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Economics (Graduate Diploma)

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  • Objectives
    This programme offers an introduction to economics and preparation for advanced work in the field, through lectures and classes with staff working at the cutting edge of research. If you have not studied economics, or if you graduated in economics some time ago, this is the ideal conversion programme. No prior knowledge of economics is assumed, and the programme offers an intensive introduction to the essentials of the subject. It can be studied either as a stand-alone programme or as preparation for entry onto an MSc programme in economics. As a student, you will gain a thorough grounding in the fundamental ideas and methods of modern economics, and see how economic reasoning is applied to practical problems. You will also be provided with the necessary mathematical and statistical toolkit for studying this subject – with pre-sessional courses beginning in late September – and will be introduced to the interpretation and analysis of data. Economics and finance at Birkbeck has acquired an excellent reputation, not only for the quality of its research but also for the quality of its training. The Treasury, the Bank of England and many other employers hire us to train their staff. Employers recognise the quality of Birkbeck graduates in economics and finance. We take students who are determined to succeed and are prepared to undergo the rigours of a first-class training. We aim to produce world-class graduates who have a proven record of success in a tough learning environment.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements A degree in any discipline. Evidence of aptitude for mathematical and statistical analysis is advantageous. Demonstrable qualities, such as good time management and the ability to cope under pressure, are vital.
  • Academic Title
    Economics (Graduate Diploma)
  • Course description
    The Graduate Diploma in Economics (GDE) can be completed over two years of part time study or as a one year intensive programme in economics for graduates of any discipline. It aims to provide an introduction to economics and finance at the postgraduate level to students who have a degree (or equivalent qualification) in another subject. A major purpose of the course is to prepare students for entry to the School’s MSc Economics, but the course is also suitable for those who wish to acquire a good grounding in the methods of modern economics but do not wish to proceed to a Masters degree. The programme assumes no prior knowledge of economics, and therefore proceeds intensively.

    Students should expect to attend lectures and classes for three evenings per week for 10 weeks in the Autumn and Spring terms. Each of these terms lasts for 11 weeks – the last week is usually set aside for revision. The Summer term has lectures two evenings a week for 5 weeks.

    The pre-sessional Mathematics course commences in September, for a series of five lectures starting at 6pm. It is highly recommended that students who have only a basic knowledge of mathematics, or have not used their mathematical skills for sometime, attend the entire course. However, it is essential that all students attend the first lecture of this course.

    Students taking the two-year option follow the Quantitative Techniques and the Applied Statistics & Econometrics modules in the first year, and the other three modules in the second year.
    Students who do not achieve a sufficient standard to continue to the second year, or those students who find they are unable or unwilling to proceed for other reasons, may be award a Graduate Certificate in Quantitative Methods for Economics and Finance.

    Students who wish to enter MSc Economics must obtain a Merit in the programme overall.

    Course Assessment

    For most course units, you will do coursework and sit exams. The relative weights of these components toward your mark for the course unit will vary from unit to unit and you will be given this information on the individual unit syllabus/reading list. You should also take care to note the deadlines for submission of coursework and realise that there are penalties for late submission.

    There are several types of coursework that you will be asked to produce in your degree. The particular type of coursework assignments will vary from unit to unit, so you will need to pay close attention to the instructions given by the lecturer. Some examples of the types of coursework assignments that you will be expected to produce are given below.

    -Essays: You may be asked to write brief essays on particular questions.
    -Problem Solving: Course units involving quantitative techniques are likely to involve exercises designed to test your ability to apply these techniques to solve problems.
    -In-Class and Mid-Term Tests: these are like mini-exams.

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