Master's specialisation in Economics, Behaviour and Policy
Bridging the gap between theory and practice – and applying them to the design of sound, feasible policies – can provide the key to solving micro, meso and macroeconomic issues. How do policy makers make decisions that affect economic, societal and personal welfare? How is welfare defined and measured? And how can we design more effective policies? This specialisation covers not only econometric questions, but also psychological, cultural, legal and philosophical ones. By improving your insight into complex issues, it will prepare you for designing successful strategies in your future career as a policy maker or consultant . Our graduates are experts in economic policies who work for government and semi-government organisations, and also as consultants in business and industry. You can do the same. By examining real-world scenarios, you’ll acquire the analytical skills you need to take research results and apply them to a wide variety of problems.
- You’ll tackle economic and policy issues at all levels – focusing mostly on the real economy. - You’ll combine learning with research: your lecturers are researchers who incorporate the latest findings into their teaching. As a student, you’ll also do research. - You’ll interact with your professors in small seminar groups. - By taking our ‘Economics Plus’ package, you’ll combine ‘standard’ economics with disciplines such as psychology and sociology. This will give you the knowledge you need to tackle policy issues in today’s globalised world.
You’ll gain a strong theoretical background in both mainstream and heterodox (i.e. non-mainstream) economic theories, augmented by methods derived from disciplines that include psychology and sociology. There’s good reason for this broad approach: if an economic problem seems intractable, you may need to change your perspective. We also examine the policy relevance of theoretical insights and give you the tools you need to design policies that will make a difference to people’s lives.
Admission requirements for international students
1. A Bachelor's degree in Economics – or a closely-related discipline – from a research-oriented university, with sufficient background in Research Methods and Mathematics (and Economics if you took a different degree).
2. Proficiency in English In order to take part in this programme, you must be fluent in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English need one of qualifications below. Please note that certificates must have been awarded in the past two years, and that no other certificates are accepted: - A TOEFL (iBT) Certificate with a minimum overall score of 90 and no subscore not less than 18, or - IELTS Academic Certificate: a minimum overall score of 6.5 less than 6.0, or - A Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with a minimum score of C, or - A Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a minimum score of C.
3. A letter of motivation (max. 2 pages) Please explain why you want to follow this programme and why you think you should be part of this programme.
This programme will provide you with a toolbox filled with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle a whole array of economic problems. Besides issues at the micro and macroeconomic level, graduates learn to deal with issues at the meso level, for example, how to stimulate innovation. Our graduates devise policies and learn to analyse critically which solutions are most likely to work in a specific economic and social context. They regularly find employment as policy makers for government and semi-government organisations, in ministries, national banks, NGOs, think tanks, the UN and the EU , as well as national and international labour organisations. But your career prospects are much broader than that. You could for example, work as a consultant in industry or as a lobbyist.
Our approach to this field
By giving you a strong theoretical grounding in a broad range of current economic theories – both mainstream and heterodox –this programme will show you not just what is happening, but also why and how. To ensure that it is always relevant, we update the content every year.
Our main aim is to unravel the diversity – and the complexity – of economic issues, and thus clarify the role of economics in society. At the micro level, we might look at, for example, policies for reducing traffic jams or encouraging citizens to opt for more sustainable ways of living. At the meso level, we might examine policies intended to determine which companies should be supported – those that are struggling or those that are successful? – and how companies can be encouraged to innovate. And at the macro level, we might try to determine whether government policies should respond to financial crises through austerity or through investment.
Lectures are devoted to detailed discussions of a wide range of real-world scenarios. As an active participant, you’ll join in debates with your lecturers and your fellow students, and sometimes with experts from the field. One module – Technology & Innovation Policy – is taught by an emeritus professor and two business leaders. Guest speakers are drawn from varied backgrounds, such as a recent speaker from the Dutch Ministry of Finance, who discussed financial illiteracy. Activities such as these all exemplify the kinds of concerns – economic and otherwise – you’ll be likely to encounter as a policy maker.