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The curriculum of the Environmental Economics track has focus on the economic analysis of environmental issues such as global warming, loss of biodiversity, pollution and exhaustion of natural resources. You will learn how to identify possible solutions and make an impact through strong policy design and valuable recommendations.

The programme

Environmental Economics is one of the tracks of the Master's Economics. During your Master's you will follow 3 general courses and 3 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis. 

  • Macroeconomics
    Period 1

    In this course you will learn about modern macroeconomic models. You will learn how to use these models to explain and evaluate recent events and policy interventions. For example, the effect of uncertainty on savings, welfare and investment, the causes and nature of unemployment and inflation and the role of monetary and fiscal authorities.

  • Microeconomics and Game Theory
    Period 1

    In this course you will learn to understand the workings and limitations of the market. You will learn how to analyse consumer and producer behaviour and how to use basic game theory. The central question is: what can markets do and when do they fail? What determines the outcome, and how does that depend on market structure?

  • Applied Econometrics
    Period 1
    Period 2

    In this course you will learn about regression analysis. In applied economics this is a powerful tool to analyse empirical relationships. You will learn how to interpret estimation and testing results and build a satisfactory empirical model. You will follow lectures and take part in lab sessions to acquire practical econometric skills by making computer exercises.

  • Environmental Economics and Policies
    Period 2

    This course introduces you to the 2 main challenges of environmental economics: how to determine the right pollution targets to set, and how to achieve these targets. Special attention will be given to the choice of policy instruments, and to the challenges related to their implementation, such as coordination problems, distributional effects, public support, or the role of lobbies in decision-making.

  • Public Economics
    Period 2
  • Climate Change Economics
    Period 3

    You will learn how economic tools can be used to measure the impact of climate change and determine the best policies to combat it. Lectures will cover a wide range of topics, including the link between the economic and climate systems, methods used to discount the future, the risk of disasters and irreversibility, and many more.

  • Thesis
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 5
    Period 6

    The academic programme culminates in a thesis, which allows you to engage with state-of-the-art data analysis and statistical techniques. The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic in your field of choice (track) that you are enthusiastic about, and allows you to do an independent research project. A professor of your track will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

Compulsory course

Honours programme

If you are a student of the Master's Economics and you have a record of academic excellence, a critical mind and an enthusiasm for applied research, then our Economics Honours programme is a great opportunity for you.

Copyright: UvA EB
Lessons with a clear structure and course materials that capture your interest. I always strive to make the subject matter understandable for everyone. I integrate new papers, current events and new research in my lectures. Ana Varela Varela, PhD in Sustainable Development and Assistant Professor Read the full interview
Real-life case: 'Green Deal' launch

Climate change and environmental degradation are growing threats that require a rapid and ambitious policy response. In order to coordinate actions at the European level, the European Commission has launched a 'Green Deal', a comprehensive investment plan to accelerate Europe's ecological transition and achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. It is Europe's 'Man on the moon moment', according to Ursula Von der Leyen. This unprecedented plan raises a number of questions for economists and policymakers. What are the most effective policies to achieve Europe's environmental target? Will these policies stimulate growth and employment or will they penalise the European economy? How can we ensure that this transition leaves no-one behind? How to generate broad support for ambitious policies?

Copyright: Nee
This Master's perfectly blends my two passions: economics and policy analysis. It's a challenging programme, that teaches you hard and soft skills. Anouk Roethof Read about Anouk's experiences with this Master's
Frequently asked questions
  • When do I need to select a specialisation track?

    A specialisation track must be chosen when applying for the Master’s programme. However, track modifications are still possible until late October. The criteria for all tracks are identical and do not impact the likelihood of being accepted into the programme.

  • How many students are accepted into the programme?

    Our Master’s programme admits around 25 students per specialisation track. If you meet the entry requirements, you will always be accepted; this Master’s does not have a numerus fixus.

  • What are the weekly contact hours?

    Most courses have one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour tutorial per week. Some courses also offer a Q&A or self-study clips. Generally, students take 3 courses at a time, so count on about 12-15 contact hours per week.

  • Will all lectures be held in person, or will there be options for online attendance?

    Only the 3 courses (microeconomics & game theory, macroeconomics, and applied econometrics) at the beginning of the year use (online) clips. In addition to clips, these 3 courses offer weekly on-campus tutorials and Q&As. All other courses are fully taught on campus, so in person. Some courses even have mandatory participation, especially for tutorials.

  • Is attendance compulsory for lectures, tutorials, and other sessions?

    Attendance usually is not compulsory for lectures, but commonly for tutorials and other sessions. Students greatly benefit from being present and engaging in discussions with both the instructor and their fellow classmates.

  • What is the typical method of assessment for most courses?

    Most courses have a combination of a written on-site exam and additional assessment methods, including oral presentations, developing research proposals, conducting experiments, and writing up results. The written on-site exam often makes up most of the grade. Finally, some courses require attendance, which is reflected by presence and activity in tutorials and online assignments.