How do we deal with the long term challenges from new technologies, globalisation, demographic shifts and environmental change? Are our current pension and healthcare systems strong enough to cope with an ageing population? What policies are required to achieve environmental sustainability - and who is responsible for taking action? If you are strongly motivated to contribute to just and effective decisions in economic policy-making, the Master’s in Economic Policy at Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) is the right choice for you.
Based on Utrecht University’s research expertise, this multidisciplinary Master’s gives you 360-degree picture of the importance of economic policy-making for business, government, and society.
In the Master in Economic Policy you focus on
Read more about the study programme.
This MSc in Economic Policy provides you with:
You will actively participate in major research projects, conduct your own research, present your results, and write short essays and a master’s thesis.
Upon completion of the MSc in Economic Policy you are prepared for a wide range of careers in both the public and private sector. Our alumni have gone on to develop careers as economics policy advisors for government agencies at the national, European and international level; as economic professionals in the public domain of public administration, health care, education and social security; or as consultants in sustainable transitions and energy economics. Read more about possible career prospects.
Economic policy problems are everywhere. Think of the financial crisis in 2008 and the Eurocrisis that erupted in 2010. Think also of population ageing which causes large increases in spending on healthcare and pensions. Global warming may threaten future life on earth. And income inequality is increasing almost everywhere in the Western world due to globalization and technological changes. In order to be able to solve economic problems governments need excellent policy economists. By completing this Master programme you will be able to apply state-of-the-art economic theory and research methods to solve the most important policy issues of our time.
Besides courses, the core of the Master programme consists of seminars. In the main seminar you will try to solve one of the most pressing policy problems of our time. Moreover, our partners will provide internships for the best students of the program, for example, at one of the Ministries, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, competition and other government authorities. During this internship you will also most likely write your Master’s thesis.
The main values of the Policy Economics programme at Erasmus School of Economics are: open minded, curious, academically thorough, hard-working and politically engaged. If you are a strongly analytical student, if you are highly motivated, and if you are socially engaged, then you should enroll in the Master in Policy Economics!
Good policy economists are scarce and your career perspectives will be excellent. When graduating from this master you will be able to work as an applied policy economist at ministries, applied research institutes, bureaus for policy analysis, and international institutions. The places where our Policy Economics specialisation alumni will be working are the Dutch Ministries, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Research, the Dutch Central Bank, the OECD, and universities.
Typically, a Policy Economics student is smart, active and has above-average Bachelor grades. Do you have a keen interest in applied-policy issues and the public sector? Then you should read what our students have to say.
Download the brochure here.
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.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ep
- 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.
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.
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.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ep
Do you ever wonder why mothers are more likely than fathers to work part-time and care for their children? Or why some countries oblige unemployment benefit recipients to follow strict activation requirements while others do not? Maybe you’ve thought about what the expected and real-life benefits and challenges of the decentralization of care are? Or how societies are changing as a result of increasing cultural diversity and social inequality?
If you are interested in studying such issues, this one-year Master's programme is for you. You will develop knowledge about interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives on social policy and interventions, which will help you gain in-depth insight into the methodology and skills needed to research social policy and intervention issues in the domain of health and wellbeing, in particular related to work, care and participation. More specifically, you will look into problems such as:
You will also study people's strategies for dealing with social risks, including:
This will be done by combining knowledge from the behavioural and social sciences.
The academic staff in our faculty participate in a wide variety of research projects into the problems that are central to this Master's programme, including themes as diverse as:
Our Master’s programme is truly an international programme, in both its teaching and its orientation. Many of the problems focused on in this Master's programme have a strong European or global dimension, such as: ageing and care, migration and ethnic relationships, individualization and solidarity, gender and sexual diversity, and social environments and health. The same goes for the policy and intervention approaches that are used to tackle these issues. You will find that this international perspective is a key feature of the programme. You will learn to take this international perspective in a global teaching environment, with staff and students from the Netherlands, Europe and beyond.
In addition to its international, comparative perspective, the programme is also characterized by its interdisciplinary and multi-method approach. This international, interdisciplinary and multi-method focus also applies to the research you will undertake for your master’s thesis, as well as in the exploration of professional practices. In your research, you will draw on a combination of scientific perspectives from the behavioural and social sciences, in particular psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. In exploring professional practices, you will also draw on a combination of scientific perspectives, through a focus on social policies, mostly informed by social science, and interventions, mostly grounded in behavioural sciences.
This Master's programme is intended to enable you to become an academic professional. As a graduate of the Social Policy and Public Health programme, you will be able to study social problems from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. You will also have acquired the professional and academic skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate social policies and interventions. These skills will allow you to pursue a career as a social scientist, working with government agencies, social service organizations, civil society organizations, or private sector companies.