Objectives and competences

The master's degree in Institutions and Political Economy is an interdisciplinary research programme at the intersection of political science, economics and economic history. It offers advanced training in quantitative and qualitative research methods and combines solid theoretical foundations with empirical applications and a deep understanding of current social science debates.
This is a collaborative project by three research groups based at the University of Barcelona that have a strong international reputation. These groups focus on comparative politics, political economy and economic history. They form the backbone of a vibrant network of social science research at UB and will give students access to a versatile group of teaching and research staff at the top of their fields. 

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Economics and Business
Branch of knowledge
  • Social sciences, social work, industrial relations and human resources, sociology, political science and international relations
  • Economic sciences, business administration and management, marketing, commerce, accounting and tourism
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Credits120
Number of places available20
Length of course2 academic years
Language(s) of instructionEnglish
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU or China nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024.
CoordinationPILAR SORRIBAS NAVARRO
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentNo
Open enrolmentYes
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences

Objectives

The master's degree in Institutions and Political Economy is an interdisciplinary research degree that analyses the role of political institutions and their relationship with processes of economic development and change. It adopts a cross-cutting, long-term perspective, combining the theoretical and methodological approaches of political science, political economy and economic history.

More specifically, the master's degree aims to analyze the origin, causes and consequences of institutions and other political economy issues from a rigorous methodological perspective, with the goal of bringing students closer to the frontiers of knowledge in the field.

The advanced training is designed for students to:

  1. Achieve international excellence in political science, political economy and economic history research.
  2. Investigate and communicate advances in the study of political institutions in an international context to specialists and the general public.
  3. Join a doctoral programme, as they will have the specialized research training necessary to prepare a doctoral thesis.
  4. Carry out projects with a research component in economics and political science in public administrations, international organizations, financial institutions, consultancies and companies.

 

General objectives

  • Thorough understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of the disciplines under study (economics, political science and economic history).
  • Capacity to participate in research projects and scientific or technological collaborations, in public and private initiatives.
  • Ability to write scientific articles that can be published in peer-reviewed journals and present them at international scientific meetings.
  • Capacity to evaluate and select the appropriate scientific theory and methodology to make judgments based on incomplete or limited information.
  • Capacity to apply and integrate theoretical and methodological knowledge, with an interdisciplinary approach, to resolve economic, political and social problems.
  • Ability to transmit and disseminate results and knowledge from the most advanced and recent research in their fields of study.
  • Ability to develop new work methodologies adapted to their specific research, technological or professional field.
  • Capacity to search and analyze data from the economic, political and social reality, and prepare reports for companies and the public administration.

Competences

  • Rigorously understand the theoretical and practical aspects of the disciplines under study (Economics, Political Science, Economic History).
  • Participate in research projects and scientific or technological collaborations, both in public and private initiatives.
  • Elaborate scientific articles that can be published in peer-reviewed journals and present them in international scientific meetings.
  • Evaluate and select the appropriate scientific theory and methodology to make judgments based on incomplete or limited information.
  • Apply and integrate theoretical and methodological knowledge, with an interdisciplinary approach, to the resolution of economic, political and social problems.
  • Transmit and disseminate results and knowledge from the most advanced and recent research in their fields of study.
  • Develop new work methodologies adapted to their specific research, technological or professional field.
  • Search and analyze data from the economic, political and social reality, as well as prepare reports for companies and public administration.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

All students who have the relevant qualification to study a master's degree in Spain, according to current regulations, can apply to the master's degree. Special priority is given to those who have a bachelor's degree in political science and administration, economics, history, sociology or geography. However, other degrees will also be considered.' Those who hold equivalent qualifications issued by a higher education institution from another state in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that enables access to master's degrees in that state, will also be eligible. Likewise, graduates with equivalent qualifications obtained from educational systems outside the EHEA may also gain access without having to homologate their qualifications. In this case, the University must verify that the qualification accredits training equivalent to the corresponding official Spanish university qualifications and that the applicants are able to access postgraduate education in the country that issued the qualification. In no case will access to the master's degree imply homologation of the previous qualification by the interested party, nor its recognition for other purposes than taking the master's degree course (Article 16 of RD 1393/2007 and 861/2010).

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
The master's degree is taught in English. Consequently, students must prove that they have a good knowledge of the language (level B2 or equivalent) through official certificates such as IELTS or TOEFL, or they must show that they have pursued higher education in English in the past.

For your application to be complete, you need to fill out the master's application form.

For each application, the Admissions Committee will assess whether the candidate's profile is suitable for the master's degree and whether the application should be accepted or rejected.

Pre-enrolment

Calendar

From November 3, 2023 to May 31, 2024.

Admissions:February, April and June.

Notes:

  • 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

The applications of candidates who meet the above requirements for access to the master's degree will be evaluated according to the following selection criteria, which are given with their weighting:

  1. Academic record obtained by the candidate in previous degree(s). Special merit will be given for previous training in political science, economics and history. Candidates must show sufficient training and analytical and abstract capacities to meet the requirements of the master's degree subjects. Weighting: 35%.
  2. Previous degree(s) related to the master's degrees subjects. Greater value will be given to degrees in political science, economics, history and related subjects. Weighting: 20%.
  3. Motivation letter. This will be positively valued if the candidate presents a research project or area of interest in which she/he wants to work in the future. Merit will also be given for an interest in the work of the professors of departments involved in the master's degree. Weighting: 20%.
  4. University of origin and its position in university rankings, such as the QS of Social Sciences, Tilburg Economics and State University Ranking, according to publications in ISI journals. Weighting: 10%.
  5. Curriculum vitae. Previous knowledge of political science, economics and history will be valued. Participation and attendance at academic conferences, participation in scientific projects and academic publications will also be considered. Finally, teaching experience in political science, economics and history and other fields will be valued. Weighting: 10%.
  6. Letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation from former professors in which the performance of the candidate is explained will be positively valued, in terms of the professor's course and the degree (the professor is asked to position the candidate in relation to other students taught in the past). The letter should reflect the candidate's analytical skills, training and motivation. Weighting: 5%.

If the Admission Committee considers it appropriate, candidates may need to submit additional documentation to clarify some aspect of the application, or to conduct a personal interview.

Notification

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.

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

Type ECTS
Compulsory 60
Optional 30
Compulsory placements
Compulsory final project 30
TOTAL 120

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Institutions and Political Economy
Advanced Institutional Analysis Optional 2nd semester 5
Advanced Research Methods Optional 2nd semester 5
Advanced Topics in Comparative Politics Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Comparative Politics: Institutions Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Comparative Politics: Political Behaviour Compulsory 1st semester 5
Federalism and Decentralization Optional 1st semester 5
Final Project Compulsory 2nd semester 30
Game Theory Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Global Political Ecology Optional 2nd semester 5
Institutions, State Capacity and Economic Growth Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Introduction to Economic History Compulsory 1st semester 5
Macroeconomics I Optional 1st semester 5
Microeconomics Compulsory 1st semester 5
Political Economy of Public Policies Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Poverty and Inequality: Concepts, Measures and Policies Optional 1st semester 5
Public Economics I: Political Economy Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Quantitative Methods I: Fundamental Principles Compulsory 1st semester 5
Quantitative Methods II: Causal Inference Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Research Design Compulsory 2nd semester 5
The Causes of Global Inequality: Economic History of Developing Regions Optional 1st semester 5
Topics in Economic History Optional 2nd semester 5
Topics in Political Economy Optional 1st semester 5
Welfare Economics I: Education and Social Policies Optional 1st semester 5

Bridging courses

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: BC for admission to the Master's Degree in Institutions and Political Economy
Introduction to Economics Optional 1st semester 3
Introduction to Mathematics and Statistics Optional 1st semester 5

Previous years

Placements

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 main goal is to train students to conduct research at the highest level by providing them with a deep understanding of empirical topics in economics, political science and economic history, state-of-the-art quantitative skills and first-hand research experience in the master's degree dissertation.
  • Thanks to their advanced training, graduates will be perfectly equipped to competitively apply to top international PhD programmes and research centres in the fields covered by the programme, including those at the University of Barcelona. Additionally, the multidisciplinary nature of this program will allow students to access programmes that require a range of academic profiles.
  • Graduates will also acquire skills that are highly sought in other fields of employment outside academia: strong analytical and statistical tools, the ability to design research projects from the ground up and the capacity to engage with complex information related to current economic, social and political debates.
  • As economics and political science are inherently linked to the analysis of the most pressing current debates, from globalization and inequality to environmental protection and digital rights, graduates will be able to transition smoothly to jobs focused on these fields in public administration, international agencies, regulatory authorities and consulting firms.

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