The MSc Local Economic Development (LED) is a one-year full-time master's programme offered by the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics.
In recent years rapid technological and informational changes, industrial restructuring and integration have been radically realigning production structures and fostering an unprecedented drive toward the globalisation of the world economy. World trade has expanded at twice the rate of output and national governments have slowly but decidedly given up their protectionist policies to engage in the new global markets. In this context, local and regional economies increasingly need new responses and demand specialist skills to exploit the opportunities these changes offer. The MSc Local Economic Development prepares students to meet these challenges.
The Institute of Economic Development (IED) has accredited the programme, which means graduates of the MSc LED can become full members of IED, if they so wish, without any further investigation provided they meet the other criteria for membership; these other criteria are being in a full-time economic development post and having at least three years' relevant work-experience.
"The MSc in Local Economic Development is a world-leading and outstanding programme in its field. The teaching staff is amongst the foremost and highest quality scholars in local and regional development and policy internationally. The content is contemporary and state-of-the-art, connecting critically with current theoretical and policy issues and debates. The programme is challenging and pushes the students to produce work of the very highest quality. It is distinctive in its combination of quantitative and qualitative material. The programme is well run and organised. The employment and post-course outcomes for participants are very positive with students finding jobs with a range of organisations internationally or going on to further courses" - external examiner's report.
The programme is targeted at two groups of students: first, those who have recently finished a first degree in a relevant discipline and want to develop specific skills and an understanding of local and regional economic development; second, managers of local economic development institutions who want to widen and deepen their existing knowledge. The MSc is also an ideal starting point for a career in research in economic development.
Previous graduates are mainly working in international organisations (UN system [including ILO, UNDP, FAO], World Bank, OECD, European Union, World Trade Conference), national and regional governments, international consultancy, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research centres and universities.
The programme maintains strong connections with its alumni network. LED students and alumni organise regular events, including the annual LED Forum, which brings together industry experts and academics with LED students and alumni to discuss contemporary issues related to local economic development. We also have an active LinkedIn group.
Graduates of the Department have excellent career prospects. The most recent data, for 2011/12, shows that 6 months after graduation MSc Local Economic Development students achieved an average starting salary of £32,200, with 91% engaged in employment or further education. LSE produces outstanding graduates, and you can be sure that choosing to study with us will shape your future.
These statistics are taken from the DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) survey, overseen by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the UK Government and sample at least 80% of UK graduates and at least 50% of non-UK graduates.