The master programme in economics focuses on the analysis and evaluation of economic, social and development policies. Important aspects are, for instance, the optimal regulation of markets and the interaction between the public and private sectors.
The curriculum comprises both economic theory and data-based (i.e. empirical) methods to investigate economically and socially relevant issues and to develop policy recommendations. The programme permits students to choose a specialisation in one of the options listed below (without obligation): «Public Economics and Policy», «Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility», «Quantitative Economics», or «Business Economics».
The study programme in economics also provides the opportunity to acquire a double degree in «Public Economics and Public Finance» in collaboration with one of three European partner universities.
The programme in economics at the University of Fribourg combines modern teaching and research in a multilingual environment with the humanistic tradition of the University.
Profile of the study programme
The study programme in economics focuses on the analysis and evaluation of economic, social and development policies. Important aspects are, for instance, the optimal regulation of markets and the interaction between the public and private sectors. The curriculum comprises both economic theory and data-based (i.e. empirical) methods to investigate economically and socially relevant issues and to develope policy recommendations.
Students in the master programme in economics may acquire specific qualifiers, i.e. either a specialisation in a specific field (called «option») or a double degree, as well as the distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German». The course offer provides a lot of flexibility and varies w.r.t. the desired qualifier.
The option «Public Economics and Policy» provides students with an advanced background in analysing public decision-making and public policies. It offers courses with a wide range of topics with both a Swiss and an international perspective on tax and fiscal policies, social and economic policies, the economic analysis of politics, etc. This option prepares students to work in international organisations, in the public administration at the federal, cantonal or municipal level, etc. A double-degree programme is offered in collaboration with European partner-universities.
The option «Sustainable development and social responsibility» offers a specialisation in topical issues, namely the implementation of a sustainable and fair economic model. Thanks to multi-disciplinary courses, students will tackle themes related to the development in the poorest countries, inequality and environment protection. The teaching includes primarily economics, but also philosophy, management, law and environmental sciences. The option therefore offers a complete and original training on the theme of sustainable development with a multiplicity of approaches.
The option «Quantitative Economics» focusses on quantitative methods for analysing data sets based on statistics, econometrics, machine learning (artificial intelligence), and network science. The courses discuss the methods' theoretical properties as well as their practical application to economic questions (e.g. in the fields of public policies, finance, development, and education) using software packages such as R, Stata and Python. The option provides state-of-the-art training in data analytics and empirical economics, which are key domains in a digitised economy.
The option «Business Economics» allows students to specialise in microeconomics, at the intersection of economics and management. Students acquire an understanding of strategic decisions of companies from a management perspective, as well as of the strategic interaction of firms in markets from an economic perspective. They learn to analyse the behaviour of organisations, strategic actors within organisations, as well as of the behaviour of consumers. While the management perspective focuses on the objectives of the company, the economic perspective prioritises questions of social welfare and regulation. The option provides an excellent qualification for work with a focus on strategy and analytics in companies, as well as for positions in public institutions with a focus on markets, competition and regulation.
The double degree programme in «Public Economics and Public Finance» is offered together with three European partner universities of the University of Fribourg: Université de Rennes 1, France (https://www.univ-rennes1.fr/); University of Tampere, Finland (http://www.uta.fi); Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Italy (http://www.eppac.eu). This programme focuses on the management of public institutions.
Students interested in this specialisation are required to submit an application due to space constraints and registration at both universities. In this four-semester-programme, at least one semester must be spent at a partner university. The programme requires the participation in courses both at the home and partner university as well as the co-supervision of the master thesis at both universities.
Graduates receive two diplomas, one from the home and partner university, respectively. The acquisition of the double degree and the multilingual nature of the programme give proof of being well equipped for an international work environment.
The Department of Economics combines modern economic teaching and research with the humanistic tradition of the University of Fribourg. Students are empowered to provide answers to economic, social, and business related issues and to implement them in practice. The favourable staff-student-ratio, the strong orientation towards real world applications and the multilingual course offer (French German English) optimally prepare students for the challenges of multicultural work environment.
Learning outcomes and career openings
The master programme in economics at the University of Fribourg opens a range of career opportunities in the public and private sectors. Unlike in any other Swiss university, the programme combines solid training in theoretical and data-based methods for analysing economic issues in the society and in firms with a multilingual course offer. Graduates are therefore equally in demand in the public administration, in companies (in particular in the financial insurance sectors), and in education and research.
Some professional fields are:
- Management positions in the public administration on the municipal, cantonal, or federal level;
- Management or analyst positions in Swiss or international companies (e.g. market and competor analyses, business analytics, big data management, strategic management);
- Management and analyst positions in central banks, international organisations (e.g. world bank, UN) and NGOs (e.g. Greenpeace);
- Consulting and analyst positions in banks, insurance companies, financial service providers, management consulting companies, and auditors;
- Research positions in universities and public or private research institutes;
- Teaching positions in universities, colleges, and schools.
Structure of studies
90 ECTS credits, 3 semesters
Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a bachelor's degree.
Holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university are admitted to a master's degree programme without any preconditions if they have earned 60 or 90 ECTS credits depending on the chosen master's degree programme within the corresponding discipline. However, additional requirements can be required. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg.
Holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss or a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg, who do not fulfil this condition can be admitted to a master's degree programme with preconditions (which must be successfully completed before starting the master's degree programme) and/or additional requirements (which can be completed during the master's degree programme). The preconditions and/or additional requirements may not exceed 60 ECTS credits in total. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university of applied sciences, according to existing agreements.
The respective conditions of admission for each master's degree programme are reserved.
Also offered as a minor study programme (30 ECTS credits).