MSc Economics (two year programme)

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Economics
  • Application code L1U2
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The two year route for the MSc Economics is designed for students who have a sound quantitative background but lack the necessary knowledge in economic theory and quantitative techniques for the one year programme. You should have a strong academic qualification with an emphasis on quantitative subjects such as mathematics and statistics.

The preliminary year will provide you with a solid foundation in economic theory and quantitative techniques and develop your skills to the point where you become eligible to join the main MSc Economics programme.

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Economics 2 Year Programme
Start date September 2020. The second year of the programme begins with an Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics, starting from August 2021
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 22 months full-time
Applications 2018 316
Intake 2018 42
Tuition fee

First year UK/EU students: £22,608 (2020/21)
First year Overseas students: £22,608 (2020/21)
Second year UK/EU students: £30,360 - provisional (2021/22)
Second year Overseas students: £30,960 - provisional (2021/22)

Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement First class honours degree or equivalent with two semesters of university level mathematics
GRE/GMAT requirement GRE is required for all applicants
English language requirements Standard (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.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Economics (two year programme)

First class honours degree or equivalent with two semesters of university-level mathematics. 

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

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

GRE/GMAT requirement

All applicants must submit a GRE score. This must be no more than five years old on 1 October 2020, and must include full and percentile test scores for all three sections with your application. Typically we expect you to score at least 161 or higher in the quantitative section of the test. A higher score will count in your favour, but other information, such as examination results and references will also matter in the overall evaluation. We recognise that if your first language is not English, the verbal test will be more demanding and we will view your score on that basis.

Find out more about GRE/GMAT

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)
- statement of academic purpose
- 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, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Programme structure and courses

In the first year you take four compulsory courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and mathematics. If you successfully complete the examinations at the end of the first year, you will be awarded a Diploma in Economics. If, in addition, your examination performance is sufficiently strong, then you will be allowed to progress to the second year of the programme, subject to meeting the progression criteria as stated in the programme regulations.

If you successfully progress to the second year, you will take four compulsory courses, one unit of elective courses and an extended essay linked to the elective course. The first compulsory course, is the Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics, (before the main teaching programme starts) begins in late August 2021. This is followed by three compulsory core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, as well as one elective course, which is linked to the extended essay you will need to complete.

First year 

Macroeconomic Principles 
Covers economic growth, consumption, investment, unemployment, business cycles, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, financial markets and international macroeconomics.

Microeconomic Principles I
Examines consumer theory, producer theory, strategic choice, general equilibrium and welfare, topics in welfare economics and uncertainty and information.
Microeconomic Principles II
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.

Mathematical Methods
Focuses on a range of basic mathematical concepts and methods in calculus of one and several variables and in linear algebra.
Further Mathematical Methods
Covers calculus and linear algebra.

Introduction to Econometrics
Examines the essential elements of econometrics.
Principles of Econometrics
Provides an intermediate-level and somewhat more technical introduction to the theory and practice of econometrics.

Second year

The Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics includes treatment of dynamic programming, continuous time dynamic optimisation, quadratic forms, Kuhn-Tucker theorem, and marginal and conditional probability distributions, amongst other topics. 

Focuses on core models of growth and business cycle fluctuations, drawing on developments at the frontiers of research.

Focuses on classical theories of consumer and producer behaviour, the theory of competitive equilibrium, models of imperfect competition and information economics, amongst other topics.
Or (with permission) 
Advanced Microeconomics
Provides more emphasis to mathematical methods following a proof-based approach, and provides a firm grounding in classical microeconomic theory as well as a variety of recent developments from behavioural economics and other fields.

Presents modern, technical tools for empirical analysis in economics, for cross section, time series and panel data; focusing on the properties of different estimation models, as well as illustrating the use of these techniques in practical problems.

Courses to the value of one unit from a range of options

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

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

This programme runs for 22 months full time.

The average taught course contact hours per half unit is 20-30 hours and a full unit is 40-60 hours. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

Given the high level of academic performance expected from students, a significant amount of independent study and preparation is required to get the most out of the programme. You will 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 teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.


All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It 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 and/or by final examination at the end of the course. You have the advantage of being assessed both after the end of the first term (Lent Term Week 0 January exams) and after the end of second term (Summer Term main exam period).

An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic mentor in your first year 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.

Preliminary reading

Snyder, C and Nicholson, W (2012) Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions, USA, Thomson South-Western

Blanchard, O and Johnson D R (2013) Macroeconomics, Essex, Pearson Education Limited

Wooldridge, J W (2013) Introductory Econometrics. A Modern Approach, USA, South-Western

Binmore, K and Davies, J (2001) Calculus, Concepts and Methods, Cambridge, University Press

Mankiw, N G (2010) Macroeconomics, 7th Edition, Worth Publishers


Our former students are employed as economists in a wide range of national and international organisations in government, international institutions, business and finance. In recent years, our graduates have gained employment in organisations such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, NERA Economic Consulting, PwC, Deloitte, Compass Lexecon, McKinsey, IMF, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Bundesbank, Bank of England, and HM Treasury.

Approximately one third of students proceed to PhD programmes at LSE or other leading universities. In recent years, our MSc in Economics students have placed at MIT, Princeton, Stanford, NYU, Northwestern, Penn, Columbia, Yale, MIT Sloan, UCLA, Wisconsin-Madison, Cornell and many other top PhD programmes around the world.

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.

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 2020/21 for MSc Economics (two year programme)

UK/EU students, first year: £22,608 (2020/21)
Overseas students, first year: £22,608 (2020/21)
UK/EU students, second year: £30,360 - provisional (2021/22)
Overseas students, second year: £30,960 - provisional (2021/22)

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and 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.

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.

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 £13 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: 27 April 2020.

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. 

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

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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