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The study programme of the Sustainability track teaches you how to build sustainable and resilient economies and businesses. You will learn all the steps to become an agent for sustainable change: from identifying the most relevant challenges, to modelling the problem formally and carrying out empirical research, to presenting your vision and findings to others in a clear and impactful manner.

The programme

Sustainability is one of the tracks of the Master's Business Economics. You will follow 4 general courses and 2 track-specific courses. You will further be able to customise your curriculum with 2 courses selected from a wide range of electives.

  • Compulsory courses

    Applied Econometrics

    In this course you learn about regression analysis. In applied economics this is a powerful tool to analyse empirical relationships. Particular attention will be paid to the statistical assumptions underlying the basic model. We will cover the analysis of: (1) experimental data, (2) panel data and (3) time series.

    Games and Strategy

    In this course we use game theory to analyse optimal strategies for firms. After discussing the main concepts of game theory we apply these concepts to business strategy. We distinguish between the internal context and the external context of the firm.

    Behavioural Economics

    Classic economics assume agents to be rational and selfish. Behavioural economics challenge both assumptions. You will study individual choice: bounded rationality concepts in decisions under uncertainty, information processing, judgement, time preferences and heuristic decision-making. Also you will explore strategic interaction, especially social preferences and reciprocity.

    Experimental Economics

    In this course you will learn the basic methodology of experimental economics: how to design a simple experiment, including writing instructions. You will practice both with laboratory and field experimentation evolving around industrial organisation, labour economics, behavioural economics and individual and group decision-making.

    Research Seminar

    Formulating a good research question for your thesis can be challenging. This course helps you find one, by discussing your ideas with faculty members and fellow students.

  • Track-specific courses

    Sustainability in Economics and Business 

    This course sets the thematic foundations of the track. The three pillars of sustainability (environmental protection, social equity and economic resilience) are presented and discussed. We focus on themes such as climate protection and restauration, equitable access to resources, responsible and ethical businesses, and social cohesion. Best practices in policy and business are presented and critically analysed with case studies and real-world applications.

    Research seminar in Sustainability 

    The seminar prepares students to write a successful thesis in sustainability. The seminar is based on guest lectures by professors working on cutting-edge projects fostering sustainability in policy and business. The course further includes guest-speakers active in promoting sustainability in the workplace, which will serve as valuable inspiration for a thriving career in this field.

  • Thesis

    The academic programme culminates in a thesis which allows you to design, execute and take leadership on your very first sustainability project.  It is your chance to dive deep into a sustainability goal 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.

  • Honours programme

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

What is the Master's in Business Economics about?
What is the Master's in Business Economics about?

Associate Professor Giorgia Romagnoli and student Melchior explain.

Real-life case: a thriving society with zero net climate impact

By 2050, Amsterdam wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 95%, and become a circular city, re-using everything that is produced and consumed. As a student in the Sustainability track, you will become an expert in public policies and business innovations that allow our societies to reach this vital outcome.

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 in the programme?

    Our Master’s programme admits around 35 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 2-3 hour lecture and one 2-hour tutorial per week. 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?

    Our preference is for in-person lectures. Certain sessions may be pre-recorded or follow a hybrid format. This entails preparing for Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions through video clips and readings, with subsequent online discussions during meetings.

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

    Attendance is usually 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 classmates.

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

    The majority of courses have a written on-site exam, which counts for a large percentage of the final grade. Most courses have additional assessment methods, including oral presentations, developing research proposals, conducting experiments and writing up results. Finally, some courses grade attendance, which is reflected by presence and activity in tutorials and online assignments.