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Taking the right course to be a professional economist

By Graeme Roy - Posted on 29 November 2017

The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) is playing a key role in a substantial refresh of Strathclyde Business School’s MSc in Applied Economics. Director of the FAI, Professor Graeme Roy, outlines the aims of the programme and the Institute’s input.

Strathclyde’s MSc in Applied Economics is designed for the aspiring Professional Economist. What sets the course apart from many other postgraduate courses in Economics is that, alongside developing students’ technical and analytical skills, we focus on providing practical experience in how these skills can be used to solve real world economic problems.  

At the same time, with the FAI’s work never out of the media and our extensive links with government and business, students on our course have an excellent opportunity to engage not only with staff at the cutting edge of applied economics research, but also with industry and public policymakers.

The programme was launched five years ago. In recent months, as a key part of the Department of Economics at Strathclyde Business School, the FAI has led on a refresh which will see a number of exciting new features of the programme introduced for the 2018-19 intake.

We started with a consultation with key stakeholders, including graduates and past and potential new recruiters of MSc Applied Economics graduates.  A strong theme in the consultation responses was to stress the importance of preparing students, not just with core economics skills, but also the key transferable skills that they know are important for Economists who will go on to work in consultancy or providing policy advice.  We responded by developing a number of distinctive new elements of the programme, including a new core class Professional Development for Economists which develops skills in communication, problem solving, negotiating and leadership. As someone who has worked in senior economist roles in government and recruited a large number of economists over the years, I know first-hand how valuable these skills are for employers.  

Another key new element in the refreshed MSc in Applied Economics is the Economic Appraisal and Economic Modelling class. This lies at the heart of what most economists in business, consulting and government do on a day to day basis. The course provides students with insights into how models can be used to inform decision making and how to best interpret and communicate any findings. The class draws on the practical modelling expertise gained within the FAI which has – for over 40 years – developed an international reputation in building and using such models for business and public policy.

Further enhancements include essay competitions from which the winners will see their work published in the FAI blog and our quarterly Economic Commentary; increased support to be offered to students in developing their career plans; and provision of various opportunities for students to engage with potential employers, including through events that will draw on the FAI’s extensive contact list in the policy and business community.

In addition, each year the FAI will host at least three internship students who will have the opportunity to undertake their summer projects in the Institute. Alongside this, we will offer several summer projects sponsored by external stakeholders of the FAI. This will provide students with a valuable insight into work as an applied economist.

We are pleased to offer six partial fee bursaries of £6,000 to excellent UK/EU and overseas applicants. These bursaries will be awarded to candidates who provide details of the motivation and experience they bring, their future career plans as an applied economist and their financial need.

Economists are hugely in demand at the moment – uncertain times call for clear economic thinking.

With many of our graduates having gone on to senior positions in business,take consultancy and within government, we hope that you will join us and take an important step on your career path by applying to join the Applied Economics course.

To find out more about the programme, please click here



Contact details

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 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-adviser@strath.ac.uk 

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 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

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