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MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change

About the MSc programme

Environmental economics is playing an increasingly central role in both understanding the causes of, and designing policy solutions to, contemporary environmental problems. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of human-induced climate change. Amongst others, economic analyses have been used to determine the net costs/benefits of different policy scenarios, to better understand how to achieve and sustain international co-operation, and to evaluate the efficiency of different environmental policy instruments. Environmental economics has been instrumental in informing policy across the world, for example, in market creation such as for carbon, or the design of new interventions such as payments for ecosystem services (PES). In these, and across a wide range of other issues, from biodiversity and ecosystem loss, air pollution to, more broadly, the link between the environment and sustainable economic development, the theory and applied tools of environmental economics are uniquely placed to inform and guide decision-makers in addressing environmental challenges.

For applicants who are graduates from British Universities, the normal minimum entry requirement is an upper-second class honours degree, preferably in economics or otherwise with a background in economic analysis, and good analytical, quantitative and technical skills. Applicants with qualifications from other countries will be expected to have a similar academic background. Exceptional applicants with strong quantitative (ie in calculus or statistics) and analytical skills but without a background in economic analysis will be required to take prior training in economics (via appropriate LSE Diploma or Summer School economics courses or equivalent training elsewhere) before being considered for admission. Applications are also welcome from mature students with work experience in the environmental/climate change field who wish to upgrade their technical skills and analytical insight. Such applicants will still need to meet a threshold requirement with respect to their prior economics and/or quantitative training.

Programme details

The programme will be taught and run by what is now one of the largest international groupings of environmental economists in any academic institution. Teaching staff are based within the LSE's Department of Geography and Environment| as well as the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The programme aims to provide students with the following:

  • A well-developed understanding of environmental and resource economics, its conceptual foundations and practical tools of analysis, including state-of-the-art quantitative methods;
  • An ability to apply economic concepts and quantitative methods to the analysis, appraisal and valuation of a wide range of environmental problems and policies;
  • An awareness of the importance of context, both from an institutional and policy perspective, when applying the concepts and tools of environmental economics;
  • An in-depth understanding of climate change, including its scientific, economic and political dimensions.

The MSc requires you to take four compulsory core courses (with a value of three units) and two optional courses to the value of one unit. Note that not all the optional courses will be available every year.

Teaching itself will be conducted mainly through lectures and graduate level seminars. Assessment will be a combination of unseen examinations and research essays. You will also have the opportunity to develop a dissertation on a topic within the fields of environmental, resource or climate change economics. This will allow you to pursue a research question of interest to you in depth, using the analytical tools and techniques covered in the course. You will work on your own on the dissertation, with advice from a supervisor. In general, teaching contact for a full-unit course is usually 40 hours, and 20 hours for a half-unit.

The continuing rise in the application of economics to environmental policy-making has created increased demand for individuals with state-of-the-art training in environmental, natural resource and climate change economics, and an ability to apply economic tools to the analysis of a wide range of environmental problems and policy.

Compulsory courses 

(* half unit)

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of one full unit from a range of options. 

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

Economics is frequently at the centre of environmental policy-making. The MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change provides state-of-the-art training in environmental, natural resource and climate change economics. Students will develop analytical tools applicable to the full range of environmental issues in the public, private, and other sectors. There are promising career opportunities for those who have trained as professional environmental economists: in government, international organisations, industry, NGOs, consultancy and research.

The MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change will be invaluable if you wish to work, or are already working, in a specialised area relating to climate change economics but also more broadly to any aspect of environmental and resource economics.

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Application code: L7UD (check availability|)

Start date: 24 September 2015

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Intake/applications in 2013: 25/203

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 degree in any discipline, preferably social science. Will consider appropriate work experience in addition to sound academic background (see entry requirements|)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements|)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £12,024; overseas £18,600

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see  Fees and financial support|). MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change is accredited for ESRC funding as part of a four year award (see ESRC|

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions. For consideration for ESRC funding 12 January 2015


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