Master of Science in Economics

Course content

The Economics programme studies the functioning of the global economy. You will discuss all economic actors and their interactions: families, businesses, financial institutions, government and society. The master’s programme provides you with an advanced insight into economic theories, models and techniques that you can use to analyse and evaluate complex social issues with regard to the interactions and behaviours between economic actors. You’ll learn how these actors make economic choices (consume, production, labour, investments, import, export …), what the consequences are for society and how problems in this matter can be solved best.
In function of this you will learn how to set up a scientific research and use the results to formulate policy recommendations. The topics that you will discuss are socially relevant: economic growth, welfare, income generation, income distribution, money, inflation, monetary policy, employment and unemployment, government efficiency, social security, taxation and government debt, international economic relations, globalization, problems of developing countries, environmental pollution, poverty ...

Course structure

The master’s programme has, in addition to a common part with general courses, two majors that allow you to tailor your curriculum, according to your own interests. You can choose three courses from one major and an elective course from a broad range of courses. The common part deepens your knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics in three advanced courses. In Micro-economics you study the behavioural implications, dual approach and the general equilibrium of consumer and producer behaviour. This also includes an introduction to the game theory and you will explore the problem of asymmetrical information. In Macroeconomics you learn to understand and master the key developments in macroeconomics during the last 40 years. The focus is on modern growth theory, new classical macroeconomics and modern business cycle analysis. In Econometrics we broaden your knowledge of the econometric techniques for time series analysis.

The major Financial institutions and markets aims at students who aspire a job in the financial sector. You study the different financial assets and their risk-return characteristics from the perspective of the institutional investor. Good investment decisions require knowledge of the most important financial markets (stocks, bonds, corporate securities, exchange rates, commodities, emerging markets) and the evolution of economic variables such as government budget, interest rates and inflation. In addition, you will explore the main issues and the complex interactions in the management of banks and identify important trends within the changing regulatory environment of banks. In doing so, you will study all aspects that a central bank is faced with when conducting its monetary policy, in particular the ECB.

The major Economic policy aims at students looking for a job that determines economic policy, in the very broad sense of the word (not only government, but also social partners, central bank, international institutions, financial institutions, ...). You study the role of the government in the economy: efficient allocation, government intervention and failure, inequality and poverty, social choice, and optimal taxation. We will teach you how you can deal with the current problems that welfare states face through an adapted policy. You also master the aspects that a central bank is faced with when conducting its monetary policy (in particular the ECB). In addition, the environmental and energy policy is discussed extensively: the central focus is on the optimal use of scarce resources and the related concepts of cost-efficiency, cost-effectiveness and information problems. Finally, you will discover the effects of fiscal policy on key macroeconomic variables such as economic growth and employment. Finally, the master’s dissertation is a very important element. Via that dissertation you can show that you are able to apply the acquired knowledge to a problem independently.

Career perspectives

Graduates from the Economics programme can be found in macroeconomic organisations where there’s a need for experts with social-financial-international-economic insights. In the financial sector (banks, insurance companies and central banks), we find economists back into research services, management, credit analysis, economic analysis, asset management, etc. In addition, many Economics graduates can be found in governmental organisations, international institutions, social partners (trade unions and employers’ associations), education and research. In governmental organisations they hold numerous functions that involve the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of many aspects of the economic and socio-economic policy. Some examples of jobs: procurement analyst, chief economist of a bank, economic analyst at the National Bank, policy advisor of the Flemish Government, investment specialist and environmental economist at a NGO.