Objectives and competences

The master's degree in Economics provides students with the theoretical and empirical tools to analyse real economic problems and conduct independent research. Successful students will complete at least two of the five specializations on offer, and will develop the skills to work in fields such as higher education and economic and research consulting in public or private institutions. Students are also given to option of continuing their studies on the doctoral programme.
The postgraduate programme in Economics is intended for students interested in pursuing a professional or research career at an international level. The programme comprises the two-year master's degree in Economics and the doctoral programme in Economics, which has received a quality distinction from the Ministry of Education. The objective of the master's degree is to train students in the use of theoretical and empirical methods for the analysis of real economic problems and for conducting independent research.

The programme, which is taught entirely in English, attracts students from around the world and enables them to integrate fully into the academic life of the University of Barcelona. On completion of the master's degree, approximately half of the students join the doctoral programme in Economics or enrol in similar programmes at other universities. UB Economics was created in 2011 to foster scientific research and graduate education in the field of Economics at the University of Barcelona (UB).

UB Economics is committed to ensuring that students in the Master's Degree in Economics have access to all the support required to guarantee the highest level of academic achievement and to enhance their career development.

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Economics and Business
Branch of knowledge
  • Economic sciences, business administration and management, marketing, commerce, accounting and tourism
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Number of places available30
Length of course2 academic years
Language(s) of instructionEnglish
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (75 euros for students who are not EU or China nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024.
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentYes
Open enrolmentYes
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences


The master's degree in Economics offers advanced, globally-focused training in the skills, techniques and research methodologies required to conduct research oriented toward economic analysis.
The programme provides advanced tools for analysing economic problems in order to develop an understanding of the most up-to-date practices in economics from the leading international academic institutions.
The advanced training that the master's degree provides will give students the knowledge, skills and competences to:
  • Achieve international excellence in economics research.
    • Research and convey the results of advances taking place in economic science across the world.
    • Undertake doctoral studies in economics, displaying the specialized research skills to achieve excellence in the preparation and presentation of a doctoral thesis (this master's programme provides the training required to be eligible for admission to the doctoral programme in Economics, which has been granted an Excellence Award by the Spanish Ministry of Education).


    On completion of the master's degree, students will be able to:
    • Apply their knowledge to problems encountered in the area of study.
    • Integrate knowledge and formulate judgments based on limited information.
    • Transmit conclusions, and the information and reasons that justify them, in a clear and unambiguous manner.
    • Continue to study independently.
    • Establish original hypotheses based on a relevant theoretical framework and evaluate or verify them empirically.
    • Produce critical readings of economics research articles.
    • Write scientific articles that could be published in prestigious economics journals and present them at international scientific meetings.
    • Produce economic reports for companies or government offices.
      analyse the workings of and major challenges facing the current socio-economic reality.

    apply the appropriate knowledge and theoretical and methodological tools to solving specific economic problems;
    apply knowledge of quantitative economics to the analysis of economic policy and business administration;
    retrieve and analyse data on the current economic context;
    select and apply the most suitable methodologies, econometric techniques, databases and computer tools for systematic and rigorous analysis of economic problems.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

The master's degree in Economics is primarily addressed to holders of undergraduate, bachelor's, architectural or engineering degrees who have solid prior training in a discipline related to the course material. This training may have been acquired through the completion of a relevant qualification in Spain in a related discipline, through the proven ability to complete postgraduate studies (for example, having completed a postgraduate course in a relevant discipline), or through the completion of an equivalent degree at a university or higher education institution outside Spain.
As a general rule, candidates should hold a pre-EHEA undergraduate degree in any area of economics and business (such as business administration and management, financial and actuarial sciences, market research and techniques, etc.) or a bachelor's degree in an area of social and legal sciences (economics, business administration and management, business sciences, political and administration sciences, accounting and finance, public management and administration, statistics, etc). Applications are also welcome from holders of other pre-EHEA undergraduate degrees (mathematics, statistical sciences and techniques), architectural degrees, higher engineering degrees, and bachelor's degrees in science disciplines or branches of engineering and architecture. Candidates in possession of qualifications issued outside Spain are welcome to apply, provided that they hold an official EHEA bachelor's degree or master's degree, or the national equivalent.
The course is taught in English, and candidates must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of this language (IELTS or TOEFL certificate, or similar, or by providing evidence of previously completed university-level studies in English).

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
To be eligible for admission to this programme, students must hold an official undergraduate degree that grants access to master's degree study and be able to accredit knowledge of English (at level B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or its equivalent).



1 December 2023 - 15 June 2024.

To complete your application, candidates must complete the specific application form and pay the pre-enrolment fee through the general pre-enrolment form. Only complete applications will be considered.


  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

Selection criteria

Applications from candidates who meet the general admission requirements will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria, listed in order of priority weighting:
  • Strength of academic record from previous studies (35%). Particular attention will be paid to previous training in mathematics, economic theory, statistics and econometrics. Candidates must demonstrate that they have the necessary level of analytical training and capacity for abstract thought to meet the general requirements of the syllabus.
  • Proximity of previous studies to the content of the master`'s degree (20%). Previous studies in economics or related disciplines will be more highly valued. However, positive consideration will also be given to candidates with degrees including subjects in mathematics and statistics.
  • Statement of interest (20%). This should clearly reflect both the candidate's interest in studying the master's degree and the objectives he or she wishes to achieve, which may range from taking a doctoral programme in economics to conducting research in the public or private sector. Particular credit will be given to those candidates who include a proposal for a research project or specific area of study that they would like to develop in the future. Credit will be given to those students with a particular interest in the work of any of the teaching staff of the Faculty of Economics and Business.
  • Curriculum vitae (10%). Credit will be given for previous knowledge of mathematics, economic theory and econometrics. The Committee will also take into account attendance of conferences and other academic events, participation in scientific projects, and academic publications. Positive consideration will also be given to teaching experience in economics or other areas.
  • University of origin and its position in university rankings (10%). For example, the QS World University Ranking for Social Sciences, Tilburg University Economics Ranking or the ISI Ranking of Spanish Universities.
    Letters of recommendation from former teachers, employers or other suitable referees (5%). Particular credit will be given for letters of recommendation from former teachers indicating the candidate's level of performance in their subject and in the degree course taken (teachers are typically asked to place the candidate relative to the other students they have taught). The statement must reflect the candidate's analytical skills, academic training and interest in the degree course. Letters of recommendation should be submitted together with a standard questionnaire completed by the referee.


Applicants will receive a decision by email within 6 weeks once the application is completed.

The body in charge of resolving applications is the master's degree Admissions Committee. This procedure is carried out in the period established in the pre-enrolment calendar. Once the Committee has met and the corresponding resolution has been reached, electronic confirmation is sent. The faculty's Master's and Doctoral Office will contact admitted students to inform them of the steps to take to complete enrolment.


As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

Course curriculum

Subjects and course plans

Distribution of credits

Compulsory 40
Optional 60
Compulsory placements 0
Compulsory final project 20

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Economics
Cooperative Decisions and Social Choice Optional 1st semester 5
Econometrics I Compulsory 1st semester 5
Econometrics II Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Economic Geography Optional 2nd semester 5
Economic Growth I Optional 2nd semester 5
Economic Growth II Optional 1st semester 5
Empirical Approach to Economic Growth Optional 2nd semester 5
Empirical Industrial Organization Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Empirical Methods in Regional and Urban Economics Optional 2nd semester 5
Final Project Compulsory 1st semester
2nd semester
Game Theory Optional 2nd semester 5
Global Sustainability Optional 1st semester 2.5
Governments and Markets Optional 1st semester 5
Industrial Organization and Regulation Optional 2nd semester 5
Infrastructure and Transport Economics Optional 2nd semester 2.5
International trade Optional 2nd semester 5
Intertemporal Decision-Making and Temporal Preferences Optional 2nd semester 5
Macroeconometrics Optional 1st semester 2.5
Macroeconomics I Compulsory 1st semester 5
Macroeconomics II Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Market Design and Experiments Optional 2nd semester 5
Mathematics I Compulsory 1st semester 5
Mathematics II Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Microeconometrics Optional 1st semester 2.5
Microeconomics I Compulsory 1st semester 5
Microeconomics II Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Panel Data Optional 1st semester 2.5
Public Economics I: Political Economy Optional 2nd semester 5
Public Economics II: Economics of Taxation Optional 2nd semester 5
Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation Optional 1st semester 5
Regional and Urban Economics Optional 1st semester 5
Spatial Econometrics Optional 2nd semester 5
Welfare Economics I: Education and Social Policies Optional 1st semester 5
Welfare Economics II: Health and Intergenerational Transfers Optional 2nd semester 5

Bridging courses

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: BC for admission to the Master's Degree in Economics
Introduction to Economics Optional 1st semester 3
Introduction to Mathematics for Economics Optional 1st semester 3
Introduction to Stata and Matlab Optional 1st semester 3

Previous years


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

The course curriculum is designed to train researchers in the field of economics, so successful graduates are equipped to pursue research careers in universities, research centres, business schools, national and international economic institutions, consultancy firms and corporate training centres.
Our former students are employed in a wide range of public and private institutions: Ministry of the Vice-presidency and of the Economy and Finance (Generalitat de Catalunya), Inter-American Development Bank, CNMV, Bloomberg, Deloitte, etc. Approximately half of our students pursue afterwards a doctoral programme at the UB or other leading institutions such as NOVA School of Business and Economics, University of Chicago, University of Luxembourg, Lund University, etc.

Access to the labour market

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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