Skip to main content

MSc Handbook

Welcome to the Department of Economics

Welcome from the Department of Economics. In choosing to undertake your MSc with us, you are now part of one of the very best Economics departments in Europe, and you will find your time here to be exciting and rewarding. Our aim is to ensure that not only will you graduate with an MSc from one of the best Economics departments, but that you will reach your full potential during your time here. As well as being taught by top class teachers and researchers, we work hard to make your experience memorable and to provide you with valuable opportunities to enhance your CV and give you a flying start to your career.

In less than 50 years, our department has followed a rapid trajectory in each of the essential undertakings required to be the best — academic research and the training of the next generation of economists at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels. These accomplishments place us at the forefront of economic research and education in the UK and beyond. Dynamism, vision and energy were the essence of our founding mission, and they remain at the core of our present and our future.

Over the past five years, the Economics Department has undergone unprecedented growth as the volume and range of activity across all of our areas has significantly increased. The growth and expansion has taken place by design and strategy, aimed at achieving an ambitious set of objectives. We place your student experience right at the heart of our motivations, and are continuously improving our offering based on your feedback.

Excellence in all we do is crucial so we have significantly enhanced our standards in the calibre of students we seek and attract — you and your fellow students. The research reputation of the Department has as a result significantly enhanced, nationally and internationally, which was confirmed in the 2014 REF, when Warwick Economics achieved 4th place (on the basis of Research Intensity score). Our MSc programme and our MRes/ PhD programme will cement our reputation as a centre of excellence amongst the faculty of the future.

We wish you every success and encourage you to engage fully with everything on offer in the Department and the University.

Welcome from the Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes

Welcome to the Masters course in Economics at Warwick. I hope that you find your course, over the coming months, to be interesting, challenging and rewarding. We provide a stimulating research-led environment where you will work alongside leading researchers to develop the skills required to fulfill your aspirations to become a professional economist or an analyst on some other career path.

We will give you professional training in modern economics, including tools and techniques of analysis as well as knowledge, and an opportunity to apply this in a piece of supervised research.

We offer dedicated teaching on macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics and an extensive range of optional modules. We have also invested in a comfortable MSc common room and a computer lab, amongst other benefits.

Completing an MSc can be a great way to enhance your career prospects, and the high quality reputation of this qualification makes our graduates highly sought after by employers. We will provide opportunities to develop your academic, personal and professional skills throughout your time with us. In addition to the support and courses provided by Student Careers and Skills, we arrange numerous events such as a guest lecture series, designed to broaden the education experience and help you interpret what you have learnt in lectures and classes to interesting and important real world situations and subjects.

The MSc programmes covered by this Handbook are one year in duration with approximately eight months of taught coursework leading to an examination period, followed by four months of independent research work towards a dissertation.

At the end of your programme you should be able to read and understand research papers and articles in academic journals, to build simple theoretical models, to initiate your own empirical research and to evaluate its findings. The emphasis is on doing real economics, as well as demonstrating knowledge.

Some of the programmes are tailored so that those with a limited quantitative background start from a lower level, but everyone has the opportunity to develop advanced quantitative and analytical skills.

In our view, the key difference between the objectives at Masters level and at Bachelor level is that at Masters level you should be fully prepared for, and have the skills and confidence to engage in, professional work

as a research economist, including being able to initiate your own exploration of economic questions. Our experience is that the average graduate with only a Bachelor’s degree should have the ability to think in economic terms, but only has a limited ability to initiate economic enquiries.

This Handbook is intended as a reference guide for all MSc students who are based in Economics, covering all aspects of the programmes. We have included web addresses to show you where further information is available on our website.

If, after reading this Handbook, you have any queries, then please feel free to contact the PG Office in Room S0.89 or email

I hope that you enjoy your time in the Department, and I wish you every success in your MSc course.

Dr Jennifer Smith
Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes
Department of Economics
University of Warwick