Economics (Graduate Diploma)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Three to four evenings a week full-time or two evenings a week part-time, September to June

This specialist conversion course - offering a Quantitative Economics pathway - fills a critical gap in the market for postgraduate training in economics. If you have an undergraduate degree in another subject area but wish to switch to economics, this course will help you do that - without requiring you to sign up to a full undergraduate degree. 

You do not need any prior training in the subject. The programme will give you a thorough grounding in the fundamental ideas and methods of modern economics, and you will learn to apply economic reasoning to practical problems. Crucially, you will also develop the necessary mathematical and statistical toolkit for studying economics. This rigorous and intensive training, spread over one or two years, will enable you to compete on equal terms with students graduating with undergraduate degrees in economics.

All students will be admitted to the Graduate Diploma in Economics in the first instance, but you will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the quantitative economics pathway, which offers a module that introduces you to more technical material and also bridges the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate study in economics. This pathway is designed specifically for students who wish to go on to Master's-level study, with the ultimate ambition of becoming a professional economist, whether in the private or public sector, or an academic economist (which requires further study to PhD level). Many students go on to MSc and MPhil/PhD programmes at Birkbeck and other top UK universities.

You also have the option of being considered for our intensive one-year route, based on your performance in the mid-term tests in week 6 of the first term of the programme. However, as the programme proceeds at an intense pace and the workload is very heavy, this option is usually only pursued by students with a strong quantitative background. The more common route is to take the programme over two years, with the first year focused primarily on quantitative training.

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Highlights

  • This is an ideal conversion programme if you have a degree in another subject and need the skills of an economics graduate in your work, or want to study economics at Master's level. (Many of our students require a level of economic knowledge in their jobs that is usually acquired at an undergraduate level, as they work for City institutions, the Bank of England, government departments and economic regulators.)
  • Our September pre-sessional courses will provide you with an accelerated revision of core mathematics skills, as they start at - roughly - GCSE level, but progress very rapidly to more advanced techniques.
  • All modules on the programme are designed carefully around targeted, accelerated learning, in contrast to conversion courses in other universities that simply offer modules that are already part of other undergraduate programmes.
  • You can choose to study this course by distance learning, as a purely online course.
  • All lectures are recorded and all course materials are made available online, so you can access them when you need them.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than half of our research outputs in Economics were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.
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Course structure

You take the following four modules, plus pre-sessional classes in September.

Students on the one-year full-time programme take all of the modules in a single year.

Some part-time students may be allowed to vary the order in which modules are taken over the two years, in consultation with the programme director.

 

Read more about modules
  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    At least a 2:2 degree in any discipline or equivalent.

    The one-year full-time intensive programme usually requires a 2:1 and some prior mathematical training.

    Evidence of aptitude for mathematical and statistical analysis is advantageous.

    Most students are offered a place on the two-year part-time programme in the first instance, with the opportunity to transfer to the one-year programme based on tests in economics and mathematics taken in week 6 of the autumn term.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for eligible Master’s students.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 3500 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £ 6975 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 5325 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 10650 pa
  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lectures and classes. Private study forms a crucial part of the learning process.

    A key feature of this programme is its specially tailored lectures. This is in contrast to most other UK universities offering equivalent qualifications, where lectures are usually taken from existing undergraduate programmes.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Mostly by unseen written examination. Each module, except Introduction to Mathematical Economics, includes some assessment based on in-class tests. Applied Statistics and Econometrics is assessed by examination (70%) and project (30%).

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue a career in banking and finance, the public sector, industry, and research and analysis. Possible professions include economist, financial risk analyst, statistician, or management consultant. This degree can also be useful in becoming an actuary, Civil Service fast streamer or local government officer.

    Find out more about these professions.

    Our Careers and Employability Service can help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You should apply as early as possible.

    We need to receive your supporting documents, i.e. your transcript, before we can proceed with your application.

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