Economics for Development

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 24.6 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 31.3 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 20, 2025
1 place StudyQA ranking:6237 Duration:1 year

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This is a nine-month degree in development economics with a strong emphasis on bringing methods of modern economic analysis to economic development theory and policy. The course will prepare you for further academic research or for work as a professional development economist in international agencies, governments or the private sector.

The course seeks to cultivate the analytical and critical skills relevant to economic development, in particular those needed to assess alternative approaches to policy. It provides the rigorous quantitative training that development work now requires, helping you develop the ability to access, process and interpret a variety of data. It aims to provide the research tools and approaches needed for those who wish to proceed to doctoral research in development economics.

Structure

You will take courses in economic theory (split between macroeconomics, microeconomics and trade), a course in quantitative methods (ie econometrics) and a series of elective modules in development economics. Topics vary from year to year. In recent years, modules have covered topics such as growth and structural change, agriculture and development, political economy and institutions, globalisation, macroeconomic management, and risk and microfinance. Students typically follow four or five out of eight modules offered.

A central component of the course is a 10,000-word dissertation written on a subject which you choose in consultation with your supervisor and with the agreement of your Course Director. More information on the structure of the course is available in the course handbook on the ODID website.

Teaching

The course is taught through lectures and classes and, for the development modules, student presentations. The quantitative methods course also includes hands-on training in the use of specialist statistical software. Class sizes are small – usually between 5 and 30 students – encouraging active participation and enabling students to learn from each other.

During the course you will be required to complete a number of problem sets as well as writing essays for individual supervisors (the tutorial system). This system is used to build critical and analytical skills and is particularly beneficial to students from a different background of instruction.

You will be allocated a general supervisor who will support your academic development and with whom you will meet regularly throughout the course. Allocation is based on your research interests, optimal fit with the supervisor’s expertise, and staff availability. In cases where dissertation supervision requires expertise that is not available among the core staff, an additional dissertation supervisor with expertise in the chosen field will be identified. In addition, you will have a college advisor whom you may consult on issues concerning your personal wellbeing.

Assessment

On-course assessment, which will not count towards your final degree, will be provided through feedback on problem sets and essays. In addition there will be five informal examinations during the year. Again, these will not count towards your final degree but they will provide an invaluable opportunity to assess your progress and for you to practise exam technique.

The degree is formally assessed through examination at the end of the summer term. This comprises four written papers: microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, quantitative methods, and development economics. The dissertation will be submitted before the examinations and your final mark will be aggregated from the results of the examinations and the dissertation.

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in economics.

Applicants whose first degree contains little or no economics cannot be considered for this course. The minimum requirement is the equivalent of two years of full-time study at university level of economics courses (please note that courses in finance, planning, business, management and other similar subjects do not count as economics courses). Some mathematical and quantitative ability is essential for this course.

If your first degree contains too little economics for the MSc, but you nonetheless wish to study development at Oxford, you may wish to consider the two-year MPhil in Economics or the two-year MPhil in Development Studies.

Entrance to the course is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.8 out of 4.0.

You must submit a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. There is no specified minimum GRE score, and these scores are only used to provide useful comparative information in the admissions process, especially for students coming from non-UK institutions.

2. English language requirement

Higher level

Test

Standard level scores

Higher level scores

IELTS Academic 
Institution code: 0713

7.0 Minimum 6.5 per component  7.5  Minimum 7.0 per component 

TOEFL iBT 
Institution code: 0490

100

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
110

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 185

Minimum 176 per component

191 

Minimum 185 per component

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) 185

Minimum 176 per component

191 

Minimum 185 per component

3. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

  • Three references (letters of recommendation)
  • Official transcript(s) of previous university-level degrees
  • CV/résumé
  • Written work:Two essays of 4,000 words each
  • GRE General Test results
  • Statement of purpose/personal statement:500 to 1,000 words
  • Clarendon Scholarships. This unique scheme offers around 140 new, fully-funded scholarships each year to academically outstanding graduate students, as well as providing a lively and stimulating community of scholars.
  • Hill Foundation Scholarships. The Hill Foundation Scholarships fund Russian students to study for full-time graduate courses in any subject at Oxford. The Hill Foundation is a charity which aims to create a community of Oxford scholars and alumni who will work to improve Russian life and culture.The scholarship will cover 100% of University and college fees and a grant for living costs (of at least £14,296). Awards are made for the full duration of your fee liability for the agreed course.
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