Economic Policy (PG Dip)

Overview

Study for a prestigious Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Policy by distance learning

The Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Policy focuses on the financial aspects of policy making, increasing your understanding of the principles, applications and context underlying economic policy. It can also provide a suitable route towards entering the MSc Finance (major: Economic Policy).

Programme aims

The programme will enable you to deepen your understanding of the principles, applications, and context underlying economic policy with a focus on policy’s financial aspects.

Programme details

  You study Study period Cost (2015-16)
Postgraduate Diploma 4 modules 1-5 years £5,040
Individual Professional Awards You can take up to three individual modules from this distance learning programme. Each module lasts eight weeks and you are registered for two years. The fee per individual module is £1,260.

Prestige

The programme has been developed by academics at the Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS), a postgraduate research and teaching department within SOAS, University of London. Staff at CeFiMS have international reputations and are involved in researching their subjects at the very limits of current knowledge.

Career progression

As a graduate of this programme you will be prepared for a career as an economist in government, central banks, other public organisations, international institutions and consultancy.

Comprehensive study materials and support

You will be given all of the learning materials that you need to complete each module. These will typically include:

  • The Study Guide, a core text specially written for the course. This takes the form of a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching of the course, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings.
  • Textbooks and collections of key journal articles and book extracts.
  • Online and multimedia tools. You will have access to the Online Learning Environment (OLE), which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OLE also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library. In addition, some course material will also include video lectures on DVD, CDs of case studies, and econometric software.
  • A Welcome pack is available online, which provides you with resources and tips on effective distance learning. We will also send you a Study Skills textbook to help you manage your studies.

Your time commitment

This will depend partly on choices you make, but most students take two years to complete Postgraduate Diploma. The study calendar consists of five sessions per year. Each session is devoted to a specific module and lasts eight weeks (with the exception of the first session which runs for 10 weeks). During each session you will need to allocate between 15-20 hours per week to complete the programme.

Summary of key dates

Economic Policy
CeFiMS event Study session 1 Study session 2 Study session 3 Study session 4 Study session 5
Application deadline 19 September 2016 05 December 2016 06 February 2017 10 April 2017 05 June 2017
Enrolment deadline 03 October 2016 19 December 2016 20 February 2017 24 April 2017 19 June 2017
Start date 14 November 2016 30 January 2017 03 April 2017 05 June 2017 31 July 2017
Examinations September/October 2017

 

Structure

Structure and Syllabus

Four modules from the following

Banking and capital markets

This course examines the underlying principles and characteristics of banking and financial markets that are the foundation for understanding both their normal role in economies and the headline events. It concentrates on the theoretical and empirical scientific knowledge produced by modern research on banking. Since such knowledge is never fully established or ‘proven’, it enables the student to examine opposing points of view and to discuss the published studies.

Unit 1: Bank-Based vs Market-Based Financial Systems
Unit 2: Why do Banks Exist?
Unit 3: Why Banks Exist: Explanations Based on their Lending
Unit 4: Banks vs Capital Markets
Unit 5: Credit Rationing and Overlending
Unit 6: Bank Runs and Regulatory Responses
Unit 7: Financial Crisis
Unit 8: Portfolio Analysis

International finance

This course is concerned with the institutions of international finance and the key policy problems that have arisen in recent decades. It presents a policy-oriented perspective, similar to that an economist would use when advising governments on how to work within the modern international financial system and how to overcome its problems.

Unit 1: Evolution of the International Financial System
Unit 2: Foreign Exchange Markets
Unit 3: The Balance of Payments
Unit 4: Balance of Payments Policies - The Mundell-Fleming Approach
Unit 5: Balance of Payments Policies – The Monetary Approach
Unit 6: Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rate Systems
Unit 7: Currency Blocs, Financial Integration and International Co-ordination
Unit 8: Foreign Exchange Problems and Policies of Developing Countries

Macroeconomic policy and financial markets

This module has been specially designed to increase the depth of your understanding of macroeconomics by focusing on the relation financial markets have to macroeconomics. We place the subject in a real-world context, aiming to show how theoretical and empirical knowledge of macroeconomics and financial markets provides ways to analyse the salient problems faced by modern macroeconomic policy makers.

Unit 1: Macroeconomics and the World of Finance
Unit 2: Saving and Finance
Unit 3: Investment and Financial Markets
Unit 4: Monetary Policy and the Central Bank
Unit 5: Fiscal Policy and Government Finances
Unit 6: Expectations, Inflation, and Interest Rates
Unit 7: Foreign Exchange Markets and Foreign Trade
Unit 8: International Capital Flows and Financial Markets

Microeconomic principles and policy

This course looks at the principles economists use to model the behaviour of individual agents (firms, consumers, and policy authorities) and the ways in which they interact in a market economy. This course examines and builds upon core theories of microeconomics, and is structured around: market equilibrium; consumer demand; theory of the firm; pricing and output in competitive and monopolistic markets. The course explores the economic principles that underpin the influence of market structures - whether markets are competitive or monopolistic - on consumers and firms, how these principles can be applied to economic problems, and their implications for policy.

Unit 1 Introduction to Microeconomics
Unit 2 Theories of Consumer Behaviour
Unit 3 Theory of Production and Costs
Unit 4 Markets and Competition
Unit 5 Oligopoly and Other Noncompetitive Markets
Unit 6 Markets for Resources – Labour, Capital and Other Inputs
Unit 7 Industry Structures, Pricing Behaviour and Globalisation
Unit 8 Externalities, Public Goods and Environmental Economics

Public financial management: revenue

This course addresses the theory and practice of public finance with special reference to how governments raise revenues. It is concerned with taxation, borrowing and aid. There are economic principles that bear on the issues of financing public expenditure and these are covered in the course. If you have not studied economics before there is an Appendix that covers the relevant microeconomics concepts that underlie taxation theory. At the same time the course recognises that decisions on taxation, borrowing and aid are not taken solely with reference to economics but also to politics.

Unit 1: Tax Issues in Context
Unit 2: Taxation Incidence and Optimal Taxation
Unit 3: Policy Objectives and Taxation
Unit 4: Tax Policy Issues in Developing and Transition Countries (I)
Unit 5: Tax Policy Issues in Developing and Transition Countries (II)
Unit 6: Local Revenues in Developing and Transition Countries
Unit 7: Deficits and Debts
Unit 8: Foreign Aid and Debt Relief

The International Monetary Fund and economic policy

The module examines the changing roles of the IMF, the nature of economic policies it encourages countries to pursue, and some of the effects these policies have on the economic environment of business, on the financial sector, and on social conditions. The module gives a simple introduction to the basic IMF economic policy framework, 'financial programming'. Using different types of countries, including transition economies and developing countries as case studies, it enables you to study issues such as the role of capital controls and the problems of highly indebted countries.

Unit 1: Macroeconomic Stabilisation and the Role of the International Monetary Fund
Unit 2: The IMF’s Approach to Stabilisation
Unit 3: Alternative Approaches to Stabilisation
Unit 4: Stabilisation and the Financial Sector
Unit 5: Stabilisation Policy and the Financial Sector: Institutional Responses to Recent Crises
Unit 6: Stabilisation and the Financial Sector: Some Challenges and Controversies
Unit 7: Stabilisation and Low-income Countries
Unit 8: Challenges for Low-income Countries

Study materials

How you study

Without leaving your job or home you can study, write and submit assignments, receive expert guidance from your CeFiMS tutor and advice from the student support team. In addition to printed study materials, the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) allows you to work with course materials, send queries to tutors and submit assignments via the Internet.

When you take a CeFiMS distance learning course you will be sent everything you need to complete your studies. A typical set of course learning materials would include:

  • The Study Guide, a core text specially written for the course. This takes the form of a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching of the course, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings.
  • Textbooks and collections of key journal articles and book extracts.
  • Online and multimedia tools. You will have access to the VLE, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library. In addition, some course material will also include video lectures on DVD, CDs of case studies, and econometric software.
  • A Welcome pack is available online, which provides you with resources and tips on effective distance learning. We will also send you a Study Skills textbook to help you manage your studies.

Virtual Learning Environment

Created by CefiMS to provide additional resources and support, the Virtual Learning Environment allows you to:

  • access study materials that complement printed texts
  • submit assignments
  • communicate with tutors
  • contact support staff regarding administrative queries
  • access online resources provided by the Univeristy of London Library including full-text journal databases of JSTOR and EBSCO.

Note: Students who are eligible to use the VLE are automatically contacted by CeFiMS staff and given information about how to access the system for their course.

Fees

Fees

Fees may be paid in one of two ways:

Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment for all the module fees;
 
Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
 
Fees are subject to annual review. The 2015-2016 fees take effect from 1 August 2015. 
2015-16
Fee per module£ 1,260
TOTAL Postgraduate Diploma £ 5,040
ConvertGBP x 1

Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for
  • the fee charged to your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary
  • customs duties/taxes where these are payable on educational materials, including educational USB stick/CDs. We recommend that you check the status of imported educational materials with your country’s customs authorities.

Note 

The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.
Assessment

Assessment

With the exception of the Dissertation, all modules are assessed by one three-hour unseen written examination and two assignments of 2,500 words each. The Dissertation (available as an option for MSc programmes only) is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of not more than 10,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices.

The grade awarded on each individual module will be based on the mark obtained in the written examination and on the combined mark for the assignments. The examination mark and the combined mark of the assignments will be weighted on the scale 70:30. If you fail a written examination at the first sitting, you will be allowed one further attempt after which your registration will cease.

Exams, both overseas and in the UK, take place once a year in September/October. They are normally held in a student's country of residence, using the existing system of overseas examinations authorities which the University of London operates for all its International Programmes students. Exams for students in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland are normally held in London.

Requirements

Academic Requirements

In order to be considered for registration applicants must have:

Either
(a) a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or other appropriate discipline, from a UK university or other institution acceptable to the University or an equivalent international qualification (qualifications in other subjects will be assessed on their merits)

Or
(b) previous education and experience without a UK Bachelor’s degree, or international equivalent that satisfies the University as a qualification on the same level as a UK bachelor's degree approved under (a) for this purpose, and which has included suitable preliminary training.

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

For some modules you will require a CD drive and DVD player.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Language Requirements

For all of our modules you are required to have a high level of English language ability in reading and writing and in study skills.

If your first degree was not taught in English, you will need to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body. This is equivalent to a score of 7.0 overall in the IELTS test, or 7.0 in both reading and writing.

Academic leaders

Academic leadership - CeFiMS

Lead College

The Centre for Financial & Management Studies (CeFiMS) is a postgraduate research and teaching department at SOAS, University of London.

Our programmes give students a strong academic foundation to their professional skills. Other students study for a degree with us because of their love of learning and their desire to widen their understanding of the world. The programmes are available in a range of flexible options, so you can choose the speed, depth and even the location of your postgraduate study.

As one of our graduates, you will become part of an exclusive network of alumni based in leading private and public sector organisations throughout the world.

Academic staff

In total, more than eighty academics act as online tutors. In addition, there is a dedicated team of student advisers. For more information, please visit the CeFiMS website [external link].