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MSc Key Skills


Key skills to assist you throughout your career

Whilst studying your MSc at Warwick, you will acquire a range of skills that will help you in a variety of ways.

Cognitive skills

  • Analytical thinking, reasoning and communication. Verbal, graphical and mathematical analysis at an advanced level; understanding concepts of equilibria including equilibria in strategic contexts; the ceteris paribus method and counterfactual analysis; the ability to understand formal analysis and to communicate understanding through engagement and contributions in compulsory seminars, completion of exercise sheets, problem sets, essays, and through tests and formal examinations.
  • Critical thinking. Promoting the critical evaluation of received ideas through exposure to recent research developments; ability to synthesize and evaluate a theoretical and empirical literature.
  • Strategic thinking. A familiarity with models of multi-agent decision making, where pay-offs depend on the actions of others - particularly asymmetric information games, repeated games and evolutionary models.
  • Solvability and problem solving. Finding whether a solution to a problem exits; and developing new applications of existing models.
  • Abstraction. Balancing simplification (for tractability) against literalness (for relevance).
  • Social awareness. Private versus social costs and benefits and their distribution; rationale for government and international policy.
  • Policy evaluation. Being aware of the policy context and also of methodological issues involved in evaluation - such as with the identification of causal effects of policy interventions.
  • Understanding institutions. What institutions exist and why, and how incentives work in them.
  • Analysis of incentives. Understanding economic motivations of individuals and the limits of economic explanations.
  • Understanding simultaneity and endogeneity.
  • Understanding optimisation. Concepts of an optimum and efficiency.
  • Understanding uncertainty. Concepts of expectations and surprises; probability and its applications.

Professional skills

  • Research skills. Use of library and internet as data sources; locating, evaluating, and extracting information; organising, surveying, summarising, interpreting material; ability to conduct and disseminate research in a way that is consistent with professional and ethical practice; understand and apply a range of research methods and tools; understand basic principles of research design and strategy, including how to formulate researchable problems.
  • Numeracy and quantitative skills. Use of mathematics and diagrams, understanding data, and statistical analysis.
  • Information Technology skills. Use of IT including word processing and spreadsheet packages; specialist econometric, statistical, and other software; the internet.
  • Written communication skills . Submission of essays, problem sets, seminar work, tests, examination scripts and a research dissertation.
  • Oral communication skills. Participation in seminars and group work.
  • Teamwork. Working with others through group work.
  • Time management. Attending compulsory seminars and a regular timetable of strict submission deadlines; working well under pressure of deadlines; conscientiousness.

MSc Economics/EIFE subject knowledge and understanding

  • Economic principles. Knowledge and understanding of advanced core concepts and methods of analysis in microeconomics and macroeconomics.
  • Applied economics. Knowledge and understanding of how advanced economic models and quantitative techniques are applied to problems arising in public policy and in the private sector
  • Economic data. Knowledge of economic trends and patterns; survey data; and an understanding of problems and solutions in economic measurement including evaluation methods.
  • Research and debate. Detailed knowledge of contemporary theoretical and empirical debates and research outcomes in core economics and in some more specialised areas of Economics and International Financial Economics.

MSc Behavioural and Economics Science subject knowledge and understanding

  • Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of applying experimental methods in economic research and in particular, identify the different areas of economic behaviour where such methods are more or less useful.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and apply basic principles of experimental design, conduct and analysis.
  • Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate key experiments in the different areas where experimental methods have most often been applied.
  • Evaluate the main controversies in experimental economics.
  • Demonstrate understanding of how experimental economics methods might be used to address issues that are, as yet, unresolved.
  • Identify the key areas where theoretical models of judgment and decision making either have been, or potentially can be, applied to real-world problems.
  • Approach new problems and show how insights from economic and psychological science can be brought to bear on them.
  • Critically evaluate the empirical success of real-world applications of the relevant theoretical models.
  • Understand how agent-based simulations can provide insight into the emergent behavior of groups of individuals in social and economic contexts.
  • Understand key concepts in experimental design, and the difference between experimental approaches in economics and psychology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and apply basic principles of experimental design, conduct and analysis.
  • Demonstrate competence at formulating a valid research question and designing an empirical investigation.
  • Demonstrate competence at conducting an empirical investigation.
  • Demonstrate competence at analysing and interpreting the results.
  • Demonstrate competence at writing up the project in a standard format suitable to publication.
  • Read, understand, and critically evaluate academic articles that report models of choice
  • Describe and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the most important models of individual choice.
  • Implement a mathematical model of individual choice; understand and analyse the relation between theory and data.
  • Describe and evaluate the appropriateness of key experimental methods for testing models of decision making.
  • Understand the theoretical importance of core, critical empirical results in decision making.