Why study Economics at postgrad level?
Whether furthering your study or embarking on a new area, by studying economics at masters level, you’ll gain the skills to launch a career in economics or finance or continue your study to PhD level, you’ll also hold transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of other professions and industries.
Courses vary, ranging from economics, to economics with finance or econometrics, as well as spreading into other disciplines with joint courses.
According to the figures, the majority of economics masters students in the UK are not from the UK and study full time. The largest departments in the UK are Birmingham, Greenwich, York and Bristol, boasting more than 400 students each.
Qualifications in the area of economics and finance can take you many places. Whether further training to become a chartered accountant or a role in a company or consultancy or asset management.
Jobs in finance generally pay very well and furthering your study can give you the added boost over others when applying for competitive roles.
It’s still important to do your research and think carefully and ask for advice, from university careers services or people working in the industry before choosing a particular programme and university.
Afsar studied MSc Economics at the School of oriental and African Studies (SOAS), part of the University of London.
Why did you decide to study economics at postgraduate level?
My degree is in Financial Mathematics, and after graduating I didn't feel ready for the working world, and I genuinely wanted to enhance my skills as well as study something I am passionate about, which is Economics. I chose this specific course as it was an interesting specialist course as well as cheap and part of University of London. To be honest my decision to do postgrad Economics was quite spontaneous, I didn't actually expect to be offered a place. I also thought the course in general has great career prospects and will benefit me in the future, not necessarily just in terms of career and business, but as a human being.
The course is MSc Economics with reference to South Asia, so it is standard post-graduate economics course with two specialist modules that are about the macroeconomic development of South Asia as well as the economic history and politics of south Asia.
I chose SOAS purely because this university has low fees compared to others in London, however, when I arrived here I noticed there was a big political vibe and everyone was very revolutionary, as well as diverse and passionate about other cultures.
My economics department is full of Marxists, so it was extremely interesting to learn economics from that perspective. They critique the mainstream economists and they have opened up my eyes to a lot of things in the world.
The most challenging aspect has been keeping on top of the terminology, as I am from a maths background, the last time I did economics it was at A-level, so I got extremely confused when people were talking about neo-classical theories and the post-Keynesian revolution etc.
What do you hope to do afterwards?
Hope to either get into Risk, or Asset management or a general role in the finance consultancy sector. I also am considering management future leadership roles.
How are you funding the course and supporting yourself?
I work in a call-centre at GFKNOP; I paid my tuition fees through this, as well as my travel expenses. I also tutor students in AS and GCSE Maths to fund myself. I have received no support from the government and no scholarships because I applied so late. As mentioned, my decision to take an MSc was completely spontaneous!
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a masters in economics/finance?
I would say look into the specific modules and make sure you are passionate about the subject as well as ensuring that you know the foundations of the course. If you enjoy the course time flies so quick and you also do well. For me my course has been amazing and such a big eye opener. I did not know a lot of things and how to analyse different scenarios. I believe the skills I gained from my degree in 4 years in total is probably 30% of the skills I gained in my Masters in one year. Of course the skills in my degree enabled me to gain the skills at a faster pace in my masters, but my masters has had such a broad variety of different topics and which enabled me to build myself as an academic and potential employee in the finance sector.
These vary, but the majority will require a good undergraduate degree wither in or with some element of economics, as well as healthy interest in the subject. Some particular courses may require
Courses range from £3,930 - £17,000 and you’ll pay more if you’re an international student, between £7,000 and £23,000.
Read our ultimate guide to postgrad funding to find out about the various options available and don’t forget to apply for one of our bursaries. You can also search for scholarships in our funding section.
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