MSc Behavioural Economics and Data Science


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Master of Science



Key facts

(REF 2014)

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The Contemporary Economic Issues lecture series focuses on important economic research questions and current economic issues.

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“Since finishing my Master’s I have been working for a leading economics consultancy in the UK which provides economic analysis for effective and sustainable environmental policy and management.”

In their words

Allan Provins, School of Economics Graduate

In the coming years we will see major changes in the world of work. One of these changes will be a huge increase in demand for data scientists. This MSc will prepare you for a career as a data scientist so that you can help meet this change in demand.
In this MSc, there is a focus on particular types of application: data science techniques are combined with the area of Behavioural Economics, in which the School of Economics at UEA has a world-class reputation.
Having completed this MSc, your Employability prospects will be strong. Policy-makers in government are increasingly turning to behavioural economics for insights into decision-making behaviour, insights that inform our understanding of how individuals, groups and markets operate. Private Sector organisations specialising in Behavioural Economics research are also a growing phenomenon.
You could also take your skills into banking and finance, healthcare, regulation, human resources or executive management.

Overview

Our MSc Behavioural Economics and Data Science is part of our Applied Training Programme – designed to provide key skills in economics. It is ideal if your undergraduate training was in a subject other than economics, and you now wish to develop analytical skills as an economist. This degree may be particularly useful for those with a maths or science background who wish to make their skills more marketable in the rapidly changing jobs market. The degree course consists of core Economics and Econometrics modules taught within the School of Economics, and well as specialised modules in progamming and behavioural economics. Some of the programming modules are taught in the School of Computing. You will also write a dissertation towards the end of the academic year.

In many ways, Behavioural Economics is an ideal framework in which to carry out big data research. The focus of the MSc is on the methodology for testing predictions of behavioural economics using big data sources. For example: you will learn how to create data sets using data scraping techniques, and you will be made aware of the relevant ethical issues; you will learn how to process and manipulate data; you will learn how to make economic forecasts using web search data; you will learn how to work with multiple data sources (e.g. how to merge dietary and health data on individuals); you will learn how to test economic theories using online data sources (e.g. testing auction theory using data from online auctions).

The dissertation module gives you the freedom to choose your own topic from within the area of behavioural economics and data science. Throughout your dissertation you will be supported and supervised by a member of the School of Economics. We also offer additional support to help you get the most from your Master’s. This includes an optional, intensive pre-sessional course in the fortnight before your programme begins in September. This course incorporates the mathematical techniques necessary for Economic Analysis, and also an introduction to the specialist econometric software that you will use in your MSc programme. While not compulsory, we strongly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity.

You could also progress to PhD study.

Course Structure

The MSc Behavioural Economics and Data Science is a one-year course. In each semester you'll take three taught modules, followed by writing your dissertation in the period between June and August. In the autumn semester you will take Economic Concepts, Econometric Methods, and Programming and Analytics for Behavioural Economists. In spring you'll take Data Mining (CMP module), Behavioural Consumer Analytics, and an option. The possible options here are Financial Mathematics, Risk Management and Trading, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, and Visualisation. Although you'll write your dissertation between June and August, you will begin your dissertation module with a sequence of dissertation training lectures and workshops in spring. Here you'll discover how to choose a topic, how to access data and search literature, how to reference, and how to analyse quantitative data.

You will be able to take advantage of further dissertation training workshops in late June and early July. These will be held in computer labs, with the objective of providing the types of econometric skills often required in dissertation research.

Teaching and Learning

UEA’s School of Economics is lively, friendly, research-orientated and committed to excellence in teaching. We have an international reputation in many key areas, including theoretical and applied economics. Our research interests include behavioural and experimental economics, competition economics, environmental policy, conflict, contests and corporate behaviour, finance and financial markets, and Applied Econometrics.

The teaching of your modules will be spread over two semesters. In a typical module, you'll have two hours of lectures and one hour of seminars (or lab sessions) per week. Your seminars are more interactive than lectures and provide you with an opportunity to raise questions arising from lectures.

In your programming and econometrics modules, your seminars will take place in computer labs, where you'll learn how to program and conduct econometric analysis using specialist econometric software.

You will also become practiced in independent study, spending time working on coursework assignments, preparing for seminars, and doing your own wider reading.

Assessment

Your modules will typically be assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. Your exams will be two hours long and will take place during the summer assessment period.

Your coursework will be in a variety of forms – including take-home assignments, seminar presentations, written tests, computer tests and your dissertation (which you'll submit at the end of August).

Throughout your course you'll be given guidance on your work and constructive feedback to help you improve. You will receive written feedback for all pieces of coursework and further guidance will be available from your module’s organisers. If you have additional needs due to disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia please talk to our Student Support Service about how we can help.

After the course

Upon completing this MSc, you will be ready to pursue a career in a government or private-sector organisation that specialises in Behavioural Economics. You will also be well-qualified to pursue a career as a data scientist. You could alterntaively take your skills into banking and finance, healthcare, regulation, human resources or executive management. And of course, you could progress to PhD study.

Career destinations

  • Government agencies
  • Private Sector Consultancies
  • Healthcare consultancies
  • PhD study

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 160 credits:

Name Code Credits

DATA MINING

This module is designed for postgraduate students studying on MSc courses. You will explore the methodologies of Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD). You will cover each stage of the KDD process, including preliminary data exploration, data cleansing, pre-processing and the various data analysis tasks that fall under the heading of data mining, focusing on clustering, classification and association rule induction. Through this module, you will gain knowledge of algorithms and methods for data analysis, as well as practical experience using leading KDD software packages.

CMP-7023B

20

ECONOMETRIC METHODS

Are you interested in working with data? Would you like to be able to make economics forecasts or predictions, or test an economic theory? If so, this module will introduce you the empirical techniques you need to satisfy these interests. This module will introduce you to econometrics, which is a combination of economic theory, mathematical economics, economic statistics and mathematical statistics. You'll learn some basic econometric techniques that will enable you to obtain numerical estimates of, for example, the relationship between expenditure on a good and income, or the relationship between years of education and pay. In addition, as your seminars will take place in the computer labs, you'll gain skills in analysing data using the econometric computer package STATA. In the first part of the module, you'll be shown how to estimate a simple regression model, interpret your findings and test the relationships between variables. As you progress, you'll learn how to identify problems with your model and how to address these problems. In lectures you'll learn about the techniques; in seminars you'll apply these techniques to a variety of economic problems and estimate models with the help of STATA. In the later part of the module you'll consider a more advanced style of modelling, which is appropriate for dealing with data on the choices made by individuals. For example, owning your own home rather than renting, or going to university instead of entering the labour market. By the end of the module you'll be able to estimate appropriate regression models, identify problems which may arise and know how to address them. In addition, you'll be able use STATA and understand some of the methods, models and techniques that may be useful in the workplace.

ECO-7000A

20

ECONOMIC CONCEPTS

Introducing micro and macro economic analysis, this module will familiarise you with a wide range of economic tools which can be applied to issues relating to your Applied Training Programme. It covers, in particular, consumer and producer choice, market equilibrium, market structure, externalities and public goods, the macroeconomics of inflation, unemployment and growth and macroeconomic policy.

ECO-7011A

20

ECONOMICS DISSERTATION (60 CREDITS)

Economics Dissertation is the "icing on the cake" of an Economics MSc. It is a module that brings together the skills that you have learnt throughout your degree programme and applies these skills to study a particular topic of your interest. This module gives you an opportunity to spend a period of 2 or 3 months working exclusively on a topic of your own choice, at your own pace, with guidance from a supervisor. The module commences with a sequence of "dissertation training" lectures during the Spring Semester, including such themes as choosing a topic, accessing data, searching the literature, referencing, and qualitative data analysis. There are further dissertation training lectures during late June and early July, held in computer labs, with the objective of providing the types of econometric skills often required in dissertation research. The Econometric software STATA is used, the same as used in taught modules in Econometrics. At the end of the Spring semester, you will submit a research proposal stating the research question you would like to address and proposing a suitable methodology. You can also select to work on a dissertation topic either with a business, charity or other organisation. In all cases, it is your responsibility to come up with a research proposal although you are encouraged to speak with instructors and the PG Course Director for advice and guidance. On the basis of your proposal, a suitable supervisor will be allocated to you. At least three meetings with the supervisor should take place between May - July. The total contact time over these meetings should be at least three hours. At the first meeting, the research proposal is discussed. By the time of the third and final meeting, you should ideally have supplied a first draft of the dissertation for your supervisor to provide feedback on. The deadline for the dissertation is at the end of August and the word limit for dissertations is either 8,000 or 12,000, depending on which MSc you are taking. If you want to work on a dissertation topic with a business, charity or other organisation you must get your dissertation topic pre-approved by the PG Course Director.

ECO-7023X

60

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE ECONOMICS

Gain a thorough grounding in the key issues in environmental and resource economics. This module provides an overview of the economic and econometric principles that serve as pivotal tools in ensuring that natural resources are sustainably valued and managed in a global economic environment. The applied nature of the module is complemented by technical papers that form the subject of the discussions in seminar sessions. Open to postgraduate students enrolled on both ATP and APP programmes, this module will enhance the econometric principles taught in the Autumn Semester by applying analytical and statistical methods to the field of environmental economics so as to emphasise the empirical relevance of these theories.

ECO-7020B

20

FINANCIAL MATHEMATICS

This technical finance module is suited to students who wish to pursue a career in the financial sector. The focus is on valuation and risk analysis of financial products, and the module is highly analytical, with weekly exercise sessions in computer labs. Topics covered include: continuous-time stochastic processes, stochastic models for security prices, bonds, term structure of interest rates, futures and forwards, options, swaps, hedging and credit risk.

ECO-7013B

20

INFORMATION VISUALISATION

This module is an introduction to information visualisation. You will learn techniques for summarising and presenting a wide range of data. There is a strong emphasis on understanding the appropriate context and use of visualisation techniques. You will also learn about problems and techniques for dealing with large data flows and issues of integrating multiple data sources.

CMP-7022B

20

RISK MANAGEMENT AND TRADING

This first part of this module introduces concepts such as risk and volatility in financial markets. With the aid of the econometric computer package STATA, you'll estimate and test theoretical models using real data. You'll also learn how to calculate risk using daily and high-frequency data. The second part introduces algorithmic trading using Excel VBA, and will see you exploring the techniques used by traders to test the validity of their trading strategies.

ECO-7017B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Any Subject
  • Degree Classification 2.2 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on them attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

 

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic requirements for this course, you may be able to study one of the International Graduate Diploma programmes offered by our partner INTO UEA. These programmes guarantee progression to selected Master's degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details please click here: International Graduate Diploma in Economics.

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £8,715 (full time)
  • International Students: £17,215 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home/EU students).

Fees listed are inclusive of the optional 2-week pre-sessional Mathematics and Statistics for Economists course.

 

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships and Funding

A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study. Please click here for more detailed information about funding for prospective Economics students.

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

How to Apply

Please note that this course is no longer accepting applications for September 2020 entry. We are welcoming applications for September 2021 entry. 

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515