About the course
Behavioural economics is one of the fastest growing areas in economics in recent years. Insights from behavioural economics inform business and public policy alike – we investigate the human and social factors influencing decisions made by consumers, borrowers and investors.
Our MSc Behavioural Economics will familiarise you with a diverse set of tools and methods, which provide the foundation for work in this area. We provide specialised training for students intending to work in business environments as well as for those concerned with public policy and its implementation.
You explore topics including:
- How economic considerations, cognitive limitations and psychology jointly shape human decision making
- Theoretical frameworks and empirical predictions for environments where traditional theory fails to provide guidance
- Markets and strategic interactions.
We are top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. Much of this world-class research is related to policy, and we have particular strengths in the areas of:
- Game theory and strategic interactions
- Theoretical and applied econometrics
- Labour economics
The quality of our work is reflected in our stream of publications in high-profile academic journals, including American Economic Review, Econometrica, and Review of Economic Studies.
Our University is one of only 21 ESRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK.
This means that our course can form part of a prestigious 1+3 funding opportunity worth up to £21,575.
Our expert staff
Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists of our time.
Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs, with students coming from across the globe to study, research or work with us.
Many of our researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.
For a full list of research interests, see our Department’s staff pages.
Take advantage of our wide range of learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- Extensive software for quantitative analysis is available in all computer labs across the university
- Access a variety of economics databases and multiple copies of textbooks and e-books in the Albert Sloman Library
- Our state-of-the-art social science experimental lab, ESSEXLab offers exciting opportunities if you are interested in behavioural economics.
After completing your masters, you may wish to extend your knowledge with a research degree – many Essex graduates decide to stay here for further study.
Alternatively, our course also prepares you for employment; recent surveys have shown that higher degree graduates are more likely to obtain jobs at professional or managerial level.
With its distinctive focus on questions in behavioural economics, combining theoretical foundations and real-world applications, this course will equip you with transferable employability skills valued in industry (for example in the retail and financial sectors), government and academia.
Our graduates find employment in roles such as business and financial analysts, management consultants, government officials, and economists for banks and other financial organisations.
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Be a lab assistant
We want you to succeed in your career after Essex. To help you do this, we offer two of our students on this course the chance to undertake work experience as a lab assistant in ESSEXLab, our state-of-the-art social science lab at our Colchester Campus. ESSEXLab works with researchers from across the social sciences, from Essex, elsewhere in the UK, and abroad.
As a lab assistant, you help researchers access lab resources to plan and execute their experiments, giving you a full view of the experimental research process at ESSEXLab from start to finish.
Lab assistants will have the opportunity to participate in supporting a variety of studies, including studies in the lab, online studies, and studies conducted in the field via ESSEXLab Mobile, our iPad-based mobile social science laboratory.
One Masters not enough for you?
We offer a number of postgraduate taught double degrees with our international partners. You work for two Masters degrees, one at Essex and another at a prestigious university across the globe, gaining them both in a shorter time than studying them separately. This unique opportunity gives you a competitive edge when applying for jobs or prepares you for PhD study.
UK entry requirements
A degree with an overall grade of 2.2.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.