Objectives and competences
The master's degree in Economics, Regulation and Competition in Public Services provides specialized training in the professional area of economics, regulation and competition in public services for engineers and holders of bachelor's degrees and pre-EHEA undergraduate degrees in economics, law and administration.
The degree provides specialized training in the regulation of network services (energy and telecommunications), in the provision of territorial services (water and transport) and, more generally, in the reform of policies on the regulation and introduction of competition in the management of public services.
Ideally, to enter the master's degree, students should be economists, legal experts or engineers with experience and a professional career in the various sectors of public services or economic services of general interest.
Objectives and competences
The master's degree in Economics, Regulation and Competition in Public Services is a professionally-oriented programme designed to prepare holders of an undergraduate or bachelor's degree in economics, law or business administration for careers in the economic and legal areas of public service provision, also known in the European Union as services of general interest or universal essential services.
To this end, the master's programme offers specialized professional training in the field of public service economics and law, competition policy, market regulation of network services (energy and telecommunications), the provision of regional public services (water and transport) and public services reform policy.
The course is designed to provide students with the skills and competences to address the problems encountered in public services in a confident and instinctive manner. In particular, the programme prepares graduates to deal with problems related to the liberalization of economic public services, leading to freedom of establishment and competition among providers in the provision of certain services.
On completion of the master's degree, students will be able to:
- Work in interdisciplinary teams, providing original ideas, novel perspectives and new techniques.
- Display a critical, reasoned and effective approach to the provision of essential services.
- Analyse and resolve economic and legal problems related to the provision of public services, services of general interest and essential services.
- Understand when public intervention is required to ensure the effective provision of essential services.
- Identify and assess the operation of liberalized and competitive markets, focusing particularly on the contributions to social welfare brought by freedom of establishment and competition for public and private operators in the provision of essential services.
- Identify and quantify the strengths and weaknesses of different regulatory models applicable to cases in which markets fail to ensure adequate provision of essential services.
- Understand and interpret academic articles on economic and legal aspects of public policy and their application to regulation and competition in the area of public services.
- Work with real data and make quantitative analyses to inform decision-making on public service provision.
- Identify when and why fundamental European principles regulating services of general interest are applied, as well as the processes of public service policy reform.
- Evaluate and apply the defence and promotion of competition to liberalized activities in the provision of essential services.
Applicant profile and access requirements
Recommended applicant profile
Candidates ideally suited to this master's degree are economists, lawyers and engineers with expertise and professional experience in various sectors of public services and economic services of general interest (water, telecommunications, transport and energy) or specialized in the promotion and defence of competition. Candidates should be seeking the academic training to consolidate their professional experience and to develop an advanced understanding of the latest developments in research on regulation, competition and public service provision in liberalized markets. Applications will be accepted from any candidate in possession of the necessary qualifications to enrol in a university master's degree in Spain, according to the current regulations. Priority will be given to graduates in economics, public management and administration, law, and public administration, and other bachelor's degrees in related areas. Holders of degrees in science and engineering disciplines will also be given positive consideration.
Access requirements and conditions
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.
Successful candidates who achieve lower-than-desired scores in the standardized numerical admissions test may be required to complete bridging subjects; specifically, the subjects Introduction to Economics (6 credits) and Statistics for Economics and Business (6 credits) from the syllabus of the bachelor's degree in Economics offered by the Faculty of Economics and Business. Additionally, candidates must use Spanish on a regular basis or be able to demonstrate their ability by passing a Spanish proficiency test.
- Second period: 2 January - 10 February 2024.
Notification of decisions: 28 February.
- Third period: 1 March - 10 April 2024.
Notification of decisions: 30 April.
- Fourth period: 10 April - 10 May 2024.
Notification of decisions: 30 May.
- Extra period: 10 May - 30 June 2024.
Notification of decisions: 15 July.
- 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%.
The Admissions Committee announces its decisions by the end of the four admission periods. Once candidates have received confirmation of their admission to the course they should complete the pre-enrolment process and reserve their place.
The admissions process begins nine months before the start of the course, and consists of the collection and evaluation of the following information for all candidates who request access to the master's programme:
- Academic merits: academic record from bachelor's degree and previous postgraduate studies.
- Professional experience in the provision of public services (water, energy, telecommunications, transports, etc.) and in the regulation, reform and management of competition.
- Standardized numerical and verbal reasoning test: ADEN aptitude test or Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
- English level test for students who are not native speakers of English.
- Spanish level test for students who are not native speakers of Spanish.
- Letters of reference from academic or professional referees.
Once all of the necessary information has been gathered, the Admissions Committee will verify that all students are able to use Spanish as a general working language and apply the selection criteria according to the weighting outlined below to establish the list of successful candidates and order of priority:
- Academic merits (30%)
- Professional experience in public services (30%)
- Standardized numerical and verbal reasoning test (30%)
- English level test (10%)
The Admissions Committee takes the average score from the academic record for each candidate's qualifying degree, which is then converted into a mark from 0'10 with one decimal place. They also take the average score from the academic record for any completed postgraduate studies, which is converted into a mark from 0'2 with one decimal place. In addition, if one or more letters of reference indicate merits that warrant specific recognition, a mark from 0'1 with one decimal place will be awarded. The total score for academic merits is the sum of these marks.
The Admissions Committee will focus particularly on the extent and quality of candidates' professional experience and the potential to develop their skills further. Particular credit will be given for experience in regulatory bodies and organizations dealing with competition law, as well as public service providers.
The Admissions Committee evaluates candidates' professional experience in the areas of regulation or competition of public services, based on their years of experience and degree of responsibility in public organizations or service providers. A mark of 0'10 with one decimal place is awarded on the strength of the Committee's evaluation. This evaluation will also take into account letters of recommendation that make specific reference to the candidates' professional merits.
Standardized tests (verbal and numerical reasoning):
All candidates applying for admission to the course must take the ADEN Admission Test for Business Schools and an English test or the GRE, even if they already hold a postgraduate degree. The resulting scores are sent to the Admissions Committee before the close of the application period. The Admissions Committee does not establish a minimum score for the ADEN test or the GRE. The percentile of each candidate's result is converted into a mark of 0'10 with one decimal place.
Candidates complete the English test incorporated into the ADEN test. Exemption from the English test may be granted for candidates that can demonstrate one of the following scores in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
- A minimum score of 79 in the Internet-based test (IBT)
- A minimum score of 213 in the computer-based test (CBT)
- A minimum score of 550 in the paper-based test (PBT)
Alternatively, students should provide evidence of having achieved a grade between A and C in the University of Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English.
The score for the English test will also be transformed into a mark between 0 and 10, with one decimal place. This mark will be integrated into the overall evaluation.
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
Subjects and course plans
Distribution of credits
List of subjects
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.
What can you work on ?
Among the more than 250 former students of the programme are qualified engineers, legal professionals and economists who perform operational or management roles in the following areas:
- Regulation, corporate strategy and institutional relations, and general directorates of public and private operators providing services of general interest.
- DGs and education and research sectors in public regulation and market supervision agencies or authorities for the promotion and defence of competition.
- Legal consultants for public and private operators, regulatory and supervisory bodies and competition authorities.
- DGs and technical departments of government offices responsible for the planning and regulation of public services.
- Technical and management areas of economic, legal and strategic consulting firms, and in legal consultancies.
Access to the labour market
Data from the university system in Catalonia