Study programme

A student searching for related literature in Utrecht University Library.

The first year consists of mandatory courses, while the second year consists of a number of elective courses (25 ECTS total), a skills course (5 ECTS), and a thesis (30 ECTS).

Second year electives:

You can choose from a list of electives in the second year offered by USE in collaboration with the Universities of Groningen and Wageningen, as well as some courses in the master profile Complex Systems (CS) for a total of 25 ECTS. The following restrictions apply:

  • At least 3 courses are either of the type USE/RUG or of USE/CS (see the electives list on the two-year schedule of the programme).
  • At most 2 CS courses are 7.5 ECTS.
  • You can select at most 2 other courses for your electives after approval by the master coordinator; possibilities include an appropriate USE academic master course (at most one), an appropriate other research master course at UU, or an appropriate course at another university.

Course schedule

You can also download the Master's programme Multidiscipinary Economic as a PDF-file for easy reference. A description of the courses is provided below. Please note that the names of the courses may change next year. 

“Unique point of view on economics, space and support to develop my own ideas."


Your Master’s thesis is the culmination of the MSc in Multidisciplinary Economics. Worth 30 EC, your Master’s thesis takes approximately six months to write.  Your thesis is a piece of work that, when well-researched and skillfully written, will not only contribute new knowledge to your field of study, but gives you the unique opportunity to pursue your own research interests, conduct your own investigations, and form your own conclusions.

While the primary focus of your thesis will be economic, you are encouraged to view the  issue you are researching from the point of view of one or more non-economic disciplines, for example from the Humanities or Social and Behavioural Sciences.  You are free to select your own subject matter, but if you prefer, you can also work within the context of an ongoing research project. Current research themes of the Tjalling C. Koopmans Research Institute (TKI, research institute of Utrecht University School of Economics) include:

  • Future of work;
  • Behavioural insights for policy making;
  • Entrepreneurship;
  • Sustainable finance;
  • Sustainability and economic development.

The writing process

You are expected to produce your thesis independently, however at the start of your second year, you will be assigned a supervisor from U.S.E. academic staff to provide you with advice, support, and intensive coaching throughout the writing period. It is also possible to complete your thesis in combination with an internship (external research) at a research institute or at an institution such as the World Bank, the European Central Bank, or the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis. Your finished thesis should be of sufficient quality to be published in an academic journal, and should contain a proposal that may serve as a starting point for your PhD. In previous years, thesis titles have included:

  • Cutting red tape and informal sector dynamics;
  • Health legislation and hospital performance in Dutch healthcare;
  • Local government policy competition: a spatial view;
  • You get what you give: the impact of job search motivation on employment, wages and job satisfaction; 
  • Rationalising exuberance..

Educational and examination methods

Below you can see the overview of the educational and examination methods in this programme.

Extra opportunities

Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master's programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum.

Read more about the honours programmes

Academic Calendar

Consult our Academic Calendar, where you can find more information about the master's schedule per period, course registration periods and holidays.