Postgraduate study in economics is designed to prepare students to pursue careers as economists in academia, government and the private sector. This objective is met by developing the ability to think logically and creatively, to analyse economic data through the application of appropriate theory and quantitative techniques, and to present research in seminars and written dissertations.

The Honours and Coursework Master’s programmes in economics are planned as a two-year sequence, where students receive the Honours degree after the first year of study.

Classes are given on the Westville and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

Entry into the Honours Programme

Students must have an undergraduate degree with an economics major and a minimum average of 60% across four third-year modules in economcis, to be considered for a place in Economics Honours.

A further requirement is that Economics 314 (Quantitative Economics) be passed with a 60% minimum. All level 3 modules relevant to the admission process are to be passed at the first attempt. Acceptance is at the discretion of the Head of School.


The 128-credit programme consists of:

  • Four 16-credit core modules
  • Two 16-credit option modules (from list below)
  • A 32-credit Honours Research Dissertation
  • Econometrics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Mathematics for Economists
  • Microeconomics
Optional (not all may be available in any year)
  • Cost Benenfit Analysis or Economic Evaluation in Health Care
  • Development Economics
  • Economics of Conflict and Security
  • Economics of Health Care
  • Economics of Ports and Harbours
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Trade
  • Labour Economics
  • Sustainable Resource Usage in South Africa
  • Special Topics
Economics Coursework Master's Programme

In the Master's programme, you will develop a deeper understanding of the core material in economcis and of the South African economy and, at the same time, you will be able to specialise in particular areas of study. The programme develops your capacity to apply theory and sophisticated economic and econometric tools to the solving of economics problems. Graduates from the programme are well placed to function as economists in academia, govenment and the private sector.

Students who

  1. have an Honours degree in economics with an average of at least 65%;
  2. have acquired a satisfactory level of achievement in the requisite quantitative skills, as determined by the Head of School
  3. possess the necessary English language skills to deal with the material of the course will be considered for a place in the Master's programme. Acceptance is at the discretion of the Head of School.