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University of Oxford Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :22 Jan 
International :22 Jan 
EU :22 Jan 

MSc Economics for Development

Catalog id : TM_EF1
 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

9 Months
 Start month

 Tuition fee

21500 GBP
16280 GBP
16280 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
Oxford Department of International Development
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100

World University Ranking

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About this course

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.

Graduate destinations

  • Approximately one third of MSc graduates proceed to doctoral research in economics, usually two to three in Oxford, either immediately or after work experience in the field.
  • Significant numbers are also now working in the major international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the UN organisation, as well as in the UK’s Department for International Development.
  • Many others work in the international NGO sector and for major consultancies.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

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.
  • 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 only used to provide useful comparative information in the admissions process, especially for students coming from non-UK institutions.

References/letters of recommendation 

Your references will support academic ability, motivation and suitability for your chosen programme of study and any other information you consider to be relevant to your application. Please note that three academic references are required.

Written work produced by the student

  • You should submit two pieces of written work, which should each be around 4,000 words in length (for example undergraduate essays) and written in English.
  • Extracts from longer pieces of work are acceptable but if two extracts are submitted they should not come from the same piece of work; and should each be prefaced by a note which puts the work in context.
  • Please note that multi-authored works are not acceptable. 
  • This will be assessed for the ability of applicants in (a) writing (in English) and (b) economic analysis.
  • Ideally, the material submitted will enable both sorts of ability to be assessed simultaneously, as in an economics essay or an economics term-paper.

Statement of purpose/personal statement

  • The statement should be about 500-1,000 words long and written in English.
  • This will be assessed for your reasons for applying to this particular programme of study.
  • You should state what areas of study in the subject interest you and in what ways you believe the MSc might contribute to your career development plans. 

English Language Requirement:


IELTS Academic

  • Minimum Score: 7.0
  • Minimum 6.5 per component


  • Minimum Score: 100
  • Minimum component scores: Listening (22), Reading (24),Speaking (25), Writing (24)

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE):

  • Minimum Score: 185
  • Minimum 176 per component
  • CPE taken before Jan 2015: Grade C

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE):

  • Minimum Score: 185
  • Minimum 176 per component
  • CAE taken before Jan 2015:Grade B

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

  • You will take a course 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.
  • These modules cover issues 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. 

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

The set of materials you should send with an application to this course comprises:

  • a statement of purpose of 500-1,000 words, including a brief indication of your intended thesis topic
  • a CV/résumé
  • three academic references
  • official transcripts detailing your university-level qualifications and marks to date
  • a recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score
  • two relevant academic essays or other writing samples of 4,000 words each, or two 4,000-word extracts from longer work(s).

Check further details on University website

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