Economic approaches to political questions

Public policy analysis requires an approach that combines insights and techniques from economics and political science.

This programme teaches students to use economic tools to address broad societal problems. The programme extends economic analysis beyond the traditional focus on market interactions to examine the intended and unintended consequences of policies and to explore how and when individual self-interest among politicians, interest groups etc. help or hinder public interest.

Public policy analysis involves understanding institutional design, policy evaluation and implementation, and decision-making. The methods include microeconomics, game theory, experimental economics, spatial econometrics, social choice theory and econometrics.

MDP in Public Choice cooperates with economics at Tampere University and invites experts from around the world to teach classes, providing students with cutting-edge approaches. The courses combine theory and practice.

A master’s degree with public choice as the major prepares students for doctoral research or for careers as professional policy analysts in policy planning and evaluation units of government agencies or ministries, the staff of elected and appointed public officials, consulting firms, and non-government organisations. The programme also provides an essential background in policy for people wishing to work as translators for government institutions.

Information about studies

  • Type: Master's degree
  • Degree earned: Master of Social Sciences
  • Planned duration: 2 years
  • Extent of studies: 120 ECTS
  • City: Tampere
  • Campus: Central Campus
  • Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 10000 €

Study objectives

Combining economics with public policy, the Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice provides students with a large set of skills in public policy analysis:

  • The programme provides analytical tools from economics (microeconomics, welfare economics, public economics, econometric analysis, cost-benefit-risk analysis), which are useful for evaluating public policies in terms of their absolute and comparative efficacy in meeting social objectives and in terms of identifying and addressing potential cases of market failure. Other key issues covered include policy-making in a world of scarcity and potential effects of regulation, taxes and other legislative tools.
  • Research tools developed in the programme (mathematics, statistics, econometrics, spatial econometrics) allow students to identify, collect and test appropriate data to understand the effects of policies and programmes. The econometrics courses are designed to make students both intelligent consumers and producers of statistical evidence and analysis.
  • The programme also recognises that, while, ideally, policy is designed to incentivise or deter certain behaviour, the actors involved may react differently than anticipated. Therefore, the study of policy analysis must also include behavioural/experimental economics.
  • Understanding both the advantages of and barriers to social and political co-operation is essential in predicting needs for and success of policies (theory of collective action, game theory, politics).
  • The programme also provides courses (healthcare economics, crime and criminal policy, etc.) that give the students practical applications for the tools learned in other courses.

The coursework emphasises practical and theoretical understanding of these issues. In addition to building quantitative skills, this programme incorporates a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective drawn from case studies in North America and Europe.

More about the language of instruction

The language of the programme is English.

Study contents

This programme teaches students to use the tools of economics to address broader social scientific problems. The analysis of public policy requires an approach that combines insights and techniques from economics and political science. This programme extends the economic analysis beyond the traditional focus on market interactions to examine intended and unintended consequences of policies and to explore how and when individual self-interest among politicians, interest groups, voters, etc. can either help or hinder the public interest. Public policy analysis involves understanding institutional design, policy evaluation and implementation and decision-making. The methods used include microeconomics, game theory, experimental economics, spatial econometrics, social choice theory and econometrics.

The Public Choice programme with its emphasis on economics and public policy cooperates with economics at Tampere University and invites experts from around the world to teach classes, providing students with cutting-edge approaches. The courses combine theory and practice.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee of the programme is 10,000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.

Career opportunities

The programme prepares students for doctoral research or for careers as professional policy analysts, for policy planning and evaluation units of government agencies, governmental staff, the personal staffs of elected and appointed public officials, consulting firms, and non-government organisations. The programme also provides an essential background in policy and other social science issues for people wishing to work as translators for governmental institutions.

Co-operation with other parties

As a student of our university, you have the possibility, when enrolled as the present, to select courses also from the curriculum of Tampere University of Applied Sciences to include in your degree. With cross-institutional studies you can attend courses and shared projects to create a personalised path for your studies, consequently expanding your knowledge and skills.

Postgraduate study opportunities

The programme gives eligibility for postgraduate studies in Social Sciences.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria in the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: Tampere University's general eligibility criteria, and programme-specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both to be considered eligible. Applicants who do not meet both the general eligibility and the programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected as students at Tampere University.

General eligibility

To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have

  1. Bachelor’s degree - nationally recognized first cycle degree
    • Which corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
    • From the relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
    • From an accredited institution of higher education
  2. AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.

A Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility for university-level master’s degree studies in the country in which it was awarded.

Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2020. In this case, they may be accepted conditionally.

Applicants with a Master’s degree may be admitted only well-founded reasons and only if they are able to show that the new degree at Tampere University provides the applicant with significant new knowledge and skills.

Programme specific eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply to the MDP in Public Choice, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an area appropriate for the content of the Master's Degree Programme. A degree in a relevant field of study, e.g. Economics, Business Administration, Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Cultural Studies, English Philology is helpful but not required.

Language skill requirements

All applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.

The minimum English language test result requirements

Test name & Minimum test result

  • TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with no section below 20
  • IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall, with no section below 5.5
  • PTE (academic): 62 overall, with no section below 42
  • C1 Advanced: C
  • C2 Proficiency: C1
  • Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English): Proficiency level 5

*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency.

Previous studies

It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University. Only these studies are accepted. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions.

Intake

A maximum of 10 students is admitted to the Public Choice programme.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and application documents by the deadline) and fulfil the official eligibility criteria.

The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can be admitted.

Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies.

How to apply

Application step-by-step checklist
  1. Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply three programmes at the same time.
  2. Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
  3. Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
  4. When the application period opens, fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application. Application period 4 December 2019 at 8:00 GMT+2 - 15 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2.
  5. Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post, according to the country specific-requirements if applicable. Documents must reach Tampere University Admissions Office by 31 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
  6. Wait for the admission results to be announced in early April 2020.
  7. If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline.
  8. Pay the tuition fee, if required. Start preparing your arrival in Finland.
  9. Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!
Online application form

The online application form will be available during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts on 4 December 2019 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 15 January 2020 at 3 pm (GMT+2).

Enclosures

You will need to upload copies of all required documents as enclosures on the application form. In addition to the general application enclosures, some programmes have listed additional programme-specific enclosures that are needed when applying to these programmes.

You will need to upload all required enclosures on your application form online at Studyinfo.fi. In addition to uploading, you must submit officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post. Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation and documents from these countries must be submitted in a particular way. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to the regular requirements.

Applicants must post the educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office so that they arrive by 31 January 2020.

In addition to the seven Tampere University general application enclosures, for the Master's programme in Public Choice you also need to submit:

Letter of Recommendation

  • Two signed and scanned recommendation letters by academic/professional persons

In addition, there are programme specific questions on the application form and you will be asked to provide:

  • Contact information for two academic/professional persons who provide recommendation letters for you. Please give the name, organisation, position and contact information including an e-mail address that if needed, we may contact them.
  • Your Skype contact information. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.

Admission results and appeals

Admissions results will be announced in early April 2020. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)
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Last updated October 16, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Duration
2 years
Full-time
Price
10,000 EUR
per academic year for non-EU/EEA students.
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