Economics MSc

Designed in collaboration with experts from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), our MSc Economics degree offers an applied economics programme that focuses on skills and knowledge that are required from graduates who want to work as professional economists in the private, public or non-profit sector. 

 

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Course outline and modules

From the cost-of-living crisis and climate change to the Covid-19 pandemic and global supply-chain problems; the past years have brought many challenges to economies all around the world. Studying economics will equip you with the skills and tools to analyse these issues and allow you to find ways to address them. 

Our core modules will introduce you to advanced economic theories and their applications in the areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics and behavioural economics. Furthermore, our applied data analysis module will provide important insight into managing and analysing contemporary large-scale data using professional software packages. Another core part of the programme is how economic data is measured and what the limitations are. For example, is GDP a suitable measure for economic well-being?

The optional modules will offer you the opportunity to specialise in different areas. For students who want to study further areas of economics, we offer the modules Economics of Entrepreneurship and International Trade and Development. For students who want to focus more on programming and data analysis, the options are  Data Mining and Web Analytics and Software Analytics. Exploring Enterprise Experience and Business Finance modules provide further insight into business and finance.

The programme concludes with an Economics Research Project, that will give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to analyse a relevant economics research problem you are interested in. 

How will my skills develop?

The key competencies of economic knowledge, application and communication will be developed through many different avenues: Interactive classes provide space for discussions, reflections and feedback; innovative and authentic assessment promotes the use of economic key skills; group coursework will develop team-working skills, and the Economics research projects promote independent-learning and critical thinking skills under the guidance of a personal supervisor.


How will this course help my career?

Employability of our Economics graduates is a key aim of our programme. Therefore, we collaborated with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to address the skills gap that they observe in economics graduate employees. With the expertise of the ONS, we created the module Measuring the Economy on how data is measured and what challenges arise when economics statistics are created, and how these challenges can be overcome. 

Findings of the Economics Network employer survey show that economics graduates who have the ability to organise, interpret and present quantitative data, and to communicate economic ideas are in demand by employers. Therefore, our economic modules do not only aim at introducing students to advanced economic theories, but also to apply these theories to current issues and communicate the results in a clear and concise manner. Similarly, the Applied Data Analysis module will cover the management of data and the professional presentation and interpretation of econometric results.

The aim of the Aston Global Advantage (AGA) module is professional development and employability. As part of the Economics specific delivery of AGA, we will also offer the “Professional Economist” module, where we focus on communication skills, for example, how economists can communicate with a non-economist audience.

Modules

Core modules

Microeconomics

This module provides students with an advanced understanding of the microeconomic foundations of consumer and producer theory. This will then be used to analyse a range of real-world questions and policy applications. In addition, students will develop an understanding of some limitations of traditional microeconomic theory.

Macroeconomics

This module provides students with an understanding of advanced macroeconomics theories and their applications. It will allow students to recognise the link between macroeconomic theories and sustainability and long-run growth. In addition, students will learn how to critically evaluate economic policies.  

Behavioural Economics and Policy

This module provides detailed insights into how behavioural biases of humans affect economic decision-making. A wide range of theoretical, experimental and empirical field evidence on decision-making will be considered to analyse the ways in which individual behaviour may deviate from what is typically assumed by economists.  We will then examine the resulting implications for business strategy and policy.  


Applied Data Analysis

This applied econometrics module uses large-scale contemporary data to engage students in a range of practical activities and accompanying discussions—providing a modern and effective portfolio of data management and analysis skills, supported by a solid conceptual understanding of key econometric techniques. 

Measuring the Economy

 This module explores how economic activity is measured and what challenges we face in producing reliable economic statistics that take account of the characteristics of a modern economy. Furthermore, potential remedies will be explored on how to overcome these challenges.  

The Aston Global Advantage 

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.

Ethics in Academic Practice

This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
 

Optional modules

Economics of Entrepreneurship

We will examine the following questions. What is entrepreneurship? Why does it matter to the economy? Who becomes an entrepreneur? Why are some places (countries, regions) more entrepreneurial than others? What can/should governments do to promote entrepreneurship?  The student will work on empirical data from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor to investigate some of these questions empirically.  

International Trade and Development 

This module discusses two distinctive, but related areas of economic activity, International Trade and Economic Development. International Trade explores how firms interact between country borders in order to achieve their objectives. While Economic Development focuses on the conditions and stages that a society needs to go through in order to transition from relatively low to high income per capita.   

Business Finance

This module teaches you the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions.  Develop an understanding of the characteristics influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing.  You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities. 

Exploring Enterprise Experience

The focus of this module on preparing students to start their own business and experience decisions taken at every stage of their business cycle. Through the virtual business simulation module, students will have the ability to apply knowledge gained from other modules into real life situations and experience in setting up their business

Data Mining and Web Analytics 

We will explore data mining techniques and their use in business decision-making. You will also learn how to uncover patterns and trends hidden in data.

Software Analytics

 This module aims to teach you the programming skills required to carry out advanced data analysis on large datasets such as those found in many Big Data applications. These skills are now commonly expected by organisations seeking to employ data analysts, and the module aims to address this demand.
 

Dissertation

Research Methods

The module will provide students with a scaffolding for carrying out their Economics Research Project. It will guide students through all the stages of the research project process, for example, from finding a feasible and relevant research question, and selecting a suitable methodology, to writing-up the results.

MSc Economics Research Project

MSc Economics research project gives students the opportunity to develop a detailed research project investigating an area in the field of Economics. The research project will give students the opportunity to apply theories, concepts, frameworks and models to analyse a research problem, understand in depth previous literature in the field, and collect data to reach conclusions regarding the research problem.
 


 

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (at least a 2:2)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

Subject-specific requirements

Applicants must demonstrate some training in economics to at least an intermediate level. Applicants are also required to have taken the following modules at bachelor's level:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics or Statistics
  • Mathematics or Quantitative

As well as

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee.
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date.
  • A completed application form.
International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
     
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
     
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
     
  • Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. 
     
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Learning, teaching and assessment

We use a variety of engaging teaching methods to ensure you get the most out of your studies.

Learning and teaching

You will experience a range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, and workshops taking place on-campus as well as online. Comprehensive supporting materials for each module will be made available via a virtual learning environment.

Aston University has subscriptions to both the Financial Times and The Economist, which you can benefit from whilst studying here. Furthermore, you will have access to many firm-level datasets, such as Bloomberg, FAME and ORBIS.

Assessment

Taught modules will be assessed through a mix of different assessment methods, such as examinations, individual and group coursework, and presentations.  You’ll also be required to conduct relevant and up-to-date research involving finding a research question, writing a literature review, analysing data, and developing critical recommendations based on your findings.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest-ranked business schools in Europe. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.

Placements

You can go on a work placement for as little as one month or as long as a year. You’ll spend your time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is really beneficial to your future career prospects, it can enhance your CV and help you stand out from the competition when applying for graduate roles. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop your understanding of your subject area by applying what you’ve learnt in the classroom to a professional context.

Our award-winning careers team will be on hand to support you in finding work placements and graduate positions. 
 
All Aston University Aston Business School postgraduate students have the opportunity to take part in the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Global Masters. The UBC Global Masters is a team-based business simulation event that provides participants with the opportunity to act as a board of directors, who have taken responsibility for improving the performance of a company. 

Visits

We have a large number of graduate employers visit the campus during the year.  There are careers fairs, networking events and much more.  You'll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where is the best place for you to start your career.
 

Fees and Scholarships

  

UK students (2023/24): £11,850

International/EU students (2023/24): £22,750

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

UK postgraduate loans

If you're thinking about studying a masters course with us, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to help with course fees and living costs. 

Find out more here.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. 

Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

 

Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston University graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees.

This means that as an Aston University graduate applying to our MSc Economics course, you could save...

£2,370

UK students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

£4,550

International/EU students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

As an Aston University graduate, you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

Career prospects

A postgraduate qualification in this subject prepares you for many different careers within the private, public and non-profit sectors. For example, professional economists can pursue careers in consultancy, political risk analysis, data science, risk management, and journalism.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it is also a great place to live.

Meet our Global Alumni Ambassador Graphic

Ask one of our International alumni about their time studying with us. They will be happy to share their thoughts on moving to Birmingham to study their course and answer any of your questions from their own experiences.

Find out more

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years to find work after they have completed their studies. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy.

Find out more about the post-study work visa.

Best University Careers Service Award

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.

Frequently asked Questions

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career. 

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing the students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 

Why study economics at Aston?

MSc Economics at Aston has been specifically designed with experts from the industry and academia to meet the growing demand for economics graduates with the right skillset. This means you’ll learn about economic theories, building on your analytical and mathematical skills, but you’ll also develop the skills to communicate complex theories to non-specialists, in order to apply knowledge to real-world settings.

You will be taught by a group of academics with a genuine passion in teaching and research. The Department of Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship has academics who won national teaching prizes from the Economics Network and publish regularly in highly ranked international journals.

 

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