MSc in Applied Economics

This course provides high quality training in economics with a focus on applications to real world problems. The course is ideal preparation for a career as a professional economist working on applying economics to policy issues or business situations.  In addition to studying core modules in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, students can pick from a wide range of field modules.  Students also have the option of completing a two-term specialisation in one of Behavioural Economics, Law and Economics of Competition, Environmental and Energy Economics or Development Economics. In the summer term, students do either a supervised research thesis or an internship.  Students can switch after the first term to our MSc in Quantitative Economics, which focuses on applying advanced mathematical and statistical methods to economics.

This programme features small group teaching from leading economists and a supportive environment.  Masters students are an integral part of our School community, attending research seminars and receiving a wide range of supports to help them prepare for their research thesis or internship. 

UCD School of Economics is Ireland’s leading economics department. Our staff are experts with international reputations in a wide range of topics such as macroeconomics, econometrics, applied microeconomics, behavioural economics, health economics, international trade and economic history. School members play a significant role in debating economic policy issues and in contributing to the formulation of economic policy. Students get to know our staff via participation in small classes and seminars and through direct supervision.

Course content and structure

90 credits taught masters 70 credits taught modules 20 credits dissertation or internship

In your first semester, you will undertake a two-week preliminary course in mathematics and statistics.  You will also take the following modules:

Core modules

  • Microeconomics (ECON42010)– 7.5 credits
  • Macroeconomics (ECON41990) – 7.5 credits
  • Econometrics (ECON42000) – 7.5 credits
  • Preliminary Maths and Stats (ECON42420) – 2.5 credits
  • Research Skills (ECON42490) – 2.5 credits

Choice of one from

  • Behavioural Economics (ECON42260) – 7.5 credits
  • Environmental Economics (ENVP40150) – 7.5 credits
  • Introduction to Development Economics (ECON42530) – 7.5 credits
  • European Competition Law (LAW40360) – 10 credits

In your second semester, you take: 

Core module

  • Research and Professional Development (ECON42300) – 5 credits
    - Please note that students that have taken LAW40360 in semester 1 must register for ECON42330, Professional Development (a 2.5 credit module) instead of ECON42300.

Choice of four from the following 7.5 credit modules:

  • Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON42240)
  • Advanced Microeconomics (ECON42250)
  • Advanced Econometrics (ECON42230)
  • International Trade (ECON42290)
  • Development Economics (ECON42500)
  • Aviation Economics (ECON42180)
  • Health and Welfare Economics (ECON42350)
  • Energy Economics and Policy (ECON42270)
  • Economics of Competition and Regulatory Policy (ECON42410)
  • Behavioural Economics: Policy Applications (ECON42390)
  • Applied Policy Analysis Modelling (AERD40160)

In your third semester (Summer term), you will do either a supervised research thesis (ECON42520) or an internship (ECON42510) - 20 Credits.

Part-time schedule details

Career Opportunities
Many graduates of our masters programmes have gone on to complete PhDs in economics and pursue successful careers as academic or research economists.  Many others have moved directly to employment in central banks, think-tanks, government departments, regulatory agencies, financial sector institutions and consultancy firms.

Entry Requirements

  • A primary degree with at least an upper second class honours or international equivalent in Economics or in a degree in which Economics is a major component.
  • We also consider applicants with at least an upper second class honours in a degree that has strong theoretical and quantitative content such as Maths, Physics, Engineering or Computer Science.
  • An upper second class honours in a Higher Diploma in Economics.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Graduate profile

Mojdeh Khandanian, Economist with the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service

The Msc. Applied Economics at UCD is an incredibly versatile program with vast applicability to careers in economics and beyond. Alongside gaining core knowledge, the opportunity to choose amongst a wide range of applied modules delivered by field experts allowed to me to tailor the course to my interests and to explore different potential career paths. Through this, and through the invaluable guidance on theses, internships, and careers from staff, I discovered my desire to work in policy economics. The flexible yet specialised nature of the course enabled me to gain a traineeship undertaking monetary policy research at the European Central Bank, Frankfurt, and to gain employment as a professional economist with the Irish Government Economic Evaluation Service (IGEES) in the Department of Finance.

Mojdeh Khandanian


MSc in Applied Economics   Apply here

Programme Coordinator Dr Orla Doyle