Master's Degree in Economics and Finance: Economics Program

Program Director


Marta Reynal-Querol

PhD, London School of Economics


Deputy Director


Eulàlia Nualart

PhD (Probability Theory), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


The BSE Master's program in Economics prepares students for technically demanding jobs and doctoral programs.

The Master's program in Economics takes a dual approach to economics to give students an excellent foundation and deep understanding of the field's fundamentals and applications, with a specific focus on data analysis. Students will learn how to use powerful analytical and quantitative tools, and they will design and conduct an independent Master's project. 

At the beginning of the Master's students will be offered clear guidance on how to optimally tailor their course choice to their specific learning objectives and professional aspirations.

Theoretical foundations and strong quantitative analysis to prepare for PhD programs

After the completion of this Master's program, students are fully prepared to start a PhD in Economics at any top university in the United States or Europe, including the PhD program at UPF (organized jointly with BSE).

Depending on the background of the student, the student may take a track on theoretical foundations of Economics and strong quantitative analysis, or a combination of this with more applied courses, such as Data Science courses.

Specialized elective courses to develop applied skills for professional careers

The Economics Master's program offers a large variety of courses in Applied Economics to prepare students to fulfill the new demands of a highly competitive job market.

In particular, we offer Data Science courses designed for economists and other social scientists that allow students to acquire new skills besides traditional econometrics and quantitative analysis. A large variety of applied courses in specific fields will complement more general and technical courses.

By the end of the Economics Program, students will be ideally positioned to work in international organizations, financial institutions, consulting companies, private firms, etc. We work closely with all categories of employers to anticipate their professional needs and understand which skills are most demanded.

The Economics Program course list is broad enough to offer specialized training in a number of areas, such as: 

  • Macroeconomics with a focus on monetary and fiscal policy
  • Microeconomics
  • Data Science for Economists
  • Political Economy
  • Labor and Public Economics
  • International Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Business and Market Organization
  • Behavioral and Experimental Economics
  • Financial Economics

Jump to course list

93% placed within six months of graduation

In the three most recent cohorts of the Economics Program, 93% of graduates were hired for jobs related to the Master's Degree or gained admission to a PhD or other post-graduate program.

Some examples of first placements after completing the Master's include:

  • Banco de España - Research Assistant - Madrid, Spain
  • Bloomberg - Data Analyst/Researcher - London, United Kingdom
  • Compass Lexecon - Analyst - Paris, France
  • European Central Bank (ECB) - Trainee in Monetary Policy Strategy Division - Frankfurt, Germany
  • Inter-American Development Bank - Research Fellow - Washington, DC, United States
  • KPMG  - Financial Risk Management Consultant  - Barcelona, Spain
  • OECD - Trainee - Paris, France
  • Oxford Economics - Economist - London, United Kingdom
  • UBS - Investment Banking Analyst - London, United Kingdom
  • University of Zurich - Research Assistant - Zurich, Switzerland

Jump to career outlook 

Program schedule: 

The course offer displayed is for next year's edition. Course offer is subject to change.

Course list for current students


Master project

The master project is a required component of all BSE Master's programs. Working individually or in groups, students use the tools and knowledge they've acquired during the entire year to explore a topic of their choice. A professor supervises throughout the project.

Examples of master projects from recent Economics cohorts

Select a project to view a summary on the BSE Voice, our student and alumni blog:

Class of 2023
Class of 2022
Class of 2021
Previous years

Master's degree awarded

Upon successful completion of the BSE Economics Program, students will receive a Master's Degree in Economics and Finance awarded jointly with Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

All Barcelona School of Economics Master's degrees have been recognized by the Catalan and Spanish Education authorities within the framework of the Bologna Process (in Spanish, “Master Universitario o Master Oficial”).

Career outlook

What skills and knowledge will I acquire in this program?
  • Solid command of analytical and quantitative economics
  • Knowledge of a wide range of specializations in different fields of economics
  • Competence in both theoretical and empirical approaches, from foundation to application and policy
  • Expert subject knowledge in writing and discussion of graduate-level economics
  • Facility with tools necessary to successfully pursue a top PhD in economics
Who will benefit from this program?
  • Graduate students in economics, mathematics, or engineering
  • Junior analysts or professionals from the workforce looking for a postgraduate degree with advanced tools in quantitative economics
  • Aspiring PhD students looking for a rigorous master program in economics

Student profile in more detail

Will this program prepare me for a PhD in Economics?

The Economics Program provides a solid foundation for both professional and academic career paths.

Around 61% of recent graduates have used the Economics Program as a terminal Master’s degree that qualifies them for competitive, technically demanding jobs in the professional world.

Around 39% of recent Economics Program graduates have chosen to continue with more graduate or postgraduate study at top institutions all over the world. Some do so immediately after completing the BSE Master’s. Others choose to get one or more years of work experience, such as a central bank traineeship, before pursuing a PhD.

Are there opportunities for PhD study at the BSE?

There are two PhD programs in the BSE community: the UPF PhD Program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and the International Doctorate in Economic Analysis (IDEA) at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). 

While these PhD programs are organized jointly with the BSE, they each have their own distinct admissions processes.

UPF PhD Program

The main point of entry to the UPF PhD program is the BSE PhD Track Program. The PhD Track Program is Year 1 of the UPF PhD.

Students in the BSE Economics Program with outstanding performance in their courses have the opportunity to apply and be admitted to the UPF PhD before finishing the Economics Program. Those students will be asked to apply for admission to the UPF PhD at the beginning of the second term of the Economics Program. Admission will be decided in February. Admitted students will need to follow two years of coursework to move to the PhD research and dissertation phase.

See UPF PhD program structure

UAB PhD Program (IDEA)

Entry to the IDEA PhD program is through the IDEA Master in Research. BSE students can visit the IDEA website to learn more about the admissions process, which is the same for BSE students and external applicants.

Which PhD programs have admitted Economics Program graduates?

BSE master's graduates have gone on to enter some of the most prestigious and competitive doctoral programs in the world, including:

  • Athens University of Economics and Business
  • Australian National University
  • Bocconi University
  • Bologna University
  • Bonn School of Economics
  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • European University Institute
  • Harvard University
  • LMU Munich
  • London Business School
  • London School of Economics (LSE)
  • Paris School of Economics
  • Princeton University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Sapienza University of Rome
  • Tilburg University
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (organized with BSE)
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (organized with BSE)
  • Universitat de Barcelona
  • University College London (UCL)
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of York

See a more complete list of PhD programs

Who hires Economics graduates?
  • Consulting Firms
  • Financial Services
  • Government & Authorities
  • International Organizations / Non-profits
  • Research & Academic Institutions
  • Other Industries

Examples of recent Economics placements:

  • Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) - Research Associate (Chennai, India)
  • Banco de España - Research Assistant (Madrid, Spain)
  • Banco Sabadell - Research Assistant (Barcelona, Spain)
  • European Central Bank - Banking Supervision Trainee (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Harvard University - Research Assistant (Boston, United States)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO) - Intern in the Research Department (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • OECD - Traineeship (Paris, France)
  • Oxford Economics - Economist (London, United Kingdom)
  • Princeton University - Research Specialist (New Jersey, United States)
  • Reserve Bank of Australia - Senior Analyst (Sydney, Australia)
  • The Brattle Group - Research Analyst (London/Brussels, United Kingdom)
  • UBS - Investment Banking Analyst (London, United Kingdom)
  • Universidad Carlos III - Big Data Analysis (Madrid, Spain)

Alumni career paths in more detail

Can I enter another BSE Master's directly from this program?

Students who successfully complete the Economics Program are eligible for direct admission to the following programs, if they stay for a second consecutive year:

Master’s Degree in Data Science:


Master’s Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis:

A 20% discount will be applied on the second program's tuition fees. All BSE Alumni are eligible for this discount at any time.

Read more about taking a second BSE Master’s degree



Economics Student Profile 2023-24

69 students from 57 countries (91% international)

Most represented countries this year: 

  • India (9)
  • Germany, Italy (7 students each)
  • Spain, United Kingdom (6 students each)

Most common undergraduate backgrounds:


BSE Economics Master's Student Work Experience


Economics alumni career paths

An overview of Economics career paths for recent cohorts (Class of 2021, 2022, 2023)

  • More than half (65%) enter or return to the professional work force
    35% continue their education in a PhD or other post-graduate program
  • Most common professional industries:
    Research and Academic Institutions, Consulting
  • Cities with the most Economics alumni:
    Barcelona, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Boston
Previous 3 cohorts ECON by Industry
  • European-Securities-Markets-Authority-logo

    Jordi Gutierrez '18

    Risk Analyst
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    The program was actually quite tough and I worked a lot, but, overall, I have good memories of my experience studying at the BSE. When I applied to the master’s, I was already thinking about aiming at the ECB and that worked out very soon early during the master’s when I got a traineeship at the ECB for next year.
  • Queen-Mary-Univeristy-London

    Laura Perez '18

    PhD student
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    The Economics Program prepared me well for the PhD and I realized I had a very strong background from the BSE that helped me in my first year of the PhD.
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    Martin Aragoneses '15

    Assistant Professor
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    A month after I started working for Prof. Finkelstein, she sent me to the field to get a better understanding of the interventions we are studying...Seeing the people we were helping out with our program and hearing their testimonials was really touching. It reassured me why I want to do empirical research for a living!
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    Jennifer Köhler '15

    Graduate Student, LSE
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    The Economics Program at BSE has provided a great foundation for my MRes/PhD work. I highly value the rigorous training in quantitative methods, which has proved essential for my own research, as well as the input from all the teachers and professors. In fact, my PhD topic is based on an idea I had for a project at BSE, and I am very grateful for all the support I have received for it.
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    Kryštof Krotil '14

    Originally from
    Czech Republic
    Currently living inUnited Kingdom
    From the first week I joined RBB Economics, I have been working on a multibillion dollar merger of two major orthopaedic companies. Until now I have spent most of the time with clients’ transaction data, working mainly on switching analysis, the purpose of which was to determine closeness of competition between the merging parties.
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    Matias Antonio '13

    Junior Professional Associate
    Originally from
    Santiago del Estero
    Currently living in
    Washington, DC
    United States
    My responsibilities in the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Policy area range across pretty much all macroeconomic subjects that are related to policy. One of the projects I am working on right now is macroeconomic monitoring. For this project, I produce a bi-weekly briefing on the current situation across the continents. I am also linked to the El Salvador economic team, so I go on missions to assess the economic situation. All of the Economics master courses at BSE are useful for this type of work. The ideas behind the models we studied provide a strong conceptual framework that helps guide policy and tells us where to look for vulnerabilities in the economy.
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    Master Program in Economics

    Marcos Casarin '12

    Originally from
    Rio de Janeiro -
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    After working with applied macroeconomics, I can say that all the theory I learnt at BSE has provided me with the ability to produce high-quality economic analysis in the real world.
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    Angelo Martelli '11

    PhD Candidate
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    The BSE Economics master was certainly one of the most challenging years in my life. It was a tough reminder that nothing comes as a gift and that the initial difficulties can be overcome only through hard work and long hours. The BSE lecturers' experience empowered my framing of the economic concepts, while the toolkit I acquired and its continuous refinement enabled me to discern the real essence of each model. With its rigorous curriculum, the BSE master was a fast track to the frontier of Economics and definitely set me apart when I joined the PhD program at the LSE.
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    Patricia Gómez-González '09

    Assistant Professor
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    New York, NY
    United States
    The year at the BSE influenced my career a lot. My research interests are close to many of the topics that researchers at the BSE work on and related to several classes I took during the master. During the master program, I was introduced to many of the modeling techniques I currently use for my research. I am still in touch with several of my professors of that year and talk to some of them about my work.