The Economics (ECN) major teaches tools to analyse markets and industries and the economic challenges facing private business, public institutions and international organisations.

Understanding economic mechanisms is vital for the success of business and the design of public policy. The Economics major offers a thorough and comprehensive education in economic theory and empirical methods. Courses in the Economics major are taught by NHH’s internationally recognised faculty in economics and related areas.

  • Subject areas

    Subject areas

    The ECN major studies what motivates and drives decisions for individuals, companies, competitors and authorities, and what determines prices, returns and economic allocations.To ensure in-depth knowledge and skills vital for a chosen career path, you can tailor the major to suit your own interests. We recommend to take courses in the following three tracks:

    Global challenges and economic behaviour

    This track prepares students for careers using applied economics methods in private businesses or the public sector, offering skills that would be useful to economic analysts and consultants, advisors in ministries and international organisations. Students will develop tools for economic decision making and for conducting empirical analysis, using state-of-the-art empirical methods and increasingly available economic and social data. Topics include behavioural, development, labour and public economics.

    Competition and Business Strategy

    This track prepares students for careers analysing specific markets, firms’ strategic and operative decision-making, and regulation of firms and markets. These skills will be useful for strategic management of firms, consultancies, ministries and regulators. Topics include law and economics, retailing, outsourcing and industrial organization.

    Macroeconomics, Risk and Sustainability

    This track prepares students for careers in banks, other financial industry or large firms, ministries, central banks or international organisations. Students study short-term or long-term performance in aggregate economies and the interaction between real and financial markets. Topics include monetary, international, resource and financial economics.

  • Structure


    The Economics major has three mandatory courses:

    • ECN400 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy cover areas such as business cycles, inflation and economic growth in a national and global perspective, including monetary and fiscal policy.
    • ECN401 Applied Microeconomic Theory focuses on consumer behaviour and strategic interaction between companies in markets with imperfect competition and on how information and uncertainty affect decision-making.
    • ECS402 Econometric Techniques applies statistical methods to economic data in order to analyse economic themes with a focus on regression analysis and extensive use of practical lab exercises.


    The mandatory courses in the major provide a foundation for the elective courses in economics. You are encouraged to take the mandatory courses during the two first terms to have flexibility in your choice of electives.

    Three additional elective courses allow you to focus on particular subject areas in economics. In addition to the mandatory Econometrics course, students are encouraged to take one additional empirical course in the economics profile. The empirical courses also include a programming software introduction module, but the emphasis is on the content and how to use the programming software to work empirically and solve economic or business related questions.

    Students complete an independent Masters thesis in their major profile corresponding to 30 ECTS.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Candidates who have completed the Economics major, have acquired the following:


    K1: a solid understanding of microeconomic models analysing demand and consumer behaviour, competition and firm strategy, as well as market structure and information;

    K2: a solid understanding of macroeconomic models analysing growth and business cycles in the aggregate economy, inflation and employment, as well as monetary and fiscal policy;

    K3: knowledge of econometric methods to analyse economic data, understanding of identification of causal effects, implied optimal decisions and policy, and prediction;

    K4: an understanding of models and methods used in specialised areas in economics.


    S1: the ability to work with and analyse models of the economy;

    S2: a critical understanding of the main theoretical models describing economic behaviour both at the micro- and macroeconomic level;

    S3: the ability to analyse economic data and contrast and compare empirical predictions and implications, using economic models and modern econometric methods.

    S4: the ability to use advanced digital tools, including data processing, visualisation and programming.

    General Competences

    C1: the ability to utilise available information and data with necessary critical understanding of sources;

    C2: the ability to analyse economic questions using a combination of theoretical and empirical models;

    C3: the ability to formulate research questions in economics and provide answers using both theoretical and empirical methods.

    C4: the ability to work in teams and to communicate on economic issues to both specialists and a wider audience.

    C5: the ability to analyse the sustainability of economies and market allocations and potential policy prescriptions.

  • Recommended course combinations

    Recommended course combinations

    The ECN profile courses are organised in three tracks representing three clear career paths economics students from NHH commonly take. Each track includes an elective empirical specialisation course, building on the mandatory econometrics course, allowing students to strengthen their empirical skills within the respective tracks. 

    The three tracks are: 

    • Global Challenges and Economic Behaviour 

    • Competition and Business Strategy 

    • Macroeconomics, Risks, and Sustainability 

    Refer to Economics courses to find an overview of elective courses and elective empirical specialisation courses for each track.  

  • Ethics courses

    Ethics courses

    Ethics courses available in the Economics major:

    • ECN421 Behavioral Economics
    • ETI 450 Corporate Social Responsibility

    Remember that the ethics course can also be one  of your elective courses.

    See list of all ethics courses

  • Research distinction courses

    Research distinction courses

    Are you curious about taking a PhD or interested in more research-oriented work both at NHH and later in your career, find out more about the Research Distinction track within the master's programme.

    Research distinction

  • International opportunities

    International opportunities

    As an NHH student you have excellent opportunities to gain valuable international experience during your studies through exchange programmes, the CEMS Master's in International Management (MIM) joint degree, the Double degree programme and summer courses.


  • Career


    Students graduating from the ECN major work in both the private and public sector, in consultancy and analysis, banks, insurance, telecom, energy, or the oil sector. Public employers of students of the economics profile include Norges Bank, ministries and regulators, as well as international organisations (World Bank, IMF, OECD). 

    Read more about career opportunities for NHH graduates