New Master Programme in Economics

In autumn 2015, the new Master's programme in Economics (90 ECTS) is launched with an even more attractive program, providing a state-of-the-art training in economic theories (for market, firm and human behavior) as well as in empirical (i.e. data-driven) methods for analyzing and evaluating economic/social decisions and actions. This enables students to investigate economically and socially relevant issues both in the public and private sectors and to develop recommendations for decision makers in politics, public administrations, and firms.  The study programme is organised in a module structure which allows accomplishing modules in particular fields (e.g. Economic Policy, Economic Theory and Quantitative Economics, among others) by taking several module-relevant courses. Furthermore, students may (but are not required to) choose one of the following options (i.e study focuses): "Sustainable Development and Social Responsability" / "Public Policy" /" Industrial Organization and Finance". Moreover, the specialisation "European Master in Public Economics and Public Finances" provides the opportunity to obtain a double degree with one of the three European partner universities. Finally, the Master’s programme in Economics may be combined with minors in other fields to obtain a master degree with 120 ECTS.

Module Description

The module “Public Economics and Public Finance” analyses the role and functioning of the public sector in the economy (e.g. for the provision of public goods and services), based on assessing public revenues and expenditures. Tax collection/policies, government expenditures, and economic/political institutions are important topics covered in the courses.

The module “Economic Policy” relates to the assessment of policies aimed at influencing the economy in a particular way. This includes, for instance, central bank interventions (such as interest rate and exchange rate regulations) or fiscal policies (like setting the level of taxes and government expenditures). The courses also address challenges to economic policy raised by globalisation and European integration.

The module “Economic Sustainability and Development” investigates economic questions related to sustainability, inequality, demography, environmental issues, and development. It is concerned with important challenges of our times: for instance, how to promote economic development in light of limited resources, environmental problems, and demographic issues?

The module “Business Ethics and Social Responsibility” offers a multidisciplinary approach to issues related to business and financial ethics, human rights in the context of economics and business life, and the management of socially responsible companies. This allows considering the topics from various scientific angles (economics, business sciences, law, and others) and touching practically relevant questions across disciplines.

The module “International Economics” relates to the increasing internationalisation of goods, labour, and capital markets and its impact on economic growth and on income distribution. The related challenges for public policy and companies as well as various issues in development economics are covered in the courses of this module.

The module “Quantitative Economics” offers a range of statistical and econometric tools for investigating questions in economics and social sciences based on real world data. The methods can be used for instance to assess public policies (e.g. health policies), company-specific decisions (e.g. marketing campaigns) or stock price developments, and are highly relevant in a world with ever increasing data availability.

The module “Economic Theory” combines different methodological approaches to elaborate on economic theory on both micro- and macroeconomic grounds. It offers a conceptual as well as a practical understanding of a variety of economic issues relevant for companies (e.g. competition) and/or economies as a whole (e.g. monetary analysis).

The module “Industrial Organisation” investigates the determinants of market structures (e.g. the level of competition) and companies’ strategies to adapt to different market environments. Entrepreneurship, the promotion of innovation, and the implications of public competition policies play an important role in this framework.

The module “Finance” (organised by the Department of Management) covers topics related to corporate finance, for instance portfolio and risk management, firm valuation, and corporate funding/investment decisions. It is conceptually and methodologically situated at the intersection of economics and business sciences, as finance decisions are important for the growth of companies and therefore for the macroeconomic development as a whole.

The option “Public Policy” consists of the obligatory modules “Public Economics and Public Finance” and “Economic Policy” and further optional lectures. It covers a range of public policy issues including taxation, public spending, monetary policy, environmental challenges, and social and economic policies in an international framework. Combined with a multilingual approach, students are particularly equipped with qualifications for top positions in the public sector in Switzerland and elsewhere.

The option “Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility” consists of the obligatory modules “Economic Sustainability and Development” and “Business Ethics and Social Responsibility” and further optional lectures. In line with the humanistic tradition of the University of Fribourg, it provides an interdisciplinary course offer related to business ethics, human rights, sustainability, social responsibility, as well as environmental and development issues. Students are particularly suited for joining NGOs and organisations working in/with development countries, or private companies with a socially responsible business model.

The option “Industrial Organisation and Finance” consists of the obligatory modules “Industrial Organisation” and “Finance” and further optional lectures. It links firm-related issues in economics and business sciences and combines scientific with practical aspects of both disciplines. Competition and corporate strategies, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the financial management of risks and investments are among the topics covered. The option targets analytical positions in private companies (financial/strategic departments) as well as in the public sector (in particular related to competition policies).

The specialisation “Public Economics and Public Finance” is offered together with three European partner universities of the University of Fribourg: Université de Rennes 1, France; University of Tampere, Finland; Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Italy. This MA programme allows specialising in the optimal management of public facilities and regional authorities and is based on four study semesters, whereby at least one semester must be absolved at the host university. By acquiring a double degree (one diploma from the home university and one from the partner university), and based on the multilingualism of the studies, graduates are well suited for an international work environment.

More information on the programme

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Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
Bd de Pérolles 90, CH-1700 Fribourg
Phone: 00 41 (26) 300 8200
Fax: 00 41 (26) 300 9725

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