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Development Economics and Policy MSc

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Course description

This programme, run jointly by IDPM (School of Environment, Education and Development) and Economics (School of Social Sciences), is designed to provide training in economic theory, applied economics and quantitative methods of relevance to developing and transitional economies. The programme is especially appropriate for those seeking to practice as development economists whether in government, the private sector, multilateral organisations or NGOs.

In addition to four compulsory course units, students have the opportunity to specialise in particular areas of the subject via four optional course units and a dissertation.

The theory course units provide a thorough training in both contemporary macro and micro development theory. Applied and optional course units offer you an opportunity to understand development problems and policy prescriptions within both global and national economic contexts.

The quantitative course units, which include an applied development project, enable you to test theories through the use of data sets and provide training in standard econometrics techniques and up-to-date econometrics software packages. Independent research is undertaken by all students between June and September in the form of an approved dissertation.

This programme is offered in jointly between the Economics discipline, School of Social Sciences and IDPM. Informal enquiries, prior to applications, are welcomed. Please contact: Dr Katsushi Imai (Programme Director) | Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 4827 | Email: 


In particular, at the end of the programme study fellows will be able to:

  • Read and understand the leading applied economics and development economics journals.
  • Understand the main economic models and key indicators from which development policies are derived and offer a critique of underlying theories.
  • Through the preparation of a dissertation and/or the applied development economics project explore the relationship between theory and practice, test theories through the use of actual data sets, and demonstrate familiarity with standard econometric techniques and appropriate econometric software packages.
  • Demonstrate the skills demanded of an academic researcher in development economics or a staff advisor in a government department, non-government organisation or commercial organisation.
  • Undertake independent research, as evidenced by the completion of a dissertation.

Teaching and learning

Part-time Study 

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 24 months.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director first and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off.  Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Course unit details

Core course units typically include:

In addition students choose at least 2 further core units from:

Optional course units typically include:

Availability of course units may vary from year to year.


The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: