About the course
At Essex we push the frontiers of accepted wisdom, critically examining the decisions of individuals, the strategies of firms, and the policies of governments to understand and challenge the standard paradigms of economics. In our popular flagship masters course you will develop the expert research mind-set required for a high-profile job in finance or business.
You gain a rigorous training in the key areas of economics through studying the following topics:
- Strategic behaviour, public choice and general equilibrium
- Modern theory and methods with application to policy
- Optimisation theory, formal economic arguments, and the role of equilibrium
- Econometric methods
We are top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of our research 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:
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.
Our recent MSc Economics graduates have gone on to work for a range of high-profile organisations:
- The Ministry of Finance
- HM Treasury
- The Work Foundation
- Fitch Ratings
- Schroders Investment Management
More generally, 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.
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.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
What interests you? Undertake a research project of your choosing, studying a specific economic issue or set of problems in depth, with supervision from our world-leading academic staff. Gain experience of original and independent work, making use of and building on skills that you have acquired during your Masters.
Wish to conduct your own research using econometric methods? Understand econometric methods and learn to apply them to a wide variety of situations. Examine methods of linear regression and hypothesis testing. Study time series concepts of unit roots and co-integration. Explore ideas around simultaneous equation models and panel data models.
What mathematical concepts are vital to understanding modern economic theory? Gain the essential mathematics skills needed to study economics at Masters-level, such as optimisation theory and the role of equilibrium. Understand how economic arguments work and improve your problem solving skills by using real-world economic problems.
What are the concepts and methods of modern microeconomics? And how can you apply economic reasoning to this? Understand the main principles and theories of modern microeconomics, looking at topics like contract theory, equilibrium concepts in game theory, and market signalling. Learn to apply economic reasoning to these arguments.
What are the main issues facing the modern macroeconomist? How do you critically assess macroeconomic policies? Acquire the necessary tools for macroeconomic analysis, focusing on the important questions faced by macroeconomists today.
How do you optimise sticky price models? What implication does this have on monetary policy? How do you apply the New Keynesian model to monetary aspects of the business cycle? Study theoretical models and empirical evidence for monetary aspects of the business cycle, and learn how to critically assess work.
What makes societies choose different taxation systems? What drives the selection of politician in society? And how does selection impact on the choice of policies? Study the application of economic methods to understanding the political phenomenon that impact on the choice of different economic policies.
What are the economics of international trade? And why is this important? Understand the principles that determine international trade and study a range of trade models. Learn how to carry out advanced research or work as a policy advisor on issues related to international trade.
- Core components can be combined with optional modules to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding across several topics
- Our postgraduates are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars
- Each module is assessed with a final examination and a coursework component
- Coursework is taken in the form of a term paper or a midterm test
- You undertake an individually supervised research project that involves the in-depth study of a specific economic problem or issue
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.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.