MA in PPE: Economics and Development

This course explores both the economic and political dimensions of international development - differentiating it from MSc programmes in development economics - as well as the links between social choice and development economics.

Course content

What you'll study

You will take a core 20 credit Development Economics in PPE module, which covers topics such as well-being and human development, growth, poverty, corruption and rent-seeking, child labour, and the environment - at an advanced level.   You will also take the core 20 credit interdisciplinary module 'The PPE of Social Choice', which covers topics such as decision making, rights and justice relating to social choice (broadly interpreted).  This module is jointly taught by members of staff from all three of York's internationally excellent PPE departments. 

The 10 credit 'PEP Graduate Skills Workshop' will prepare you for undertaking research, covering areas such as writing research proposals and specific interdisciplinary skills.  

You will take at least 50 credits of economics modules, including applied microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and Economics of Development: Theory and Practice.

You will also take a further 20 credits of taught modules, from a wide range of options offered by the Politics and Economics departments. An overview of the types of modules on offer is available on the postgraduate modules page.  

You will also write a 12,000 word dissertation, which is worth 60 credits.

A detailed course structure, which shows the spread of work across the year, can be downloaded below:

MA in PPE: Economics and Development course structure (MS Word  , 37kb)


How you'll be taught

Teaching is delivered in two main ways: seminars and lectures. The main focus of your coursework will be your seminar group, normally containing 10-16 students. In seminars you will produce and discuss your own work, under the guidance of a module tutor. Seminars are normally accompanied by lectures, attended by all of the students taking the module.

The School prides itself on the friendliness of its staff and on the support that it provides for its students. Lecturers, seminar tutors and your supervisor will all help you to get the most out of the programme and, in particular, to understand the importance of interdisciplinary study.

Most modules will use the University's virtual learning environment 'Yorkshare', which may be used to access module resources or for more interactive work.

The modular system is based on a notional 40-hour week for each student. The amount of 'contact' time (lectures and seminars) varies depending on the modules you choose. The remaining time will be spent reading, preparing for seminars and essays, analysing ideas and data, making interdisciplinary connections and, of course, thinking.


How you'll be assessed

There are three assessment periods during the academic year: week 1 of the Spring term, week 1 of the Summer term and weeks 5-8 of the Summer term. Assessments occur throughout your year of study, usually in the term immediately after the module has been taken. The majority of assessments are either unseen examination papers or essays, which varies depending on which department is running the module. Most Economics modules for example are assessed by exams, but most Politics modules by essays.

You will spend the summer and summer vacation terms working on your dissertation, which will be handed at the end of the summer vacation (mid September).

Reasonable adjustments in assessments will be made for students with disabilities, for example extra time in exams or use of a computer. The School works with the Disability Services team to ensure all students have the support they require.


Careers and employability

The interdisciplinary nature of the School of PEP degrees means you develop a wide range of transferable skills.  Employers value these degrees precisely because they make you think across boundaries and engage critically with a range of different material.

The MA in PPE: Economics and Development prepares students for careers in economics and development, including careers in international organisations, public life and research.  It also provides essential research training for doctoral study in economics. 

The careers branch of the Club of PEP, YorkWorks, aims to provide a platform for students to meet with experts and industry insiders to learn about the world of work and find out more about a career path that interests them, for example by organising careers conferences with graduate employers. For further information visit the YorkWorks webpages.

Find out more about how we can help make you more employable 


How to apply

The MA is open to those with a good first degree (i.e. an upper second or equivalent) in any subject.  Students with no prior knowledge of economics at undergraduate level are usually required to attend the Economics Summer Session.

For students whose first language is not English, please refer to the English Language requirements as detailed at:

Applications should be made through the University's Postgraduate Admissions team.  The full application procedure is available on their website: