Year Schedule

The Master in Economic Policy starts every year in September. The academic year is divided into two semesters: semester 1 runs from September to January, and semester 2 runs from February to June.

Each semester is divided into two periods. The academic year consists of eight courses worth 5 EC each, two courses worth 2.5 EC and a ‬Master’s thesis worth 15 EC. A short break is taken over Christmas‬.

Course schedule

Download the year schedule (pdf) to get an overview of all courses in the Master's programme Economic Policy. Please note that the names of the courses may change next year. Visit the webpage courses to find more detailed information on the content. 

One of the best challenging experience that provided me with different views and insights.


Your Master’s thesis is the culmination of the MSc in Economic Policy. Worth 15 EC, you will write and complete the thesis during periods 3 and 4. 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 and express your unique viewpoint to future employers, but will give you a feeling of pride and accomplishment.

In the MSc in Economic Policy you have the ‘real world’ opportunity to combine your thesis with an internship (external research), so that you conduct your own independent research on an issue of importance to the organisation you are working with, and record the outcome in a research report.

You can choose to complete your thesis in a number of ways. Students typically write their thesis in the context of one of the ongoing research programmes at the Utrecht University School of Economics. However you are welcome to choose your own thesis topic. It is also possible to conduct your research at an external research institute, government organisation or company.

Each year we select a winning Master's thesis for each of the 1-year master’s programmes of the Utrecht University School of Economics. These theses need to be written and completed in semester 2 and are chosen for its relevance, academic merit, and particularly for its integration of a ‘real-world perspective’ into an economics issue. From these winning theses, one overall winner is selected by a jury. This thesis is recognized with the U.S.E. Master's Thesis Award. The author of the winning thesis of U.S.E. is awarded with a certificate and cash prize during the Master’s Graduation ceremony.

Teaching formats

  • Lectures: to all students;
  • Seminar: groups of 50-60 students (interactive small-scale teaching). Ocassionally, depending on the nature of the seminar, course coordinators may provide a further explanation in brackets, e.g. seminar (workshop) or seminar (review session). This teaching format still enables interactive small-scale teaching;
  • Tutorials: groups of 25-30 students. In the tutorials, you will discuss and present your assignments and critically discuss the course materials;
  • Project: groups of max. 5 students. At the end of each course, you will present your written assignment(s). Every course has different assignments which range from conducting empirical panel data research based on an assigned topic in period 2 to writing a policy note in period 4;
  • Writing academic essays and a master’s thesis;
  • Field trips to institutes such as the European Union or Dutch governmental organisations in The Hague.


Examination methods


The assessment typically consists of a mix of:

  • written exams;
  • written assignments such as an essay, a research proposal, a policy note, or conducting a panel data study; and
  • for certain courses your classroom performance will contribute to your overall grade.