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Mahesh Ramani

Mahesh Ramani is a senior content editor for the Hotcourses India- an IDP company.


27 Jan 2016 396 Book icon 4 mins Share

Study Economics Abroad - the Definitive Guide

Manmohan Singh - India’s best finance minister ever, is a world renowned economist!

27 Jan 2016 396 Book icon 4 mins Share
Mahesh Ramani

Mahesh Ramani is a senior content editor for the Hotcourses India- an IDP company.


Share this article

Subject modules & entry requirements

"An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" popularly known as "The Wealth of Nations" written by Scottish economist Adam Smith was published in 1776. This book is considered to be the first major work in the English language that examines the economy of a nation and how wealth is created. The American Economic Association defines ‘Economics’ as – “The study of how people choose to use resources.” To summarise, Economics includes the study of labour, land, and investments, of money, income, production and of taxes and government expenditures.

This subject guide will introduce you to the various postgraduate programme options in Economics, duration of the programmes, course modules, admissions and entry requirements, average costs, subject specialisations and the career options available for economists.

Postgraduate programme options

The MA and the MSc in Economics are the two popular postgraduate degrees in Economics. View a comprehensive list of postgraduate programmes in Economics.

How long will you study?

In most countries, the postgraduate degree in Economics is offered as a full-time one-year programme. Institutions like the London School of Economics offer an integrated two year MSc in Economics programme for students whose undergraduate degree was not in Economics.

What will you study?

The most commonly taught modules in postgraduate programmes in Economics include:

  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • Mathematics
  • Financial Planning and Forecasting
  • Business Economics
  • Labour Laws and Economics
  • Economic Policy
  • Region-based Economics

Typical entry requirements

Prospective applicants should have a relevant undergraduate degree in Economics, Mathematics or Finance.

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or equivalent score on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate programme in Economics. Some institutions may require a higher score of 7.0 on the IELTS. Leading American universities require international students to submit GRE scores for entry into the MA in Economics programme. Students are advised to cross-check with the university where they aspire to study if a GMAT score can be submitted in lieu of the GRE score.


The average cost of studying a one-year postgraduate degree in Economics would vary from INR 12 lakhs to INR 20 lakhs.

As per the QS University Rankings the top-ranked universities around the world to study Economics are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Chicago
  • Princeton University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Yale University 

Subject specialisations

The most popular specialisations offered in postgraduate programmes in Economics include:

Applied Economics

Applied Economics is the study of the application of economic theory and econometrics in specific settings to devise solutions for problems.  A broad subject area this has various subsets that looks at the application of economic theory in areas as diverse as automobile production and the healthcare sector. View all postgraduate programmes in Applied Economics.

Business/Industrial Economics

This specialisation is a subset of Applied Economics and enables students to apply quantitative methods and economic theories to help businesses and industries run efficiently. View all postgraduate programmes in Business/Industrial Economics


Econometrics is the study of the application of mathematical and statistical models to economic models and theories and predict the growth of an industry or country’s wealth. View all postgraduate programmes in Econometrics.

Economic Policy

Economic Policy is what governments formulate to ensure that a nation’s economy is on the track and industries, individuals and the markets prosper.  View all postgraduate programmes in Economic Policy.  

Environmental Economics

This specialisation is gaining in popularity as more and more companies and governments are realising the ill-effects that the environment has to pay in the name of industrial progress. Environmental Economics seeks to find the right balance between monetary growth and ecological conservation and sustainability. View all postgraduate programmes in Environmental Economics

Health Economics

A nation whose population is healthy and happy is likely to have a strong and prosperous economy. Health Economics looks at the healthcare industry and the various factors that influence the manufacturing of medicines and allied medical products. View all postgraduate programmes in Health Economics.

Career prospects

Successful students of Economics can find jobs in banks, financial departments of companies, governments or find a career in academia. The following infographics sourced from Payscale indicate the average salaries for those with a postgraduate degree in Economics in India and the USA.



The average salary details indicate the importance of studying and finding a job abroad. An international degree and employment abroad, definitely works as a better financial option than studying in India and working here.

Famous economists

Dr. Manmohan Singh is the man who under the able leadership of P.V. Narasimha Rao revitalised the  Indian economy by opening up the country to foreign investment. A man of few words and a man of action, he steered India through troubled times as the Prime Minister as well. He completed his Economics Tripos at the University of Cambridge. He went on to complete his doctorate the University of Oxford.  

Professional associations


The Indian Economic Association is registered body of Indian economists, which was established in 1917. The IEA is a member of the International Economic Association and conducts seminars and events on a regular basis.


The American Economic Association was formally incorporated in Washington, DC in 1923. With over 18,000 members the AEA publishes a number of journals like the American Economic Review and the Journal of Economic Literature

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