Entry requirements

The equivalent of a UK upper second-class single or joint honours degree in Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Computer Science or Engineering. Applicants with degrees in other subjects are encouraged to apply as long as they have achieved good grades in two Mathematics/Statistics/Econometrics modules covering calculus, probability theory/econometrics and ideally linear algebra.

Check the full list of equivalent qualifications.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Economics will equip you with the skills and knowledge to understand the complex, rapidly shifting and uncertain modern global economy.

Through core modules, you will learn advanced macroeconomics, covering monetary theory, growth theory and business cycle theory and advanced microeconomics that consider consumer and producer theory. The module in econometrics will equip you with the research skills you will need on the course and beyond.

The MSc offers the flexibility to choose optional modules in subjects such as industry, money and banking and natural resources and to develop your research skills through the MSc dissertation, which includes the option to conduct research abroad at a partner university.

You will be taught by world-class academics from Durham University Business School, which is one of an elite group of institutions to be accredited by three major business education accreditation bodies, namely: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). As an economics student you will be part of an academic department with an international reputation for research and teaching excellence.

We have made a major investment in acquiring state-of-the-art database resources, including Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Datastream and Orbis, that will give you access to live and historical facts and figures relating to the financial records of millions of companies worldwide, adding valuable insight to your research.

International Opportunities
We are proud of our international connections and offer several opportunities to experience campus life in destinations across the globe.

  • Dissertation Abroad
    You will be offered the opportunity to apply to undertake your dissertation (research project) at one of our prestigious European partner institutions during the summer months (June to September). This exciting programme provides an opportunity to gain experience living abroad and to build your network, as well as developing an understanding of how campus life works in another destination. Participation in the programme will develop your personal skills, in addition to improving employability by demonstrating adaptability, resilience, communication skills and a global mindset. This partially self-funded programme is very popular and our International Team in the Business School will support your journey from application to departure.
  • Summer School
    If your ambitions lie beyond the UK, you will have the opportunity to participate in a Summer School at one of our global network of university and business partners. These partially self-funded competitive activities, normally take place after exams in either June, July or August, for up to three weeks. They cover a wide range of topics and aim to complement the knowledge you gain during your time in Durham, whilst contextualising it in an international business setting. Please note, in order to be considered for a place on one of our Summer Schools, all students must apply as places are limited.

Practitioner insights - Guest Speaker Programme
As part of the programme, you will be encouraged to attend presentations by leading academics and professionals who are specialists in your particular area of interest. Combining critical and progressive thinking with practical insight, past speakers have included professional economists from a range of organisations such as: the Bank of England, The Economic and Social Research Institute, the European Commission and the IMF to discuss how they apply core economic skills in their work.

Pre-sessional Introduction to Economics
Prior to starting your Economics Masters programme we offer a pre-sessional course for those students without an economics background. Starting in September of each academic year, this is a 12-hour online pre-recorded course that covers the basics in microeconomics (6 hours) and macroeconomics (6 hours), with opportunities for self-assessment and online drop-in sessions. The course is entirely optional, but we strongly recommend prospective students, with a first degree not in Economics, to fully engage with the course to make the transition as smooth as possible. The course can also serve as a refresher for economists who have graduated a time ago.

Course structure

Core modules:

Advanced Macroeconomics develops your knowledge and analytical skills in topics featuring growth theory, business cycle theory, analysis modelling, monetary theory and their applications.

Advanced Microeconomics enhances your knowledge and analytical skills in areas such as consumer theory, producer theory, decision-making under risk and uncertainty, incentives and strategic behaviour, market equilibrium, general equilibrium and welfare economics.

Econometric Analysis provides some of the econometrics skills necessary to pursue empirical research in economics and/or finance and provides a grounding for understanding the more advanced econometric techniques to be taught in the second term of the course.

The Dissertation is an in-depth investigation of a specific subject you've already studied as part of your programme. Supervised by a faculty member, this is an opportunity for you to develop your insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner. There is also the opportunity to undertake your dissertation abroad at a partner university.

You will also choose a module from:

  • Time-Series Analysis
  • Microeconometrics
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Environmental and Climate Economics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Game Theory
  • Industrial Organisation
  • International Trade and Economics
  • Money and Banking
  • Natural Resource Economics
  • Language module offered by the Centre for Foreign Language Studies

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Durham Business School