MSc Development Economics

Article

The Behavioural and Experimental Development Economics research theme combines insights from development economics especially with those from psychology, but also sociology and anthropology, to investigate a range of development issues.

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Video

Watch our video and hear why our Postgraduate students are so pleased they chose UEA’s School of International Development.

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“If you are interested in the development sector and have a substantial background in economics, this is definitely the right course and right place for you. The people here are really realistic and humanist, you will be among people from across the world”

In their words

Sikander Bizenjo, Development Economics Student

Video

Taught by a team of internationally-respected development economists with a vast amount of experience in the field, the use of experimental and behavioural economics places them at the forefront of innovative development research internationally.

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Article

Working in the international development sector requires not only academic knowledge but a wide range of professional and technical competencies and practical skills

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Explore the complexity of economic development with an approach that’s both analytically rigorous and problem and policy oriented.

On this MSc you’ll learn to apply rigorous economic analyses to real-world problems like poverty and underdevelopment to identify effective policies. Importantly, you’ll integrate methods, research findings and new insights from behavioural and experimental economics. While taught by specialised development economists, the MSc is housed in the multi/interdisciplinary School of International Development. This gives you the chance to take two taught modules from a choice taught by political scientists, anthropologists, specialists on natural resource, gender, and education – making this course a fascinating and rewarding choice.

Overview

You’ll be taught by a team of internationally respected development economists with a vast amount of experience in the field. Specifically, the use of experimental and behavioural economics puts this group in the forefront of innovative development research internationally – and you’ll benefit from their learnings.

The programme applies rigorous economic analyses to real-world problems, like poverty and underdevelopment, to identify effective policies. International development organisations and agencies (for example, theWorld Bank, IMF, DFID, Oxfam, Action Aid, WIDER) increasingly recognise the need for these skills and this programme provides a sound foundation in contemporary development economics.

It’s unique because it integrates methods, research findings and new insights from behavioural and experimental economics.Compared to traditional development economics courses you’ll acquire more subtle understanding of development processes and more realistic policy analyses.

It provides strong links with theMScin Impact Evaluation taught within the same School; its two core modules may both be taken as optional modules if you wish to do so. You can also take up to two out of your six taught modules from a long list of modules taught by political scientists, anthropologists, specialists on natural resource, gender, and education.

This degree provides excellent employability prospects, with graduates employed in both development and non-development organisations, including international organisations, academia,NGOs, government ministries and the private sector. It also provides solid grounding if you’d like to pursue a PhD in development.

Course Structure

This course is made up of a total of 180 credits:

  • Compulsory and optional modules (120 credits)
  • Examination (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)

For one of your core modules, you’ll study Econometric Methods For Development. The aim of this module is to introduce you to basic econometric theory and provide you with sufficient knowledge and practical skills for competent use of econometrics in empirical research. The module also enables you to understand and interpret econometric research results. By the end of the module you'll have acquired sufficient knowledge and skill to apply multivariate analysis of cross-sectional and time-series data to a wide range of macro- and micro-economic problems of development. In addition to lectures, the module includes computer workshops on Stata (a widely used econometrics software) and seminars.

In Economic Policy Analysis, you’ll examine a selection of topics in applied development economics that are important for government policy – chosen from areas such as international trade, foreign investment, government taxation and spending, labour markets and employment, agriculture, finance, business regulation, energy, and climate change. You’ll look at the economic theory relevant to each topic, and how government policies have worked in practice.

Macroeconomics of Development provides you with an understanding of macroeconomic theory and policy in developing countries. This will include an evaluation of alternative theories of economic growth and their policy implications, and an analysis of the macroeconomic effects of external shocks. By the end of the module, you’ll have a good understanding of modern theories of economic growth and open economy macroeconomics, and be able to apply those theories to economic policy issues in developing countries.

And Microeconomics of Development provides you with the building blocks for microeconomic analysis of development.

A range of optional seminars and workshops are offered duringyour Master’s programme for the teaching and strengthening of your skills.Sessions to support learning – in particular essay and dissertation writing – occur throughout the year.Development practice training is also provided.

TheBehavioural and Experimental Development EconomicsResearch Group
Research in the School of International Development addresses contemporary challenges in developing and transition economies via disciplinary and multi/interdisciplinary approaches. Research is organised into a series of Research Groups.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching

Teaching methods include mainly lectures and seminars. Your lectures go beyond the customary ‘chalk-and-talk’ approach, and include a range of interactive tasks and activities. The use of technology is also widespread, for example through visual representation of empirical evidence in international development (e.g. through statistical programmes). Other examples include the use of online reading materials and lecture screencasts.

Through seminar group work and presentations you’ll also be able to develop transferable skills such as articulating an argument both orally and in writing and presenting academic information in a clear and cogent manner.

Independent study

You’ll read suggested academic articles and books, submitting assignments as specified for each module. Your independent study gives you the chance to prepare for in-class sessions and assignments, and to concentrate on the areas that interest you the most.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, including presentations, essays, exams and an optional dissertation. Further assessment methods will differ depending on the optional modules you choose.

You’ll receive oral feedback on your arguments and ideas during seminars, which helps you develop skills in articulating an argument orally.

You’ll also be encouraged to prepare essay plans or outlines in advance of essay deadlines, and to discuss these with the relevant lecturer during their office hours or by email. In addition, you’ll typically receive oral and/or written feedback on an initial coursework assignment well in advance of your deadline for the main coursework assignment.

Finally, the dissertation enables you to develop specific research skills such as conducting research using primary and secondary data, researching specific topics and questions, thinking critically, and linking theoretical concepts to practical issues.

After the course

Upon completing your MA, you’ll be equipped with a range of transferable skills, which means you can pursue a variety of exciting careers both in and beyond international development.

You’ll also be well qualified to enter a PhD programme with a view to continuing to an academic career both in the UK and overseas.

Career destinations

A career in international development can take you in all kinds of directions such as international organisations, governmental and non-governmental organisations, local governments, private sector and PhD programmes.

Previous graduates have gone on to work for the British High Commission in Ghana, UNITAR in Japan, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and PhD studies in related fields.

Course related costs

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

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 140 credits:

Name Code Credits

DISSERTATION

You will be required to produce a short (8000-12000 words) dissertation on an approved topic.

DEV-7013X

40

ECONOMETRIC METHODS FOR DEVELOPMENT

The aim of this introductory module is to introduce you to basic econometric theory and provide you with sufficient knowledge and practical skill for competent use of econometrics in empirical research. The module also enables you to understand and interpret econometric research results. By the end of the module you'll have acquired sufficient knowledge and skill to apply multivariate analysis of cross-sectional and time-series data to a wide range of macro- and micro-economic problems of development. In addition to lectures, the module includes computer workshops on Stata (widely used econometrics software) and seminars.

DEV-7025A

20

ECONOMIC POLICY ANALYSIS

You will examine a selection of topics in applied development economics that are important for government policy - chosen from areas such as international trade, foreign investment, government taxation and spending, labour markets and employment, agriculture, finance, business regulation, energy and climate change. You will look at the economic theory relevant to each topic, and how government policies have worked in practice.

DEV-7017B

20

MACROECONOMICS OF DEVELOPMENT

This module will provide you with an understanding of macroeconomic theory and policy in developing countries. This will include an evaluation of alternative theories of economic growth and their policy implications, and an analysis of the macroeconomic effects of external shocks. By the end of the module, you will have a good understanding of modern theories of economic growth and open economy macroeconomics, and be able to apply those theories to economic policy issues in developing countries.

DEV-7029B

20

MICROECONOMICS OF DEVELOPMENT

This module will provide you with the building blocks for microeconomic analysis of development. Topics will include: #Poverty, inequality and welfare #Agricultural household production #Intra- household allocation #Risk, uncertainty and insurance #Markets and Institutions: credit #Markets and institutions: labour #Human capital: education, health and nutrition #Public goods, collective action #Institutions, transaction costs #Policy reforms #Household surveys and their analysis. You'll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops, and you'll be assessed by essays and exams.

DEV-7018A

20

MSC IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS: EXAM

This is a 3 hour exam taken by all students on the MSC in Development Economics.

DEV-7050B

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Recommended Options (Autumn). Students will select a total of 20 credits from Options B and C:

Name Code Credits

CRITICAL ISSUES IN DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE

The module offers you a critical introduction to and perspectives on development interventions. A key goal of the module is to provide you with a critical and comprehensive overview of project management, how humanitarian management differs, and the innovations shaping contemporary development practice. The module does this by setting out key aspects of development practice, from the tools used in development planning such as project management cycles to complexity theory, and taking a critical and analytical approach to their implications. We start off with a review of the overarching history of development interventions and thought, exploring how different approaches have been used over the years, with varying effects and influenced by varied political agendas. This includes trends in aid finance, which provides an important framing for then exploring how projects are constructed, with tools such as log frames and monitoring and evaluation plans, the variations when planning a rapid onset humanitarian intervention, and how overall planning systems and actors shape these processes. The module will help you understand how the diversity of development actors and agencies, their positionality and their interactions, shape interventions and affect their ability to have positive impact. We also reflect on these from an anthropological perspective, standing away from the development enterprise and thinking critically about how those involved in aid are also challenged by the processes in which they are involved.

DEV-7052A

20

RESEARCH TECHNIQUES AND ANALYSIS

The course lectures and seminars will include the following topics: # Development research and research ethics # Research design and method; sampling, questionnaire design, interviews # The role of qualitative methods in quantitative research and mixed methods # Participatory and action research # Design and implementation of household surveys on various topics, e.g. income, consumption, employment, health, nutrition, education, etc. Basic data processing and statistical analysis and presentation are shown based on tools such as Excel, SPSS and STATA.

DEV-7005A

20

WELFARE AND EVALUATION IN DEVELOPMENT

This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of impact evaluation. The focus of the module will be on issues around evidence-based policy making, approaches to wellbeing, and their practical application in terms of evaluating the effect of development interventions on the quality of people's lives. The first part discusses the notion of evidence-based policy, introduces the students to the area of evaluation and reviews the role of programme theory in evaluation. The second part addresses the theory of welfare, with particular reference to poverty, inequality, and multi-dimensional ill-being as well as cost effectiveness. The third part considers policy and evaluation in practice looking at a range of sectors and contexts.

DEV-7038A

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Other Options (Autumn). Students will select a total of 20 credits from Option Ranges B and C. Students may select modules from this option range, subject to any timetabling constraints.

Name Code Credits

CONCEPTUALISING SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH

This module will provide you with a generic introduction to social science research. This includes introductory material on the nature of social science research, and examines the process and procedural aspects of social science research. The module is the core module for MRes Social Science Research. The module focuses on social science research in terms of research impact and complements other modules being offered in the School of International Development and other schools on social science research methods and tools.

PSY-7000A

20

DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES

You will explore different theoretical ideas and debates about development, and place these in their historical and political contexts. You will critically assess the various ways in which development has been conceptualised, from the end of the Second World War to the present day. You will cover topics including modernisation theory; dependency theory; the role of the state; neo-liberalism and the Washington Consensus, neo-institutionalism and the post-Washington Consensus; poverty and basic needs; human development and capabilities; equity and justice; rights and empowerment; and sustainable development. A key point of the module is to show how ideas in development emerge and how they shape policies and practice in development in the present day.

DEV-7001A

20

GENDER PERSPECTIVES IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The aim of this module is to provide you with a solid grounding in gender analysis of development, and to enable students to understand the link between gender and key debates within development studies such as poverty, violence, religion and the role of men in gender and development. The module introduces and explains the range of ideas, debates and tools, which are the foundations of gender analysis, within a discussion of key issues in gender analysis of development: the nature of the household and kinship, gender roles, power and empowerment, and environmental change. The unit stands alone as a foundation for gender analysis of development, it also builds the necessary basis for the more applied units which follow in the spring semester, and for dissertations based on gender topics. If you are writing a dissertation on a gender topic you will need to have completed this module.

DEV-7003A

20

INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

The aim of the module is for you to gain an understanding of current debates on the principles and theories linking education to development in a range of social contexts. The module will introduce you to theories of education and development including international and comparative education. These are examined in relation to the broader challenges of development. Topics in the module may include: theories of human development and capabilities, human capital and rights based approaches, theories of equity, social justice and inclusive education. You will examine schooling in contexts of chronic poverty, models of schooling and de-schooling, formal and non-formal education, the challenges of linguistic and cultural diversity, inclusive education and disability, gender inequalities, and the education of nomads and other migratory groups.

DEV-7002A

20

PERSPECTIVES ON GLOBALISATION

Globalisation refers to the increasingly interconnected nature of social life on our planet. It has been described as 'the most important change in human history'. You will critically examine a number of key debates about globalisation: about what is driving the process, and about what impacts it is having - for example, on economic development, poverty and inequality, conflict, and the environment. This module takes an inter-disciplinary approach, presenting different conceptual frameworks within which contemporary globalisation is analysed.

DEV-7028A

20

RURAL LIVELIHOODS AND AGRARIAN CHANGE

Poverty and hunger remain key developmental challenges, driving poor health and ill-being on the one hand and conflict and violence on the other. This is the central question addressed by this module. In this module, you will explore different approaches to understanding rural livelihoods. You will be equipped with the tools and frameworks to critically assess different strategies for livelihoods-building and their implications for poverty and inequality, including those of class and gender, at the micro-level. Starting with an understanding of key concepts of poverty, food security, gender, capabilities, capitals and entitlements, you will apply these to a host of contexts and programmes through seminar discussions. This will enable a deeper understanding of the interconnections between the wider policy context, the social structure that shapes entitlements, the assets available to groups and individuals and their livelihood strategies. You will also explore the links between the rural and urban, and the changes over time. You will have an opportunity to experience some of the dilemmas confronting the rural poor through an experiential game.

DEV-7020A

20

UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

This module provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the analysis and understanding of issues of environmental change, and of the relationships between environment and development. You will have a critical understanding of social constructions of cause and effect relationships in environment and development issues, including a critical understanding of scientific assessments. You will be able to link these understandings to topics encountered in other courses, and to develop your own perspectives on environment and development issues. In particular you should understand the somewhat different perspectives in 'less developed countries' on environment and development issues. The course consists of weekly workshops and seminar sessions, which include videos and discussions oriented around core issues and readings. Assessment is based on coursework and written examination.

DEV-7014A

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Recommended Options (Spring). Students will take a total of 20 credits from Option Ranges D and G:

Name Code Credits

APPLIED METHODS FOR IMPACT EVALUATION

This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the most important methods of impact evaluation. For that purpose, it will provide you with instruction in and hands-on experiences of the main quantitative and qualitative impact evaluation methods, with an emphasis on the quantitative.

DEV-7037B

20

GLOBALISATION, BUSINESS AND DEVELOPMENT

This module provides an analysis of the way in which global production is organized and the roles played by the state, business and civil society and the relations between them. It focuses on key business actors such as transnational and looks in depth at issues of resource extraction in developing countries. Various aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility including relations with local communities and workers, as well as the impacts on the environment and human rights, are discussed.

DEV-7047B

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Other Options (Spring) Students will select a total of 20 credits from Option Ranges D and G. Students may select modules from this option range, subject to any timetabling constraints.

Name Code Credits

CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT II: GOVERNANCE, POLICY AND SOCIETY

This module critically examines international/national climate change governance, policy and societal impacts from and responses to climate change and climate change policy. The first half of the semester will discuss the history and politics of the international climate change negotiations and then critically examine the way the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change operates. You'll look in detail at several items under negotiation with significant implications for developing countries and we will discuss global carbon markets. The second half of the semester will turn to the interface of climate change and society. It will discuss participatory governance and urban responses to climate change as well as critically examining ethical/justice related debates, the role of energy demand and lifestyle in tackling climate change. The seminars will be interactive and enable you to understand the international negotiating process and ways to engage positively with climate change.

DEV-7051B

20

CONFLICT, CIVIL WARS AND PEACE

The number of violent intrastate conflicts has outweighed the number of violent interstate conflicts for more than five decades. Yet it was only with the end of the Cold War that academics and policy-makers started paying more attention to the possible causes and consequences of large-scale intrastate violence. Today, questions of effective conflict management, especially of large-scale civil wars, are among the top priorities of international development agencies. The aim of the "Conflict, Civil Wars and Peace" module is to critically assess the possible causes and consequences of violent intrastate conflicts as well as their implications for the wider development agenda. Key topics to be discussed in the module include causes, dynamics and consequences of different types of violent conflict, strategies and causes of terrorism, the role of gender during and after violent intrastate conflicts, the (contested) relationship(s) between natural resource wealth and civil wars, institutional approaches to conflict management, the rationale and possible effects of third-party intervention in civil wars, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts, including state- and peace-building as well as transitional justice. Throughout the module, you will be expected to assess the strengths and limitations of central concepts and theories from the academic debate by applying them to relevant empirical evidence, such as the role of gender during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 or the performance of Bosnia and Herzegovina's post-civil war power-sharing arrangement.

DEV-7015B

20

EDUCATIONAL POLICY AND PRACTICE FOR DEVELOPMENT

The aim of this module is to help you understand and critically examine, policy-making processes and specific policies for educational development. You will discover the relationships between policy and practice in a range of international, national and local development contexts. Through this module you will explore different approaches to policy development and familiarise yourself with dominant global policy agendas in education - asking who makes or influences policy, and considering policies as socially situated documents, practices and processes. The module introduces you to educational policy-making to address a range of development challenges and how related strategies are enacted in practice; drawing on policy theory and ethnographic and school-based research, as well as practical sessions to unpack the approaches and skills needed for successful advocacy and campaigning.

DEV-7011B

20

GENDER DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

This module equips you with the knowledge and skills to understand and explore relations between social policies, practice and key actors in addressing various forms of difference and diversity, with a particular focus on gender. You will develop analytical and conceptual skills to critically assess social policies - including gender - and social development at the international, national and institutional levels. This module considers current issues of gender and a range of intersecting inequalities (e.g. disability, migrant status) with reference to addressing social exclusion and deficit modes of development. The module has both theoretical and more practical components, and you will have the opportunity to work on your own projects through linked seminar sessions.

DEV-7024B

20

HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT

This module provides a broad introduction to health issues in a context of development. It reviews different cultural understandings of health, and relationships between health, socio-economic change, livelihoods and poverty. The module also examines health policies of particular relevance to developing countries. While we look at health issues in general, we pay particular attention to links between HIV/AIDS and development.

DEV-7027B

20

MEDIA AND DEVELOPMENT IN PRACTICE

You will be working in the university and in the local community to design, implement and evaluate your own 'live' media and development project. The aim of this module is not only to provide you with the opportunity to gain experience of media and development in practice but also to provide the opportunity to reflect on that experience. Past projects have involved content production, audience research, social media strategy, project design and capacity building. This module is not taught through conventional lectures and seminars. Instead, there are opportunities to talk, listen and reflect on our work and the issues and processes encountered. An important element of this process is peer review.

DEV-7039B

20

RURAL POLICIES and POLITICS

Around three-quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas and within most developing countries the gap between the rural poor and better off urban residents continues to widen. The lives of the rural poor can be greatly influenced by policies in areas such as agriculture, land, social protection, natural resources, health, education and trade. This module reviews important policies and issues in these and other areas. It also guides students to critically analyse policy choices within specific contexts. Rural Policies and Politics recognises the importance of looking at rural policies with consideration of particular socio-economic and political contexts, as well as in relation to larger-scale trends that are affecting rural areas including globalisation, urbanisation, de-agrarianisation, and rapid technological change.

DEV-7004B

20

WATER SECURITY - PRACTICE

The module 'Water Security - Practice' familiarises you with some of the ways that water security and international development challenges may be examined, unpacked and addressed. The course is constructed around the belief that scientists can employ analytical and participatory tools, such as games, to put water users (e.g. drawers, irrigators, households, abstractors) at the very centre of water security policy. This module is one of the cornerstones (and requisites) for the Water Security and International Development MSc. It typically attracts many students from across different faculties and complements the 'Water Security - Concepts' module, which is geared more towards theory.

DEV-7041B

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.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Social Science with a strong background in Economics.
  • Degree Classification 2.1 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good first 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 their 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 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 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 masters degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details please click here:

International Graduate Diploma in Economics 

International Graduate Diploma in International Development

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

Special Entry Requirements

September Pre-Sessional Courses

All applicants are expected to attend an introductory course in Mathematics and Statistics for Economists in the fortnight preceding the Masters programme in September. This course is compulsory and incorporates the techniques of calculus and matrix algebra; in addition, students are introduced to the econometric software package which will be used in their MSc programme.  For entry in September 2018 this course will commence on 5th September and registration will take place on 4th September 2018.

Fees and Funding

Fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,000 (full-time)
  • International Students: £15,800 (full-time)

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit.

Living Expenses

Approximately £9,135 living expenses will be needed to adequately support yourself.

Scholarships and Funding

A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK students. Please click here for more detailed information about UK/EU Scholarships and Funding.

The University offers around £1 million of Scholarships each year to support International students in their studies. 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 further information about funding for International students. International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

How to Apply

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

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

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