Applied Economics and Finance

Student life

Study environment

With around 150 students enrolled each year, this concentration is one of the largest. With that many students it is difficult to get to know everyone, but students often tend to form smaller groups  based on shared levels of ambition, areas of interest or background. This allows for more diversified groups of students, where some are very active and social, some work a lot and keep to themselves, and some are very keen on internationalization and mixes in with everyone.. Students of the concentration are generally ambitious and active people, both in and outside the classroom, and many of them will have student jobs  that take up a lot of their spare time.

The concentration is very internationally oriented, both in  academic content and in the composition of your fellow students. Approximately half of the students come from outside of Denmark. Mostly from the Nordic or European countries.

The semester begins with an elaborate introductory programme which is a good way to get to know everyone. Where you take it from here is up to you, but the students often find it highly valuable to connect with each other. These  relationships will give you a large international network of motivated people that may  prove to be an asset in your future career. 

What to consider?

Even though the concentration is called Applied Economics and Finance there is quite a bit of theory in it. Especially during the first semester you will be introduced to many new areas and at a high academic level. There is just as much emphasis on understanding the theory and models as there is on knowing how to apply them and perform the necessary calculations. As such, the concentration can be seen as 50% theory comprehension and discussion, and 50% calculations and applications.

The number of classes and the fact that the concentration usually has all the exams at the end of the semester, give you great freedom to organise your study in a way that suits you best. This freedom, however, makes it easy to fall behind at the beginning of the semester. Only too late do students realise how  difficult it is to catch up when the exams are closing in. The high academic ambitions of the concentration are reflected in the fairly comprehensive curriculum.Therefore  time management and knowing how to prioritise your different commitments is very important.

To be a good match for this concentration, you should have a strong interest in finance and economics and a desire and skill to work with the application of the models and theories covered. For this reason it is a good idea to be up to speed on your statistics and math, as these skills will be used from the very beginning of the lectures.

Most Danish students enter the concentration with a B.Sc. degree in business administration, typically from Copenhagen Business School. Accordingly, the corresponding level is implied entry knowledge. For students with  a different background, e.g. international students, we have compiled some information on the recommended entry knowledge below:

Economics: the content of basic courses in micro and macro should be known. The following books indicate the level of recommended knowledge:
These books cover the introductory level regarding consumption theory, theory of the firm, welfare theory, short and long run equilibrium in the macro economy (Keynes, IS-LM, AD-AS, growth):

  • Frank, Robert H., Microeconomics and Behaviour, McGraw-Hill
  • Mankiw, M. Gregory, Macroeconomics, Worth
  • Blanchard, Olivier, Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall.

Finance: the recommended entry knowledge is indicated by a title as:

  • Ross, Westerfield & Jordan, Fundamentals of corporate finance, Irwin.

Econometrics: the use of t-tests and F-tests should be known. Basic knowledge of regression analysis is presupposed.
Some level of mathematics is recommended for all courses. Especially, it is valuable to master some basic rules of optimization (local and global maxima/minima)


The teaching  in the AEF concentration mostly consist of   lectures combined with exercise classes. For the lectures all students are together, but for the exercises the class is usually divided into three groups to make better room for questions and discussions.  In some courses presentations by  smaller groups of students are used, and also guest lecturers,  covering special areas, are invited to give  perspectives from a relevant company or industry.


At CBS each course is concluded with an examination. This means that you will have examinations after each semester in December and in April respectively. The business project is written in 6 weeks in May and June, and is to be submitted in mid June.

The typical exam form in the concentration is a four- hour written exam, but in the second semester there is an extended  group project, where you go  in more depth with a relevant topic and problem of your choice.

Work,life,study balance

Students find the concentration to be quite flexible for combining studies with  a student job . However, the workload is still full time, so prioritising and managing your time will be essential to be able to cover the curriculum in time for exams.

Studying in English

Before studying a programme taught in English you might want to consider the following:

  • All literature, lectures, exams, projects and group work are in English
  • Academic English differs from the English used in everyday language – so it might be a challenge even if you are used to speaking English in other situations.
  • You may have to spend more time on reading and understanding the material in English
  • You may find it challenging to express yourself with the same ease as you would in your mother tongue.
  • Some will feel uncomfortable and shy when speaking English – especially when in a crowd or among native speakers.

Practice makes perfect
There is a big difference between  reading and understanding texts and  expressing yourself in English both orally and in writing. This is a challenge for some students. Even if you are used to reading English texts on your bachelor programme, it is still a good idea to practice your English. Try to speak it on a regular basis, watch the news, movies and TV series in English. You should also read books and newspapers in English, as this will help you read faster and increase your vocabulary. A good command of English is essential for getting the maximum learning outcome of  your programme.


Each cohort of students has their own page on Facebook for academic and social events and information sharing. Furthermore they are active on LinkedIn. The concentration also has its own student and alumni association – The Applied Economics and Finance Association ( AEF students also often join case competitions or events like NOVA100.

In addition there are  a number of associations and organisations for students at CBS.

The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 11/26/2013