MSc Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets

ūü핬† Are you fascinated by how emerging markets, such as those of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), work?
ūü핬† Do you want the extra challenge of conducting sustainable business across borders and in a multi-cultural environment?
ūü핬† Do you look forward to operating in rapidly changing economies?

If so, the master’s programme in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets (ESEM) could be right for you. In addition to acquiring knowledge of the specific opportunities and challenges related to emerging economies, you’ll develop the professional skills needed for an international career in economics, business or policymaking, with a strong emphasis on emerging markets.

This programme is offered in collaboration between Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics and the United Nations University-Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT).


⚡ Fast facts 

  • Unique partnership: the MSc Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets brings together the expertise of researchers from economics, business, finance and policy at UNU-MERIT and the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University (a Triple Crown Accredited school)¬†
  • Duration: 1 year¬†¬†
  • Location: Maastricht¬†¬†¬†
  • Language: taught in English¬†
  • Intensity: full-time (each week, on average: 8h classes, 12h group work, 20h independent study)¬†
  • Next start date: September 2024¬†
  • Application deadline: 1 May 2024 for non-EU applicants, 1 June 2024 for EU applicants¬†
  • Tuition fees: statutory fee ‚ā¨2,530; institutional fee ‚ā¨16,600. Find out the tuition fee that applies in your specific situation here, and learn more about your financial aid and scholarship options¬†
  • Student profile: students curious about solve complex business and economics problems related to emerging markets, with an introduction to economics, finance and statistics in their previous studies (ranging from business, economics, international relations, public policy or other relevant social sciences); Pre-master available¬†
  • Learning method: Problem-Based Learning, an innovative, active way of learning that improves knowledge retention and encourages critical thinking¬†
  • Opportunities: Exchange and internship options available¬†


A collaboration between Maastricht University and the United Nations University

UNU-MERIT and the UM School of Business and Economics (SBE) have joined forces to provide a rich programme combining their expertise.  

From UNU-MERIT, you will receive:  

  • A project-based course about policy in emerging markets, investigating cases ranging from the circular economy, e-innovation, migration or trade¬†
  • Electives on governance and institutions, or on trade, FDI and global value chains¬†
  • Thesis supervision by researchers knowledgeable about all regions of the world on topics of economic development, innovation, migration or poverty and applying innovative computational tools using large datasets and simulation models¬†


From SBE, you will receive: 

  • Core courses on international macroeconomics and finance, empirical methods, strategic management and socio-economic development¬†
  • Electives on sustainability in business and economics¬†¬†
  • Thesis supervision on trade, political economy, finance, strategy and supply chain topics¬†
  • Support from the internship office and access to a large network of employers in emerging markets¬†
  • Support for career development¬†¬†


ūüí° What will you learn?¬†

In this programme, you will examine relevant issues primarily from the perspectives of economics (macroeconomics, development economics, economic history, trade) and business (strategic management, finance, supply chain management), with insights from political science and governance.  

Understand the economic and financial environment of emerging markets 

This multi-disciplinary approach will help you develop a thorough understanding of complex issues such as: 

  • the economic role of emerging markets in the global economy¬†
  • international macroeconomics and business strategies in emerging economies¬†
  • socio-economic development in emerging markets¬†
  • the impact of governance on economic development¬†¬†
  • the implications of the development of emerging markets on other economic actors (eg. MNEs, workers) and economies¬†


You will learn what drives the high growth in these markets, how they are evolving, where the next business opportunities will be, and how to make responsible management and policy decisions in these rapidly changing and sometimes fragile economies. 

Skills for a successful career 

In addition to a broad knowledge base, you will also develop skills that will help you succeed in a wide range of professional environments. You will receive practical training in skills such as:  

  • using empirical research skills and research methodology to analyse economic phenomena¬†
  • using specific software and data analysis tools¬†
  • formulating business and policy strategies and writing policy briefs¬†
  • giving oral presentations¬†
  • effectively collaborating with people from various national, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds¬†


ūüĆ欆Your future

There is an increasing demand for professionals who are knowledgeable about emerging markets and who are able to foster relationships between stakeholders in developed and emerging economies. The programme’s dual focus on economics and business will give you a broad knowledge base. This, combined with the skills you develop, will make you well qualified to work in a wide range of professional environments and positions. 

Career prospects 

Our graduates have found positions at public and private institutions, including international, regional, national and local governments, ministries, pension funds, market authorities, NGOs, international organisations, academia and consultancies, including: 

  • Development banks such as FMO, the Netherlands- or GIZ in Germany¬†
  • Export promotion agencies such as Atradius Dutch State Business¬†
  • Ministries of Trade or Finance¬†
  • Consultancies such as Deloitte, FTI Consulting, ADE, Hague Corporate Affairs, Indefi, Mercer, Joanneum Research, Finext¬†
  • Private financial institutions such as APG, Nordic Impact Funds, ABN Amro, Finance in Motion, MFR, Rabobank¬†
  • Multinationals such as Salesforce, SAS, Nexi, Rohlig logistics, ADM¬†
  • NGOs such as LadyAgri, Oxford policy management¬†
  • Academia as teacher or PhD student (Maastricht, Antwerp, HEC Paris, Radboud University)¬†


You will also be qualified to pursue many different positions within those organisations, including: 

  • Executive functions¬†¬†
  • Consultant (sustainable finance and development, supply chains, policy evaluation)¬†
  • Analyst (finance, equity, market development, impact investment)¬†
  • Policy maker (e.g. in national ministries)¬†


Your experience with formulating and analysing data-driven research questions will also be valuable if you choose to pursue a PhD. 



Watch a video testimonial from one of our previous students here.

Here is what some of our other alumni have to say about the programme:  

“The MSc in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets provided an interdisciplinary approach that helped me gain a wider perspective in business and policy. The collaboration with UNU-MERIT was also valuable for my studies as we were had the opportunity to tap into its network and expertise, which enabled us to tackle topics such as sustainable development and innovation systems in emerging markets in depth. Overall, the course equipped me with practical skills such as empirical research skills that I not only find valuable in my current role as a lecturer but also in other professional environments.” (Caroline, MSc ESEM 2021-22)¬†

“The master’s in economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets program was a pivotal experience in my academic journey. The blend of problem-based and self-driven learning methods not only deepened my understanding of economics in emerging markets but also effectively prepared me for the complexities of the job market. The program’s immersive and hands-on approach was both challenging and rewarding, setting a solid foundation for my career.” (Alex, MSc ESEM 2022-23)¬†


Be part of a community! 

MSc ESEM welcomes you to a growing community of students, alumni, staff and employers interested in Emerging Markets and sustainable development at UNU-MERIT and SBE.  


Learn more about this programme: 

Are you interested in this master programme? Find out more about one of the most international universities in Europe and immerse yourself in your programme of choice through the following events.  

Master’s Open Day | sign up for the next Master‚Äôs Open Day¬†

Online info sessions | register for an online info session 

Contact the coordinator Tania Treibich:  

Read more information about this programme here on the Maastricht University website, where you can also apply.