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MSc Economics MSc Economics (two year programme)

About the MSc programmes

MSc Economics is intended to equip you with the main tools of the professional economist, whether you intend working in government, international organisations or business.

We expect students to have very good grades, and to have majored in economics (not business studies), with standard courses in intermediate macro and microeconomics and econometrics, and a number of advanced courses that use these as prerequisites. You should have a solid quantitative background with at least a year of calculus, linear algebra and statistics and should, for instance, know how to handle maximisation of a function of several variables subject to constraint, and be able to explain what is meant by an efficient estimator.

If you have not majored in undergraduate economics, you may apply to take the MSc programme over two years; please see the section below on the two year route. 

All students who do not have an undergraduate economics degree from a UK institution must have taken the GRE General Test no more than five years before applying, and must include full and percentile test scores for all three sections with their application. Please see Admissions Enquiries System|. We do not require a specific mark but the test gives us an indication of aptitude for economics. Typically we expect candidates to score over 760/160 in the quantitative section of the test. A higher score will count in your favour, but other information, such as grades and references will matter more in the overall evaluation. We recognise that if your first language is not English, the verbal test will present special difficulties and we view your score on that basis.

An offer of a place on the MSc Economics will include a conditional offer of progression to the MRes/PhD Economics, subject to the attainment of a distinction grade in the MSc.

Programme details

The degree concentrates on the core elements of economic theory and econometrics. Although extensive use is made of mathematics, this is primarily to facilitate analysis (if you are interested in a more mathematically oriented programme you should apply for the MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics).

To succeed on the programme you need to prove that you can work to a high standard and have excellent analytical ability; the core economics and econometrics courses assume a knowledge of constrained optimisation, matrix algebra and statistics.

Students are required to attend the Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics before the main teaching programme starts in October.

Compulsory courses

  • Macroeconomics provides a wide-ranging survey of modern macroeconomics.
  • Microeconomics focuses on classical theories of consumer and producer behaviour and on the theory of competitive equilibrium. It also focuses on models of imperfect competition and information economics or (with permission) Advanced Microeconomics has a special emphasis on mathematical methods and provides a firm grounding in classical microeconomic theory as well as its modern development.
  • Econometrics aims to present and illustrate the techniques of empirical investigation in economics.

Students will be expected to choose one full unit course from a range of options.

MSc Economics (two year programme)

Programme details

The preliminary year of the two year route is designed to give students with a sound quantitative background the opportunity to acquire the foundation in economic theory and techniques that would make them eligible for progression to the MSc in Economics.

The preliminary year will give students the opportunity to:

  • acquire a solid foundation in economics and quantitative techniques
  • earn the Diploma in Economics
  • progress to the final year of the MSc in Economics, or to other related MSc programmes, subject to performance and programme prerequisites.
  • prepare for a career as an economist.

To be eligible to apply for the two year route, a student should have a strong academic qualification with emphasis on quantitative subjects. We give detailed attention to transcripts and look for strength in mathematics and statistics especially.

All applicants must have taken the GRE General Test no more than five years before applying, and must include full and percentile test scores for all three sections with their application. Please see Admissions Enquiries System|. Typically we expect candidates to score 780/163 or higher in the quantitative section of the test and 5.0 or higher in the analytical section. We recognise that if the applicant's first language is not English, the verbal test will present special difficulties and we take that into account when assessing the score.

Students who have not previously studied economics are required to first take LSE Summer School courses in introductory macroeconomics and introductory microeconomics. Alternatively, such students may arrange to take equivalent courses elsewhere, subject to obtaining prior confirmation that the proposed courses are acceptable to us.

The preliminary year consists of examined intermediate level courses to the value of four full units.

Compulsory courses

  • Microeconomic Principles I examines consumer theory, producer theory, strategic choice, general equilibrium and welfare, topics in welfare economics and uncertainty and information or Microeconomic Principles II is similar to Microeconomic Principles I but assumes students have a greater mathematical facility permitting greater depth and a number of additional topics to be covered.
  • Macroeconomic Principles covers economic growth, consumption, investment, unemployment, business cycles, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, financial markets and international macroeconomics.
  • Mathematical Methods looks at a range of basic mathematical concepts and methods in calculus of one and several variables and in linear algebra or Further Mathematical Methods covers calculus and linear algebra.
  • Introduction to Econometrics examines the essential elements of econometrics or Principles of Econometrics provides an intermediate-level introduction to the theory and practice of econometrics.

Students progressing to the final year of the MSc Economics must attend the Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics in September 2014.

Further information about the MSc Economics programme can be found at econ.lse.ac.uk/study/programmes/mscecon.html|

Further information about the two year route, including progression requirements and contact information, can be found at econ.lse.ac.uk/study/grpr.html|

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations|.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

Our former students are employed as economists in a wide range of national and international organisations in government, international institutions, business and finance. Approximately one third of students proceed to PhD programmes at LSE or other leading universities.


Application codes: L1U1, L1U2 (2 years) (check availability|)

Start date: Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics begins early September 2014

Duration: One year - 10 months full-time (10 month master's are not compliant with the Bologna process which may affect the extent to which they are 'recognised'. For more information see Bologna process|). Two year - 22 months full-time.

Intake/applications in 2012: 139/1,067

Minimum entry requirement: One year – first class honours with concentration on economics and quantitative subjects and at least a year of calculus, linear algebra and statistics. Two year – a first class honours degree with two semesters of college-level calculus or equivalent (see entry requirements|)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements|)

GRE/GMAT requirement: One year – all students who do not have an undergraduate economics degree from a UK institution must have taken the GRE General Test. Two year – all applicants must submit a GRE score. GRE scores must be no more than five years old

Fee level: One year £23,064; two year (preliminary year only) £17,880

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support|). 

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions

A photo of Lorenzo Moruzzi, an LSE student|