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Business Economics (MSc)


Programme Description

The MSc Business Economics is an integrated course applying economics to the business environment. Designed in consultation with leaders from the business community and public sector organisations, this unique course equips you with the key skills for career development in the ever-changing business world. It also provides a good foundation for those interested in undertaking further study at PhD, DBA or professional development level.

This is a research-orientated course, which is both theoretically grounded and evidence-based. The focus is on analysing, understanding and explaining business performance in a competitive environment.

The MSc Business Economics course is unique to UCC, incorporating both taught courses and action research, and using economic theory and analysis explicitly applied to business. Through the focused taught courses and conducting your own research, you learn how to explain and apply core theories, empirical methods and a range of analytical tools that are relevant and transferable to a range of fundamental business issues. The use of workshops, discussion groups, visiting speakers and lectures guide student learning and allow you to explore fundamental business issues.

A portfolio of skills required to support business analysis and managerial decision-making is developed, including communication skills (written and oral), analytical and evaluation skills and team-working skills. Our market research has indicated that such skills are very highly rated by employers.

The course places emphasis on:

  • the preparation and presentation of quality business reports
  • techniques of data analysis that include forecasting and scenario analysis and survey analysis
  • team-working for assignments to enhance interpersonal relationships
  • a problem-solving approach using case studies

The programme for the degree of MSc consists of two parts as set out below. Part I consists of a combination of examinations and coursework in a set of specified taught modules to the value of 60 credits. Part II consists of researching and writing a business economics report to the value of 30 credits.


  • EC6617 Professional Business Skills 
  • EC6619 Scenario Planning for Strategic Decision-Making 
  • EC6620 Research Methods for Business Economics 
  • EC6621 Economics of Business Strategy 
  • EC6622 Business Relationships and Business Strategy
  • EC6623 Analysing General Business Conditions
  • EC6624 Macroeconomic Data Analysis for Strategic Decision-Making 
  • EC6625 Financial Economics and Business Strategy
  • EC6626 Corporate Treasury Management 
  • EC6627 Fieldwork Methods for Business 
  • EC6628 Analysis of Business Survey Data 


  • EC6618 Business Economics Report (the BER)

Further details on the content and modules are available on the College Calendar.

Why Choose This Course

This innovative course aims to develop your skills for employment as a business or strategic analyst as well as providing foundations for undertaking further study. The focus of the course is on increasing your understanding of the reasons underlying firm performance and competitiveness.  Experience at writing a business economics report is a significant feature of the course as it develops research skills and strengthens presentation skills, which are highly rated by employers. Strong emphasis is placed on employment and career search through workshops on interview techniques, skills analysis, CV presentation and job applications.

The quality of the course can be gauged from the fact that in both 2010 and 2011, an MSc Business Economics student won the Accenture Leader of Tomorrow Award. The Accenture award is open to all final-year and postgraduate students from across Ireland, and aims to identify innovative and entrepreneurial young talent in order to foster Ireland’s next generation of leaders.

Skills and Careers Information

Skills developed on the MSc course include:

  • leadership, organisational, interpersonal and team-working skills
  • working to deadlines in producing analyses, reports and presentations to professional standards
  • ability to interpret economic data and events
  • ability to explain complex issues to non-specialists
  • application of economic tools and concepts to the business world
  • research project design, implementation and management

The course has an excellent employment track record and every year, our graduates pursue challenging careers in the private and public sectors. MSc graduates have obtained employment in a wide range of areas at home and abroad, including management consulting, the financial and banking sectors, private sector, public sector, research institutes, and the education sector.

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard;
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in advanced application of frameworks and techniques in organizational settings;
  • Conduct independent quality research using relevant business techniques;
  • Develop self-awareness and reflective capacity to design and assess own learning goals and needs as business economics postgraduates.
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Additional Information

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Practicalities & Assessment

The course consists of approximately 12 hours of lectures/workshops a week, excluding visiting speaker seminars and time that you must set aside for group work and assignment preparation.

It culminates in the writing of a business economic report, an application of concepts and frameworks to an actual business situation — the key is translating learning into practice. An external business advisor provides guidance and advice to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of skills developed during the course.

The course is assessed by a combination of exams and coursework. Approximately 45% of the course is assessed by coursework, including presentations, written reports, in-class assessments and group work.

The MSc Business Economics has a dedicated course teaching team drawn from the School of Economics. Seminars are provided by visiting speakers from public and private sector organisations.

You can search UCC's Institutional Research Information System for staff profiles.

Full module information is detailed in the section below.




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Part I

  • Professional Business Skills

    Part I

    Professional Business Skills (EC6617)

    The aim of this module is to help develop participants' professional business skills and augment professional development with a view to enhancing employability and promotion prospects. Workshops and seminars are organised by the Programme Director at app

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  • Scenario Planning for Strategic Decision-Making

    Part I

    Scenario Planning for Strategic Decision-Making (EC6619)

    The module aims to develop a portfolio of techniques for students as decision-makers and to act as an enabling device for them to reflect on how they might use such techniques for the development of strategic and tactical conversations of individuals, tea

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  • Research Methods for Business Economics

    Part I

    Research Methods for Business Economics (EC6620)

    Research skills are developed to enable students to design, conduct and present research in a chosen topic.

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  • Economics of Business Strategy

    Part I

    Economics of Business Strategy (EC6621)

    This module introduces the core theories and frameworks of business strategy and acts as the intergrating module for the overall programme.

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  • Business Relationships and Business Strategy

    Part I

    Business Relationships and Business Strategy (EC6622)

    The module aims to introduce students to methods of understanding competitive dynamics: the interactive nature of players in the market, including stakeholders such as government. The course material and case studies take a broad cross-sectoral and intern

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  • Analysing General Business Conditions

    Part I

    Analysing General Business Conditions (EC6623)

    This module provides the opportunity to acquire an understanding of the macroeconomic environment and other methods for analysing business conditions that impact on firm profitability, competitiveness, and attractiveness of locations (regions/countries).

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  • Macroeconomic Data Analysis for Strategic Decision-Making

    Part I

    Macroeconomic Data Analysis for Strategic Decision-Making (EC6624)

    This module provides the opportunity for participants to understand, use, analyse, and manipulate macroeconomic data for strategic decision-making in the business environment.

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  • Financial Economics and Business Strategy

    Part I

    Financial Economics and Business Strategy (EC6625)

    This module examines the links between financial markets and business strategy where the former is an important consideration in the latter. The objective is to introduce techniques relevant for analysing business performance and formulating business stra

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  • Corporate Treasury Management

    Part I

    Corporate Treasury Management (EC6626)

    The aim of this module is to develop participants' skills and knowledge of the principal financial instruments and strategized used by corporate treasury managers within businesses.

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  • Fieldwork Methods for Business

    Part I

    Fieldwork Methods for Business (EC6627)

    This module aims to develop participants' understanding of a broad range of issues in survey design and data collection. The module also provides participants with the necessary knowledge and analytical skills to design and conduct their own small-scale

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  • Analysis of Business Survey Data

    Part I

    Analysis of Business Survey Data (EC6628)

    This module aims to develop participants' data analysis skills. The module also provides participants with the knowledge and analytical skills to analyse business data and present the findings of their research.

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Part II

  • Business Economics Report

    Part II

    Business Economics Report (EC6618)

    This module aims to provide experience of applied research focused on supporting business/strategic decision-making in a company, industry or country. The emphasis is on applying the skills and knowledge acquired in the MBS Business Economics modules to a

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For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar here

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Entry Requirements

Minimum Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent. Note that there is NO requirement for Economics or Business subjects to be part of the primary degree. 

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be given to applicants not meeting the above criteria (i.e. no primary degree) but with extensive relevant professional experience, as deemed appropriate by the Head of Economics in consultation with the Programme Director, subject to the approval of the School of Business.


View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following question:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June

Non-EU Applications

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Apply Now

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