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Master of Science

Master Economic Research

The Cologne Graduate School of Economics (CGS-E) of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne (UzK) invites applicants to apply for its two-stage graduate program in Economic Research. In the first phase, students complete their study and research work at graduate level in a two-year exclusive Master's programme (M.Sc. Economic Research). This program provides students with knowledge of theoretical principles and methods for conducting innovative economic research. In particular, the specialisation courses cover the research areas of the ECONtribute Cluster of Excellence such as behavioural economics, market design, organisational design, consumer protection, political economy, distribution or financial stability. The courses are taught in English by lecturers and renowned guest researchers of the Cluster of Excellence. After completing the Master in Economic Research, students usually enter the second phase. As doctoral students, they develop research projects in their dissertation and complete them with a PhD.


In a nutshell

  • Standard period of study: 4 semesters, full-time
  • Start: Fall term
  • Degree title: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
  • Language: English
  • Fees: Only Social fee
  • Application deadline: June 15th - an application for the doctoral programme by 31 March 2020 is recommended in advance.

As the University of Cologne is state-funded, there are no tuition fees, just a biannual “semester contribution” of slightly more than 250 euros, which includes the semester ticket for public transport throughout North Rhine-Westphalia. All in all, joining University of Cologne means investing in an excellent education – and your professional future – without paying a fortune.

Some examples of the questions Economic Research students look at

  • How should behavioural theory-based measures be used for policy interventions? For example, what role do environmental taxes, tradable emission certificates play and what are the incentives for tackling climate change?
  • What are the effective methods for measuring and regulating systemic risks in the financial markets? What role does monetary policy play in the stability of financial markets?
  • What are the causes of persistent economic inequalities? What measures promote social mobility? Why does inequality persist in modern welfare states?
  • Is there an efficiency rationale for policies that affect market prices, such as rent control measures or minimum wages? Is there also a justification for fairness?

Information on the application

From the middle of March you can apply via the Master Application Portal of the WiSo-Faculty. More detailed information about the admission procedure, the admission deadlines and the required documents can be found on the application website. Applicants with (Bachelor's) degrees obtained abroad must additionally apply via uni-assist online as well as by post by 15 June (date of receipt).

Direct application for the corresponding doctoral programme is also possible. Please note the application deadline 31 March. It is therefore strongly recommended to apply in advance. Detailed information on the programme and application can be found on the Cologne Graduate School of Economics website. For questions regarding the doctoral programme and application, please contact the Cologne Graduate School of Economics (CGS-E), Dr. Katharina Laske.

The CGS-E cooperates with the International Max Planck Research School BeSmart at the MPI in Bonn. Applicants who are interested in participating in this program (which also includes a doctorate at the University of Cologne) at a later date are requested to indicate this in their application. The MPI offers a limited number of (paid) positions for research assistants which can be filled by these Master students.


We are looking forward receiving your application!

If you have any questions regarding the doctoral program and its application, please contact the Cologne Graduate School of Economics (CGS-E)

Dr. Katharina Laske
Coordination & Management
Phone: +49 (0)221 470-7955

Curricular design

The Core and Advanced Section of the master programme Economic Research contains 36 ECTS credit points. This area covers the advanced and research oriented basis of micro- and macroeconomics, statistics, econometrics and mathematics. These competencies enable students to comprehend scientific literature of economic science and furthermore to independently analyse economic problems on an advanced theoretical and empirical level.

In the Specialisation Section, you choose four specialisation courses in the research area you want to proceed your studies. Furthermore you can also broaden your general knowledge by choosing from core courses you did not attend in the core section before. Two Reading Groups in micro-, macroeconomics or econometrics are compulsory. In these modules you read and discuss the latest research papers in the respective research area.

The Supplementary Section serves as an additional section to develop a more specific profile – either by deepening and specialising or by diversifying knowledge. Further modules of the extensive course offer of the faculty from economics are available to students.


All of our courses are offered in English language. Therefore, it is possible to apply without knowledge of German language and to complete you master's degree in English. A large number of different nationalities apply for our Master programmes. The faculty also cooperates with partner universities worldwide (see such that a semester abroad can be integrated in your studies. Thus, we ensure you to study in an international as well as intercultural environment.

Andreas Schabert

This programme provides an excellent graduate education tailored to economic research on markets and public policy. As a student of the programme you benefit from individual support by a team of distinguished researchers. It gives you an opportunity to start your doctoral studies and to boost your career inside and outside academia.

Andreas Schabert, Professor at the Department of Economics, Young ECONtribute Programme Committee