Master in Applied Economics


Programme objectives

Economics as a discipline provides a framework to document social issues in a quantitative manner. For firms, government bodies, and other organizations who have to deal with these issues, such quantitative evidence is of upmost importance. This makes the tools developed by economists highly valuable for day-to-day strategic decisions.

The MSc APEC programme provides students with the opportunity to learn and experience how to apply the toolbox of economics to a range of practical social issues. These tools include a profound understanding of how markets work, how governments can intervene when markets fail to work well, and also how firms, households, and other agents respond to these interventions. One key objective of the program is to familiarize students with cutting edge empirical methods, and give them opportunities to apply these methods themselves in different contexts of interest.

The set of skills developed during the master programme are highly sought after in the professional world, and successful candidates will have a wide set of opportunities in which they can apply these tools.


Summary of the programme

The programme in Applied Economics features core courses in micro and macro policy, as well as quantitative methods / econometrics. Students who wish to sharpen their knowledge in specific domains, and thereby profile themselves on the job market, can seek to obtain a specialization in one of three areas:

  • Public Finance and Regulation
  • Energy and Environmental Policy 
  • Trade and Migration Policy

Obtaining a major is not compulsory, as it requires successfully completing a predefined set of courses that are relevant to each of the three fields.  


Acquired skills

The Master of Science in Applied Economics provides students with a unique opportunity to follow a challenging graduate programme in a first-class Swiss institution. The programme and its specializations is unique in Europe.

Students will learn how to master economic analysis and apply the associated tools and reasoning, allowing them to identify quickly and confidently what are the main issues of interest, gauge their empirical relevance, and think about the most efficient remedies. From climate change to population ageing, a large array of topics is discussed and analysed. This coverage ensures that students acquire the knowledge corresponding to the needs of their employers and are therefore immediately and fully prepared for employment upon graduation. Through the realization of the master’s thesis, students are trained to become autonomous researchers, or they can also choose to combine their thesis work with an internship in a public or private institution. 

Course structure

In contrast to the majority of comparable programmes, the MScAPEC is normally completed in 3 semesters only. For ambitious students, the programme can be completed as quickly as 12 months. A key feature of the programme is the possibility to start in February. Upon request, the curriculum can be completed on a part-time basis for those who pursue a professional activity in parallel.


Interactive teaching

Small class size (typically around 15) ensure rich teacher-student interactions, which allows the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Neuchâtel to offer exceptionally favourable conditions for successful studies. Throughout the programme, students enjoy maximum support and close supervision by the teaching staff. All courses are interactive and promote active student participation.

More information on the Master website

Degree awarded
Master of Science in Applied Economics
90 ECTS, 3 semesters
Teaching language

Information to the candidates

The programme of this master is a revamped version of the earlier Master in economics (MScECON) that existed prior to 2017. The new curriculum offers more options to the students as well as the possibility to specialise in a specific major. More information


Information Sheet

Career opportunities