What’s studying a Master’s in Economics at SOAS really like?


Thinking about studying a postgraduate degree in Economics? The Department of Economics at SOAS is the place to be.

Here, you’ll approach Economics from a global perspective, through programmes grounded in the economies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Ranked 5th in London for Economics*, SOAS gives postgraduate students the opportunity to interact closely with experts in their field, preparing them for a career as economists in international development, policy-making, consulting and commercial and academic research.

So what is studying a postgraduate degree in Economics really like? Five Master’s students in the Department of Economics tell us about their programmes – and why studying at SOAS is unique.


Nikhil Gidwani, MA Economic Policy

I wasn’t really sure what to expect – I had completed my undergrad in 2008, but at once I immediately felt welcomed by the faculty and by my fellow students.

The course was interesting and engaging. I didn’t want a pure, theoretical examination of economics, but I wanted to try and learn about its application in real life, particularly from a left-wing, heterodox approach. This course gave me exactly that.

The year was not without its challenges, lockdown being principal amongst them, but SOAS responded as best as they could, with resources online enabling us to study comfortably from our own rooms. The faculty even held a cheeky ‘SOAS Economics zoom quiz,’ for which none of us knew the answers to, but it was fun nonetheless!

Overall, I would do it again!


Nea Prättälä, MSc International Finance & Development

I took up an MSc programme at SOAS for their unique positioning in the field of economics. SOAS is supportive of those with non-economics undergraduate degrees,  like myself,  and is committed to strengthening their knowledge and skills in economics. Yet more importantly, I chose SOAS for its progressive approach to economic thinking.

Before coming to SOAS I knew that global economic and financial systems are not working as intended, but I lacked granularity in understanding how economic policy comes to drive such systematic malfunctions. My master’s programme has allowed me to not only learn the theories that underpin much of mainstream economic policy, but especially to critically appraise the diverse ways of how policies anchored into such thinking fail to deliver the anticipated welfare gains. My personal interest having been towards development finance, I could not see any other programme as having delivered such a comprehensive account of the field.


Michael Iveson, MSc Development Economics

The MSc Development Economics programme has been incredibly engaging and introduced me to some new and crucial perspectives on economic challenges in the Global South. Working closely with a diverse cohort and collaborating on group projects has been a personal highlight; it has been a great way to learn about different cultures and backgrounds.

The programme has also been a fantastic opportunity to work with very interesting academics at the forefront of their respective fields of research. This has been particularly beneficial for the postgraduate dissertation, which I am looking forward to completing in the summer term. The programme has provided me with significant insight into the field of international development and economic policy in emerging economies, which I hope will propel me into a career in the Global South.


Yasmina Zamel, MSc Political Economy of Development

Choosing to pursue an MSc in Political Economy of Development at SOAS has been a highly rewarding experience. Coming from the Middle East, SOAS has allowed me to learn and further explore my region in a unique environment through modules such as ‘Political Economy of Development and Change in MENA’. In addition to this, the wide range of lectures has allowed me to learn about a multitude of regions and the various economic and developmental challenges they face.

The highlight of my postgraduate experience has been the meaningful and thought-provoking debates, during which our professors have managed to create a safe environment in which we were able to engage in open debates and discussions on various topics. In sum, studying at SOAS has allowed me to develop on a personal and academic level in a diverse and enriching environment.


Milena Dehn, MSc Economics

I decided on SOAS and their MSc Economics programme because of the heterodox approach, the focus on gender economics and the possibility to combine courses on quantitative and qualitative research. And the programme fulfilled all these expectations! I especially liked how the courses in macroeconomics and microeconomics provided an overview of the history and underpinnings of different theories and how they relate. And gender economics and research methods were great courses to pursue my interest in feminist economics and how e.g. mixed-method research can contribute in this area.

While COVID-19 made it a challenging year for pursuing a Master, lecturers definitely made the best of the circumstances; for example by conveying technical contents in pre-recorded lectures or by using the fact of online lectures to invite guest speakers from all over the world.


Take a look at the postgraduate programmes on offer at the Department of Economics at SOAS.

*Complete University Guide 2021



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