Structure, contents and study tracks

The structure of the Master's Programme in Economics is highly systematic serving well students who wish to graduate in two years. In addition to core courses, the programme includes field courses in economics, as well as optional courses from different fields.

You can take economics courses from each of the three Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) universities: University of Helsinki, Aalto University and Hanken School of Economics. The Helsinki GSE unit offers the most extensive selection of economics courses in Finland.

The language of teaching is English. It is also possible to complete courses, write the Master's thesis and get supervision in Finnish or Swedish.

The Master's Programme in Economics comprises 120 credits (ECTS, European Credit Transfer System), and it is designed to be completed in two years. The programme has two tracks:

  • General track
  • Research track

You select the track when applying for the programme: your choice will determine the degree requirements. They consist of the following modules (in the General / Research track):

  • Advanced studies (at least 95 ECTS / 105 ECTS)
     
    • Economic theory and econometric methods (30 ECTS / 45 ECTS)
    • Research skills (10 ECTS)
    • Master's thesis (30 ECTS)
    • Field courses in economics (at least 20 ECTS / 15 ECTS)
    • Internship or Labour market project (5 to 15 ECTS)
  • Optional studies (15 to 25 ECTS / 5 to 15 ECTS)

After completing the unit in economic theory and econometric methods, you select the fields in economics that you want to concentrate on. It is advisable for you to include further advanced field courses in economics or methodological courses in your optional studies.

The study unit in research skills prepares you for writing the Master's thesis, and familiarises you with scholarly work in economics, research ethics and reporting research results. In addition, you prepare a research proposal for your thesis.

Integrated into the studies, the degree requirements include drawing up a personal study plan, and career planning. An internship period, a labour market project or other studies aimed at developing employment skills are also included (5 to 15 ECTS so that the extent of these studies and the optional studies amount to 30 ECTS in the General track and to 20 ECTS in the Research track).

You can also include a student exchange period as part of your degree. Courses taken at universities abroad can replace field courses in economics in the degree requirements and other university-level courses can be included in your optional studies. The most suitable time for an exchange period is in the spring semester of your first year of study after completing the core courses in economic theory and econometrics. You can also include an internship abroad in the Career orientation module.

You can find more information about the structure of the programme at the Instructions for Students website. Make sure to choose the correct programme in the drop-down menu.

The module of Economic Theory and Econometric Methods, which you will take in the autumn semester of your first year of study, is the foundation of the programme. It covers the central microeconomic and macroeconomic theory as well as basic econometric methods. After completing this module, you can choose from a wide selection of fields of economics to concentrate on. Optional studies consist of additional courses in economics or other university-level courses. In addition, an internship or a labour market project is included in the degree requirements.

The programme mostly comprises lecture courses. The courses on economic theory and econometric methods consist of lectures and exercise sessions. For the most part, they are completed by taking a written examination. Depending on the track, you take 3 to 4 field courses, selected based on your interests so that they form a meaningful whole. Additional field courses in economics can be included in the optional studies. In the field courses, you will be exposed to different teaching methods, such as problem-based learning and other group activities and seminars. Your grades in many field courses will be based on assignments, presentations and term papers in addition to a final examination.

Economics is a quantitative social science discipline, so you are expected to have a good basic command of mathematics and statistics. Your skills in these areas will be systematically developed in this programme. Especially if you aim for a career as an economist or for doctoral studies, you are advised to include further methodological courses in your optional studies. In addition to mathematics and statistics, courses in computer science are recommended.

The structure of the programme is comparable to the Master's programmes in economics offered by the best universities in the world. It differs from the Master's programmes of the Finnish business schools so that the demanding courses in economic theory and econometrics comprise a greater proportion, and the goal is above all to prepare you for a career as an economist.

The research track corresponds to Master's programmes in quantitative economics offered by some universities abroad. In line with our programme, the research track will prepare you for a career as an economist and for doctoral studies in economics.

The Master's Programme in Economics has two tracks:

  • General track
  • Research track

You select the track when applying for the programme: your choice will determine the degree requirements.

The difference between the tracks is that the Research track aims at providing more profound knowledge of economic theory and econometric methods, whereas the General track emphasises fields and applications of economics, and it is possible to include more optional studies in the degree.

The Research track prepares you for doctoral studies in economics, and its degree requirements contain most of the doctoral-level core courses in economic theory and econometrics. Taking these courses as part of the Master's degree helps you to graduate faster from the doctoral programme later. Graduates from the Research track are given precedence for the doctoral programme in economics at the University of Helsinki. The Research track is also recommended if you are interested in taking the more demanding core courses to acquire more profound knowledge of economics even if your goal is not to pursue doctoral studies.

When studying in the Master's Programme in Economics, you can take economics courses from each of the three Helsinki GSE universities: Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics and University of Helsinki.

The courses cover all the main fields of economics. They are tailored to enable the students to learn the essential core of economics at an advanced level while at the same time providing the possibility to tailor the education based on their own specific interests.

The curriculum consists of core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics as well as specialised courses in subfields of economics, such as:

  • Economic theory
  • Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • Industrial organization
  • International economics
  • Labor economics
  • Public economics
  • Development economics
  • Behavioral and Experimental Economics

The language of teaching is English. It is also possible to complete courses, write the Master's thesis and get supervision in Finnish or Swedish.

Check out the courses offered by the University of Helsinki from WebOodi, the online course catalogue.

You can find a listing of the Helsinki GSE courses on the Helsinki GSE website.