Courses

Below, you will find the courses of the LLM/ MSc Law and Economics. You can download the year schedule Law and Economics of 2019-2020 to get an overview of all courses of this Master's programme. Please note that the names of the courses may change next year.

Joint courses

Law and Economics of Market Regulation (compulsory)

This course is part of the master program L&E of the Utrecht University School of Economics and the Department of Law. It is offered in period 1 and is mandatory for both the LL.M-students and the Msc-students.
As a whole, the course provides the basic skills and understanding that students will need to participate in Regulation II. The course provides insight and knowledge into the basic legal- principles, institutions and instruments of market regulation. The principle aim of this course is to acquit students with a critical and informed understanding of different forms of market regulation. After the course students shall understand the economic rationale behind the formulation of legal rules.
The course first provides the general theoretical background on the basis of the mainstream economic approaches, which outline the concept of market failure. Subsequently, legal rules are introduced as instruments to cope with market failures. The Course shall zoom in on the legal frameworks and current approach to public decision-making in several specific regulatory fields (such as telecoms, financial sector…). The students will be exposed to ongoing policy challenges to counter market power, negative externalities, collective goods and information asymmetry, mostly related to EU legislation. Thus, the interplay between law and economics will be examined on the basis of actual and current real-life case-studies.
The course adopts a problem-based and cross disciplinary approach, which will enable law students to understand the economic effects of legal rules and economics students to understand the institutional legal framework of market based economies. The cases that will be selected are representative for the sort of problems that firms as well as authorities have to deal with on a regular basis. This allows students to get a broad understanding of the possibilities and limitations of current public policies in market-based economies and allow students to get a thorough and multidisciplinary grasp of real—i.e. not theoretically constructed—problems in the domains of competition and regulation.

Teaching methods
The main issues will be presented by the faculty staff as well as invited key decision makers, practitioners and experts. The purpose of the course program is to convey legal and economic knowledge in a systematic, integrative way. In order to do that, the four hours of class contact time that are available weekly are split up between lectures on the core issues of the program and seminar sessions (or interactive guest lectures delivered by practitioners in a specific field) during which students have to contribute to the learning process by actively taking part in discussions concerning the cases covered, including presentations of materials that are relevant to the cases (such as company statements, evidence of negotiation strategies, parliamentary enquiry or ministerial policy documents).

Place of this course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in Law and Economics

Methodologies of Law and Economics (compulsory)

The course ‘methodologies of Law and Economics’ begins with a series of three workshops that are concerned with the actual methodologies that are employed within legal and economic approaches and develop specific methodological skills. Students will be able to immediately utilise these skills in the other courses during this term. During working seminars the students will become acquainted with fundamentals of applied research methods, including the structural elements of setting up economic experiments. Law students will be introduced to methods in economic analysis and research (will be taught basic game theory, statistical techniques, experimental design) to carry out empirical research. Economics students will be introduced to methods in legal analysis and research (reading and understanding case law, basic legal assessments and argumentation, advocacy).

The second part of the course consists of a series of ‘foundational’ sessions that introduce the students to fundamental legal and economic perspectives on the problem of social economic organisation (governance). The purpose of these sessions is to both highlight the potentially deep differences between a legal and an economic perspective and identify how and where a joint legal and economic perspective may be of added value. To do so we will (re)visit some of the fundamental legal and economic approaches and juxtapose the approaches in interactive sessions with the students. Eventually, students will be challenged to develop an interdisciplinary research question that integrates a legal and economic perspective on current governance challenges.

Format
Lectures and seminars

Assessment method
Paper (50%, individual)
Practical assignment (50%, individual). This practical assignment differs for the two subgroups.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

Law and Economics of Competition and Market Dominance (compulsory)

This course is part of the master program L&E of the Utrecht University School of Economics and the Department of Law. It is offered in period 1 and is mandatory for both the LL.M-students and the Msc-students.
The course Competition I covers the fundamental aspects of the law and economics of competition law and policy on a masters’ level. This means that an introductory level knowledge of (European) competition law and micro-economics is presupposed. The course integrates the legal and economic aspects of the fundamentals of competition law and policy in a coherent manner. The course is supported by both the Economics’ and the Law departments of Utrecht University and is jointly taught by lecturers from these departments, though the emphasis in this course will be on the legal aspects.
The goal of this course is to enable the student to analyse and judge complex problems, theoretical questions and practical cases in the field of competition law, theory and policy. Central aspects of European Competition law will be examined: the goals and system of competition law in its context; the deterrence of anticompetitive agreements between firms (Article 101 TFEU) as well as abuse of a dominant position (Article 102 TFEU) and the relationship between state and market. Also the course will deal with the enforcement of Competition Law. Both legal aspects and economic analysis will be covered, including paying attention to the so-called more economic approach (and possible criticism) playing a more and more predominant role in the application of Competition Law.

Place of this course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in Law and Economics

Supervision of Markets: Agency Design and Success (compulsory)

This course is part of the master program L&E of the Utrecht University School of Economics and School of Law. It is offered in period 2 and is mandatory for both the LL.M-students and the Msc-students.
The course Supervision of Markets aims to provide thorough insight and knowledge into the basic legal principles, institutions and instruments of market supervision. In the first period the students have obtained a better understanding of the context of EU law and national law and the regulation of competition and consumer protection in specific markets. The focus of this course is on the institutional context and supervision by Supervisory Agencies of market sectors that are subject to liberalization, such as the energy sector, the banking sector, and the electronic communications sector. What is the position and the role of supervisory agencies and what instruments do they have to supervise competition in the market as well as address market failures and consumer protection? Central topics of the course are: the basic legal principles and legal instruments of the relevant European directives; modalities for the introduction of competition, good agency principles and market governance, the role of national supervisory agencies and European regulators, regulatory processes and practices.

Place of this course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in Law and Economics

Competition and Regulation of Network Sectors (compulsory)

After the privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation of regulated sectors in developed market economies, independent regulatory institutions were setup to deal with situations of permanent market power. Such market power is particularly prevalent in network industries as electricity, gas, the water industries, telecommunication, and transport. The pipes, wires, rails, or cables are not easily duplicated and may give rise to what economic texts call ‘a natural monopoly’. Further, the products and services of those sectors are generally seen as essential to society. Regulators are given the task to control such industries, and if possible, to restructure them into competitive market structures so that they will optimally serve their customers.

Since there are various alternatives to regulation, several questions arise. What are the alternatives available to regulation, and how can we account for legal regulation as the chosen form of governance? What do economic theories suggest on the principles of optimal regulation of decisions on pricing, investments, quantities, or quality in the fields of energy, telecom or water and what are the legal forms we find in practice? What is the regulatory meaning of economic concepts such as marginal, incremental, average cost pricing, and Ramsey pricing, and what legal counterparts do we actually find in the network sectors? What are the benefits and drawbacks of practical forms of regulation such as rate-of-return regulation and price-cap regulation, and are hybrid forms perhaps optimal in practice? Particularly complex are regulatory policies on the restructuring of the industries and the vertical or horizontal separation of the incumbent operators of an industry. Is it better for the performance of an industry to integrate or separate the network from providing services over the network? And if separation is desirable, what are the principles and practices of providing access and interconnection of competing networks or providers? By combining legal and economic insights on these issues it becomes possible to both understand the actual legal forms we find in practice and to suggest alternatives that may better serve society.

When discussing these theories, principles, and practices, the course will built on experiences from several jurisdictions, in particular from EU member states and from the USA, but also from practices in developing countries and transitional economies. Students will be made aware that specific regulatory experiences and a changing context of regulation give rise to a range of new and challenging policy questions.

Format
Lectures, seminars, student presentations. The lectures and seminars will in particular be used to help mastering the more technical issues. Student presentations will build on own research and research reporting of actual and practical regulation issues.

Assessment method
Written closed-book exam (80%, individual)
Presentation and participation (20%, individual)

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

Research and Thesis Trajectory Law and Economics (compulsory)

The thesis is the final part of the master programme. It is an individual legal research project on a subject of choice in the field of law and economics.
The time allocated for writing the thesis is one period (about three months). However, by being part of a peer group (starting in period II) the student is encouraged to start the process of writing early in the academic year.
Introductory lectures on methodology, format and requirements are scheduled in the second and third period.
Individual contact with the coordinator and the supervisor provides further guidance.
The thesis must be written in English.
Precise requirements for the thesis can be found on Blackboard.
The supervisor will determine the final grade after consulting the second lecturer.
Place of this course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory in the master Law and Economics

Capita Selecta Law and Economics: Research Proposal Thesis (compulsory)

The research module is part of the OST trajectory. It takes place in period 3 and it is an entry requirement for writing your Master thesis. See Rules and Regulations 2017-2018 and Blackboard for further regulations. Earlier in the academic year you must communicate in which discipline you want to graduate. Information about this will be communicated in a timely manner. A thesis supervisor will be assigned by the thesis coordinator of the Master by means of a completed thesis form. In the research module students will, in addition to a research plan, provide feedback on the thesis structure of other students and give a presentation about their own structure. Attendance is mandatory. The research module is completed with an approved research plan.

Place of this course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in Law and Economics

Advanced Competition Law and Economics: Current Challenges (compulsory)

This course is the continuation of the course Law and Economics of Competition and Market Dominance. It is part of the master program Law and Economics of the Utrecht University School of Economics and the Department of Law. After having been introduced to the fundamentals of European Competition Law and Economics in Competition I, this course focuses on several specific concepts of competition law and policy. The course is offered in period 2 and is mandatory for both the LL.M-students and the MSc-students. The course integrates the legal and economic aspects of the fundamentals of competition law and policy into one coherent whole. The course is supported by both the Economics and the Law department of Utrecht University and is jointly taught by lecturers from these departments.

Some of the content of the course Advanced Competition Law and Economics: Current Challenges will be decided by the lecturers depending on recent developments, but will likely address merger control in the light of recent cases and discuss challenges online platforms pose to competition policy. However, certainly the course will delve deeper into some conceptual issues, both from the field of economics (strategic interaction) and from the legal field (procedure, evidence, proof and judicial review). It is expected that also the application of competition law to the new economy and the interplay between intellectual property and competition law will be covered.

Format
• the course will consist of a mix of teaching methods, which will include lectures, seminars and guest lectures, and may include seminars, pleading or discussion sessions, guided self- and group-study sessions, group work, recourse to open office hours or online discussion hours, and the studying of online content.
• the course will have different teaching hours per week.

Assessment method

  • Written work and participation (40% of the final grade)
  • Written exam (60% of the final grade)

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

LLM Courses

Capita Selecta Law (compulsory)

The content of this course will be available as soon as possible.

MSc Courses Period 3 (choose 2 of 5)

Public Policy and Competition

Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.

In many markets, the government aims at safeguarding specific public interests. In some of these cases, this happens through public participation in the market. For example, in the media market, governments are active as players, through producing or subsidizing public broadcasting. Another example is gambling, in which governments may own and operate casinos and lotteries. Typically, in such markets, public providers compete with private companies. A history of exclusive licenses and legislation may have created stakeholders with vested interests in the status quo, such as the public providers themselves, organisations receiving proceeds from public providers' revenues, and the government receiving proceeds from revenues. The presence of these stakeholders, and claims about "public interests" that they may make, can easily cloud assessments of the efficiency of such markets.

In general, public policy that is based on private, vested interests tends to reduce the aggregate welfare level, and may actually undermine public interests. One reason is that public policy, by implicitly aiming at safeguarding private rather than public interests, may lead to a distortion of the playing field between public and private providers. To analyze such markets, we will discuss the concept of "public interests", relate it to underlying market failures, discuss the risk of government failures in case of public intervention, and study the nature of competition between public and private providers who may be subject to different rules. During the course, we will try to distinguish between valid arguments for intervention versus the improper use of "public interest" arguments to obtain private goals; study a couple of cases in detail, such as public broadcasting and gambling. The course will use ingredients from the theories of welfare economics, industrial organisation and competition economics, combined with institutional aspects such as specific legislation and regulation.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student is able to:

  • Apply theories of "mixed oligopoly" to gain understanding into markets in which public and private providers compete with each other.
  • Relate public policy and competition policy problems to policy-making processes, political choices and vested interests;
  • Understand how political preferences and vested interests may distort the design and implementation of public policy;
  • Understand different types of rationales for, and shortcomings of, government intervention in markets;
  • Critically assess the legitimacy of statements made in policy debates (e.g. by politicians, parties with vested interests);
  • Understand the design and implementation of economic policy in the light of the process of public policymaking;
  • Relate the theory of competition policy to a wider political and societal context.

Format
Lectures, seminars, student presentations.

Assessment method
• Written exam (70%, individual);
• Paper and presentation (30%, group)

Prerequisites
• Intermediate microeconomics (e.g. familiarity with concepts such as market structure, market power, monopoly, Bertrand versus Cournot competition, entry barriers, product differentiation).
• It is assumed that students are familiar with the concept of market failure (and its various appearances, e.g. monopoly power, asymmetric information, public goods, transaction costs) as a rationale for government intervention. Students without such a background will be able to catch up by reading a background paper, if necessary.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

Financial Regulation

Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.

The course Financial Regulation has been designed to introduce students to some of the key economic concepts, principles, and problems in the regulation of financial activities. The course deals both with the theoretical economic underpinnings of financial regulation as well as with the extant international regulatory framework, with a particular focus on Europe and the US. The course illustrates why financial intermediaries exist, how market failures affect the industry and how regulation attempts to deal with them. It presents the main international regulatory bodies and how they work. It covers the regulation of banking and financial markets activities, and how this is applied in practice. Finally, the severe challenges to regulation posed by the last financial crisis are discussed.

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student is able to:

  • Apply the concepts of transaction costs, liquidity insurance, moral hazard, and adverse selection to financial markets and banking
  • Establish the link between theory and empirical and/or anecdotal evidence of financial markets failures
  • Explain the justification for, and impact and limitations of, financial regulation
  • Compute and interpret the key dimensions used in regulatory requirements for banks (Basel)
  • Understand and critically evaluate current advancements in the literature

Format
There will be lectures, seminars, and final presentations.

Assessment method

  • Final exam (85%, individual)
  • Presentation in class (15%, group)

Prerequisites
Students in Banking & Finance and Financial Management should have no problem taking the course. Law & Economics students should be able to take the course with some extra effort. The course assumes an intermediate knowledge of finance and a basic knowledge of microeconomics and statistics: discounted cash-flows; yields, interest rates, net return, basic knowledge of derivatives (e.g., forward/futures; options) and how to price them, basic accounting, normal and binomial statistical distributions, and basic utility maximization, i.e., Lagrangian functions. Students from any other master program are not encouraged to attend, unless they have taken at least two prior finance courses during their bachelor and/or master programs.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are frequently in the news and a prominent part of daily business in the life of many executives. Yet, most mergers and acquisitions fail from an important economics perspective – the creation of shareholder value – suggesting an apparent merger paradox. On the one hand, the explosive growth in the number, size, and complexity of mergers and acquisitions in recent decades demonstrates how ingrained this kind of business combinations have become in the global business community. The number of acquisitions made by firms worldwide has skyrocketed over the last 20 years: in 2017 alone, companies have spent US$ 3.7 trillion in acquisitions. Yet, managers often report dissatisfaction with the outcomes of merger deals which is why a significant number are divested or lead to the dissolution of the companies involved. As such, this course focuses on why mergers take place – even while at other times they seem to be totally irrational –, how they can be managed, and what role regulation can play in this form of market restructuring. Next to being an important factor in the economy, M&As also represent a major area in strategic management, finance and organization. Because of this, the course brings together many different disciplines within economics and business that are essential to fully understand, analyze, and manage takeovers.
FormatThe course contains a common part for all students (weeks 1-4) and is then divided into two tracks having different orientations (weeks 5-9). The first track analyzes the M&A process from a strategy perspective looking at the determinants and implications of different strategic decisions throughout the merger process (Strategy track), whereas the second track delves into valuation techniques that enable the acquirer to correctly determine the offer price in an acquisition (Finance track). At the beginning of the course, all students have the chance to learn the basics of both M&A strategy and valuation; then, from mid-course (starting at week 5), students will follow lectures and seminars pertaining to either of the tracks. Students are required to choose the track to follow in the first week of the course. Assessment method

  • M&A planning and valuation report and presentation (40%, group)
  • Final examination (60%, individual)

Suggested reading materials:

  • Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (Brealey, Myers, Marcus; ISBN: 9789814670944).
  • Damodaran, A., (2010); The Little Book of Valuation; NYU Sterns School of Business

A more specific guideline on the most important concepts and reading suggestions will be published on blackboard at the beginning of the course. Throughout the course additional materials (for example: excel files or accounting examples) will be made available to help with the valuation assignment.

Mandatory course material:

  • DePampilis, D. Mergers and Acquisitions Basics ISBN: 9780123749482) [only for students in the Strategy track]
  • Damodaran, A. Damodaran on valuation: security analysis for investment and corporate finance (2nd edition) (ISBN: 9780471751212) [only for students in the Finance track]

The materials in the book will be complemented with some academic literature that will be provided to the students

Prerequisites
Students are assumed to be familiar with basic finance and accounting principles such as: cash flows, time value of money and discounting. Prior exposure to principles of equity ownership, basic governance and stock markets is also assumed. Suggested reading materials: Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (Brealey, Myers, Marcus; ISBN: 9789814670944). Damodaran, A., (2010); The Little Book of Valuation; NYU Sterns School of Business. A more specific guideline on the most important concepts and reading suggestions will be published on blackboard at the beginning of the course. Additional effort is required in the case your financial knowledge is limited.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

Energy and Environmental Economics

Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.

Research on global climate change, geopolitical considerations and environmental degradation has established the necessity and desirability of a transition towards a more environmentally and strategically sustainable energy system. At the other end, scientists and engineers have developed many options and technologies that would make this transition feasible. Still, the transition is taking place at a painstakingly slow pace, if at all. As energy is such a fundamental input in modern economies, the challenge of bringing this transition about is huge.

This is not a standard academic course in environmental and energy economics, where you read a book, follow lectures, do exercises and write an exam. The course is open to all MSc-programs offered at U.S.E. and will therefore not offer further specialisation in the topic of any specific MSc-program. Rather, in this course we challenge you to apply what you have learned and to do so in collaboration with people from very different backgrounds and specialisations on a real-world problem. In multidisciplinary teams, you will work on developing policy proposals that address challenges in the energy transition for the Netherlands. These challenges will be set by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands and the policy proposals developed during the course will be presented at a conference where policy makers will evaluate your work. In working on this challenge, you will see how your academic knowledge of economics can be fruitfully applied to real-world problems. But you will also (hopefully) learn about the many things you do not know. To some extent, those gaps can (and should) be addressed with self-study and desk research. But often it is more efficient and more fun simply to work with people that can complement you, as you will very often in your future career. To achieve the inherently multidisciplinary approach required for complex real-world challenges, you will work intensively with MSc-students from different MSc-programs at USE and even from other faculties, such as geosciences and energy science.

Learning objectives

  • Combine theory and empirical skills learned earlier to the issues related to energy production and use;
  • Identify where knowledge gaps are present and effectively address these;
  • Critically evaluate work of others on these dimensions;
  • Formulate and complete a scientifically researched policy proposal on energy transition.

Format
Lectures, guest lectures, discussion meetings and assignment.

Assessment method

  • Written assignment (80%). This is an individually graded group assignment: the students write an individual policy proposal that is integrated into a joint policy paper. They are graded individually on the policy proposal and jointly on the introductory parts (identification of major challenges) and joint conclusion, the presentation at the conference and the discussant role they take on other papers.
  • Participation in group discussions (20%) through peer evaluation.

Prerequisites
Course is eligible to all students. The course includes writing an advisory report, so it will be advantageous to have some affinity and skills with regard to drafting a report.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

Behavioural Economics and Public Policy

Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.

Our global society faces a number of challenges: an aging population, unemployment, increasing inequality, climate change, poverty, declining resources. Most of these challenges are rooted in the dilemma of diverging individual and collective rationality. Acknowledging these challenges, the EU adopted in 2009 a strategy for sustainable development which aims at meeting the needs of present generations without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. “But sustainable development will not be brought about by policies only: it must also be taken up by society at large.” (EU, 2009) This, however, requires profound changes in thinking and behaviour, in consumption and production patterns, and in economic and social structures.

Policymakers have encountered substantial difficulties over the past decades trying to induce producers and consumers to change behaviours and to adopt new, more sustainable technologies, even when these behaviours appear to be in the consumers’ or producers’ own financial interests. Traditional policy instruments, i.e. monetary incentives, are costly and not always effective. Individuals decide as “Humans” rather than as “Econs” (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008): While “Econs” may not make perfect forecasts, they at least make unbiased forecasts. And they respond primarily to monetary incentives—their decisions are not affected by seemingly “irrelevant” factors such as the display of a set of alternatives, or the order in which options are offered. In contrast, “Humans” make systematic and predictable errors—their forecasts are flawed and biased in systematic ways.

Therefore, a growing body of research in psychology and behavioural economics suggests that interventions that take into account these systematic biases can potentially be just as powerful in changing choices and behaviour as interventions that are based on standard economic theory. What is more, they are potentially much less costly. As a consequence, an increasing number of government institutions (most famously the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team) dedicate themselves to the application of behavioural insights. With a growing emphasis on evidence-based policy making, an ever increasing number of behaviourally informed interventions gets tested in the field.

In this course we will study the challenges and opportunities for using behavioural insights in policy making. The course follows a two-fold structure: During the lectures we will study and discuss main behavioural theories and concepts. The tutorials focus on randomised controlled trials, which are often considered to be the “gold standard” for knowing whether policy interventions work in the field. The two aspects of the course combine in the course assignment, for which groups of students are expected to design a behaviourally informed policy intervention as well as a field experiment to test its effectiveness.

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student is able to:

  • Set out the most robust (non-coercive) influences on behaviour;
  • Demonstrate how behavioural theory can help meet current policy challenges;
  • Identify the relevant tools for changing specific behaviour;
  • Design a policy intervention using behavioural insights;
  • Understand the role of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for evidence based policy making;
  • Understand most essential research methods for field experiments;
  • Assess potential for controversy, assess legitimacy of using behavioural insights for policy making.

Format

  • Lectures, tutorials
  • Lectures focus on the discussion of main behavioural theories.
  • Tutorials cover major aspects of experiment design, analysis, and interpretation.

Assessment method

  • Assignment: Intervention design (50%, group)
  • 4 mini-MC tests (50%, individual)

Teams of 3-4 students are expected to be prepared each week to possibly present their progress regarding the design of an intervention for behaviour change and discuss their progress in class. The grade will be based on the final handed-in written work.

Prerequisites
None. Course is eligible to all students.

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

MSc Course Period 4

Policy Analysis (compulsory)

In this course topical issues in the social-economic policy domain are addressed. Situated at the end of the academic year, this course gives students the opportunity to apply core tools and concepts learnt from the Economic Policy curriculum to practical real world policy issues, varying from the effectiveness of activation policies to reduce welfare dependency, social security, the pension system and labour market reform proposals to cost-benefit analyses of public investments in health, education or public transport. We discuss the role of evidence-based policy, to what extent implemented policies are based on research and how this can be improved.

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student is able to:

  • Evaluate public policies in terms of the main issues and problems addressed;
  • Identify the main policy-advising institutions;
  • Acquire an overall perspective of the role of economic theory and insights of other disciplines in a number of topical policy issues;
  • Translate existing theoretical knowledge in a consistent and coherent way to a specific practical policy issue.

Format
Lectures (guest lectures and discussion groups)

Assessment method
Teams of students choose a topical public policy issue. Using their technical skills and knowledge from the master curriculum, they perform a policy analysis: ‘how, why and to what effect governments pursue particular courses of action’ culminating in a final report and presentation of a public policy topic that will be graded (100% of the final grade)

In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

MSc Course Period 1- 4

Professional Skills (compulsory)

Your master provides you with knowledge and analytical skills to succeed in a professional career. However, superior theoretical knowledge is not enough. This course offers you a series of workshops to develop skills to be more effective in the workplace. Employers often seek candidates who possess a broad set of professional skills; these include writing and presentation skills as well as intercultural knowledge and understandings that are necessary to gain employment and to be successful in a job. Especially in a high competitive labour market, employers prefer candidates who possess certain professional skills. Professional skills thus are not only tools to be successful in your job, they can also help you getting one.

Course contents
The course includes two components. First, you are challenged to reflect on yourself as an individual, and develop a plan to act. This part includes a self-evaluation, analysis of personal strengths and weaknesses, and a plan for self-development. Evidence for this exercise will be embodied in a self-reflection report.

Second, the course offers a range of modules covering a wide range of skills and capabilities that will help you to develop yourself, and become a better candidate to potential employers. Our (preliminary) list of modules includes: Intercultural communication, Time management, The art of job application, Consultancy skills, Leadership, Pitching, Presenting, Speedreading, Memory techniques, and Influencing people. (Please note that this overview can still be subject to change)
You will have to take four modules to pass the course.

Learning objectives

After following this course:

  1. You will be able to evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses,
  2. You have created/developed personal goals (based on reflecting on your professional development, both with regard to their current position as well as to learning opportunities),
  3. You understand and are able to apply professional skills (in at least four areas of your interest).

Literature
No specific literature is required for this course.

Organization of classes
In the first week a plenary kick-off session is organised. In the following weeks, the modules will be offered on Mondays – anticipate half-day sessions in the mornings and afternoons, respectively. The modules will be given by professional trainers.
At the end of the course you will hand in your personal reflection report. More details will be shared in the course manual that will be posted on BlackBoard in advance of the course.

Examination
No grade will be given. In order to pass this course, the students should:
1. Attend four modules. These modules should be chosen in such a way that students are able to enhance their learning opportunities;
2. Develop and hand a satisfactory self-reflection report – the reflection report will be graded ‘pass’ or ‘fail’
In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.