Public Affairs and Economics (M. Sc.)

Masters Programme

The pressing challenges of the present – from combating climate change and dealing with technological and social transformation processes such as artificial intelligence or demographic change to the future of economic and social globalisation – are associated with economically complex and diverse political options for action. Understanding the underlying relationships and being able to create data-driven economic analyses are core competencies of graduates of the Master's programme in Public Affairs & Economics. The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on empirical methods of policy evaluation and evidence-based analyses. Students thus acquire methodological skills that are in high demand on the labour market and play a central role in current economic and political decisions.

Parallel to this Master's programme, the Master in Public Affairs and Democracy (M.Sc.) will also start at Leuphana in the winter semester 2024/2025.

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Public Affairs and Economics – The Programme

  • Content
  • Structure

Public Affairs and Economics – The Programme


The English-language Master’s programme in Public Affairs and Economics offers students an intellectually challenging and research-oriented curriculum in economics with a clear empirical focus. Particularly noteworthy is the interdisciplinary specialisation that students can choose themselves within three profile areas: Finance Studies, Political Studies or Sustainability Studies.

Graduates are able to analyse economic issues in a theoretically sound manner and on the basis of modern empirical methods. The guiding theme of the programme is evidence-based economic decision-making (by individuals, companies, institutions, governments, etc.). Evidence-based economics and policy evaluation play a central role in understanding complex global economic issues of our time and analysing political options for action in a broad range of topics. The consistently international perspective enables all students to work in a multinational and intercultural environment – be it in academia, public institutions, political consulting or business.

The Master’s programme in Public Affairs and Economics is one of five Master’s programmes offered by the Leuphana School of Public Affairs. In line with Leuphana's mission statement, it represents interdisciplinary economics at Master’s level. Leuphana University achieves very good ranking results in the field of business and economics in the THE World University Rankings. In 2023, Leuphana was ranked 176-200th among all universities worldwide, which specialise in the disciplines of business and management, accounting and finance as well as economics and econometrics. Within Germany, this means 9th place, and even 1st place in Lower Saxony.

The programme is closely linked to the main research areas of the Institute of Economics (future of work, behavioural economics and societal transformation, macroeconomics and applied economic policy). Thanks to the close integration of the Master’s and doctoral programmes at our Graduate School, our students can choose from a wide range of academic qualification and career options. In addition to the doctoral track programme for highly qualified Bachelor graduates, there is also the option of starting a doctorate directly after completing the Master’s degree in currently three doctoral programmes – Political Science, Economics and Behavioural Economics and Social Transformation.


The Master's programme consists of five main pillars: (i) the core area “Economics”, (ii) the integration area “Methods of Public Affairs” which it shares with the Master's programme “Public Affairs and Democracy”, (iii) the profile area, (iv) the electives area, and (v) the cross-disciplinary Complementary Studies area.

  • Core Area “Economics” (25 CP): Following an introduction into Advanced Economic Theory in the first semester, students get in contact with the three main research topics of Leuphana’s Institute of Economics in the third semester (modules Empirical Labour and Personnel Economics, International Economic Policy, and Behavioral Public Economics). The core area provides the fundament for further specialization and offers insights into the research foci of the Institute of Economics. This opens up opportunities for the Master's thesis and the Ph.D. track.
  • Integration Area “Methods of Public Affairs” (20 CP): In the first semester, students get in contact with state-of-the-art quantitative methods. In the second semester, two additional modules complement the empirical focus (Experimental Methods and Qualitative Methods). All modules in the integration area are jointly offered with the Master's programme “Public Affairs and Democracy”, the political science Master's programme of Leuphana’s School of Public Affairs. In the integration area, we provide students with the methodological skills they need to understand the most recent empirical literature and succeed in their Master’s theses.
  • Profile Area (15 CP): Students choose a profile area that offers them interdisciplinary perspectives on topics covered in the economics core area. Possible profiles are Finance Studies, Political Studies, and Sustainability Studies. With these profiles, students can benefit from Leuphana’s interdisciplinary approach and the good connections between the schools.
  • Electives (15 CP): Students can choose among a large set of electives, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary. For example, electives in economics include the modules Environmental Economics, Public Finance and Public Policy, and Replication Studies. 
  • Complementary Studies (15 CP): In this inter- and transdisciplinary area, students can choose among a large variety of modules aimed at facilitating reflection on general questions related to knowledge, science, and societal responsibility.

Here you can find further information on the course content of the Master's programme Public Affairs and Economics.

Study Regulations and Subject-Specific Schedule

The following link provides access to documents which set out the general conditions for examinations, an overview of the curriculum, as well as detailed and legally binding regulations.

General Assessment Regulations and the Subject-Specific Schedules

Overview of Modules Public Affairs and Economics (M.Sc.) ©Leuphana
Overview of Modules Public Affairs and Economics (M.Sc.)

Teaching Personnel

Programme Director

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Wein

Lecturers Economics

  • Prof. Dr. Boris Hirsch
  • Prof. Dr. Luise Görges
  • Prof. Dr. Mario Mechtel
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Pfeifer
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Wein

Studying Abroad

Students of this Masters programme have the opportunity to spend a semester of their studies abroad. For that, we recommend the third semester. For any questions or to apply, please contact the International Center. The International Center will provide all further information on Erasmus+ funding, and on preparing for and organising your semester abroad.

Career Prospects

The growing availability of data in all areas has made it easier to base decisions on evidence. There is a strong and growing demand for decision makers who work in a data-driven manner based on sound theoretical knowledge and scientific methods. The demand for graduates who can collect data, analyze it, and present the results is increasing. So is the demand for people who can contextualize and evaluate these results.

The advanced methods training in the Master's programme meets this need. It enables future decision-makers in politics and administration, business and science to base the formulation of policy measures and decisions on evidence supported by state-of-the-art methods from the social sciences. With its innovative profile areas, it also widens the view beyond its own disciplinary perspective.

Graduates can choose to pursue a variety of career paths. Careers in academia, government, administration, international organizations, as well as in business and industry can be considered. The following employers may be taken into consideration as examples:

  • Ministries and parliaments at various levels
  • Political foundations
  • International institutions such as the European Union and United Nations
  • Policy and management consultancies
  • Private and public banks, including central banks
  • Private firms
  • Research institutes

Doctoral Track

As a student in our programme, you have the opportunity to start your doctorate early via the Doctoral Track. Thus, you to become part of the scientific community of our doctoral research groups at an early stage, giving you the unique opportunity to combine your Master's and doctoral studies and, with your doctorate in sight, to obtain your Master's degree en-route.

Admission Requirements and Application

You can find all information about the admission requirements, the application and the selection procedure on our "Apply" page.

Admission to the programme is restricted. There are two basic pre-requisites: good English language skills and a minimum of 60 CP in economics or related disciplines during undergraduate studies.

International Students

The study programme matches your interests? Then you will find further information for prospective international students on residence and social matters, such as visa, residence permit, health insurance or finding accommodation, on the following pages. Please note that the information for incoming exchange students and international degree-seeking students differs slightly.

Information for incoming exchange students

Information for international degree-seeking students

At a Glance

Degree awarded: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Application deadline: EU degrees: 31 July / Non-EU degrees: 31 July
Type of programme: consecutive, restricted admission
Study places: 25
Start date: October 1
Extent: 120 CP according to ECTS
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Semester contribution: ca. 320 EUR

Contact and Counselling

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