Gain the fundamental tools of a professional economist with our MSc Economics.
On this course, you’ll learn how to assess a wide range of theoretical, empirical and policy-related economic issues.
You will work with academics from the Department of Economics, and your training will emphasise interactive and applied learning as you study a number of key areas. These include:
micro-principles of economic behaviour
macro-outcomes of national and global importance
combining methodological, theoretical and applied issues of prime relevance to the study and practice of economics and economic policy
building a strong working knowledge of current statistical software and other applications used in economic analysis, both in the public and private sectors.
We are one of the top 25 highest-ranking UK universities for Economics and Econometrics (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2018), and our teaching is supported by our academics’ research. For example, many of our economists conduct applied research that influences economic policy formation at the local, national and international levels – and this work directly informs what you’ll study. This ensures that what you learn is topical, relevant and has practical implications.
Here at Reading, you will be just a 30-minute train journey from London, a major hub of financial activity. Reading itself is home to a number of financial services businesses and has the highest density of digital tech businesses of any UK town or city. Our location makes it very easy for us to arrange trips to relevant organisations and institutions during your studies.
You will typically spend six to eight hours a week in lectures and supported classroom seminars, studying alongside academics, industry professionals and postgraduate colleagues. Our classes are small in size to allow for active participation, and lecturers include economists and other real-life practitioners who actively put economic principles into practice.
This master’s course is for people who have studied undergraduate economics. This includes joint degrees in which economics accounts for around half or more of the programme.
Flexibility in your studies
You will have the opportunity to specialise your degree by choosing from a range of optional modules. Examples of optional modules are listed under the 'What will you Study?' section below.
You will also have the opportunity to do a Capstone project as one of your optional modules. This involves working within a team to deliver a project for an external organisation, and applying your academic knowledge in a practical way. You will then submit an individual report after the project is complete.
IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5
Entry requirements: Normally a good undergraduate honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent from a university outside the UK. You are required to be numerate, and normally your undergraduate degree should be in economics, or a joint degree in which economics accounted for at least half of the programme.
Learn the statistical concepts, including elementary regression, that are useful for reading research papers and working on your own projects. You will work to understand basic econometric methods, undertake econometric analysis at intermediate level, and interpret econometric results produced by others.
The module examines topics in microeconomics in an advanced manner incorporating mathematics. Topics will include general equilibrium, welfare, and decision making under risk (expected utility theory), uncertainty (subjective expected utility theory), and over time (discounted utility). Further potential topics may include behavioural aspects of decision making and interactions under asymmetric information.
This module introduces students to a set of modern analytical and computational topics and methods in macroeconomic theory and policy and the corresponding programming techniques and software, namely Dynare and MATLAB.
Build a foundation in the economic analysis of competition policy and regulation. You will examine the reasons why governments need competition policy and regulation, how governments intervene in practice and the consequences of such intervention on economic welfare.
Learn the concepts and techniques used in modern analysis of the global economy. You will become familiar with the analytical tools used in the field of international finance, and how these tools can be applied in examining key policy issues.
Working in small groups and overseen by one of our academics, you will complete a project on behalf of an external organisation such as a business, government agency, not-for-profit, or non-governmental organisation (NGOs).
Examine a number of lessons from theoretical industrial economics that will aid in your understanding of corporate decision-making, including topics such as price-setting, output-setting, investment in productive capacity, advertising and collusive behaviour.
Examine business economics topics such as: the economics of entrepreneurship; theories of the firm; innovation, and advertising. You will be required to read and critically evaluate relevant and notable research works in the field.
Critically review the rationale and experience of microfinance services for the rural and urban poor, examine the major players in the financial markets, and identify the financial service needs of poor households, and of micro-entrepreneurs (agricultural and non-agricultural).
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £8,100 per year
New international students: £17,100 per year
New UK/EU students: £4,050 year one
New international students: £8,550 year one
Fees and funding information
The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated, and relate to courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Scholarships and financial support
We have a number of scholarships available for students studying MSc Economics or one of the other courses offered by our School of Politics, Economics and International Relations. These include:
6 scholarships of £3,000 each for international students
4 scholarships of £1,500 each for UK/EU students
For more information about these scholarships, as well as the University of Reading’s other master’s scholarships, please visit our master’s scholarships page.
You can apply for a scholarship once you hold an offer of admission for your course. If you are eligible for a scholarship, we will contact you to guide you through the process.
What career can you have?
Careers for MSc Economics graduates
MSc Economics provides graduates with specialist expertise in economic analysis, and is designed for people who want to work within:
economic research, including PhD studies.
A master’s degree in economics also develops skills in writing, maths, econometrics and computing, which means that economics graduates have a number of transferable skills that are sought by employers.
We are committed to your employability, and have dedicated careers resources available for master’s students.