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The Cologne Graduate School of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences invites candidates to apply for its two-stage graduate programme in Economic Research ("PhD programme in Economics").

In the first stage, students complete their study and research work at graduate level in an exclusive two-year masters programme (M.Sc. Economic Research). Having obtained their master's degree in Economic Research, students may enter the second optional PhD stage.This programme provides students with knowledge of theoretical principles and methods for conducting innovative economic research. The courses are taught in English by lecturers and renowned guest researchers of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy.

After completing the Master in Economic Research, students usually enter the second phase. As doctoral students, they develop research projects in their dissertation and complete them with a PhD.

In a nutshell

  • Standard period of study: 4 semesters, full-time
  • Scope: 120 ECTS
  • Start: Fall term
  • Degree title: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
  • Language: English
  • Fees: Only Social fee (approx. 280 € per semester including ticket for public transport, see here for more information)
  • Application deadline: March 31st

As the University of Cologne is state-funded, there are no institution fees - just a biannual "semester contribution" of a little more than 280 euros. So you can invest in an excellent education - and your future - without paying a fortune.

Key Issues

  • Learn about up-to-date research areas such as Behavioral Economics, Market Design, Organizational Design, Consumer Protection, Political Economy, Distribution and Financial Stability
  • Gain insight into the economic excellence cluster ECONtribute, which is unique in Germany
  • Complete the PhD course work already during the master's programme
  • Explore research in small groups with your fellow students and close at hand with renowned scientists

Career Opportunities

This programme equips you with knowledge of theoretical foundations and methods to conduct innovative economic research. Specialization courses particularly cover the research areas of the cluster of excellence ECONtribute, like Behavioral Economics, Market Design, Organizational Design, Consumer Protection, Political Economy, Distribution and Financial Stability. Courses are entirely thought in English by faculty members and renowned guests of the cluster. Having obtained your master's degree in Economic Research, students usually enter the second stage. As a doctoral student you develop research projects in your dissertation and complete it with a PhD.

Some examples of the questions Economic Research students look at

  • What is the scope of behavioral interventions for public policy objectives? For instance, what is the role of environmental taxes, tradable emission certificates and nudges in addressing climate change?
  • What are effective ways of measuring and regulating systemic risk in financial markets? What is the role of monetary policy for the stability of financial markets?
  • What are causes of persistent economic inequalities? What policies foster social mobility? Why does inequality persist in modern welfare states?
Andreas Schabert

This programme provides an excellent graduate education tailored to economic research on markets and public policy. As a student of the programme you benefit from individual support by a team of distinguished researchers. It gives you an opportunity to start your doctoral studies and to boost your career inside and outside academia.

Andreas Schabert, Professor at the Department of Economics


All of our courses are offered in English language. Therefore, it is possible to apply without knowledge of German language and to complete you master's degree in English. A large number of different nationalities apply for our Master programmes. The faculty also cooperates with partner universities worldwide such that a semester abroad can be integrated in your studies. Thus, we ensure you to study in an international as well as intercultural environment. More information and options at international:


We are looking forward receiving your application!


Dr. Katharina Laske
Coordination & Management
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-7955

Programme structure (Overview)

Standard period of study: 4 semesters, full-time | Start: fall term | Degree title: Master of Science
The master's programe carries 120 ECTS credits and compromises a Core and Advanced Section, a Specialisation Section, a Supplementary Section and a Master Thesis.

The Core and Advanced Section of the master programme Economic Research contains 36 ECTS credit points. This area covers the advanced and research oriented basis of micro- and macroeconomics, statistics, econometrics and mathematics. These competencies enable students to comprehend scientific literature of economic science and furthermore to independently analyse economic problems on an advanced theoretical and empirical level.

In the Specialisation Section, you choose four specialisation courses in the research area you want to proceed your studies. Furthermore you can also broaden your general knowledge by choosing from core courses you did not attend in the core section before. Two Reading Groups in micro-, macroeconomics or econometrics are compulsory. In these modules you read and discuss the latest research papers in the respective research area.

The Supplementary Section serves as an additional section to develop a more specific profile – either by deepening and specialising or by diversifying knowledge. Further modules of the extensive course offer of the faculty from economics are available to students.