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 60 credits taught modules 30 credits dissertation or internship

In your first trimester, you will undertake a two-week preliminary course in mathematics and statistics.  You will also take additional modules as below:

Core modules

  • Microeconomics (ECON41840)– 5 credits
  • Macroeconomics (ECON42550) – 5 credits
  • Econometrics (ECON41820) – 5 credits
  • Preliminary Maths and Stats (ECON42620) – 5 credits
  • Research & Career Skills I (ECON42020) – 5 credits

Choice of one from

  • Behavioural Economics (ECON42560) – 5 credits
  • Development Economics (ECON42600) - 5 credits
  • Environmental Economics (ENVP40100) – 10 credits
  • European Competition Law (LAW40360) – 10 credits

In your second trimester, you take: 

Core module

  • Research & Career Skills II (ECON41660) – 10 credits

Students that have taken LAW40360 or ENVP40100 in semester 1 must register for ECON42300, Research and Professional Development (a 5 credit module) instead of ECON41660.

Choice of four from the following 5 credit modules:

  • Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON41620)
  • Advanced Microeconomics (ECON41810)
  • Advanced Econometrics (ECON41850)
  • International Trade (ECON42140)
  • Aviation Economics (ECON42610)
  • Health and Welfare Economics (ECON42190)
  • Energy Economics and Policy (ECON42360)
  • Economics of Competition Policy (ECON42580)
  • Behavioural Economics: Policy Applications (ECON42570)
  • Decision Theory (ECON42630)

In your third trimester (Summer term), you will do either a supervised research thesis (ECON40090) or a 12 weeks internship (ECON42200) - 30 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.
  • 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

Brian Barbieri

I am happy to have done the MSc in Applied Economics at UCD and want to thank the faculty, staff, and students for making it such an instructive experience. The MSc strengthened my understanding of economic, econometric, and policy tools and taught me how to use them more effectively. It allowed me to choose interesting modules and learn a rigorous approach to problem solving. It exposed me to great opportunities to develop research and professional experience. Having the opportunity to be involved in a UCD undergraduate economics module as a tutor and to do a summer internship at the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council was invaluable. 

The faculty and staff are supportive and available. The students are diverse. There is a friendly atmosphere and an awareness of the growth in the economic subfields and their potential to help tackle world issues.

The material can be challenging but the MSc leads you to adopt a can-do and persistent attitude when facing complexity.

Even with Covid leading to the closure of the UCD campus, the MSc experience continued to be smooth and fruitful. There were stimulating online lectures, tutorials, individual assignments, and group projects.



MSc in Applied Economics   Applications open for the programme on 1st of October 2020 and will close at the end of August 2021. (Apply here).  
For Scholarship details see here 

Programme Coordinator Dr Stefanie Haller