The Economics (ECN) major teaches you the key principles and data analytic skills to analyse economic and social issues. From the choices of single individuals to the behaviour of firms, the overall functioning of markets, and the role for government policy.

We offer a thorough and comprehensive education in economic theory and empirical methods, taught by NHH’s internationally recognised faculty in this field. After completion our graduates typically work in consulting, banking, insurance, telecom, or the energy industry, or for public institutions such as the Norges Bank, the competition authority, ministries and international organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and OECD.

  • 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. It consists of three mandatory courses, a master thesis, and elective courses that ensure in-depth knowledge and the skills vital for a specific career path. The major can be tailored to suit your own interests, and to help students in that process we have organised our elective courses in three tracks:

    Competition and Business Strategy

    This track is targeted towards students who are interested in the interplay between producers, customers, and competitors – and how that ultimately determine the strategic behaviour of firms. The track enables students to analyse specific markets, firms’ strategic and operative decision-making, and the regulation of firms and markets. These skills will be valuable in the strategic management of firms, as well as for careers in consultancies, ministries and authorities. Topics include law and economics, retailing, outsourcing and industrial organization.

    Sustainable Development and Public Policy

    This track is targeted towards students who seek to better understand the problems our society face today, such as, global warming and rising inequality. Students will learn how to approach an economic problem and analyse it using state-of-the-art empirical methods combined with increasingly available economic and social data. These skills in applied economic methods prepare students for careers as analysts, consultants, or advisors – in private businesses or in the public sector. Topics within this track include behavioural, development, labour and public economics.

    Marcoeconomics, Finance and Asset Markets

    This track is targeted towards students who are interested in the big trends and the overall economy. Students study short-term or long-term performance in aggregate economies and the interaction between real and financial markets. The track prepares students for careers in banks and the financial industry, multinational companies, and in ministries, central banks or international organisations. Topics include monetary, international and financial economics.

  • Structure


    The Economics major is built on a set of mandatory courses, equivalent to 22.5 ECTS, consisting of at least one core course in applied economic theory, one course in empirical methods (ECN402) and one practically oriented course in data analysis for economists (ECN425). The two options for the core course in economic theory are:

    • ECN400 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy which 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 which focuses on consumer behaviour in markets, the strategic interaction between companies, and how public policy can intervene to improve outcomes.

    Students’ can choose to take either core course depending on what topic they find most interesting and relevant for their future career, or both to receive a general competence. The empirical courses cover an introduction to programming software, but the emphasis is on developing the practical skills to analyse and visualise economic or business-related data, delivering compelling insights to complex problems.

    Students are encouraged to take the mandatory courses during the two first terms to have a solid foundation and maximum flexibility in the choice of electives. The elective courses (minimum 22.5 ECTS) allow you to focus on particular subject areas in economics, and take specialised empirical courses tailored towards the student’s interest.

    Ultimately, the course work will enable students to complete an independent Master’s thesis in economics corresponding to 30 ECTS in the third or fourth semester.

  • 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 elective courses in the ECN profile 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. Note, however, that the tracks only represent recommended course combinations and not something students must follow.

    The three tracks are:

    Competition and Business Strategy (CBS)

    Sustainable Development and Public Policy (SDP)

    Marcoeconomics, Finance and Asset Markets (MFA)

    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

    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

  • International opportunities

    International opportunities

    As an NHH student you have excellent opportunities to gain valuable international experience during your studies through semester exchange, the Double Degree programme, CEMS, Engage.EU, Intern Abroad and summer courses.


  • Career


    Students graduating with 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 with the Economics major include Norges Bank, ministries and regulators, as well as international organisations (United Nations, World Bank, IMF, OECD).

    Read more about career opportunities for NHH graduates