Economics for Public Policy MSc

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Why Surrey?

Our School of Economics enjoys a leading reputation for research and teaching built upon a commitment to theoretical and applied work with rigorous foundations.

This programme explores how Economics can contribute to the analysis of public policy, offering important insights across a number of diverse fields from the study of public spending and regulation, to areas including fertility decisions and education.

Programme overview

The School of Economics aims to influence public policy through research and teaching. Energy economics, health economics and the economics of education, for example, play a vital role in public policy and are areas in which our academics have particular expertise.

This programme will ensure you graduate with a strong appreciation of macroeconomics, microeconomics and econometrics, in addition to specialist knowledge on public policy.

You will learn how microeconomic analysis can help us to understand diverse issues such as public goods, regulation, development and family policy; and develop an ability to select appropriate techniques to evaluate policy interventions.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The primary aims of the programme are to:

  • Enable and encourage students to develop their capacity for learning and communication within an open, scholarly environment
  • Develop an appreciation of economics, both as an intellectual discipline and as an important contributor to an understanding of the ways in which public policy is formulated and evaluated
  • Prepare students for a range of careers and other activities in which independent thought and analysis, as well as effective communication, can contribute to an improvement in social and economic welfare
  • Enable better performing students completing an MSc programme to progress either to further postgraduate research or to a career as a professional economist
  • Provide an opportunity for students to apply and demonstrate a range of skills, including the capacity for independent study, through the completion of an MSc dissertation

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • An advanced understanding of the core principles in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics
  • An understanding of the techniques which have been used in contemporary economic research
  • An ability to select appropriately between alternative analytical techniques and research methodologies which can be used in the evaluation of public policy
  • An appreciation of how microeconomic analysis can help us to understand diverse issues such as public goods, regulation, family formation and health outcomes

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • An ability to combine relevant theory and analytical techniques with insightful data analysis to produce convincing explanations of economic phenomena
  • The skills necessary to comprehend published economic research papers, and to integrate the implications of published research in their own studies

Professional practical skills

  • An ability to select appropriate techniques to evaluate policy interventions;
  • The ability to formulate a plan for specific individual research which would further existing knowledge;
  • The ability to communicate the results of independent research in the form of a dissertation.

Key / transferable skills

  • General skills, such as literacy, numeracy, IT and computing
  • Interpersonal skills, such as communication
  • Many subject specific skills are highly transferrable, including abstraction, analysis, deduction, induction, quantification, design and framing (understanding parameters to a problem to help decision making)

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Ciro Avitabile

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: To be confirmed
  • Part-time: To be confirmed

Start date:

Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a minimum of a Bachelors degree (a good UK 2.2) in economics or an equivalent qualification. Applicants without a Bachelors degree in economics should normally hold a 2:1 or equivalent qualification. Each applicant is assessed on their own merit.

Applicants who have a joint degree in economics and a related discipline, or who have had a wide involvement in the field of their desired specialisation will be considered, as may graduates in engineering, mathematics and science.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2017 £9,500 £17,500
Part-time Sep 2017 £4,800 £8,800

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


The Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence

For all (with the exception of MBA) postgraduate taught courses starting in September 2017 within the Surrey Business School and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management we are offering all applicants who hold a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent the opportunity to be awarded between £2,000 and £4,000 through the Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. Download a flyer or read more for eligibility and to apply.

For more details

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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