Home > Study > Graduate > Taught Programmes 2016 > MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change

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 cooperation, 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 UK 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 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. If you are planning to apply for a PhD within the Department, please be advised that you need to take some methods training as part of the MSc. Contact your MSc programme director and the Director of Graduate studies to discuss this requirement.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change 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, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. 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 circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. 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.

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.



Application code: L7UD (check availability)

Start date: 22 September 2016

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

Intake/applications in 2014: 19/227

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 degree in any discipline, preferably social science. We 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 £12,504; overseas £19,344

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 11 January 2016