MSc in Economics and Business (Policy Economics)

Erasmus School of Economics
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

Start dates
September 2023

September 2024

September 2025

About this program

We live in challenging times and economic policy problems are everywhere. Remember the financial crisis in 2008 and the Euro crisis that erupted in 2010. Think of the corona crisis that started in 2020 and is still raging. Think of population ageing, which causes large increases in spending on healthcare and pensions, straining solidarity between generations. Global warming may threaten future life on earth. In addition, income inequality is increasing almost everywhere in the Western world due to globalisation and technological changes. In order to be able to solve economic problems, governments need excellent policy economists. By completing this master programme you are able to apply the latest economic theory and research methods to help solving important policy issues.

Besides courses, the master programme contains seminars. In the Seminar Economic Policy you will try to solve one of the most pressing policy problems of our time. Moreover, you may want to do an internship, for example at one of the ministries, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, competition and other government authorities. This internship could be combined with writing your master’s thesis.

Is this the right choice for you?

If you are a strongly analytical student, if you are not afraid of mathematics and statistics, if you are highly motivated and if you want to make this world a better place, then you should enrol in the Master in Policy Economics.

The main values of the Policy Economics programme at Erasmus School of Economics are:

  • Open mindedness
  • Curiosity
  • Academic thoroughness
  • A good work ethic
  • Social engagement

Why study Policy Economics in Rotterdam?

The Policy Economics programme at Erasmus School of Economics is unique in the Netherlands. It is explicitly designed to educate future policy makers. The programme prepares you for a career as a policy economist who is able to apply the most appropriate theory and empirical methods to solve real-world policy problems. The curriculum is developed in close cooperation with potential future employers, who also provide internships for the best students.

Study the Policy Economics programme at Erasmus School of Economics for:

  • A theoretical and empirical approach to major economic policy issues
  • A curriculum designed in partnership with Dutch government organisations and research institutes
  • Guest lectures by leading policy economics practitioners
  • Excellent career prospects in the public/non-profit sector or applied sciences.

"This programme is a great way to use economic analysis to assess current and important economic policy decisions"

Typically, a Policy Economics student is smart, active and has above-average Bachelor grades. Do you have a keen interest in applied-policy issues and the public sector? Then you should read what our students have to say.

Admission requirements

Relevant bachelor diploma

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (BSc) in the field of accounting, finance, economics or business (administration). Your degree has to be equivalent in both level and content to the BSc in Economics and Business Economics offered by Erasmus School of Economics. It is not necessary to have completed your bachelor's degree at the time of application. However, all requirements of your bachelor's degree must be fulfilled before the start of the academic year (by 28 August 2023).


Your bachelor's degree needs to consist of a solid background in economics, business economics, statistics and mathematics. To check whether you have a sufficient background in terms of content, please compare your curriculum with that of our bachelor degree inEconomics and Business Economics.

A broad background in accounting, finance and economics is required. For all three specialisations: Accounting and Auditing, Accounting and Control and Accounting and Finance the required courses are alike:

  • Accounting (management accounting, financial accounting)
  • Finance (e.g. investments)
  • Financial Information Systems (e.g., bookkeeping)

All our programmes take a strong quantitative approach. A solid background in mathematics, statistics, accounting and economics is a necessity and must be clear from your university transcript.
Topics in statistics you should be familiar with include:

  • Variables of chance, probability density function, probability distribution function
  • Expectation, variance, standard deviation, skewness
  • Normal distributions
  • Estimating sample means, statistical significance, confidence intervals
  • Testing for differences in sample means
  • Univariate and multivariate linear regression model
  • Analysing regression statistics: coefficients, t-statistics, R2
  • Multi-collinearity

To check whether your knowledge of statistics meets our standards, please take the statistics quizOpens external. 


Erasmus School of Economics followsDutch governmental institute Nuffic’sOpens externaladvice regarding the comparison of foreign degrees to the Dutch educational level to determine the level of your bachelor's degree.   

The Examination Board of Erasmus School of Economics decides based on the above mentioned criteria whether your obtained bachelor degree is sufficient for admission to the programme of your choice.

Please note:The outcome of this quiz does not affect or increase your chances of admission. It is only meant as an indication whether you have the required statistical knowledge which is a prerequisite for this master degree programme. No rights can be derived from the outcome of this quiz.

Proficiency in the English language

All applicants must show proficiency in the English language and demonstrate this by means of an internet based TOEFL,TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, Academic IELTS / Academic IELTS Online, Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) test score report, taken no longer than 2 years before application.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

The TOEFL iBT® test is accepted by 11,500 universities and higher education institutions in over 160 countries. Book your test today!

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Program content

The curriculum of the Master in Policy Economics provides students with economic theory and empirical tools that are essential to become an outstanding policy economist. Core courses of this master are Advanced Public Economics, Applied Econometrics, and Advanced Macro-economics. Furthermore, students can follow either Economics of Organisations, Industrial Organisation or Advanced Money, Credit and Banking.

Furthermore, students can choose from several elective courses: Policy Issues in Public Spending on Labour, Education and Health, Advanced Political Economy, and Advanced Development Economics.

The master also provides two large and intensive seminars. In the first seminar students become familiar with a wide array of applied research techniques (econometric methods of policy evaluation, cost-benefit analysis and field experiments) while discussing recent cases in policy evaluation. For the second seminar students can choose between the Seminar Economic Policy or the Seminar Quantitative Macro-economics.

The Seminar Economic Policy is devoted to analysing highly relevant policy issues. The Seminar Economic Policy changes every year to study policy issues that are most pressing at that time. In past years, the subjects were: the euro crisis, the Great Recession, globalisation, income inequality, and taxation of the wealthy and multinationals. In the Seminar Quantitative Macro-economics you learn how to analyse and estimate modern macroeconomic models. The last part of the master is devoted to writing the master’s thesis.

In many courses and seminars, you will work together with fellow students on assignments and papers. Moreover, during the seminars you will give presentations on your work or the course materials.


The curriculum consists of:

  • 29% Applications
  • 33% Theory
  • 38% Empirics

In class

In an assignment for Advanced Public Economics you are going to calculate how high the income tax rate should be at each income level for a country of your choice. You will work in groups of two students. To make your calculations, you will use an Excel programme that contains the optimal tax model of Nobelprize winner James Mirrlees. Use the programme to calculate the tax schedule for your country and explain why the tax schedule looks the way it does.

Scholarships & funding

For students outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), we have a number of scholarships available such as the Erasmus University Holland Scholarship, Philip Hans Franses Scholarship, and Erasmus School of Economics waiver for excellent current ESE bachelor students from non-EEA countries. For more information please visit our website or contact us.


Master programs

Tuition fees (2023-2024)

  • €2.314 (Statutory fee: Dutch / EEA students)
  • €12.600 (Institutional fee: Dutch / EEA students)
  • €16.100 (Institutional fee: non-EEA students)

Studying in a foreign country can be very expensive. Fortunately, the Dutch government subsidizes higher education which leads to lower tuition fees for students with a nationality from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA). In recent years, more and more students from outside the EEA have decided to study in the Netherlands, resulting in a growing demand for academic scholarships.


Master of Science

Continuing studies

Good policy economists are scarce and your career perspectives will be excellent. After graduating you are able to work as an applied policy economist at ministries, applied research institutes, bureaus for policy analysis, and international institutions. Most of our alumni start working within one month after graduation. They become policy advisors, consultants, data scientists, analysts, researchers and entrepreneurs. Some of the places where our Policy Economics alumni work are:

  • Ministries in the Netherlands and abroad
  • CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Research or similar institutions for applied policy research abroad, for example Ifo Munich or IFS London
  • Central Banks
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • The European Commission
  • Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM)
  • Consulting companies, for example PwC, Monitor Deloitte and Steward Redqueen
  • Universities, applied research institutes and economic thinktanks
  • Research departments of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies or pension funds.*

Population ageing and stable demand from the public sector for well-educated policy economists contribute to the excellent career prospects. The private sector values the strong analytical skills of graduates of this programme, while universities and research departments demand graduates with applied research interests.

*Based on details from alumni graduated between January 2018 and July 2021

About this institute

Study at Erasmus School of Economics!

Erasmus School of Economics is one of the world’s leading academic institutions. The school has a long-standing tradition of high-quality education and research. The best Erasmus graduates have made outstanding contributions to science, government, and business. Based in Rotterdam, the...

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Why study at Erasmus School of Economics

Erasmus School of Economics welcomes over 7000 Dutch and international students every academic year and provides world-class education in economic disciplines and econometrics.

By pursuing its three main principles:

  • Quality first
  • Integration of top research with a top education
  • A prime economic focus on current and future real-world questions

Erasmus School of Economics will ensure that by 2023, the School will have secured its place as a leading academic brand in economics and econometrics in the world.

Contact info

Erasmus School of Economics

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 Rotterdam
The Netherlands

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