Programmes

MSc Economics and Philosophy

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method
  • Application code L1I1
  • Starting 2018

The MSc Economics and Philosophy offers a unique combination of rigorous training in economics together with the opportunity to engage with moral, methodological and foundational questions. 

Taught jointly by the Department of Economics and the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, this thoroughly interdisciplinary programme encourages you to engage constructively with key economic and political issues, whilst allowing you to explore and question your conceptual and theoretical foundations. Questions typically addressed include: What are the moral advantages and disadvantages of market institutions? Can we make interpersonal comparisons of well-being, and if so, how? How do models of economic phenomena relate to the actual social world? What are the assumptions underlying the rational choice model in economics? Can they be normatively justified? Are they descriptively accurate?

You will have access to the wealth of resources available in both the Economics and the Philosophy Departments, including research seminars and colloquia on topics in economics, rational and social choice, scientific evidence and policy-making. You may apply to the LSE Internships programme in Public Policy, Social Issues and Public Affairs, which offers internships to LSE graduate students in key organisations working across the field of public policy, social issues and public affairs.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Economics and Philosophy
Start date Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics begins in late August 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 13 months full-time, 25 months part-time
Applications 2016 110
Intake 2016 6
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £20,904
Overseas £20,904
Financial support Graduate support scheme (26 April 2018)
Minimum entry requirement First class honours degree or equivalent with concentration on economics and quantitative subjects
GRE/GMAT requirement GRE is required for applicants without a UK undergraduate degree
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

You will attend the Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics (before the main teaching programme starts) in late August 2018. The course includes treatment of dynamic programming, continuous time dynamic optimisation, quadratic forms, Kuhn-Tucker theorem, and marginal and conditional probability distributions, amongst other topics. 

You will then choose two economics courses (from three options), and two philosophy courses from the large range of philosophy options on offer.

In addition, you will take part in the non-assessed dissertation seminar, which will prepare you to complete your dissertation of 7,000 words. 

Two from:
Microeconomics
Develops the basic tools for analysing problems of resource allocation used by economists working in research, government and business.
Macroeconomics
Provides a wide-ranging survey of modern macroeconomics.
Econometrics
Presents and illustrates the techniques of empirical investigation in economics.

Dissertation Seminar: Economics and Philosophy
This non-assessed course covers topics in the philosophy and methodology of economics. 

Dissertation
An independent research project on an approved topic of your choice, of not more than 7,000 words. 

Courses to the value of two units from a large range of philosophy options. 

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 25–30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 50–60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its research and courses are taught by members of the faculty, who are research leaders in the field. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Assessment

All taught courses include formative (i.e. unassessed) coursework. This is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment, which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

Your dissertation will be prepared with the guidance of a personal supervisor and you will also be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

This is a highly selective, small programme, and students typically have a good deal of contact with their programme co-ordinator and form a close social group. The Department organises social occasions through the year.

Preliminary reading

J Baggini and P S Fosl The philosopher's toolkit: a compendium of philosophical concepts and methods (Blackwell Publishing, 2010)

D M Hausman and M S McPherson Economic analysis, moral philosophy, and public policy (Cambridge, 2006)

M Hollis The philosophy of social science: an introduction (Cambridge, 1994)

K G Binmore and J L Savage Rational decisions (Princeton University 2009)

J Reiss Philosophy of economics: a contemporary introduction (Routledge, 2013)

Careers

The degree offers a good preparation for doctoral research in both economics and philosophy. It also prepares students for careers in financial institutions, and intergovernmental, governmental, and non-governmental organisations, and for employment in such fields as financial and economic journalism and consulting.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Clarissa Kayser

MSc Economics and Philosophy

Clarissa-Kayser-170x230

The MSc Economics & Philosophy programme strikes the perfect balance between quantitative analysis and philosophical argument. By requiring the participation in two economics courses together with the MSc Economics students, and in two philosophy courses together with the other MSc Philosophy students, it provides a truly interdisciplinary curriculum.

I really felt I got to enjoy the best of both worlds. I noticeably broadened my horizons, exercised my rigorous mathematical thinking ability, trained my logical analytic argumentation skills and learned to apply the skills acquired in one area to the other, in order to gain fascinating insights.

James Snowden

MSc Economics and Philosophy

James-Snowden-170x230

The MSc Economics and Philosophy is a truly interdisciplinary graduate programme. As well as your chosen courses, there is also a weekly seminar just for the programme at which students present their own dissertation ideas. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to shape a debate around their own ideas and gain valuable presenting experience. You are given the freedom to pursue your own interests in an environment which fosters creative thinking. I would strongly recommend the programme to any economists with a philosophical bent.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply. 

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Economics and Philosophy 

First class honours degree or equivalent with concentration on economics and quantitative subjects. 

If your first language is not English, you must submit a writing sample of five-ten typewritten pages.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

GRE/GMAT requirement

GRE is required for applicants without a UK undergraduate degree. It must be no more than five years before 1 October 2018, and must include the test scores with their application. We typically expect candidates to score at least in the 85th percentile in the quantitative section of the test. Good scores on the analytical and verbal are also important. When an applicant's first language is not English, we take this into account in assessing the verbal score.

More information on GRE/GMAT

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MSc Economics and Philosophy

UK/EU students: £20,904
Overseas students: £20,904

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. However any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a Home (UK/EU) or Overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Please refer to the Fees Office website for further information.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 
Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities

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