Programme 2022-2023

Specialised Master in International and Development Economics

Objectives (Program)

The advanced master in international development economics aims to contribute to training existing and future economic policy specialists. 

This programme is intended for students and/or young professionals who want to:

  • acquire skills in international economic analysis;
  • confront their personal experiences with other ways of looking at the global economy;
  • acquire the maturity necessary to define their career or research goals more effectively.

To be more precise, on completing the programme, students will be able to:

  • use rigorous economic analysis to propose and implement economic development programs perfectly adapted to both target population ambitions and national and international limitations;
  • understand and evaluate the models and methods used by international organisations, governments and consultants in development support and international economic relations;
  • take on an educational role, especially in explaining the reasons and motivations behind economic reforms to local decision-makers and the general public;
  • undertake scientific, realistic and original analysis of economically, socially and politically feasible ways of encouraging economic and social progress.

These aptitudes are especially appreciated by governments, international organisations and the academic community.


The advanced master in international development economics programme is provided entirely in English; it has a value of 60 credits and is co-organised by the University of Namur and the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).

Most of the classes are held in Namur with one day of classes per week held in Louvain-la-Neuve. Students will have full access to the educational resources offered by the two universities (libraries, IT, etc.).

The programme will begin with a one month teaching session providing an overview of the principal tools of economic analysis. Even if this foundation level session (some students may receive dispensation) will be mostly theoretical it will involve constant references to the real-world application of such concepts and methods. An evaluation will be held at the end of October. Any student who shows difficulties will be required to re-sit the exams at the end of the programme’s first semester.

The programme will then continue with teaching units and seminars covering two study themes:

  • macro-economic policy and international trade.

This theme covers issues surrounding macro-economic fluctuations, macro-finance and development. It concentrates on the factors that determine the balance of payments, domestic growth rates, employment rates and structure, inflation rates, public sector accounts and external debt. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between foreign exchange, interest rates, monetary and taxation policy instruments and real-world economics. National experiences will be used to evaluate the relative costs of adjustments or policies and whether they are able to stand up to outside influences. Students will also be able to use case studies to evaluate how various policy regimes or macroeconomic policies can contribute in terms of a sustainable and balanced growth objective.

The programme also studies the opportunities and limitations to which the economy is confronted when it has to incorporate for the global market economy. Special attention will be paid to themes such as the relation between economic growth and international trade, the role of multinationals, business localisation and cost adjustment management in response to market failures. Commercial and trading policy questions will also be analysed: the strategic behaviour of businesses and governments and the role of regional and ‘super-regional’ institutions.

  • institutional structures and their impacts on development.

The teaching units of this theme cover the key economic development issues of today.  These include:

  • poverty: presentation of the key concepts and measures concerning poverty and inequality. The current global poverty situation will be examined and students will be encouraged to undertake a critical analysis of current development objectives.

  • micro-finance: the formal and informal roles played by loan institutions in developing countries will be studied and the concept of micro-finance as a development “revolution” will be discussed.

  • education: the decision to invest in education on micro and macro levels will be examined and a debate will be opened up on what we currently know about the profitability of education.

  • gender issues: A presentation of Amarta Sen’s “missing women” analysis.  A debate on discrimination against women within the home will also be held and the main decision-making models, including negotiation within the home, will be presented.

  • relations between poverty and the environment: after an introduction to the environmental economy and its key concepts, we will consider what is currently being observed concerning the relations between development, poverty and the environment.

  • the role of development institutions: different economic approaches to institutions will be presented, debated and illustrated. Transaction methods, contracts, informal arrangements and social norms will all receive particular attention. The underlying functions involved in making savings in transaction costs, overcoming incitement issues and ensuring coordination will be highlighted. Two major institutional analysis scopes of application will be covered in detail: the “poverty rights “system and agrarian contracts.

The program will also cover the effects of different policies in terms of poverty, equality and how these problems can be reduced.

Finally, the program will conclude with a personal project on a subject chosen at the start of the year. This research project will be developed during the year on the basis of the teaching and lectures provided by the programme and will be subjected to the critical evaluation of the students and teaching staff. The project will include a case study and a theoretical or empirical analysis which will lead the student to carry out their own research, analysis of a situation and present their arguments with rigour.

Teaching methods

The diversity in the experiences and geographical origins of the teaching staff, guest lecturers and students will contribute to the broad variety of issues dealt with in the lectures and seminars.

Students will therefore be constantly contrasting these issues with those of their own country of origin.

Assessment methods

Written and oral exams, personal and group projects, oral presentations, development of a personal project... Various different forms of evaluation coexist within the advanced master in international development economics program.

The exact evaluation method to be used for each teaching unit is indicated on the individual data-sheet for each teaching unit.

The exams will be held at the end of each semester, in January and June. They will be available for re-sits in August.

Mobility and international openness

The intended public for the advanced master in international development economics will be mostly international.

The teaching staff is also international and most of the teachers have direct experience in developing nations or come from one of them.

There is also the possibility for students from developing countries to apply for grants/scholarships.  More information on the application process, schedules and other useful information can be found here:

Admission requirements

Seuls les candidats avec des connaissances suffisantes en économie seront considérés.

Les candidats titulaires d’un diplôme délivré au sein de la Communauté française de Belgique doivent disposer d’un master en 60 ou 120 crédits.

Les candidats titulaires d’un diplôme délivré hors de la Communauté française de Belgique doivent disposer :

  • d’un diplôme obtenu après 5 années (300 crédits) d’enseignement universitaire ou
  • d’un diplôme obtenu après 4 années (240 crédits) d’enseignement universitaire et d’au moins 2 années d’expérience professionnelle utile.

Date limite d’inscription :

Pour les admissions en master de spécialisation, il y a lieu de prendre contact avec le service des inscriptions.

Attention les candidatures aux bourses suivent leur propre calendrier et sont clôturées plus tôt (voir rubrique « mobilité »).



Only applicants with sufficient knowledge of economics will be considered.

Applicants with a diploma issued by the French-speaking community of Belgium must have a master worth 60 or 120 credits.

Applicants with a diploma issued outside of the French-speaking community of Belgium must have:

  • a university diploma received after 5 years (300 credits) or
  • a university diploma received after 4 years (240 credits) and at least 2 years of relevant professional experience.

Applications must be received before:

For advanced master admissions, contact the enrolment service.

Please note that grant application processes have their own schedule and close earlier (see the “mobility” section).


Romain Houssa (Chairman)