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Master of Science


Photo: Lisa Beller

If you’re already studying Health Economics and would like to find out more about specific details of your master programme, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the Economics Programme Structure pages.

As student are largely free to chosse the subjects they wish to concentrate in, you can chooset to focus on different areas within and between fields, in line with the career you're aiming for: Economic Design and Behavior, Markets and Institutions, Microeconomics, Money and Financial Markets, Macroeconomics, Growth and Inequality, Public Economics, Statistics and Econometrics.

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: 15 June 2021

Key Issues

  • On the origns of economic growth, international income differences, and inequality
  • How markets should be designed to achieve policy goals
  • How incentives and behavior shape optimal policies and institutions
  • Energy economics and climate change
  • How laboratory experiments help produce insights about behavior

Economics - Master of Science

Axel Ockenfels, Department Economics

To solve economic problems and create better institutions, you need to know how people react to incentives.

Axel Ockenfels, Department Economics , Research focus: Economic Design, Experimental and Behavioral Economics, Industrial Economics

Apply Expertise

As student of economics in Cologne you benefit from a broad range of expertise in applied and theoretical economics, with an internatioanlly renowned faculty. In our teaching, we bring across both the theoretical foundations of economics, as well as the practical application of economic concepts to a range of pertinent policy problems. Our courses ans seminars bring you to the frontier of current research and polics decisions and allow you to specialize on various areas of expertise.

Some examples of the questions Economics students look at

  • How is economic growth generated?
  • How can unemployment be permanently reduced?
  • How does globalisation affect the German/European economy?
  • What are the effects of unequal distribution of wealth?
  • How do people behave in markets?
  • Do we need a reform of the healthcare market?
  • What are the effects of different taxation systems?
  • Which methods are suitable for assessing economic policy measures?
  • From an economic point of view, was it right to introduce the euro?
  • How should the ECB control the interest rate?
  • Should there be tough debt ceilings for states?
  • What impact do certain political decisions have on prosperity and growth?


Many of our courses are delivered in English. Our extensive number of cooperation agreements in the area of Business & Economics provides you with attractive options to spend a term abroad around the world. More information and offers can be found at

Double degree option

In addition to our regular master’s programme, students have the option to study the Double Master’s Programme in Economics in cooperation with Keio University. Students of the international study programme spend one year at the WiSo Faculty and one year at Keio University. After successful completion of the programme, they are awarded two degrees.


Students who wish to pursue a PhD should get more information on the webpages of the Master of Economic Research or the Cologne Graduate School of Economics (CGS-E).

Career Opportunities

A diverse range of employment opportunities are available to graduates in specifically economicsrelated roles in public institutions such as government ministries, central banks, agencies and authorities (such as the EU Comission), international institutions (such as OECD, IMF or the World Bank). Research centres, universities and economics departments of private institutions (banks, consulting firms, large companies, associations or the media) are also potential emploxers. The M.Sc. in Economics widens the knowledge gained in your bachelor studies, giving you advanced expertise in your chosen field. For many managing positions in different industries and for certain professions in research and teaching, a master is indispensable. As the University of Cologne is state-funded, there are no tuition fees, just biannual "semester contribution" of slightly more than 250 euros. This includes the "semester ticket" for public transportation throughout Cologne's home state of North Rhine- Westphalia. So, with us, you can invest in an excellent education - and your future - without paying a fortune.


Information on the application

Programme Structure

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 economics contains 30 credit points. This area covers content-specific and methodological basics 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 two out of seven different subareas (“fields”). In each one, you have to obtain 18 credit points in three specialisation modules. These fields reflect the Faculty’s specialist research and application areas in the area of economics. Additionally, you have to earn 18 credit points in the area of ‘Selected Issues in Economics’. This area contains a portfolio of selected field courses and gives you the opportunity to gain further insight into the different fields of economics at the WiSo-Faculty. For example, in order to develop a better understanding of a particular field module, you can choose a single module in statistics without having to choose the whole ‘Statistics and Econometrics’ field.

The fields are structured as follows:

  • Design and Behavior
  • Energy Economics
  • Growth, Labor and Inequality in the Global Economy
  • Markets and Institutions
  • Macroeconomics, Money and Financial Markets
  • Public Economics
  • Statistics and Econometrics
  • Selected Issues in Economics

Students also have the possibility to have credits acquired during a semester abroad accounted for at the WiSo-Faculty.

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 as well as from social sciences or business administration are available to students. Examples for modules are e.g. finance, corporate strategy, economic psychology or economic geography. This area covers 12 credit points.

Detailed information concerning the curricular design is available on our homepage on the Programme Structure pages. Especially at the beginning of your studies, individual consultations will help to make the right choices over the course of the programme.