What is the future of employment in the face of technical innovation? Why does the discovery of natural resources make a country sometimes poorer rather than richer? How can we keep the pension and health care system sustainable if there are only half as many working age people? Why do economic crises occur? These questions illustrate how economics touches upon the most pressing problems of today: economic well-being, inequality and sustainability. In the minor in Economics you will learn to tackle economic issues by learning to think like an economist.
An economist’s way of thinking
Economists sometimes think differently. Two examples: some scholars titled an academic paper “Evil is the root of all money” others published “Paying not to go to the gym”. Got curious? We’ll explain how a few core principles go a long way to understanding economic choices, institutions, and outcomes.
|"The minor Economics helped me to place current societal issues into relevant context. By focusing on global economic policy issues and individual decision-making, students will receive a broad set of skills that will be helpful in a large number of disciplines. Moreover, several knowledgeable economists provide interesting guest lectures that showcase the different manners in which economics is used in today’s society. This minor taught me to apply sound economic reasoning on a diverse set of problems ranging from individual utility maximisation to influencing levels of inflation. As a result, this minor has inspired me to approach problems in my own fields of study in an alternative way that potentially could lead to better solutions."
Christan Doornhof, Lifestyle Informatics and Law student
Why a Minor in Economics at VU Amsterdam?
- Jobs are increasingly about combinations of skills rather than specialized knowledge only. Because economics is everywhere, the ability to understand and apply sound economic reasoning in combination with data analysis is therefore becoming a key asset complementing the specialized skills acquired in any BSc major. This minor will provide you with this extra skill set.
- The university minor in economics @ VU is an established and successful programme. We have experience and know what students and employers want: relevant knowledge about economic institutions, mechanisms, incentives, and policy options in an ever-changing world. We also have received excellent student evaluations (examples: overall ratings of course quality above VU-average for 4 out of 5 of our courses).
|"The minor in Economics provides you more insight into how an economy functions, both at the micro as well as the macro level. It forms a beautiful addition to your own study, in my case in the social economic field. The wide variety of teachers and guest lecturers appealed strongly to me, it is very instructive to hear from various organizations how they study economic issues in reality."
David Oostveen, student History
The minor in Economics is a 30 EC programme taught in English. You will become familiar with the development of economic thought, including the principles of micro- and macroeconomic theory and key insights from empirical economic analysis. You will gain insight into the role of economic policy, learning to identify when markets fail and when policy interventions may provide solutions. Finally, you learn to take a structured approach to solving practical problems using economic core concepts. Upon completion you will have a proven ability to apply sound economic reasoning to a range of issues on a micro- and macroeconomic level, for example related to health, law, environment, finance, labor, transport, and development.
The university minor consists of five required courses of 6 EC each. These courses are taught during the three blocks in the first half of the third year of a BSc programme. The level of the courses varies with one 100-level course, two 200-level courses and two 300-level courses.
Career prospects and further studies
If you complete the minor in Economics you will gain a competitive edge through a proven ability to use the insights from economics in your own field of expertise, such as Law, Medicine, Natural and Environmental Sciences and other Social Sciences. A minor in Economics will also enhance the career opportunities in Management, Policy-Making and Consultancy, among others. If you are planning to pursue an MBA career after your BSc study, the minor will be helpful as well. It gives you a head start in qualifying for an economics-related master; e.g., it makes it easier to go through a prep or transfer programme when wanting to do an MSc in Economics; those with technical backgrounds and a high enough score in the minor may qualify directly for admission @ VU.
The minor in Economics is for students from all majors (with some exceptions, see the admission criteria below) who want to acquire familiarity with the core principles of economic reasoning. Participants in the past had majors in Organization Studies, Physics, Health Studies, Civil Engineering, Philosophy, Political Science, Mathematics, Theology, and came from many faculties at VU and beyond (e.g. UvA, TU Delft). Economics combines rather well (either as complement or as addition) with lots of disciplines and fields of study.
Students in the BSc programmes Economics and Econometrics are excluded from participating in this university minor.
There is no formal entrance requirement for the minor in Economics except for VWO Wiskunde A (or B). A basic course in quantitative methods and/or statistics is strongly recommended however. The minor in Economics is a university minor which implies that VU students do not need to ask for permission from the Examination Board to follow the minor and to count the credits (30 EC) towards their own BSc degree.
To register you should enroll through VUnet into the courses ‘Foundations of Microeconomics’ and ‘Development of Macroeconomic Thought’. Registration is open from mid-July. Early registration is recommended. Students without access to VUnet should enroll as secondary course students ('bijvakstudent'), see the information on this pages:
Dutch information about the application procedure >
English information about the application procedure >
For any questions, you can contact us by email: email@example.com