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We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to establish a strong theoretical foundation, followed by the development of your knowledge and tools for analysing real-world economic data.

You'll learn in a dynamic and collaborative environment through lectures, seminars and open debate, allowing you to develop a diverse range of fully-transferable skills.

Lectures and tutorials

You will typically spend 6-8 hours a week in lectures over the Autumn and Spring terms.

As well as lectures, we offer small-group tutorials where you will discuss and analyse theory and practice through case studies, group presentations, debate and games.

Visiting speaker sessions

We strengthen your learning experience through an active guest speaker programme, which offers a different perspective, whilst keeping you in touch with the latest global developments and challenges.

Previous visitors have come from universities including Oxford, Cambridge and the LSE, and organisations such as the Bank of England, the Office for National Statistics, the Treasury, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and the Ministry of Justice.

Real-world application

You'll develop a strong grounding at a theoretical level and then apply what you learn to real-world settings and scenarios.

Our modules are designed to equip you with the skills to succeed in economics within an ever-changing world; they're dynamic and relevant to current affairs and issues, such as our module on climate change.

You will also have exposure to software packages commonly used by research economists in academia, government and business, such as Stata, Matlab and Dynare.

The course offers compulsory modules in advanced microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics and a wide range of optional modules to suit your interests. You can also opt for an optional Capstone Project module which is a great opportunity to do a project placement with an external organisation.
Hicham El Kaissi, MSc Economics

Varied methods of assessment

We use a range of assessments, from essays and policy brief writing to statistical briefing exercises and group projects. It's an opportunity for you to gather your own data first-hand or analyse and critically evaluate secondary data.

Capstone project

A Capstone project gives you the chance to work in a team with other students on a project for an external organisation.

It is an excellent opportunity for you to work on a real-world policy problem and be supervised by an academic. The programme is designed to give students hands-on experience, and to give organisations the opportunity to benefit from an independent analysis of an existing, or prospective, initiative, policy or area of concern.

Learning opportunities for students

A Capstone project gives students an ideal opportunity to develop new skills and competencies:

  • develop your ability to work in a team
  • deliver successful planning and policy project implementation by developing strong organisational skills and receiving guidance and professional support throughout the project. This will make you more attractive to future employers who seek these soft skills
  • strengthen your reports writing skills: these differ significantly from academic papers as they require you to apply analysis and research to solve a practical problem
  • enhance your ability to analyse policy by contributing to the drawing of policy recommendations, gathering data, designing analytical frameworks, developing methodology, and reviewing policy literature.

Example projects

Past projects have included:

  • impact assessments
  • cost benefit analysis
  • a review of the dynamics of central Reading, focusing on its rapidly changing economy and demography
  • advice to a Local Economic Partnership on how to develop a strategy in response to the new Industrial Strategy White Paper.

Past organisations we've worked with have included:

  • businesses 
  • government agencies
  • not-for-profits
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

If you are an organisation and want to discuss a Capstone project with us then please get in touch by emailing capstone@reading.ac.uk.

Conversations in Economics

Extend your study beyond the classroom with our weekly ‘Conversation in Economics’. Students across year groups, from first-years to PhD, and staff, get together to discuss topical issues from an economic perspective.

We've had several discussions on the economics of Covid-19, and of course some lively discussions about Brexit, income tax, the economics of health, and feminism.

Contribute to research

We often give our students the opportunity to engage in our academic research as a way of applying their acquired knowledge and expertise to our world-leading research projects.

For example, Anisa Butt, a PhD student in the Department, contributed to the work of Professor Giovanni Razzu's book "Gender Inequality in the Eastern European Labour Market: Twenty-Five Years of Transition Since the Fall of Communism" through carrying out comparative analysis on gender equality research.

Read Jacob's story

Jacob focused on the Economics side of the course, and his dissertation used econometric techniques to examine the impact of immigration on UK labour productivity.

Master's courses

Choose from a range of programmes reflecting the changing global economic environment, and examine the links between changes at national and international level.

We offer a range of master's courses in economics, public policy, business economics and economics and finance.

Read the Economics brochure

Life in the Department

You'll be working alongside your peers in an environment that rewards ideas, shared learning and collaboration, putting you on a firm path to success.