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Economics (Volkswirtschaftslehre) - Master of Science


Program duration:
4 semesters
Language of instruction:
Program commencement:
Winter and summer semester
Master of Science (M.Sc.)

What is distinctive about the program?

The Master's program in Economics at the Osnabrück University is distinctive for its combined approach, offering students a broad-based education in economics whilst also providing them with opportunities for individual specialization. The program offers a wide range of advanced modules in fields as diverse as microeconomics, macroeconomics, public finance, international economic policy, statistics/econometrics, and environmental economics.

Commencing with the winter semester 2022/2023, the Master’s program in Economics will adopt the English language as its language of instruction. Some electives will continue to be offered in German. From October 2022, applicants to the program will no longer have to demonstrate proficiency in the German language. Depending on their subject combinations, students will have the option of specializing in either Empirical Economics or Sustainability, Behavior and Environmental Policy:

Empirical Economics

Modern economics is increasingly using empirical methods in its research. The School of Business Administration and Economics is particularly strong in this field, as the three Chairs of macroeconomics, international economic policy and statistics/econometrics all follow an empirical approach and together make up the Institute of Empirical Economic Research.

Our specialization of empirical economics offers students research-based teaching which provides them with both a solid methodological foundation in the fields of statistics and econometrics as well as a practical focus in their education in which they examine a number of key economic policy issues. One distinctive aspect of the program is that students engage in independent empirical research and carry out their own statistical inferences, for example in the context of a broader project seminar.

Sustainability, Behavior and Environmental Policy

This specialization is directed at students interested in understanding the connection between environmental issues, human behavior and economics, in familiarizing themselves with and discussing potential solutions, and who are looking to make a personal contribution to steering society towards greater sustainability in their future careers.

The unique feature of this specialization lies in its combination of environmental economics with findings from behavioral economics. The latter lies at the nexus between economics and psychology and goes beyond the traditional model of the homo economicus to open the way for a broader understanding of human behavior, for example by accounting for constraints on rationality and willpower, for the role of values and social norms, and innovative political instruments such as so-called “nudges”. At the same time, environmental economics offers important insights into the role and design of economic incentive tools in environmental policy (e.g. CO2 pricing) and into the correlation between economic growth, resource consumption and environmental quality. Of course, the transformation to sustainability also requires students to possess a solid understanding of our economic system.

What career prospects does this degree offer me?

Economists have a wide range of careers open to them. They are always in demand in fields which work in strategic development. In particular, these fields require their employees to possess in-depth knowledge of economic behavior and the ability to apply these principles to long-term forecasting. Employers include consulting, strategy or sustainability departments in companies and banks. Economists are also sought-after in government ministries and other public institutions, as well as in research institutes and international organizations. Graduates in economics currently profit from the particularly promising employment market situation for economists.

Graduates in economics possess an advanced understanding of micro and macroeconomic processes. Whatever career path graduates choose depends on their analytical abilities, their individual interests and their specializations: some graduates choose to work for companies analyzing current market developments or developing new business strategies; others choose a career which enables them to better regulate economic life and increase sustainability.

How is the program structured?

The standard duration of the Master’s program in economics is four semesters. This equates to a course of study amounting to 120 credits, with 10 credits of mandatory courses, 90 credits of elective courses and 20 credits for the Master’s thesis.

For the winter semester 2022/23, the School of Business Administration and Economics is restructuring the Master’s program in economics. To date, students have only been able to specialize in a single field. From the winter semester 2022/23 onwards, students will be able to choose between two specializations – Empirical Economics and Sustainability, Behavior and Environmental Policy.

The following chart illustrates the new structure of the Master’s program in economics which commences in the winter semester 2022/23:

The mandatory component consists of the module “Advanced Methods of Business and Economics” for 10 credits. This module equips students with advanced skills in econometric analysis and the microeconomic analysis of business and economic issues, and demonstrates how these can be applied using concrete examples. 

Out of a total of 90 credits in the elective component, students must take at least 60 credits in economics and quantitative methods and at least 10 credits in business administration. Students are free to select the remaining 20 credits either from among the economics modules, business administration modules or a different prescribed set of modules. Students are also free to select the modules in the elective component in such a way as to enhance in one or the other specialist fields. The elective component offers students a high level of flexibility, enabling them to factor in their own interests and career plans as they progress through the program.

Program regulations

What are the admission requirements?

Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject. For a subject to count as relevant, it must have covered certain content. For additional detailed information, please refer to the admission regulations. Applicants must also demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants are not required to demonstrate proficiency in the German language.

Please note: Applicants to the program must submit the module descriptions for their completed Bachelor's degree program with their application (non-German or non-English module descriptions must be translated into German or English and attached). When applying directly via the online portal of Osnabrück University (see "How do I apply?"), applicants should enter either a permanent internet address containing the relevant module catalog or upload a corresponding PDF file. If the title of your Bachelor's degree is not exactly "Economics" or "Volkswirtschaftslehre", the module descriptions are particularly important for assessing the relevance of your qualification.

Applicants may apply to the program before completing their Bachelor’s degree if they provide proof that they have completed at least 150 credit points.

How do I apply?

German citizens in possession of German certification (Abitur) may apply directly using the Osnabrück University online portal. This is also the case for international applicants in possession of German certification.
Please note that this online form needs to be printed and also submitted via regular mail.

International applicants with international certification must apply using the uni-assist service point. For the Master’s program in economics, applicants are not required to demonstrate proficiency in the German language. Applicants must however demonstrate English proficiency to at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

All Applications must include the following documentation:

  • Bachelor's degree certificate or transcript of records for at least 150 ECTS credits
  • proof of English language proficiency
  • module (course) descriptions
  • curriculum vitae
  • personal declaration that
    - a similar Master's Program  has not yet been achieved
    - a similar Master's Program has not yet been failed, or right to examination has not been lost

For more detailed information, please refer to the admission regulations.

Is there a period of study abroad?

The examination regulations do not prescribe an obligatory period of study abroad. However, the School of Business Administration and Economics encourages students to participate in voluntary stays abroad, especially within the university’s exchange programs. There is an established system for recognizing courses taken by students abroad. This means that with judicious planning, a period of study abroad need not delay your graduation. For more information, please contact the International Office.

How can I find out more?

Student Advisory Service

For general information on studying and on admission requirements, please enquire at the Central Student Advisory Service of Osnabrück University or contact

Specific questions regarding the structure and content of the program should be addressed to the departmental student advisory service:

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