £13,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Economics is more relevant than ever to understand contemporary events in the global economy and provide the tools and techniques for business and governments to analyse and interpret the issues and problems they face. Reflecting the needs of both private and public sector employers, our highly practical MSc prepares you to assess business problems, interpret public policy and effectively communicate the insights that economic analysis can provide. 

Aimed at those with a genuine interest in the application of economics to real-world situations, this course aims to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the latest theories, practices and key concepts in economics that underpin public sector policy and business decision making. This includes the various scenarios where we explore opportunity cost, equilibrium and disequilibrium, strategic interaction, market failure and the related concept of externalities.

The focus is very much on developing the practical skills needed by a working economist – the ability to apply economic techniques to complex, multi-faceted business problems and provide specialist advice. You’ll gain hands-on experience of the industry-standard computing and econometrics software used to analyse and manipulate data.

You’ll be taught by staff who share their experience working and consulting for the UK Government Economic Service, HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department of Work and Pensions, House of Lords, Federation of Small Businesses, European Commission, International Labour Office, and many other major international financial firms. 

There is an increasing demand worldwide for economic analysis in international development, local and central government, non-governmental organisations, charity, urban and regional development policy, education or research. Past graduates have become Fast Stream economists in the UK Government Economic Service, others have gained employment as economists or economic analysts in charities and the private sector.

The course has been designed with input from colleagues at the Society of Professional Economists and previous students now working in the UK Government Economic Service. 

Top reasons to study with us

  • 90% overall student satisfaction in the 2019 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (TES) 
  • Free student membership of the Society of Professional Economists, giving you access to a global network of practising economists
  • Taught by highly experienced staff who have worked with the UK Government Economic Service, HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, Federation of Small Businesses, European Commission and many other major international financial firms
  • Guest lectures from industry practitioners, with past topics including the role of the Office of Budget Responsibility and careers in the UK Government Economic Service
  • Free access and experience using Office for National Statistics datasets and EViews
  • Free online subscription to Financial Times and part of the material on the course reading list includes free textbooks for the majority of core and option modules

Course structure

As well as enhancing your ability to apply relevant economic principles in the support of policy and strategy development, the course aims to develop your ability to communicate complex issues to wide audiences, your awareness of significant sources of economic and financial data, the problems faced when carrying out policy evaluation and your capability for self-awareness and group working.

Through optional module selection, should you wish, you can choose to learn more about global financial markets, international economics and/or development economics and policy.

The modules below are indicative of what you will study on this course. You may choose two option modules in addition to the core modules. 

Semester 1

The first semester is designed to build a strong foundation of knowledge of the fundamental concepts and ideas in economics (and their microeconomic and macroeconomic foundations). We’ll look at how a working economist develops policy advice in relation to production and supply decisions. Drawing on real-life economic scenarios from a variety of sector contexts, we’ll also examine sources of market failure, the economic choices available and competition policy in different countries. You’ll be introduced to the software used to analyse quantitative data, including Excel and EViews.

Semester 2

The second semester builds on your understanding and use of fundamental economic, statistical and econometric techniques and provides opportunities to study international and development economics and policy. Your studies culminate with the final project, an intensive piece of research of between 8,000 and 10,000 words where you will provide an evaluation of real-life economic policy. As a guide, previous students have considered topics as diverse as the impact of free childcare for working parents and the effectiveness of government subsidies on productivity in UK SMEs.

Core modules

Through this module you will cover a range of data analysis methods and concepts.

This module will give you the opportunity to apply the core principles and theories of economics in environments and scenarios that you could expect when working as a professional economist. The aim is to draw on scenarios from both the public and private sectors, so that whichever sector of the economy you enter, you have an enhanced understanding of the other. The module will take you through various examples of appraisal and evaluation in public sector policy and private sector strategy, with a focus on applying and communicating economic analysis, in face-to-face (viva voce) discussions with specialists and non-specialists. The module will enable you to show how economic techniques of investigation can support the development of effective policy in government and successful competitive strategy in business.

This module provides you with the framework within which to develop your full project dissertation from the proposal submitted as part of the Research Methods module. The majority of projects undertaken would be expected to involve an empirical component and appropriate quantitative analysis. 

This module reviews the historical evolution of macroeconomic policy and, through a review of the theoretical and empirical literature, develops the analytical framework of macroeconomics underpinning contemporary macroeconomic policy.

You will review theoretical and empirical microeconomic approaches in order to shed light on business decision making and microeconomic policy in mixed economies.

This module aims to enhance your knowledge and competence of the research process, and the application of research methods in the area of applied economics.

The focus of this module is on energy economics and, in particular, on the role of markets in driving energy policy and strategy in both the short and long term. It covers a variety of theoretical and empirical topics related to energy demand, energy supply and energy prices, the influence of fiscal instruments on market operation and the importance of banks and financial institutions for the funding of energy projects. The first half of the module will explore a number of key themes and conceptual issues. These will include: an analysis of the structure and operation of oil, gas, coal, electricity and renewables markets and issues of price discovery, carbon trading, green taxes and subsidies; the role of banks and alternative sources of financing for oil and gas projects; an exploration of approaches to modelling and forecasting the supply, demand and price of energy and energy derivatives. The second half of the module will have a practical focus, with sessions led by guest speakers drawn from a range of energy companies, renewables firms or from policy ‘think-tanks’. These will take the form of short participative workshops exploring case studies on energy strategy and sustainability.

Option modules

This module is concerned with both practice and theories of international trade and finance. It is related to issues such as classical and neo-classical trade theories, intra-industry trade, factor input mobility, strategic trade policies, economic integration, multinational corporations and foreign investments, balance of payments, exchange rate regimes and their implications.

This module focuses on issues of human development, poverty, inequality, structural change, industrialization, balance of payments crises, structural adjustment programs, and gender and development. Case studies on successful and unsuccessful policy initiatives in developing countries will shed light on the economic policy debate.

This module is concerned with both practical and theoretical issues related to international financial markets. It is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the structure and operation of foreign exchange markets, financial instruments used in global financial markets; and the operation of financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies whose operations expand across a number of financial markets and financial centres. The module comprehensively addresses the nature of economic exposure and foreign exchange risks that agents might face when operating across various countries.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

As an economics postgraduate, you can look forward to excellent career prospects. Our students have gone on to successful careers in government and consultancy as economic analysts, regulatory economists and market analysts.

The strong international focus of the course provides an excellent opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in multinational companies or international organisations. Many graduates return to their countries of origin and are employed in developing international business opportunities or government institutions, while other graduates develop their careers with international charities or other non-governmental organisations. Several of our recent graduates have also found that the course opened up opportunities for PhD study.

World

Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

Social media connections

Kickstart your career

Learn how to use social media in your job hunt or LinkedIn to kickstart your career.

Route between locations

Careers support

Postgraduate students have access to the University’s Careers and Employability Service for up to three years after graduation.

Industry links

We have established links with the UK Government Economic Service, the largest employer of economists in the UK.

Our course was designed with input from a range of professionals with expertise in economic appraisal, evaluation and evidence-based policymaking.

Job roles

This course will prepare you for roles such as:

  • Economist (in the private and public sectors)
  • Economic advisor/analyst
  • Management consultant

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have found employment at organisations including:

  • International Monetary Fund
  • Rio de Janeiro Mayor’s Office
  • Shelter (UK housing charity)
  • The UK Government Economic Service including Ofcom and Ofgem
     

 

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

Your learning experience is designed to provide both a practical and theoretical understanding of economics. Core and option modules provide a well-rounded perspective on aspects of economic policymaking including an appreciation of application, appraisal, evaluation and communication skills. 

To assist the learning experience, we provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. Where possible, lectures are recorded using specialist software and similar tools so you can refer back to them.

How you’ll be taught

Through a variety of teaching methods – from traditional lectures and seminars to online participation and project work – we aim to bring study to life by incorporating real world economic analysis and evaluation. When studying Data Analysis, for example, in weekly computer labs, you will apply the econometric and time series theory you learn using real data such as housing prices.

We use case studies and real data in many of our modules. For example, you will present findings on the economic prospects for country groupings such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) in Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to gain valuable insight from current practitioners, which in the past has included guest lectures about the work of economists at the Office for Budget Responsibility and Ofgem. 
 

How you’ll be assessed

We use a wide range of techniques, including time-constrained exams, individual and team-based coursework and presentations.

We try to make assessments as practical and relevant as possible, incorporating the type of work required by future employers, for example writing technical reports or collecting, analysing and presenting economic data.

Why study this course?

tick mark icon in turquoise

Develop key skills

Develop the valuable skills required to work as an economist in the public and private sectors.

link icon

Combine theory and practice

Link economic theory with practice through application to real-world economic issues.

Figure with stars

Free access to professional software including EViews, core textbooks, subscription to the online Financial Times and student membership of the Society of Professional Economists.

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

Visit our open days page

Student taking notes during an online event feature

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Relevant degree, which would be single Honours or a major in Economics, or a quantitative discipline with a minor in Economics, or a more general first degree (minimum Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) with significant study of economics and quantitative methods. Exceptionally, non-graduates with extensive work experience in the economics or closely-related profession may also be considered. 

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Relevant degree, which would be single Honours or a major in Economics, or a quantitative discipline with a minor in Economics, or a more general first degree (minimum Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) with significant study of economics and quantitative methods. Exceptionally, non-graduates with extensive work experience in the economics or closely-related profession may also be considered. 

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

More information

Student work

The practical nature of this course means you will apply the core principles and theories of economics in environments and scenarios you could expect when working as a professional economist. You’ll show how economic techniques of investigation can support the development of effective policy in government and successful competitive strategy in business.

Student-determined topics have included, as an example, appraising and evaluating policies to tackle obesity, financial exclusion, single-use plastic packaging and carbon emissions.

Stack of newspapers

Learn new skills

tick mark icon in turquoise

Develop analytical and communication skills

Develop the analytical and communication skills needed as a working economist in various settings.

Computer screen with running software icon

Enhance your digital literacy

Enhance your digital literacy, learning how to retrieve and analyse economic data.

Figure with connections

Improve your problem-solving skills

Improve your problem-solving skills to better understand and tackle economic issues.

Westminster Business School blog

Read our blog and get an insight into life and studies at Westminster Business School.

Visit the WBS blog

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £9,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £13,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Facilities

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

Illustration for the Student Hub

Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million-pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to Westminster Business School and our award-winning Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Westminster Business School

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education based in the heart of London and its political, media and financial services scene.

We are a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Centre of Excellence, recognised by professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and APMG International. 

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

Or you can contact the Course Enquiries Team:

[email protected]

Start live chat

Opening hours (GMT): 9am–4pm Monday to Friday

More information

Your Westminster

Book an open day. Order a prospectus. Sign up for newsletters.