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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 Admission procedure


The English-language Master of Science in Development Economics is jointly offered by the Department of Economics (Faculty of Business and Economics) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences). It builds on the successful Master of Science in International Economics and the Master of Arts in Agribusiness; these programmes already had a strong specialisation in development issues.

This research-oriented master's programme now offers a comprehensive four semester programme dedicated solely to the study of development economics issues. It leads to an internationally recognized and accredited master's degree in development economics and offers research-oriented teaching that covers theoretical as well as empirical issues in economic development.

Its wide course offerings, one semester stay abroad, master's thesis and specialisation in agricultural economics or economics will enable students to analyse current issues in development economics and prepare them for careers in research or policy.

The Faculty of Business and Economics is offering two double degree programmes with the master's programme in Development Economics:

  • Double degree programme with the South African Stellenbosch University . In four semesters, specially qualified students can simultaneously earn the degree "M.Sc. in Development Economics" from the University of Göttingen and the "Master of Commerce in Economics" from the University of Stellenbosch.
  • Double degree programme in cooperation with the Italian University of Florence . Students can earn the degrees "M.Sc. in Development Economics" (Göttingen) and "M.Sc. in Economics and Development" (Florence).
  • Double degree programme in cooperation with the French University of Clermont Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand. Students can earn the degrees "M.Sc. in Development Economics" (Göttingen) and "Master mention Economie du Développement" (Clermont Auvergne).

The degree in development economics will offer excellent career perspectives in a wide range of fields. Building on a track record of successful placement of students of our existing master's programmes, the opportunities for this programme include employment in:

  • 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

Regulations and 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 degree programmes at the faculty. The faculty offers 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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