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Programme Structure & Courses

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General Information

The two-stage Ph.D. Programme in Economics offers education, funding, and supervision for research in all major fields of economics. In the first stage of the programme students complete their graduate level course work in an exclusive 2-years M.Sc. in Economic Research programme. Upon successful graduation, students usually transfer to the second (dissertation) stage.

M.Sc. Economic Research

The M.Sc. Economic Research at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Cologne (UoC) is a two-years (120 ETCS) programme of intensive PhD-level coursework. The programme is fully taught in English and dedicated to preparing students for high-level research in economics. The goal of the M.Sc. Economic Research is to provide students with a thorough, up-to-date knowledge of the theory, empirics, and econometric methodology of economics. Students who have completed the Research Master should have sufficient knowledge, insight and skills to carry out independent research in economics, initially under appropriate academic supervision.

First Year of the Curriculum
In the first year of the Research Master, students have to complete 60 ECTS. The first-year program includes core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and mathematics as well as elective courses which can be chosen from a set of courses exclusively provided for the M.Sc. Economic Research.

Second Year of the Curriculum
In the second year, students have to complete 30 ECTS of coursework in the electives and choose three courses in the supplementary section which gives students the opportunity to develop a more specific profile. In the fourth semester students write their master thesis that will be the starting point of their first PhD research paper.

The website M.Sc. Economic Research and the module handbook provide more detailed information about the program structure and courses offered in the core section, elective section and supplementary section.

Transfer to the Dissertation Phase

Students who successfully complete the M.Sc. Economic Research programme usually transfer to the three-year doctoral positions. Every year the CGS has a number of positions available for students who performed reasonably well in the programme. Due to financial constraints, CGS cannot guarantee a PhD position for all students. Students are assisted by the CGS in the transition to the dissertation phase. Members of the UoC Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences and, in particular, of the Department of Economics are available for PhD thesis supervision. Ideally, but not necessarily, the M.Sc. thesis supervisor will be the PhD thesis supervisor. Graduates from the M.Sc. Economic Research can of course also apply directly to vacant assistant teaching positions offered at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences.

Dissertation Phase

After completion of the M.Sc. Economic Research programme, students are done with all coursework requirements of the graduate programme and spend most of their time on PhD research. Students shall participate in CGS workshops and summer schools and are most welcome to participate in additional field courses during the later phase of their dissertation phase. PhD students are given the opportunity to present their current research projects and to receive feedback from their peers and faculty members in internal brown bag seminars. The participation in weekly research seminars where colleagues and international guests talk about their research projects are mandatory during the PhD.  In addition, soft skill courses on "Academic Writing", "Teaching Skills", etc. are part of the programme.