Hear from our Graduates
Parth Chawla, Class of 2019'I joined the MSc programme after completing a bachelor's degree in physics. I was a little apprehensive at first because I did not have any prior academic experience in economics but the professors at TCD really helped me ease into the subject without feeling overwhelmed. The course is rigorous but the modules are designed to ensure that we are well versed with the fundamentals before moving on to more advanced topics. The small class size and weekly tutorials with PhD students meant that we could get any questions we had answered easily.
I'm now working in development research in India, thanks to the training I received during the MSc at TCD. I would recommend the programme to anyone with a quantitative background who wants to get a PhD in economics or wants to work in economic research/consulting/policy.'
Conor Parle, Class of 2019'I studied the MSc. in Economics part time while also working nearby in the Central Bank of Ireland. The flexible environment allowed me to attain a high quality masters degree which gave a quantitative foundation in advanced economics, while supplementing this with rich applied studies in the second term. The content learned has been of great use in my day to day work environment, while the applied dissertation allowed me to get the skills necessary to advance to further study in the form of a PhD.'
James Wales, Class of 2019'I am a recent graduate of the MSc Economics class of 2018/19. After completing my bachelor’s degree at The University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, I wanted to further my education in economics at Trinity College Dublin. The MSc provided me with the necessary technical skills to tackle many complex economic questions and to think critically.
The programme started with a mathematics and statistics boot camp which provided the foundation for the MSc. The course consists of modules in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The weekly problem sets are provided to challenge you and help you grasp the fundamentals of each module. Similarly, the more applied problem sets in the econometrics classes help you apply your theoretical knowledge using real world data. The problem sets are challenging but the small class size creates an atmosphere for team work and knowledge sharing. While the Michaelmas Term focuses on the fundamentals of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics the Hilary Term focuses more on current research in each field. The emphasis on current and notable economic papers in the Hilary Term prepares you when conducting your own research during the dissertation period. Studying at Trinity College was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The course was demanding, but studying on Trinity’s ancient campus was truly unique. The international aspect of the university left me with friends from all around the world. I would highly recommend the MSc to anyone looking to further their study in economics or related fields.'
Clíona Ní Mhógáin, Class of 2018
'In my experience the MSc in Economics in TCD is based on two main pillars – economic theory and applied economics. The first half of the degree builds a strong foundation of theory. In the second half of the degree you build a specialist knowledge on various topics and are pushed to focus on your own research interests. Courses in econometrics and research methods taught throughout the year allow you to develop your quantitative skills and investigate issues for your own research.
The MSc in Economics ensured that I had a well-rounded and seamless understanding of the main theories and concepts in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, while also allowing me the flexibility to pursue the areas of economics I was most interested in. One of the unique features of this degree is the strong emphasis on quantitative skills and research methods. There is a substantial emphasis on econometrics and the instructors ensure that you leave with unparalleled skills in this area. The strength of my analytical skills is largely attributable to my choice of masters and has been tested in my career in property economics research. The MSc is an incredibly challenging but rewarding year. If you want to excel you really do need to dedicate yourself to this degree for the year and collaborate with your classmates.'
Xidong Guo, Class of 2017
'As an international student, I felt a very welcoming atmosphere in MSc Economics of Trinity College Dublin. It offered me advanced economic analysis skills, and it was a bright gateway for my current PhD Economics journey in University College Dublin as well.
Through the inspiring taught modules, I learnt solid theoretical and empirical techniques. I also faced many challenging problem sets; however, we received careful guidance from tutorials given by PhD students. My master dissertation was supervised professionally, and while drafting it I had the chance to present my work in front of peers and faculty members. Moreover, weekly seminars at Trinity Research in Social Sciences (TRiSS) presented by well-known external scholars in diverse research fields inspired my research interest in further study of economics. This excellent program also offered us training sessions in Statistics, Mathematics, Stata, GIS software, etc. These skills are invaluable and fundamental for my current PhD research.
This program was challenging; however, help and encouragement were always there. I found our faculty members approachable and available to answer all my academic questions. Also, they provided me with many precious suggestions for my research and career path. I had an intense academic year, but when I look back at it, I will always be grateful to this experience.'
Seraphim Dempsey, Class of 2016
'I decided to pursue the Trinity MSc in Economics in 2015 and found it to be a rigorous and demanding programme which is well-respected in both an Irish and European context. Following the MSc, I spent two years as a Research Assistant in the ESRI, a year in Revenue with IGEES, and am now a PhD student based at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. The MSc undoubtedly prepared me for these next steps. It ensured not only that I was equipped with the quantitative tools necessary for economic analysis, but also fostered more general skills which have proven to be indispensable in a wide variety of work settings.
In terms of the course content, the weekly problem sets (microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics) were extremely challenging and pushed us to work together to formulate solutions. This allowed us to think about questions from a variety of different perspectives, simultaneously learning from one another and developing team problem-solving skills. While the lectures were quite theoretical, the econometric lab sessions provided an opportunity of using this knowledge in a more applied setting. Each semester we demonstrated our knowledge of key econometric concepts by locating data (e.g. time series, panel) and carrying out a research project using Stata.
These research projects served as useful warm-up exercises for the final dissertation and ensured that we understood the practical implications of a specific econometric concept. The weekly economic seminars also played an important role in exposing us to the more current methodologies and questions being posed in economic research. In addition, we were required to write four “referee” reports based on these seminars, which helped to develop our critical thinking skills and provided a preliminary insight into the academic peer-review process.'
Rishi Ahuja, Class of 2016'The MSc in Economics was a fantastic introduction to the mathematical underpinnings of economic thought and the skills necessary to translate theory into impactful research. I especially enjoyed the "Research Topics" course which gave me exposure to other academics and their research to help broaden our perspective on the discipline. Trinity professors treat you as colleagues and are willing to work with you to advance your research interests. After completing the MSc I worked with my faculty advisor, Ronan Lyons, to publish my dissertation in Oxford Economics Papers exploring discrimination against same-sex couples on Airbnb in Dublin. The faculty at Trinity encourage you to fully engage with the field of Economics and contribute as a scholar and researcher while you learn the fundamentals over the course of the year. Regardless of whether you intend to go into academia or industry, the MSc will serve you well. After the MSc, I worked in consumer financial protection with the U.S. government for two years focussing on fintech before joining a fintech lending startup in India. My grounding in Economics has served me well across these settings and I continue to see the benefits of the program in my career. Finally, living in Dublin and learning on the historic Trinity campus is a truly unique experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an MSc student.'
Brian Higgins, Class of 2015'I would recommend the MSc in economics at Trinity to anyone who wants to be a professional or academic economist. I did both, spending two years in economic consulting and am now in the PhD program at Stanford University – what I learned in the masters at Trinity has helped throughout. The classes covered the frontier of economic tools and research, and were both rigorous and challenging. Combined with the research component – seminars, paper reviews and a dissertation – the masters prepared me well for independent research in consulting and the PhD program.
Trinity is a wonderful place to study and I learned almost as much outside the classroom as inside. Many hours were spent working through problem sets and research ideas with an international group of classmates, many of whom I’m still friends with today. And I had the opportunity – though not a part of the official syllabus – to teach tutorials to undergraduates and work with faculty during a summer research assistantship. Trinity also has a vibrant clubs and society scene and during the masters I was on the Food and Drink society’s committee - the highlight of which was our annual ball, Feast! Overall, the masters at Trinity provided a great starting point for my career and I think it is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to work in economics.'
Katharina Bergant, Class of 2015'I guess my story itself is a recommendation for the MSc. in Economics - I enjoyed it so much that I stayed at Trinity for another 4 years of PhD studies. The MSc. lays out a solid foundation for analytical work in the field of Economics – not just for academic work for a PhD, but also for jobs in policy institutions or the private sector. It offers the right balance of theoretical courses and practical applications of analytical economic methods. The theoretical concepts taught in Micro and Macro Economics helped me to grasp the intuition behind economic relationships. More applied classes, such as Econometrics, taught me how to use this knowledge in empirical projects. These skills did not only help me to successfully complete my PhD thesis, I also continue to apply them every day in my job at the International Monetary Fund. Apart from the academic aspects, I also really enjoyed the setting of the MSc. in Economics. First of all, Trinity College is a vibrant university in the middle of the city with countless opportunities to meet interesting people and pursue hobbies and interests. Secondly, I appreciated the small class size. This enabled me to get to know each professor and their respective areas of research. I can say that I finished the MSc. knowing which field I wanted to work in which would not have been possible if the faculty had not taken the time to support and advice me.'
Lionel Cottier, Class of 2013
'The MSc in Economics at Trinity College Dublin is an excellent program for students who wish to specialize further in economics. Very challenging, it covers most fields of economics from both a theoretical and empirical point of view. The weekly problems sets are a good way to assimilate the material covered in class and practice, while the research projects and seminars give an overview of what a PhD is like, for those who consider continuing in academia later on. Also the small class size guaranties a nice atmosphere that is too often lost in modern business schools and allows students to be close to the faculty members. With its strong reputation, the MSc in Economics was the key that opened the doors of several top PhD programs for me, including the one at University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where I am now enrolled.
For me, studying at Trinity College was also the occasion of being part of one of these ancient universities, very rich in traditions and culture. Dublin is a human-sized city, with amazingly welcoming people and enough pubs to go out each week at a different place. This year in Ireland doing the MSc in Economics was one of the greatest experience of my student life and I definitely recommend it.'
Jason Somerville, Class of 2013
'Having worked in finance, I realised that I had an inclination towards research in economics and, eager to bring my quantitative skills and theoretical knowledge up to postgraduate research standards, I applied and was accepted to the MSc programme in Trinity. The course delivered what you would expect from any good masters programme in economics – a focus on quantitative methods, a more advanced treatment of micro and macro economic theory and a rigorous training in econometrics. However, one of the most valuable skills I developed through the programme was a more intuitive grasp of economic concepts and ideas. The theory thought in the classroom was made relevant to the major economic issues the world faces today. Through weekly seminars, applied modules and the dissertation component, we were brought to the frontier of economic research.'
Christoph Walsh, Class of 2012
'Immediately following the MSc., I began the PhD program at Boston University where I am now in my second year. I believe that being in the MSc. played a significant role in my prospects of being accepted into a PhD program. Also, the mathematical tools and modeling techniques learned in the core courses (Micro, Macro and Econometrics) helped me progress through the difficult first year of the PhD program. On top of obtaining a solid background in economic theory, the Econometrics courses teach you how to become proficient in various statistical software packages. In the 'Research Topics' course, a different faculty member presents some of their research each week. These seminars expose you to the many different branches of economics that are researched by the faculty and this helps you find where your own research interests lie. The small class size of the MSc. is great for making friends and working together on the weekly problem sets. These problem sets are challenging, but this peer learning helps you master the material. In short, if you are interested in research in Economics or want to pursue a PhD, I believe the MSc. is a great way to begin attaining your goals.'
Barra Roantree, Class of 2012
'The MSc in Economics is a challenging postgraduate degree that prepares you for a career as a professional economist or to pursue a PhD. The coursework provide a rigorous grounding in the core components of modern economic analysis (econometrics, microeconomics and macroeconomics) while the dissertation ensures you acquire the essential skills needed to develop your own research ideas. Trinity offers a fantastic study environment, with small class sizes and great opportunities to engage with faculty members.After completing the MSc I joined the London based Institute for Fiscal Studies, where I work as a research economist on tax and welfare issues while also undertaking a PhD part-time at University College London. The Trinity MSc in Economics provided me with the technical and research skills needed for both, and I would recommend it to anyone considering a career as an economist.''
Christian Krekel, Class of 2010
'I decided to do the MSc Economics at Trinity College Dublin as it provides you with a set of technical skills that is, in my opinion, a necessary prerequisite for further studies in economics or related fields.
The course consists of modules in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, all of which provide you with fundamental and advanced techniques of economic and econometric modeling and, in case of the module 'econometrics', with valuable hands-on experience through practical sessions, translating theory into practice. Moreover, the module 'research topics' makes you acquainted with current research in the department and beyond, which helps you a great deal in finding a topic for your own research, be it for your dissertation or for your PhD.
After completing the course, I went on to do the MSc Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Currently, I am doing the PhD Economics at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). The MSc Economics at Trinity College Dublin prepared me well to pursue a career in research or in policy, as well as in many other fields.
In my current research at the Economic and Social Research Institute, I apply the theory and econometrics I learned on the programme on a daily basis – however, the ability to ask the right questions and think critically about the results is the skill that has stood to me the most.'
Mark Ryan, Class of 2008
'While studying for my primary degree in Engineering, the meaning of the expression 'money makes the world go around' became evident and I concluded that engineering and economics would be a very interesting combination and comprehensive basis for a broad range of careers. With this objective, I investigated possibilities after completing my Engineering degree and applied, and was accepted, for the MSc programme in Economics at TCD.
Ultimately, the most important skill that I learned from the course was the way to think like an economist: to be able to look at large complex questions and break them down into smaller manageable problems. The course itself was intense and required a lot of hard work but was geared towards the broader objective of cultivating the skill set to be better economic researchers, and it is a skill set that is applicable in all areas – not just economics or academia. After completing the course, I went to work as a Research Assistant in the Monetary Policy Research division of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, before moving to London to work in the Risk Management division of a large Investment Bank. In each job I have found that an ability to sift through the detail to understand the core questions in large projects, which I developed in the Economics MSc course in TCD, has been invaluable in addressing the issues which have arisen in my working experiences to date.'
Qi Li, Class of 2006
'The MSc in Economics was the most important stage of my study in Ireland. I think that it is designed to provide students, like me, with a detailed understanding and skills set in modern economics. On completion of the course, I found myself equipped to undertake further academic work and begin my PhD course.
I found econometrics very useful. It introduced fundamental approaches to econometric modelling techniques and also econometric analysis software used for econometric analyses, estimation, and forecasting.
Now I am becoming a lecturer in a university in China. Thanks to the background in economic theory and quantitative techniques I acquired in the MSc stage, I know what is useful for students' further career; which part is hard to understand; or which part is interesting. With the understanding of core element of economics and econometrics, I obtained the ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems, including original research topics.'
Reeta Suonpera, Class of 2006
'I completed the programme in 2006 and now work as an economist with Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC). A good master's degree is absolutely essential for a career as an economist and is pretty much expected by employers. I've no doubt that having a postgraduate qualification was instrumental for putting me on my current career path.
The Trinity MSc gives a solid technical grounding in micro, macro and econometrics, but you were also pushed to think about the real world behind the equations. It is a demanding programme, but that is after all what you look for in a master's programme. And most importantly, the international recognition of a Trinity MSc opens up a range of careers options, both in Ireland and abroad.'
Theodore Talbot, Class of 2007
'TCD was, for me, a serendipitous choice. I had been toying with the idea of following my Bachelor's in Economics, Politics, and Finance from McGill University in Canada with a law degree, but applied to Trinity because I wanted to improve my technical economics skills. It turned out to be a great decision. The M.Sc. offered me personal attention from senior faculty, a challenging curriculum (with content comparable to that of the LSE M.Res or the Oxford M.Phil), and a focus on technical skills, all in a one-year course that balanced learning modern economic tools with the chance to apply them. I'm now working for the Overseas Development Institute in the South Pacific, but plan on returning to Trinity to complete my Ph.D. in economics. Trinity's Department of Economics provided a focused, rewarding program with small class sizes and huge returns to the time I invested in developing my economic intuition.'
Denis Tkachenko, Class of 2006
'I am a graduate of the MSc Economics class of 2005/2006. I am currently a third year economics PhD student at Boston University. Having a bit of perspective now, I can say that doing the MSc has been instrumental in my ability to survive within the PhD program. One of the main benefits, in my opinion, was being exposed to many mathematical, theoretical and econometric tools before they all come crashing down on you in a more advanced treatment in the first year of PhD. Having some head start on those greatly reduces the amount of stress and raises success rates at exams. Another benefit is getting used to hard work. Eventually they will work you even harder, but it is much easier to do the transition in incremental steps. As an added bonus, depending on the school of your choice, you can waive some program requirements (in my case I waived 2 classes). But most important of all, I think the MSc is a great way to see whether academia is the right choice for you without much commitment involved. During only one year a student gets a taste of intense coursework, research and teaching. If you will like it – then a PhD might be a good choice and your chances of getting accepted into a good school will be higher with a master degree, if you won't – hey, at least you end up with useful skills and a degree that will enhance your job market value.'