Master in Applied Economics


Study overview

Economists are social scientists equipped with a specific set of tools, which include:

  • Models (or abstract simplifications) capturing salient aspects of social interactions in a given context, and
  • Empirical methods employed to quantify the relevance of causal mechanisms with real-world data.

Applying these tools can explain how the economy works, and shed light on a wide range of social issues, from decisions within the firm or the family to the design of public policy interventions. 

This programme provides students with a unique opportunity to learn how to use the tools of economics, and tackle real-life questions such as:

  • When do markets work and fail?
  • What are the trade-offs involved in regulating the banking sector?
  • How do we tackle climate change?
  • What are the costs and benefits of globalization?

As a collection of diverse models and empirical methods, economics as a discipline does not have a particular ideological bent, nor lead to a unique conclusion. Instead, the core objective of the programme is to teach students how to apply abstract reasoning to real-world problems, and use a data-driven approach to identify likely outcomes of market strategies or policy interventions.  

Course structure 

The programme is normally completed within 3 semesters. The first two semesters include core and optional courses, and the last semester is devoted to the writing of a Master’s thesis under supervision of the faculty. Students motivated to finish the programme within a year can start work on the thesis during the first two semesters. Students can also combine their thesis work with an internship in a public or private institution. 

Skills acquired 

Students follow a challenging graduate programme in a first-class Swiss institution, developing the skills required for cutting-edge economic analysis. These skills include:

  • A core set of models for micro and macro policy analysis used in the economic profession
  • State-of-the-art empirical methods focusing on their applications with the most widely used software (R and Stata)
  • The ability to read and reflect on the scientific literature, applying these tools to real-world issues
  • Performing individual work by completing a research or internship thesis

Specific strengths

​Compared with other programmes, the emphasis is not on technical knowledge such as calculus and statistics. Instead, the programme focuses on applying the intuition derived from models and statistical techniques. Nevertheless, we offer a 1-week entry-level refresher in basic calculus and statistics, and the programme can therefore be followed by students from diverse backgrounds. 

Degree awarded
Master of Science in Applied Economics
90 ECTS, 3 semesters
Teaching language
uk.png English


Master's programme information

Career opportunities