Master of Science in Economics

The Economics programme studies the functioning of economy as a whole. Whereas Business Economics focuses mostly on the functional domains of businesses, Economics deals with macroeconomic analysis, focusing on the behaviour of, and interaction between consumers, businesses, financial institutions and the government, in an international context.

Master's Programme
1 year 60 credits
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
English
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About the programme
Programme summary
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After graduation

What

The Economics programme studies the functioning of economy as a whole. In so doing, the programme takes into account all economic actors and their mutual interaction: households, companies, financial institutions, government and foreign nations. The Master’s programme provides advanced insights into economic theories, models and techniques for you to use when analysing and assessing complex social issues with regard to the interactions and behaviours between economic actors. You will study how these different actors each make economic choices (e.g. consumption, production, labour, investment, import and export, …), what the consequences are for society, and how problems in that context can best be solved. You will learn how to set up an academic research project in this context, and how to convert your research results into policy recommendations. All the topics that are dealt with – e.g. economic growth, prosperity, income generation, income distribution, money, inflation, monetary policy, employment and unemployment, efficient government policy, social security, taxes and government debt, international economic relations, globalization, the problems of developing countries, environmental pollution, poverty, etc... - are all socially relevant.

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For whom

The admission requirements depend on previous degrees (type of degree, country of issue etc.) or additional experience.

Structure

The programme consists of four parts.

The compulsory courses lay the theoretical foundations for methodological and empirical skills. The common part for all students of this programme deepens your knowledge in three advanced courses in micro-economics, macro-economics and econometrics. You already have an educational background that covered the basics of these courses but here we have a deeper focus on the formal analysis and the tools that you need.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Econometrics: we broaden your knowledge of the econometric techniques for time series analysis.

In the major you follow more specific courses where you apply the theoretical foundations of the compulsory courses. We offer two different majors, this might seem a limited choice but this is well-considered. First of all, these are the subject areas that are most relevant for economists in general and, secondly, these are the subject areas for which we have the deepest expertise. You can choose three courses from one of the following majors: Economic Policy, Financial Institutions and Markets. The Financial Institutions and Markets major is aimed at students who aspire to 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 banks’ changing regulatory environment. In doing so, you will study all aspects with which a central bank is faced when conducting its monetary policy, in particular the ECB. The Economic Policy major is aimed at students looking for a job that determines economic policy, in the broadest sense of the word (not only government, but also social partners, central bank, international institutions, financial institutions, ...). You study the role of government in economy: efficient allocation, government intervention and failure, inequality and poverty, social choice, and optimal taxation. We will teach you how to use policy change to deal with welfare states’ topical problems. You also learn to master the aspects central banks are facing when conducting their monetary policy (in particular the ECB). In addition, environmental and energy policy is covered extensively, with a main focus on 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 of your training. It is the ultimate occasion to prove that you are able to apply the acquired knowledge to address a problem independently.

The master dissertation is the ultimate occasion to prove that you are able to apply the acquired knowledge to address a problem independently.

You can tailor your curriculum by choosing an elective course. You have several options for the elective course:

  • You choose another course from your major to specialise even more in this subject area
  • You choose a course from the other major in order to widen your horizon
  • You choose an elective course from a broad range of general courses
  • You do an internship

If you want to combine your master’s degree with a teacher’s degree, then there is the option of following an ‘Educatieve master’ instead of the above described master. The Master's Programme in Teaching however is a Dutch taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.

Labour Market

Economics graduates can be found in macroeconomic organisations with a need for experts with social-financial-international-economic insights. In the financial sector (banks, insurance companies and central banks), economists are employed in 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 positions related to economic and socio-economic policy (preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation). A number of specific examples are procurement analyst, chief economist of a bank, economic analyst at the National Bank, policy advisor to the Flemish Government, investment specialist and environmental economist at an NGO.