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Development Economics (MSc)


Our master’s programme is a comprehensive course dedicated exclusively to the study of development issues. Throughout the programme, you will acquire a broad understanding of the economic, political, and social facets of development. Additionally, you will learn to approach complex problems from various perspectives and analyse them critically. The programme brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds and regions, offering a wide range of courses and opportunities for an exchange semester or fieldwork abroad - all experiences that can significantly broaden your horizons. Our students can choose to specialise in either quantitative economics or agricultural economics. This programme prepares you for your own field research and for roles in government agencies, development organisations, and the private sector.

Development Economics
Master of Science (MSc)
Double Degree
Standard period of study:
4 semesters
Start of studies:
Winter semester (only)
Teaching language:
restricted online application and admission
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Orientation week

For first semester students

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Information day

Master's degrees at our faculty


The Master's programme in Development Economics offers research-oriented teaching that covers theoretical as well as empirical issues in economic development. It provides a wide range of courses in topics related to economic and agroeconomic issues in developing countries. The programme is very internationally oriented with a diverse student body and lecturers that specialise in different regions across the world. This will prepare you for an international working environment in the field of development cooperation or in international organisations, associations, NGOs as well as internationally oriented companies and research institutions.

Part of the programme is the possibility of a semester abroad, which provides you with global contacts and broadens your horizons. It enhances your language skills and offers experiences that will benefit you throughout your life. The stays abroad are made possible for you by the European exchange programme Erasmus+ or worldwide faculty or university programmes. If you participate in one of the mentioned programmes to study abroad, you typically won't be required to pay tuition fees at the foreign partner university.

You must be able to apply your knowledge not only in theory but also in the reality of your everyday working life. Therefore, when creating the curricula, we always make sure to establish a reference to the practical world in order to smooth your transition into professional life - for example, through lectures by practitioners. In addition, you will work on current, practice-relevant issues in your final thesis and use real data for this. In order to apply your acquired knowledge on the job, you can have a voluntary internship in the elective area credited to you under certain conditions.

Our double degree programmes offer you two Master’s degrees from renowned universities and an international study environment. In four semesters, you have the opportunity to complete the degree "Master of Science in Development Economics" at the University of Göttingen and, simultaneously, another Master's degree either at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, at the University of Florence School of Economics and Management in Italy or at the Ecole d'Economie der Universität Clermont Auvergne in France.

The degree in development economics will offer excellent career perspectives in a wide range of fields:

  • Governments and aid agencies working on development issues
  • International organisations such as the World Bank, organisations of the UN system (e.g. ILO, FAO, UNIDO, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, etc.), the OECD, EU, or regional development banks
  • Policy research institutions such as those of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research as well as national and international development policy think tanks
  • International business in multinational companies
  • Further education at the Ph.D. level in Göttingen or abroad

Related and consecutive/graduate programmes


Programme Structure

The Master's programme in Development Economics is four semesters in length during which 120 ECTS are required. It is divided into the course phase and the Master's thesis. There are three compulsory modules (i.e. courses) (18 credits) plus one further obligatory module which has to be either Econometrics I or Econometrics II (6 credits). Students can then specialise in agricultural economics or economics, each requiring a further 12 credits (two modules) of compulsory courses in the field of specialisation.

Then students can choose another 36 credits (six moduls) in development or agricultural economics from a wide variety of course offerings, of which one course (6 credits) has to be a seminar. Three modules (18 credits) can be chosen freely also among other subjects. The master's thesis (30 credits) completes the programme.

Students have to study abroad for one semester. This semester can be spent at a partner university of the Faculty of Business and Economics of Göttingen University. International students are exempt from this requirement.

Students may for example apply for the following partner university programmes:

  • Exchange programmes with universities in South Africa (Pretoria, Stellenbosch)
  • Exchange programmes with universities in Latin and South America (Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, El Salvador)
  • Exchange programme with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) University of the West Indies
  • Exchange programmes with universities in Asia (for example China - funded by the DAAD, India, Indonesia, and South Korea)
  • European exchange programme ERASMUS

Detailed information about the study programme as well as a detailed listing of the modules/courses offered can be found on the programme website of the Faculty of Business and Economics .

Start of studies

Module directory


Application deadlines

  • Application period for citizens from the EU/EEA (European Economic Area) OR applicants with a Bachelor’s degree from an EU/EEA country beginning in the winter semester: 1 April to 15 May of the same calendar year
  • Application period for citizens from non-EU/non-EEA (European Economic Area) countries AND a Bachelor’s degree from outside an EU/EEA country beginning in the winter semester: 1 October to 15 November of the previous calendar year
  • You can start this degree programme only in the winter semester.

Previous Education

  • A course of study of at least 6 semesters in length with a Bachelor's degree comprising at least 180 ECTS credits in the subject of Economics or a closely related subject.
  • Verification of at least 150 of the 180 ECTS credits is required at the time of application (83% of your overall credits for programmes with any other structure)

Language Requirements

  • English language skills are required.


Specialization in 8 master's programmes

After the Bachelor's degree you can deepen and expand your knowledge in eight consecutive master's programmes at the faculty. We offer Master's programmes in Business Administration, Economics, Business Information Systems, Business and Human Resource Education, Applied Statistics and History of Global Markets. Some Master programmes even include a double degree programme with renowned universities in Europe, South Africa and China. See in the video (in German) why it is worthwhile to study in Göttingen.

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