Meet the School of Economics
Dr Alex Mandilaras, Deputy Head of School and MA/MSc Programme Director, discusses what it’s like to study economics as a postgraduate at Surrey.
Why should prospective postgraduate students choose the School of Economics?
“Within the School, we cover the three main areas in economics – macroeconomics, microeconomics and econometrics – as well as more specialised subjects. We’re extremely strong in research as signified by our Top-10 position in the UK’s 2021 Research Excellence Framework. This expertise finds its way in the classroom, where learning is frequently informed by the latest developments in the field.
“We are a medium-sized school, which enables us to provide extensive support to our students and offer a real sense of community for our postgraduates. In a typical year, we run an Economics Nobel Prize Workshop, where our expert academics discuss the contributions of the year’s laureates to the discipline, a field trip to London, a black-tie event (the ‘Malthus Dinner’), and coffee mornings with the programme director.
“Our postgraduate programmes are designed to enhance student employability, their resourcefulness and resilience, global and cultural capabilities, sustainability awareness, and digital capabilities (the five pillars of the University of Surrey’s Curriculum Framework) through a range of appropriate, contemporary, and engaging pedagogical methods.
“We have fantastic facilities including access to our 24-hour library, a designated computer lab for the use of the School’s MA/MSc students and specialised economics software. Our academics are easily approachable and offer student consultation hours, in person or online, every week to give you 1-2-1 support during your time here.”
What's it like to study in the School of Economics?
“Moving from undergraduate to master's level is a really exciting transition to make and, with support from our top academics, it’s a really stimulating environment to be a part of.”
“What I enjoyed most about the MSc course was the various software packages we were introduced to. It’s remarkable that we learnt how to use econometrics software like Stata and EViews and macroeconomics software like Matlab and Dynare in just one year.”
Francesco Vitiello, Economics MSc student
“The School of Economics is located on the Stag Hill campus, which is a 15-minute walk from the centre of Guildford, offering a vibrant blend of entertainment, culture and history. Nearby Guildford station is just 34 minutes from London Waterloo, which is fantastic for the guest lectures and seminars that we often hold. All our masters' students are encouraged to attend these events.”
What facilities do you offer?
“The University provides its students with leading facilities, including our modern Library and Learning Centre and a range of computer labs across campus. If you are into sport, the state-of-the-art Surrey Sport Park is located at the University’s Manor Park campus, a ten-minute walk from the School.
“For students on our MA and MSc Economics courses, a designated computer lab is located at the heart of the School of Economics. In this facility, you’ll have access to specialist software and have the chance to work and learn together with your peers.”
Can you tell me more about the other academics?
“Masters students will be able to build strong relationships with their designated supervisors, while working towards their dissertations over the second part of the year. Our supervisors also offer other ongoing support, e.g., writing reference letters to advocate our students applying for jobs.
“You will be steeped in a learning community that benefits from an outstanding research environment that has been judged to be conducive to producing research of world-leading quality and enabling outstanding impact in terms of its vitality and sustainability.
“Our staff incorporate their research and professional experience into their teaching. Within our team of academics, three members of staff currently hold positions as government advisers, further benefiting our students with their experience in helping shape policy that is based on economics.
“Our staff are permanent, which enables them to be fully committed and invested in their modules.
“The student experience at the School of Economics is vital to the success of our courses and you’ll be encouraged to express yourself and develop to your full potential. We encourage a dialogue between our staff and students, listening to your input and using it to help shape the way our courses are run. All students are enrolled in a channel on Teams with the Programme Director and the Head of School having direct access to them for anything that they wish to share. Our academic staff facilitate learning with a hands-on approach and the School will support you throughout your learning, both during and outside of lectures.”
What are the employability prospects?
“Surrey has a well-deserved reputation for developing students with the necessary attributes for pursuing successful careers. We ensure everything you learn on our economics courses is topical, relevant and has practical implications. World-renowned economists bring their research and expertise to lectures, teaching on subjects they’re passionate about and providing you with the chance to link economic theory to the world.
“Graduates of our economics courses are highly successful in securing quality jobs and have gone on to work with well-known employers, such as:
- KPMG (Management Consultant)
- Barclays (Community Banker)
- Wood Mackenzie (Oil Analyst)
- Capital Economics (Economist)
- Aviva Investors (Fixed Income Analyst)
- Lloyds banking group (Data Enablement Delivery Analyst).
“As well as starting successful careers in industry, some of our students continue their studies and complete a PhD, often going on to academic careers.”
What's student life like?
“We’re a campus-based university with a large student union, multiple coffee shops and restaurants, as well as over 140 clubs and societies, including the fantastic Economics and Finance Society.
“We host annual departmental socials, such as the formal Malthus dinner, the Nobel Prize Workshop, a field trip to London and promote at all times a close relationship with our students.
“Guildford is a safe town, which is well-known for its shops, pebbled high street and castle. It offers a variety of establishments for entertainment and has a vibrant coffee culture. It is close to London with its many attractions and the North Downs for those wanting to explore the beautiful countryside for walks or cycling.
“I believe the School of Economics is an excellent choice for you to undertake your masters degree. If you do decide to join us, we thoroughly look forward to seeing you next year.”
Find out more about our postgraduate courses in the School of Economics.