A bridge between theoretical economics and policy making

Giacomo Boffi

"We all know a stable economy is good. This Master’s has provided me with the necessary know-how to translate advanced economic knowledge into sound economic policies. Complex subjects are faced with a multidisciplinary approach, from the real-world perspective. The small class size benefits from the active participation of students with different nationalities and backgrounds. The focus on the societal implications of economic choices opens doors within both the public and the private sectors. A career within international institutions, as well as one in consulting and project management, are complementary to the study program."

Giacomo Boffi (Italy), MSc graduate

The small class size allows for open intellectual and informal exchange between students and the instructor

Ima Sammani

"Studying Economic Policy at Utrecht University has been a rewarding experience for me. During this programme, you discuss the role of the government in the largest societal issues (e.g. poverty, inequality, climate change) and learn how government decisions can impact firms, households and individuals, and vice versa. This is the core of economics - the incorporation of individual decision making. In the past year, I have learned to capture the implications of these decisions, using large datasets and econometric models. During my bachelors, many students (including myself) often found themselves lost by the abstractness of many economic models and their inapplicability to the real world. The Economic Policy programme allows you to combine theory to reality to deal with this.

One of the defining features of this programme for me was its small size. The small class size allows for open intellectual and informal exchange between students and the instructor. You will get to know all your instructors personally, and they are always happy to help. Because the group is rather small, the Economic Policy students are a tight-knit group. It’s a very internationally diverse group, which comes in handy for your cooking skills and introduces you to many different cultures. This especially becomes fun in the classroom, where everyone has a different (and strong) opinion on how governments should rule. Learning about economic policy suddenly becomes a lot more interesting when everyone has a different starting point. And even after this master programme, you will have a friend to visit wherever you travel!"

Ima Sammani (The Netherlands), MSc graduate

The Master's programme taught me to look at economic issues from various perspectives

Testimonial Sharon Spruit

“Economics is often seen as an abstract subject, especially compared to business administration. In this Master's programme, that is definitely not the case. All right, you start with a theoretical basis. But after that, you immediately connect it to practice. In almost every subject, current themes are brought up: from the ‘race to the bottom’ with taxes, to the sharing economy and the ageing population. You also learn how to apply your knowledge immediately. For instance, we taught the seminars for one subject ourselves. For another subject, we wrote a research paper that we then learned to translate into an attractive policy proposal. Those skills are indispensable to your career. With my Master's degree, I can go work for the government or in the corporate world. If there is one economics Master's programme that makes the link to society and practical skills, it's this one.

What also makes this Master's programme so interesting, is the attention to how other disciplines influence the economy. Think of law, sociology, geography and the role of psychology in Behavioural economics. It's a substantively strong programme with high-level subjects, as I've gotten used to during my Bachelor's programme at Utrecht University. The macro-economic approach gives you a broad perspective that you can take in many directions. There is also much attention for a thorough preparation of your thesis. The rule for this Master's programme is: your thesis is your business card to the job market. So that's what you pursue. It's hard work, but you do have all the freedom to make it worthwhile by yourself. Also important, the lecturers are there for you when you need help.

The Master's programme is very international: I'm in a class with students from Colombia, Taiwan, the United States, Italy, Austria, Sweden and Spain. The small-scaled, varied group doesn't back away from discussion. There are many different opinions and perspectives within the group, such as on how much influence the government should have. That room for discussion and critical thinking can also be found in class. The personal character of the Master's programme, the international composition and the motivated attitude of the students ensured that we quickly became a solid group. We learn from each other and help each other by asking. This also always results in valuable discussions. All in all: a really good atmosphere!”

—  Sharon Spruit (The Netherlands), MSc graduate