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 2021-22. Prices for 2022-23 not fixed yet.)

Application period for 2022-2023:

From October 1, 2021
to June 30, 2022


Rolling admissions. Applicants will receive an answer within 6 weeks

Language of instruction:


Start date:

September 26, 2022


Campus Diagonal, Barcelona

GRE/GMAT requirement:


Register your interest

News: Pablo Beramendi (Duke University) and Pamela Campa (Stockholm School of Economics) will be visiting professors at the MSc in Institutions and Political Economy in 2021-22.

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.
  • 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 (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.

If you are not sure about your fit at MIPE, 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. 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.

Detailed description of the courses Courses 2021-22 (pdf) Schedule 2021-22 (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

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 2021-2022 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 2022-23 will be officially fixed in a Decree of the Government of Catalonia to be approved in the summer of 2022.

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 2022-2023

Application period for the academic year 2022-2023 will be open from October 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Notice about COVID-19: Please note that the admissions calendar remains unchanged. To date there have been no changes to the postgraduate degrees schedule for the 2022/2023 academic year. Should the COVID-19 health emergency force us to make any changes, we will inform you as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the Information on COVID-19 section of the University of Barcelona webpage.

Application steps

Academic resolutions

Applicants will receive a decision by email within 6 weeks once the application is completed.

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.