MSc International Finance and Development


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

Students take five core modules in Macroeconomics, Statistical Research Techniques, Financial Systems and Economic Development, International Finance, Theory of Financial Institutions and Policy. They are given the choice of three options and they have to write a 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic relating to finance and development.

All students are required to complete the compulsory preliminary course in Mathematics and Statistics (including Computing) prior to commencing this programme. This course is taught over a three week period from the beginning of September.

Who is this programme for?

This programme replaces the MSc Finance and Development Programme. This programme combines the political economy of international finance with development economics. It is unique in Britain and draws on the specific strengths of SOAS, namely in development economics, political economy and area specialisation. It also draws on the international reputations of SOAS specifically in the political economy of finance.


A postgraduate degree in Finance and Development from SOAS equips students with a range of important skills to continue in the field of research as well as a portfolio of widely transferable employability skills valued by a wide range of employers.

These include numeracy, analytical thinking and general skills such as organisation and effective communication skills. Graduates will develop their regional expertise and understanding of issues of development and the international financial market. In addition, the study of Economics gives students particular problem-solving skills including abstraction, analysis, quantification, strategic thinking and adaptability.

Graduates are expected to follow successful careers in the private sector, in national policymaking in developing countries, in international development agencies and in a range of non-governmental organisations. Continuing a SOAS tradition, they are also expected to be successful in gaining a highly competitive Overseas Development Institute (ODI) fellowships.


Students registered for this MSc must take all the core courses listed below. The only possible exception is that students who have already an adequate maths and stats background may drop the Statistical Research Techniques module and take instead Econometrics, this requires the written permission of the course convenor for Econometrics. Students who wish to apply for this alternative quantitative structure, which includes the option of taking Advanced Econometrics A and/or Advanced Econometrics B, must contact the convenor of Econometrics prior to the taking of the Preliminary examination.


  • Dissertation for MSc Finance and Development

Taught Component

Core Modules

All students will take the following five compulsory modules:

  • Macroeconomics
  • International Finance
  • Financial Systems and Economic Development
  • Econometrics
  • Advanced Macroeconometrics
  • Essay Writing Workshop - Postgraduate Economics

Guided Options

All students will take modules to the value of 45 credits from the list of options (below).

List of Modules (subject to availability)

  • Economic development of Africa: microeconomic approaches
  • Economic development of Africa: macroeconomic approaches
  • Theory of financial institutions & policy
  • Political Economy of Development and Change in the Middle East
  • Topics in the Political Economy of Contemporary Middle East
  • Capital markets, derivatives & corporate finance
  • China and World Development
  • China's Economic Transformation
  • Economic Development of Japan
  • Political Economy of Development and Change in South Asia
  • Topics in the Political Economy of Contemporary South Asia
  • Economic Development in the Asia Pacific region
  • Economics of Environment and Development
  • Gender Economics (PG)
  • Global Economic Policy Analysis
  • Global Production and Industrial Policy
  • Green Finance
  • Growth and Development
  • History of Economic Analysis
  • Institutions and Governance
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Islamic Banking And Finance
  • Limits to Growth? (PG)
  • Microeconomics
  • Political Economy of Agriculture and Food
  • Political Economy of Institutions
  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Microeconometrics

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

At least upper second class or equivalent in Economics OR a joint degree containing Economics PLUS work experience in financial markets and development.

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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