The MSc Economics at the University of Greenwich offers students a unique opportunity to study real-world issues (inequality, environmental sustainability, financial instability) by combining solid training in quantitative methods and a pluralist theoretical approach, which considers both mainstream and heterodox economic theories.
How does the programme provide content to ensure students achieve an understanding of a reasonably diverse set of perspectives on understanding economies?
The MSc economics tackles real-world issues such as inequality, environmental sustainability, financial instability, worldwide uneven development, the reform of the EU. We adopt a comparative approach: we discuss how different theories identify different causes and offer alternative solutions to such issues. We cover a broad set of theories from mainstream to post-Keynesian, feminist, institutionalist, Marxian and evolutionist economics. In macroeconomics, we compare each other the mainstream and post-Keynesian interpretations of unemployment (labour market rigidities vs. lack of demand in the goods market), or of the sources of financial instability (micro-level asymmetries vs. systemic "Minskyan" instability). In microeconomics, we extend our study up to evolutionary heterodox game theory and the institutional roots of market failures.
How does the programme ensure students understand the interaction between economic and ecological systems?
Climate change and environmental sustainability are core issues of a variety of modules of the MSc economics. In Macroeconomics 2, students study how economic growth affects the environment, as economic and environment processes are presented as co-evolving phenomena of a unique ecosystem. Students will study and simulate by their own the effects of different policies in order to achieve environmental sustainability, from green monetary policy to environment-friendly regulation and fiscal policy. In Economics of International Development, students will study the difficulties to challenge climate change given unbalanced economic and political relations between developed and developing countries. Students will study international free-riding problems in the implementation of global policies tackling the climate crisis.
How does the programme ensure students understand how to critically explore real-world evidence, both qualitative and quantitative?
Students takes a compulsory introductory module to economic analysis and quantitative methods that enables them to refresh their quantitative skills in maths and statistics. In Applied Econometrics, students deal with the most advanced techniques for the analysis of socio-economic data (time series, panel data). They learn how to use Stata in dedicated lab sesssions in order to implement quantitative econometric analysis by their own. In Macroeconomics 2, students receive training in R coding that enables them to develop formal models and run simulations of the effects of different policies on climate change, financial stability, inequality...Assessments are structured so that students have to analyse empirical data (through case studies, econometric analysis) and assess the validity of different economic theories in a critical fashion.
What pedagogical approaches does the programme use to ensure that students examine the historical context, assumptions and values in all economic thinking?
During tutorials, students are engaged in small group activities and present their own analyses of specific country case studies or economic theories. They are encouraged to develop their critical perspective of relevant economic phenomena (Stagflation, the Great Recession, financial instability in developing countries, the Eurozone crisis) considering the specific historical socio-political background in which such phenomena happened or certain economic theories were developed. In the Economic of European Integration module , students analyse Eurozone's institutions as a result of economic thinking in the 1980s and the political peculiarities of the process of European integration. In the Economics of International Development module, neoliberal reforms in the developing world are analysed in the context of the 1980s debt crisis.
How does the department ensure that the teaching culture and capacity to deliver economic pluralism are continually improving?
The Department of Economics and International Business (EIB) currently runs two working groups about Decolonizing economics and Greening economics in order to move forward in the even stronger inclusion of non-eurocentric approaches and environmental issues in the teaching of economic and business modules. The University of Greenwich Rethinking Economics Student Association is directly involved in the organization of seminars, workshops and events in which space is given to a variety of different economic approaches. With the support of the EIB department, it organized a student-led conference in 2019 collecting more than 300 students from Europe and reflecting on the enduring need for rethinking economics. A large body of teaching members of the EIB department are active members and contributors to Reteaching Economics.
The MSc in Economics at the University of Greenwich combines a set of compulsory and optional modules students can select according to their preferences and interests. We offer two different endorsements according to students' prospected career. The endorsement in International Economics offers students more advanced training in macroeconomic issues for those interested in taking a PhD in economics, or becoming policy advisor for Think-Tanks, governmental or financial institutions. The endorsement in Business and Financial Economics provides deeper training in finance-related topics and techniques for those more interested in a career in the finance industry. This programme is a research-informed programme since that all members of the teaching staff are active researchers and include their ongoing research in their teaching activity.
University of Greenwich
School of International Business and Economics