Master in
Institutions and
Political Economy Universitat de Barcelona

Key details


2 years full-time (120 ECTS)

Tuition fees (one year):

EU €1,660, non-EU €4,920
(Fees for 2023-24. Prices for 2024-25 not fixed yet.)

Application period for 2024-2025:

From November 3, 2023
to May 31, 2024


In February, April and June

Language of instruction:


Start date:

September 23, 2024


Campus Diagonal, Barcelona

GRE/GMAT requirement:


Register your interest

News: -Jaakko Meriläinen (Stockholm School of Economics) and Shanker Satyanath (New York University) will be visiting professors at MIPE during the academic year 2023-2024. -Applications for 2024-25 are already open!

The Master in Institutions and Political Economy is a research-oriented program at the intersection of Political Science and Economics, with a historical perspective of institutional and political change.

The Master in Institutions and Political Economy is a two-year program (120 ECTS). The first year is devoted to compulsory courses (60 ECTS) in Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Economic History, Quantitative methods and Economic Theory. The second year includes optional courses (30 ECTS) and a dissertation (30 ECTS).

The program's strong points are:

  • A truly multidisciplinary approach, combining rigorous formal and quantitative training with a state-of-the-art approach to empirical topics in Economics, Politics and Economic History, with courses imparted by experts in each field.
  • A strong emphasis on research, with specific courses and workshops on research design, and an entire semester devoted to a dissertation that will ideally lead to the publication of a peer-reviewed article.
  • Students will be able to interact closely with scholars at the top of their disciplines and will have the opportunity of participating in the research projects of three renowned research groups.
  • Our graduates will be competitive in their application to the top international PhD programs in Economics, Political Science, Economic History and any other Social Science (including those at University of Barcelona) and will be perfectly equipped to transition to related jobs outside academia.
  • In their second year, our students have the opportunity to study a semester abroad in one of our partner universities.
  • Exchange opportunities
  • The University of Barcelona has become a vibrant hub of Social Science research, which assures a continued presence of stimulating seminars, workshops and visiting scholars.
Informative Brochure 2022 (pdf)

Who should apply

The multidisciplinary nature of the Master in Institutions and Political Economy makes it an attractive destination for students with different profiles.

We welcome students with good academic credentials, strong potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. Women, racial minorities and students from developing and middle-income countries are especially encouraged to apply.

Students with the following profiles are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Political Science and other Social Science graduates who want to develop the quantitative skills required to do research at the top of their fields.
  • Economics graduates who are motivated by empirical and applied research and want to complete their training with a deep understanding of institutional, political and historical debates.
  • STEM graduates with strong quantitative skills who are interested in Social Science research.

Humanities graduates –History students specifically– are welcomed to apply, but should have previous exposure to mathematical and statistical concepts or be willing to invest time on acquiring the necessary skills.

We offer Introductory courses in Economics and Statistics for those students who do not have a sufficient background in these fields. These courses take place two weeks before the compulsory courses begin in late September. Additionally, a few months before the start of the classes we will recommend the accepted students some materials to strengthen their Economics and Statistics training, in order to start the Master from a better position.

If you are not sure about your fit in the program, we are happy to answer your doubts and to personally assess whether the Master in Institutions and Political Economy could be adequate for your background and goals. You can contact us here.


Academic requirements

A Bachelor degree in Political Science, Economics, Sociology or any subject –provided it has sufficient mathematical and statistical foundations– with a satisfactory average grade.

Other requirements

  • Proof of proficiency in English. Unless you are a native English speaker or have undertaken a university degree in English, you need to provide evidence of your English proficiency at a B2 level (or above) in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (or its equivalent).
  • One or two contacts for recommendation. After you indicate the email addresses in the application form, the system will automatically send an email asking for their references.
  • Supporting documents.
    1. Letter of motivation (2-pages maximum) describing your background, motivation to apply, academic interests and any other relevant experiences and goals.
    2. One-page CV.
    3. Transcript of grades (provisional or final version).
    4. Passport/ID.
    5. Proof of proficiency in English.
    6. Video pitch (2 minutes maximum) explaining your academic and/or professional background, and your motivation to do the Master’s.
    7. Bachelor’s project/thesis (optional).

If the application period is open, you need to provide the relevant information and upload your documents in the Online application form.


The Master in Institutions and Political Economy is a full-time 2-year program. Students will have to register in 120 ECTS credits, distributed as follows:

  • Compulsory courses (60 ECTS credits). Students will devote the first year to compulsory courses that provide the core analytical and methodological foundations of their training and an advanced knowledge of the fields covered in the program.
  • Optional courses (30 ECTS credits). The first half of the second year is devoted to optional courses, in which students will go deep into more specialized topics related to their specific research interests.
  • Research Dissertation (30 ECTS credits). The last semester will be destined entirely to the completion of a Dissertation (or Master Thesis) that could be the foundation of their PhD project or a first peer-review article, putting them in an advantageous position to apply to their preferred program. The student will have worked on the Dissertation project during the previous semesters in various workshops and courses, and will have been assigned an advisor that fits the field and the topic chosen sufficiently in advance.

Students that the selection committee finds to be less skilled in quantitative methods will have to register in an intensive introductory course in Mathematics and Statistics. Similarly, those with a smaller background in Economics will have to register in an intensive introductory course in Economics. Both introductory courses will be held before the start of the program.

Courses 2023-24 (pdf) MIPE Schedule 2023-24 (pdf)

Courses by term

First term

  • Data science I: Fundamentals.
  • Comparative Politics I: Political behaviour.
  • Economic History I: Long-term economic growth, a global perspective.
  • Microeconomics

Second term

  • Data science II: Causal inference.
  • Comparative Politics II: Institutions.
  • Economic History II: Institutions and state capacity formation.
  • Game theory

Third term

  • Research design
  • Comparative Politics III: Advanced topics in comparative politics.
  • Introduction to Political Economy
  • Political Economy of Public Policy

Fourth-fifth term

  • Advanced research methods
  • Topics in Political Economy
  • Advanced analysis of institutions
  • Federalism and decentralization
  • Urban Political Economy
  • Welfare Economics
  • Political Ecology
  • Economic History topics I: Economic history of developing regions.
  • Economic History topics II: Market formation in history.
  • Macroeconomics

Sixth term

  • Master dissertation

Exchange opportunities

In their second year, our students will be able to spend a semester abroad as part of their degree. We currently have exchange agreements with the following universities:

  • Toulouse School of Economics (France)
  • University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • University of Göttingen (Germany)
  • Aix-Marseille School of Economics (France)
  • ENSAE (France)
  • University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy)
  • University of Bologna (Italy)
  • Kyoto University (Japan)

With the exception of Kyoto University, all the agreements are part of the Erasmus+ program.

Graduate destinations

Our main goal is to train students to conduct research at the highest level by providing them with a deep understanding of empirical topics in Economics, Political Science and Economic History, state-of-the-art quantitative skills and a first-hand research experience in the Master Dissertation.

Thanks to their advanced training, our graduates will be perfectly equipped to competitively apply to the top international PhD programs and research centers in the various fields covered by the program, including those at University of Barcelona. Additionally, the multidisciplinary nature of our program will allow students to access programs with different academic profiles.

Our graduates will also acquire skills that are highly sought in other fields of employment outside academia: strong analytical and statistical tools, the ability to design research projects from the ground and the capacity to engage with complex information related to current economic, social and political debates.

As Economics and Political Science are inherently linked in the analysis of the most pressing current debates —from globalization and inequality to environmental protection and digital rights— our graduates will be able to transition smoothly to jobs focused on these fields in public administration, international agencies, regulatory authorities and consulting firms.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Student’s fees for university master’s degrees are decreed on an annual basis by the Government of Catalonia and the University of Barcelona.

Public fees for the the academic year 2022-23 are as follows:

  • € 1,660.20 per academic year (60 credits | € 27.67/credit) for students who currently reside in Spain or are EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, China or Andorra nationals.
  • € 4,920.00 per academic year (60 credits | € 82.00/credit) for students who do not currently reside in Spain and are not EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, China or Andorra nationals.

Please note that these are the prices for the current academic year. Fees for 2024-25 will be officially fixed in a Decree of the Government of Catalonia to be approved in the summer of 2024.

Pre-sessional introductory courses can be of 3 or 5 credits, with the same cost per credit as above.

Additionally, there is a € 30.21 application fee, admitted students will have to pay € 139.80 on administrative fees, and international students will have to pay a € 218.15 equivalence fee to formalize their enrollment.

Funding opportunities


How to apply

Academic year 2024-2025

The application period for the academic year 2024-2025 will open in Autumn 2024.

Application steps

Academic resolutions

Applicants will receive the decision of the Academic Committee by mail within the following terms:

  • 1st round. Applications received before January 31, 2024. Resolutions by February 15, 2024.
  • 2nd round. Applications received from February 1 to March 31, 2024. Resolutions by April 15, 2024.
  • 3rd round. Applications received from April 1 to May 31, 2024. Resolutions by June 15, 2024.
  • 4th round (Only if there are available spots). Applications received from June 1 to July 31, 2024. Rolling admissions

An application is complete if we have received at least one reference letter and the Application fee is paid by the final date of each admission round. Otherwise, it will be considered in the following round.

If you are admitted, you will have to provide the required documents in order to get the final approval and formalize the enrollment. Additional information will be provided to admitted students.

Admission deferment policy

Admitted students who are unable to attend may request a deferment of the admission to the following academic year (only once).

Requests must be sent by email to before September 1. Each request is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Please note that deferments are not guaranteed.