Master of Science 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 supply and demand in a given context, and 
  • Empirical methods to quantify causal mechanisms and make predictions based on real-world data. 

With these tools, applied economists shed light on a wide range of social issues, help inform decisions by companies or households, and contribute to the design of public policies.   

This programme provides a unique opportunity to learn about the practice of economics rather than focusing on technical details, with Professors from leading institutions such as: 

  • World Trade Organization
  • Swiss National Bank
  • UN Conference on Trade and Development, or 
  • Swiss Federal Statistical Office

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.  

  • Programme structure

    Programme structure

    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 globalisation?
    • How can businesses leverage new sources of big data to their best advantage?

    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 normally covers 3 semesters, including two semesters of core and optional courses, and one semester devoted to the writing of a Master’s thesis under supervision of a Professor (can be combined with an internship). The programme can also be completed within 12 months or extended to accommodate part-time work.

    By selecting courses during their degree, students have the option to obtain a major in: 

    • Energy and environmental policy
    • Data Science

    These specialisations enable students to enhance their knowledge in these fields and signal their skills to potential employers. 

    Acquired skills 

    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 with the most widely used software (R and Stata), 
    • The ability to read and reflect on the scientific literature applied to real-world issues, and 
    • Perform individual work by completing a research or internship thesis.

    Interactive teaching

    The programme maintains a policy of small classes, with around 20 students per cohort who enjoy maximum support and close supervision by the teaching staff. All courses are interactive and promote students’ learning experience, providing a unique atmosphere in the classroom and greatly facilitates exchanges between students and professors. 

  • Career opportunities

    Career opportunities

    The programme covers many different applications of economics, which can develop students’ interest in different professional specialisations. The programme has a history of excellent placements, including in public and governmental institutions, private businesses such as consultancies or financial companies, as well as international organisations and NGOs. Concrete examples include:  

    • Swiss federal administration (energy, defense, economy, statistics), Cantons de Vaud et Neuchâtel (budget office, statistics office), Australian Department of Finance;  
    • World Trade Organisation, World Economic Forum, Medair NGO, World Intellectual Property Organisation
    • UBS, Crédit Suisse, Swiss Life Group, China Construction Bank, Caitong Securities 
    • Partners Group, Huawei Technologies, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Philip Morris International 
    • Numerous doctoral programmes in Switzerland and abroad, Canadian Energy Research Institute, FORS Swiss Center for Expertise in Social Sciences. 
  • Admission conditions

    Admission conditions

    A Bachelor’s degree is required. Students with a degree in Economics or Business from a Swiss university are directly admitted. Other applications are reviewed by the admissions committee.

    Students who graduated in another discipline (such as Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, Engineering Sciences, etc.) and have acquired a minimum of 30 ECTS in Economics can be admitted directly.

    For other students, including those from Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences, admission to the programme is conditional on completing a pre-programme (one or two semesters) based on their background before embarking on the regular Master curriculum. 

    See more details on Master website:

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. The programme is nevertheless highly quantitative, and we offer a 1-week math refresher in basic calculus and statistics.


Degree awarded

Master of Science in Applied Economics​

with optional Major in:

  • Energy and environmental policy 
  • Data Science


90 ECTS, 3 semesters
Teaching language
uk.png English

Master's programme information