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Course length

1 year full-time


Durham City

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Course details

The MSc in Economics will equip you with the skills and knowledge to understand the complex, rapidly shifting and uncertain modern global economy. It is one of three specialist Masters routes, our MSc Economics programme consists of a set of core and elective (optional) modules, culminating in a research based dissertation. Through core modules, you will learn advanced macroeconomics, covering monetary theory, growth theory and business cycle theory and advanced microeconomics that consider consumer and producer theory. The module in econometric analysis will equip you with the research skills you will need on the course and beyond.

The programme offers flexibility through its wide choice of elective modules in topics such as industrial organisation, money and banking and natural resource economics among others. The dissertation then enables you to develop your research skills, through an in-depth investigation at an advanced level of a topic relevant to your degree. The dissertation also includes the option to conduct research abroad at a partner university.

You will be taught by world-class academics from Durham University Business School, which is one of an elite group of institutions to be accredited by three major business education accreditation bodies, namely: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). As an economics student you will be part of an academic department with an international reputation for research and teaching excellence.

Course structure

Core modules

You will study the following core modules:

  • Advanced Macroeconomics
    • develops your knowledge and analytical skills in topics featuring growth theory, business cycle theory, analysis modelling, monetary theory and their applications.
  • Advanced Microeconomics
    • enhances your knowledge and analytical skills in areas such as consumer theory, producer theory, decision-making under risk and uncertainty, incentives and strategic behaviour, market equilibrium, general equilibrium and welfare economics.
  • Econometric Analysis
    • provides the econometrics skills necessary to pursue empirical research in economics and/or finance and provides a grounding for understanding the more advanced econometric techniques to be taught in the second term of the course.

Elective modules

You will then choose one optional module from:

  • Time-Series Analysis
  • Microeconometrics

You will then choose four optional modules, up to the value of 60 credits, from a list which has typically* included:

  • Time-Series Analysis
  • Microeconometrics
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Environmental and Climate Economics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Game Theory
  • Industrial Organisation
  • International Trade and Economics
  • Money and Banking
  • Natural Resource Economics
  • Language module offered by the Centre for Foreign Language Studies

* Note that current modules are indicative and may change due to, for example, developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback and demand.


The MSc Economics dissertation involves an in-depth investigation of a specific subject you've already studied as part of your programme. Supervised by a faculty member, this is an opportunity for you to develop your insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner. There is also the opportunity to undertake your dissertation abroad at a partner university.

Detailed module information

For the latest detailed information on all of the modules currently offered on this programme please visit our Postgraduate Module Handbook pages.

Additional resources

We have made major investment in our Economics programmes, acquiring state-of-the-art database resources, including Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Datastream and Orbis. These valuable resources give you access to live and historical facts and figures relating to the financial records of millions of companies worldwide, adding valuable insight to your research.

Adding to your experience: International Opportunities

We are proud of our international connections and offer several opportunities to experience campus life in destinations across the globe.

  • Dissertation Abroad

    You will be offered the opportunity to apply to undertake your dissertation (research project) at one of our prestigious European partner institutions during the summer months (June to September). This exciting programme provides an opportunity to gain experience living abroad and to build your network, as well as developing an understanding of how campus life works in another destination. Participation in the programme will develop your personal skills, in addition to improving employability by demonstrating adaptability, resilience, communication skills and a global mindset. This partially self-funded programme is very popular and our International Team in the Business School will support your journey from application to departure.

  • Summer SchoolIf your ambitions lie beyond the UK, you will have the opportunity to participate in a Summer School at one of our global network of university and business partners. These partially self-funded competitive activities, normally take place after exams in either June, July or August, for up to three weeks. They cover a wide range of topics and aim to complement the knowledge you gain during your time in Durham, whilst contextualising it in an international business setting. Please note, in order to be considered for a place on one of our Summer Schools, all students must apply as places are limited.

Practitioner insights - Guest Speaker Programme

As part of the programme, you will be encouraged to attend presentations by leading academics and professionals who are specialists in your particular area of interest. Combining critical and progressive thinking with practical insight, past speakers have included professional economists from a range of organisations such as: the Bank of England, The Economic and Social Research Institute, the European Commission and the IMF to discuss how they apply core economic skills in their work.

Careers and Employability 

By choosing to study the MSc Economics, in addition to the academic abilities gained, your career development will also benefit from the global reputation of Durham University Business School, from the quality of its teaching to the networking opportunities made available to you.

As a Business School Masters student, you will be supported by an extensive career development programme, which has been designed to complement your academic programme to help you achieve your career goals and develop the skills that employers are looking for. You can take advantage of one-to-one appointments with a specialist Masters Career Consultant to help you with specific issues, from finding a route into your career to applying for your dream role.

Career insight sessions will be delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector, which provides insight into working in areas popular with our students.

Whichever career you will choose, the MSc in Economics will help you gain the confidence to demonstrate the academic, professional and practical skills that are highly sought by employers around the world, or if you wish to continue your studies, by world-leading PhD programmes. Some of our recent economics graduates have gone on to work in sectors including:

  • Consultancy
  • Technology
  • Financial Services including Accounting
  • Government/Public Services
  • Energy
  • Legal Services


Delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, involving the study of core and elective modules, and a 12,000-word dissertation.

Lectures provide key content of a particular topic, occasionally delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field.

Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to discuss and debate issues based on the knowledge gained through lectures and independent study.

Practicals are medium-sized group sessions, where you will work on topics from lectures and seminars, with some sessions including the opportunity to use industry standard computer software.

Outside of timetabled contact hours, you will be expected to carry out independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and exams.


Assessment is thorough and ongoing throughout the course. It is conducted by means of assignments, exams and a major 12,000-word dissertation, which requires you to carry out independent research and develop your skills in writing and analysis with support from a supervisor.

Outside of timetabled contact hours, you will be expected to carry out a significant amount of independent study in preparation for assignments and other forms of assessment including exams.

Entry requirements


Please note:The application process opens on 1 October 2023 for Masters programmes commencing 2024.

We aim to have a diverse student body and recognise that we can only offer places to a finite number of applicants. To help achieve our aim, we look to ensure we offer places to applicants from all nationalities and close applications when we receive the allocated numbers.

The University is under no obligation to make an offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.

The MSc in Economics is designed for new or recent graduates. You should have a strong background in a related discipline.

What do I need first?

The equivalent of a UK upper second-class single or joint honours degree in Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Computer Science or Engineering. Applicants with degrees in other subjects are encouraged to apply as long as they have achieved good grades in two Mathematics / Statistics / Econometrics modules covering calculus, probability theory/econometrics and ideally linear algebra.

Check the full list of equivalent qualifications.

Pre-sessional Introduction to Economics

Prior to starting your Economics Masters programme we offer a pre-sessional course for those students without an economics background. Starting in September of each academic year, this is a 12-hour online pre-recorded course that covers the basics in microeconomics (6 hours) and macroeconomics (6 hours), with opportunities for self-assessment and online drop-in sessions. The course is entirely optional, but we strongly recommend prospective students, with a first degree not in Economics, to fully engage with the course to make the transition as smooth as possible. The course can also serve as a refresher for economists who have graduated a time ago.

Support for International Students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an online application form.

Please note you can only apply for one Masters Economics programme.

>>Fill out the online application form

To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.

  • Official transcript of marks
  • Copy of degree certificate (if available)
  • Copy of English test results(if available).

You can either upload your supporting documents with your online application or email or fax them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office using the contact details below.


Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.The maximum file size is 5MB.

Application fee

Once we receive your online application form, you'll get an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £60 application fee* which is required to progress your application.

You'll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment.

Once we receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, we'll be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.

*Please note you will only be able to make a payment for one programme in each suite i.e. one MSc Finance programme, one MSc Management programme, one MSc Economics programme.

College membership

All students of Durham University will become a member of one of our Colleges. Here is more information about what college membership means to our students. Once you have accepted your postgraduate offer, the Accommodation and Allocations Office will contact you with further information regarding how to express college preferences. You can also apply for college accommodation if you wish to.

Admissions process

Here are the steps in the admissions process:

  1. We will let you know when we've received your application.
  2. Once we've received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
  3. If the decision is to make you an offer of a place on the programme we will let you know by email. Please note we do not issue hard copy offer letters as these are not required to obtain a student visa.
  4. You should confirm acceptance of your offer as soon as possible. In order to secure your place, you are required to pay a deposit within six weeks of the date of your original offer (check your offer documents for details of payment methods).
  5. International students requiring a student visa will receive a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) via email once all offer conditions are met, acceptance and deposit have been received and you are within five months of the start date of your programme.

Please note: You must let us know your own personal email address when applying. Please do not use a university-linked email which may stop working once you complete your bachelor degree.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £13,500 per year
EU students £26,000 per year
Island students £13,500 per year
International students £26,000 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.


We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

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Career opportunities

Business School

Key to your career

Whatever your specialist interests, you’ll find our careers team is one of the most useful resources to support you on your way to your target career. Now more than ever, it’s the skills you’re able to demonstrate in addition to your academic abilities that will make you shine in a fiercely competitive jobs market.

That’s why our facilities and services are designed to complement your course and help you develop essential professional and practical skills – from personal resilience and self-awareness to CV writing and interview techniques.

We work in partnership with the University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to connect you with events, organisations or individuals to help kick-start your career.

Sector specific presentations

Our Career Insights sessions are delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector which provide insights into working in areas that are popular with our students. Previous guest speakers have delivered presentations on working in banking, professional services, and management development programmes within international companies.

Support for International Students

We recognise that many of our students will progress their careers outside of the UK once they finish their studies, and our career development programme is designed with this in mind. We offer events focused on career opportunities in China and are continually developing relationships with international recruiters.

If you’re an international student interested in working in the UK after your studies, the University's Visa Information pages provide information related to immigration. Our advisers are dedicated to helping you understand the requirements and restrictions of your visas during your studies and can provide limited advice on post-study visa requirements.

You can access more information on our English Language support pages.

Online resources

You will have access to a huge range of career resources including an interview simulator with a bank of interview questions, a CV builder, and our international Jobs Board.

Alumni career support

You can continue to make the most of our specialist career development advice after you graduate, including on-going one-to-one support from our Masters Career Consultants, workshops in our key locations, and continued access to our online career resources.

Department information

Business School

The Department of Economics, is one of four departments at Durham University Business School and is recognised across the globe for its high quality teaching and research. The department's research is broad and far-reaching, with a range of active research centres delivering impactful research across the global business world, informing policy and changing business practice.

Our programmes in economics, environmental economics and behavioural economics, provide the rigorous training and advanced analytical and technical skills required by global employers, or, to take you onto doctoral study.

You'll join a vibrant, diverse community and hear from guest speakers including leading academics and professionals from across the globe, who are specialists in your particular area of interest.

You'll benefit from our significant investment in database resources, giving you access to live and historical data to add valuable insight to your research.

Durham University Business School, is one of the UK’s longest established business schools and one of an elite group accredited by all three major bodies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). The School also offers postgraduate programmes in the areas of Accounting, Business, Management and Marketing and Finance.


For a current list of staff, please see the Business School website.

Research Excellence Framework

Read more about our results in the recent REF 2021. 


Our Economics Masters are taught across the Durham University campus by world-leading faculty from the Business School. The University is situated in the historic centre of Durham, a city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

You will join a strong and vibrant learning community with state-of-the-art facilities.

We have made a major investment in acquiring state-of-the-art database resources.

Our modern and spacious teaching and learning areas include lecture theatres, seminar rooms and study areas while the library houses extensive collections of business, economics, finance and management books and offers access to over 10,000 journals online.


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Our Events

Join one of our virtual events, webinars, open events or recruitment fairs.

Durham Business School Postgraduate Events
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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