Description of Course Content

The DEIS programme of study has four required core module pairs. These are designed to provide students with rigorous academic training. Each of these module pairs is taught over the course of two consecutive semesters, and they are compulsory for all students:

Research Methods I + II (Econometrics):
These modules introduce students to quantitative methods that are used in economics to empirically test theories and to evaluate the impact of policies. Students also learn to work with the statistical software Stata.

Development Economics I + II:
These modules give an introduction to the economics of developing countries. A significant part of the modules is devoted to discussing empirical work, such as impact evaluations of programs run by state and non-state actors in developing countries.

International Economics I + II:
These modules offer an introduction to the theory and policy of international trade, and introduce students to empirical work in this field.

International Business Ethics I + II:
These modules introduce students to the theory and concepts of business ethics as well as to a series of ethical challenges currently facing the corporate world by taking an international and inter-cultural perspective of analysis and problem solving.

Additionally, students in the DEIS programme take at least two regional modules, such as:

  • Political Economy of the Middle East
  • Social Health Protection in South and East Asia
  • Business and Society in sub-Sahara Africa

There is a choice of various elective modules offered by the Institute of Economics, which may vary over time. Students may also enroll in graduate-level courses on diverse topics of International Studies at other institutes of the Faculty, such as courses on human rights, as well as in graduate-level courses offered by the School of Business, Economics, and Society in Nuremberg.

Finally, students can take several complementary elective modules that are ungraded. Besides regional and elective modules, students can choose among numerous language courses (e.g. Chinese, Spanish, Swahili) at various levels. Students may also earn up to 10 ECTS for completing an internship related to the program. (To complete an internship, students can request leave from their studies.)

Given the flexibility of the program and the possibility of attending courses outside the Institute of Economics, such as at the School of Business, Economics, and Society in Nuremberg, different options or tracks are possible. For example, students may put an emphasis on courses related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Alternatively, students may attend mainly economics classes (e.g. advanced microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics), especially if interested in pursuing a PhD in economics afterwards. Or they may choose courses in political science and human rights.

Course Organisation

The DEIS programme requires the completion of:

  • 4 core module pairs (40 ECTS)
  • 2 regional modules (10 ECTS)
  • Elective modules (20 ECTS)
  • Complementary elective modules (20 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

By completing both parts of a core module pair, students receive 10 ECTS credits. Elective courses may have different ECTS credits depending on the workload (usually 5 ECTS).

Students are expected to acquire on average 30 ECTS in each semester. In their first semester, students are expected to attend the Statistics Refresher course (5 ECTS),the course Introduction to Stata (2,5 ECTS), and the core modules Development Economics I, International Economics I, and Research Methods I (15 ECTS in total).

During their second semester, students are expected to attend the core modules Development Economics II, International Economics II, Research Methods II, and International Business Ethics I (20 ECTS in total).

During their third semester, students are expected to attend International Business Ethics II (5 ECTS), leaving plenty of room for regional, elective and elective complementary modules. There are also numerous options for students to spend their third semester abroad at one of our partner universities. We currently have exchange programs running with the following universities:

  • Angers (France): Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers
  • Antalya (Turkey): Akdeniz University
  • Arequipa (Peru): Universidad Católica San Pablo
  • Cairo (Egypt): University of Cairo
  • Chennai (India): Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • Durban (South Africa): University of KwaZulu-Natal or University of Technology
  • Guadalajara (Mexico): Universidad de Guadalajara
  • Hyderabad (India): Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • Istanbul (Turkey): Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Istanbul (Turkey): Yildiz Technical University
  • Kayseri (Turkey): Erciyes University
  • Kharkiv (Ukraine): Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics
  • Kiev (Ukraine): Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev
  • Limpopo (South Africa): University of Limpopo
  • Moscow (Russia): Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • New Delhi (India): Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Santiago de Chile (Chile): Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH)
  • Seoul (South Korea): Kyung-Hee-University
  • Tamale (Ghana): University for Development Studies
  • Tijuana (Mexico): Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
  • Wuhan (China): Wuhan University
  • The fourth semester is reserved for the Master’s thesis.


    A summary of the course content as well as an example curriculum can be found here.