Programme overview

International Bachelor Economics and Business Economics
A student ambassador of Erasmus School of Economics

Programme in numbers

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After having laid the groundwork in the first two years in economics, business economics and quantitative courses, you can choose from a variety of elective courses and specialisations in your third year. Of course, we honour the name of this programme by encouraging you to explore international perspectives and take classes abroad.

Year one: laying the groundwork

The International Bachelor Economics and Business Economics, concentrates on worldwide issues related to economics and business. Your first year is divided into five blocks of eight weeks. Each block consists of three courses: one economics course, one course in business economics and one (or more) support course(s) or skills training.

Subjects range from micro to macroeconomics, from accounting to mathematics, and from philosophy to organisation and strategy. Lectures are combined with small-scale work tutorial groups to work on your assignments and prepare for exams. In these separate sessions, led by a student mentor, you will work on your skills in studying, presentation, writing and debating.

Years two and three: adding breadth and depth to knowledge, skills and experience

Your second year is again structured around three disciplines. You will deepen your knowledge of the subjects introduced in the first year. You will also be introduced to several new subjects like international economics, marketing, finance and economics of the welfare state. You cover not just the theory: all courses consist of lectures as well as practical applied assignments in small-scale work groups.

In your third and final year the choice is yours. You will pick your major and have a chance to add more breadth to your studies with electives and a minor. Now is also the time to do an internship or take part in an exchange programme at one of our many partner universities abroad.

Teaching methods

We use various types of education such as the more traditional larger-scale lectures together with educational  videos, E-learning and guest lectures, the small-scale tutorials (30 max students) and practical seminars in third year (24 max students). As the student, you work on group assignments, midterm exams, read and discuss academic and practitioner literature, and work on the Bachelor or internship thesis in the end of your studies.

International character

The fact that each International Bachelor Economics and Business Economics cohort is made up of 50% international students from all over the world (as opposed to foreigners already living in the Netherlands), implies that class group thinking, the in-class examples and the interactions in but also between classes are much more intercultural and global than what happens in other programmes. Thus, participating in the International Bachelor Economics and Business Economics programme provides students with a unique way to avoid studying the outside world through their own ethnocentric lens (for example, a European student looking at the outside world through their set of European-centred values and beliefs), a recurrent issue in socio-economic studies.

Study schedules

The Take-Off is the introduction programme for all new students at Erasmus School of Economics. During the Take-Off you will meet your fellow students, get acquainted with our study associations and learn all the ins and outs of your new study programme, supporting information systems and life on campus and in the city.

The Guidance course will allow you to get to know your fellow students. In the tutorials your mentor will help you get a smooth start with your studies. You will discuss study skills, what it means to be part of the academic community, and you will reflect on your own goals and learning process.

The course includes, but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Basic bookkeeping techniques
  • Basic definitions in bookkeeping, financial and management accounting
  • Purchase and sale of goods
  • Depreciation of fixed assets
  • Accounting for bad debts
  • Long term liabilities
  • Accounting for Inventories
  • Statement of Cash Flows
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Importance of analyzing and managing costs (e.g. product costing systems, Job-Shop and batch production)
  • Process Costing and Cost Allocation (e.g. Process-costing systems, joint costs, overhead)


  • Properties of functions
  • Differentiation
  • Single variable optimization
  • Functions of many variables
  • Tools for comparative statics
  • Multivariable optimization
  • Constrained optimization

The course Academic Skills consists of several modules:

  • Module A: Academic Communication Skills. This module takes place in block 2 and is linked to the course Micro-Economics. Students practice their presentation skills. Furthermore, students need to make assignments and give a presentation.
  • Module B: Academic Writing Skills. This module takes place in block 3 and is linked to the course Macro-Economics. Students work on assignments with a focus on reviewing literature.
  • Module C: Academic Research Skills. This part takes place in block 4 and is linked to the course Behavioral Economics. Students work on assignments throughout the block which a focus on examining data and reporting research results.
  • Module D: Conducting research individualy, presenting research and reflection skills. This part takes place in block 5 and is linked to the course Organisation and Strategy. Students work on assignments throughout the block, resulting a research paper. The papers will be presented during the last tutorial. Finally, students make an assignment in which they reflect on their current research capabilities.


  • The first part of the course deals with the theory of the consumer. Topics covered include consumer choice under certainty and uncertainty, and individual and market demand;
  • The second part focuses on the theory of the firm, and includes the topics of firm production and firm cost;
  • The last part of the course turns to market structures (monopoly, imperfect competition and perfect competition), to the joint analysis of firm and consumer behavior within a market (general equilibrium theory) and to factor markets (especially labor).


  • Information systems in businesses
  • Spreadsheets and spreadsheet models
  • Basics of modeling in spreadsheets
  • Optimisation with spreadsheets
  • Simulation in spreadsheets
  • Introduction to databases
  • Database modeling

The course includes:

  • Interactions between money markets and goods markets
  • The impact of government policy on aggregate employment and output
  • Interaction between national economies through international trade and capital flows
  • Insights into the ways that the micro- and macroeconomic features of the economy interact through production, consumption, and economic policy

Applied Statistics 1 introduces exploratory statistics, probability theory and explanatory statistics.

Topics include statistical measures and graphics for the exploration of a single variable and relations between two variables, including linear regression. In addition, probability theory is treated (together with Bayes theorem) and distributions of random variables, such as the Poisson distribution that is important in the analysis of queuing problems.

Other topics are the estimation of the mean and hypothesis testing of the mean with known and unknown standard deviation. In addition, hypothesis testing for variances and differences in proportions are treated. Some of the exercises make use of SPSS.

Guidance includes lectures in block 1 plus study progress meetings in block 2 and 3. Each mentor group consists of max. 15 students, accompanied by one mentor (a senior student). Students are informed about studying at the ESE and about effective study methods during group meetings. In addition, three individual meetings will take place, in which the student can discuss the obtained study results with the mentor.


  • Game theory
  • Integration
  • Linear programming
  • Matrix and vector algebra

Issues in the methodology of economics, such as how unrealistic models can (and should) be and how we can appraise their explanatory power, and issues in ethics of economics, such as the goal of economic policy, but also issues of inequality, distributive justice and the moral limits of markets, are discussed in the lectures.

In five tutorials, ethical issues in business and in the market are discussed and analyzed. By active engagement with these topics, students develop a stronger moral sense and they familiarize themselves with theoretical frameworks that enable them to form their own considerate opinion.

Economics typically assumes that people behave like "Homo Economicus". Homo Economicus is a rational and selfish person without cognitive limits. Psychology has shown that people do not behave like Homo Economicus. Consequently, economic and financial models can lead to the wrong predictions and policy recommendations.

This course will give an overview of the limitations of traditional economic and financial models and how they can be improved upon by using psychological insights. The course will enable students to have a deeper and more critical look at their own profession and to learn how better economic and financial policy can be made.

The contents of the course organisation and strategy cover three blocks: the firm, the market, and the [macro-]environment.

Besides a theoretical approach to these concepts, considerable attention is directed to the explanation and relevance of the concepts by means of extensive practical examples and applications. These examples are discussed during the plenary lectures, guest lectures, working groups, as well as the skills classes.

The course consists of two parts: personnel economics and public economics.

  • The first part of the course focuses on incentives and workers' motivation inside organisations. The role of monetary and non-monetary incentives in motivating, selecting, and attracting workers to organisations is studied. Topics include the effects of pay-for-performance on motivating and selecting workers, optimal hiring and firing policies, education, team-work, promotion tournaments, and benefits.
  • The second part of the course focuses on the functioning of markets in case of public goods, externalities, and asymmetric information, and the role of the government in reducing the inefficiencies that arise when markets do not function perfectly. This includes distributional questions, and a discussion of the limits of government intervention. The normative analysis of government intervention is pared to a positive analysis of collective decision-making.

This course follows on the course on descriptive statistics in Applied Statistics 1 (FEB11005) and prepares the ground for active scientific research in later courses (Methods and Techniques FEB12012, Research Project FEB12013, in seminar and thesis projects, and later in jobs requiring skills in doing and interpreting applied research).

The course treats statistical models and methods that are often applied in economics. The right method depends on the research question of interest and on the nature of the available data. The main topics are the following: testing, contingency tables, ANOVA, non-parametric tests, regression (simple and multiple, time series).

During the tutorials, exercises are solved and discussed, and tutorial points can be earned. In addition, students gain experience in applying statistics by means of software.

The course international economics focuses primarily on the world economy as such and the relationships between countries and trading blocks regarding international trade, capital flows, economic growth, exchange rates and financial crises. Although macroeconomic quantities are at the core of the analysis, these will usually be built up from a microeconomics perspective.

The nature of the analysis implies that international economists frequently find inspiration elsewhere for their applications, for example from economic geography, monetary economics, econometrics, development economics or industrial organization. This approach results in a rich diversity of insights, nonetheless characterized by a remarkable coherence.

European countries are noted for the extent and depth of their welfare systems. Health care coverage is universal and predominantly publicly financed, while social protection against poverty and social exclusion tends to be substantially more generous than on other continents. The continued viability of the European social model is hotly debated. Some question whether generous welfare provisions are consistent with maintaining competitiveness in increasingly globalized markets. Others retort that social insurance eases transitions through the business cycle and public financing of health care constrains costs, including those falling on employers.

This course uses economics to cast light on these issues. Distinguishing between pursuit of equity and efficiency goals, it assesses whether equity gains through state involvement in the finance and provision of health care are achieved at the cost of efficiency, and it considers whether social protection slows the economy by distorting incentives or oils the wheels of growth by cushioning blows to the losers from creative destruction.

During this course we'll study the knowledge necessary to value a firm. The value of the firm influences the prices of its shares en determines the price paid for shares in case of mergers and acquisitions. From the perspective of the financial manager and the financers of the firm Finance 1: valuation will show how investment and financing decisions influence the value of the firm. Besides thinking in terms of classical rational profit maximization thinking, we'll address important developments in behavioural finance and sustainability as well.

The history of economic thought helps us to understand why economists think they way they do today. It describes how theoretical frameworks have changed over time.
Subjects include, among others:

  • Classical school
  • Marginalism
  • Neo-classical school
  • Keynes
  • and more recent economic approaches

In methods and techniques students will get acquainted with the toolbox for scientific economic research. The focus is on acquiring knowledge and skills useful for fundamental and applied research in both the public and the private sector. The complete cycle of scientific research will be discussed. Research design, conceptual thinking and cross-sectional and time series techniques will be discussed.

The objective of the course is to demonstrate the benefits of using a systematic and analytical approach to decision-making in marketing.

Financial accounting topics:

  • Different elements of the financial statements
  • Revenue recognition
  • Equity, debt and hybrid/convertible instruments, and their impacts on earnings per share
  • Taxes and financial reporting
  • Cash flow statements

Management accounting topics:

  • Management Accounting and Control Systems
  • Planning and decision making (e.g. budgeting)
  • Evaluating and Managing performance (e.g. variance analysis, responsibility accounting, transfer pricing)

Topics covered:

  • The structure of a research paper
  • Causality
  • Null hypothesis testing
  • Interpreting regression results, including p-values and confidence intervals
  • Uderstanding bias using the potential outcomes framework
  • How to use uni- and multivariate regression to make predictions
  • Why non-experimental data typically do not yield consistent estimators of causal effects
  • The internal and external validity of experimental results
  • Logit average marginal effects and the linear probability model
  • Interpretation of the coefficients of dummy variables and interaction terms
  • Forecasting
  • Using Stata

Students are allowed to replace the Minor with studying abroad, or with an internship.

The elective space is 12 ec when the Minor is rounded off at 12 ec, and 9 ec when the Minor is rounded off at 15 ec.

The Career Skills programme consists of the obligatory course ‘Your Future Career’ and several other 1-credit elective courses from which you can choose one preferred course. In the online course ‘Your Future Career’ you will learn to identify which professional environment and culture are the best match for you and work on various practical job searching skills.

There are many different Career Skills elective courses, for example Personal Effectiveness, Project Management, Managing Complexity and language courses. Some courses are organised jointly with our study associations, such as Model United Nations and the Debate Workshop Cycle.

An IBEB Major consists of one seminar and three courses. Students choose one Major from the following list:

  • Major Accounting
  • Major Behavioural and Health Economics
  • Major Economics of Markets and Organisations
  • Major Financial Economics
  • Major International Economics
  • Major Marketing
  • Major Policy Economics
  • Major Strategy Economics
  • Major Urban, Port and Transport Economics

The thesis in an individual piece of research about a subject from the Major they followed. More information about topics, supervisors and the writing process can be found on the thesis hub on Canvas.

The overview above provides an impression of the curriculum for this programme for the academic year 2023-2024. It is not an up-to-date study schedule for current students. They can find their full study schedules on MyEUR. Please note that minor changes to this schedule are possible in future academic years.

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