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Study Economics at Otago

A framework for thinking

Economics is about choice and is at the heart of decision-making. Governments, businesses and individuals are all faced with making choices in situations where resources are scarce.

Economics is not just a subject, it is a way of thinking, and provides a logical way of looking at a variety of issues. That’s why Otago Economics graduates are so well regarded – they are leading problem solvers and think outside the square.

Apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce (PGDipCom) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Why study Economics?

Economics is an exciting, dynamic, contemporary field. Economics affects everyone and applies to a range of disciplines including business, politics, history, law, health sciences and biotechnology. It deals with topics such as unemployment, economic growth, housing, income inequality, international trade, sustainable development and the environment. You name the field, Economics plays a part.

Studying Economics teaches you how to examine people’s ideas and come to your own soundly-based conclusions. No matter what career you’re aspiring to, you will find Economics invaluable.

Background required

There are no prerequisite subjects to study Economics – you don’t even have to have studied Economics at school. However, you might find English, Mathematics or Statistics useful subjects to study – especially if you want to major in Economics.

Careers in Economics

Otago Economics graduates are well known for their wide range of analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills, and are in high demand by employers. There are literally countless jobs for Economics graduates. You could be a policy analyst, a business consultant, an economics researcher, a financial adviser, a diplomat, a teacher, a bank manager or a journalist. An Economics background would also be invaluable for someone contemplating setting up his or her own business.

Our graduates can be found in jobs across the public and private sectors, for example:

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • OECD
  • Infometrics
  • Reserve Bank
  • Treasury
  • Statistics New Zealand
  • Inland Revenue
  • Banking – national and international
  • Health authorities
  • Local governments and planning authorities
  • United Nations

Student exchange

The University of Otago has exchange agreements with more than 100 institutions in over 30 countries. If your marks average B or better, you may qualify to attend one of these institutions for one semester or for a year. You pay only your New Zealand fees and complete your qualification within the same timeframe as if you’d never been away. Commerce students are also encouraged to participate in one of the more than 50 specific business exchanges the Otago Business School offers.

Economics at Otago

Economics is all about choice. This also applies to how you study the programme.

Economics can be studied as:

  • the major for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree
  • one of the majors for a BACom, BComSc or BASc combined degree
  • part of the multidisciplinary major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) for the BA or BCom
  • a second major within a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) degree.

The choice is yours!

Teaching style

Each paper is taught in a lecture format and most papers include weekly tutorials where you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the lecture topics in more detail. Just like at secondary school, assessment will include assignments, tests, essays and exams.

Double major/degree options

Economics complements a range of other majors and degree programmes such as Finance, Accountancy, Marketing Management, Management, Law, Political Studies, Philosophy, History, Geography, Psychology, Mathematics and a range of languages. The options are endless.

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics

Level Papers Points
100-level

BSNS 113  Economic Principles and Policy

ECON 112  Principles of Macroeconomics

18

18

200-level

ECON 201  Microeconomics, or ECON 271  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

ECON 202  Macroeconomics

One further 200-level ECON paper

18

18

18

300-level Four 300-level ECON papers 72
Plus

198 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

198
Total   360

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Economics

Papers
  • ECON 480  Dissertation

  • Four of the following, including at least one of ECON 410 and 411, and at least one of ECON 412 and 413:
    • ECON 402  Growth, Institutions and Development
    • ECON 403  Monetary Economics
    • ECON 404  International Economics
    • ECON 405  The Economics of Natural Resources and Public Choice
    • ECON 406  Labour and Population Economics
    • ECON 407  Special Topics in Advanced Economics
    • ECON 410  Advanced Microeconomic Theory
    • ECON 411  Advanced Macroeconomic Theory
    • ECON 412  Macroeconomics
    • ECON 413  Microeconomics

    Prerequisites:
    ECON 375  Econometrics
    ECON 377  Mathematical Economics
    two further 300-level ECON paper
    one further 300-level paper

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Economics

Papers

Prerequisites:
ECON 375  Econometrics
ECON 377  Mathematical Economics

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Economics

Thesis
  • Thesis: ECON 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Economics or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Economics must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Economics prior to undertaking the thesis.

Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Economics

Level Papers Points
100-level

BSNS 113  Economic Principles and Policy

ECON 112  Principles of Macroeconomics

BSNS 111 Business and Society, BSNS 112 Interpreting Business Data, BSNS 114 Financial Decision Making, BSNS 115 Accounting and Information Systems – must normally be taken in first year of study

18

18

72

200-level

ECON 201 Microeconomics, or ECON 271  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

ECON 202  Macroeconomics

One further 200-level ECON paper

18

18

18

300-level Four 300-level ECON papers 72
Plus

126 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Commerce.

126
 

Every programme must include BSNS 111-115. At least three of these papers must be passed before enrolling in any 200-level Commerce paper, and all must be passed before enrolling in any 300-level Commerce paper. For single-degree BCom students, all five must be attempted in the first year of study or equivalent.

STAT 110 or STAT 115 will be accepted as an alternative to BSNS 112 as a required paper or as part of the major subject requirements or as a prerequisite when:
(a) the paper has been passed before the student has enrolled for a BCom degree; or
(b) a student is enrolling for both a BCom and another degree for which STAT 110 or STAT 115 is required.

Total   360

Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom(Hons)) in Economics

Papers
  • ECON 480  Dissertation

  • Four of the following papers, including at least one of ECON 410 and ECON 411, and at least one of ECON 412 and ECON 413:
    • ECON 402  Growth, Institutions and Development
    • ECON 403  Monetary Economics
    • ECON 404  International Economics
    • ECON 405  The Economics of Natural Resources and Public Choice
    • ECON 406  Labour and Population Economics
    • ECON 407  Special Topic in Advanced Economics
    • ECON 410  Advanced Microeconomic Theory
    • ECON 411  Advanced Macroeconomic Theory
    • ECON 412  Macroeconometrics
    • ECON 413  Microeconometrics

    Prerequisites:
    ECON 375  Econometrics
    ECON 377  Mathematical Economics
    two further 300-level ECON papers
    18 further 300-level points

Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce (PGDipCom) in Economics

Papers

Master of Commerce (MCom) in Economics

Thesis
  • Thesis: ECON 5

Note: The MCom in Economics can be pursued by a combination of papers and thesis, or by thesis only. Students who have a good Bachelor's degree (or equivalent qualification) will complete the MCom by papers and thesis (at least two years' full-time study). The first year consists of a selection of papers worth 144 points, leading to a Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce (PGDipCom). Students who have a good Honours degree or a PGDipCom (or equivalent qualification) can complete an MCom by thesis only (minimum one year).

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics

Level Papers Points
100-level

BSNS 113  Economic Principles and Policy

ECON 112  Principles of Macroeconomics

MATH 160  Mathematics 1

STAT 110  Statistical Methods

18

18

18

18

200-level

ECON 202  Macroeconomics

ECON 210  Introduction to Econometrics

ECON 271  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

18

18

18

300-level

Four 300-level ECON papers

72

Plus

162 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science

162
Total   360

Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Economics

Papers

Prerequisites:
ECON 375  Econometrics
ECON 377 Mathematical Economics
Two further 300-level ECON papers
18 further 300-level points

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Economics

Papers

Master of Science (MSc) in Economics

Papers and Thesis

Minor subject requirements

Economics as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, or BASc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

BSNS 113  Economic Principles and Policy

ECON 112  Principles of Macroeconomics

18

18

Above 100-level

Three ECON papers at 200-level or above, including at least one of:
ECON 201 Microeconomics
ECON 202 Macroeconomics
ECON 271 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

and at least one at 300-level.

54
Total   90

Papers

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
ECON112 2021 Principles of Macroeconomics 18 points Semester 2
ECON201 2021 Microeconomics 18 points Semester 1
ECON202 2021 Macroeconomics 18 points Semester 2
ECON206 2021 The World Economy 18 points Semester 2
ECON207 2021 Environmental Economics 18 points Semester 1
ECON210 2021 Introduction to Econometrics 18 points Semester 1
ECON271 2021 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 18 points Semester 1
ECON301 2021 Labour Economics 18 points Semester 1
ECON302 2021 International Trade 18 points Semester 2
ECON303 2021 Economics of Developing Countries 18 points Semester 1
ECON306 2021 Economics of Health and Education 18 points Semester 2
ECON308 2021 Public Economics 18 points Not offered in 2021
ECON316 2021 Open Economy Macroeconomics 18 points Not offered in 2021
ECON317 2021 Urban and Regional Economics 18 points Semester 1
ECON318 2021 Behavioural Economics 18 points Semester 1
ECON319 2021 Game Theory 18 points Semester 2
ECON350 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
ECON351 2021 Special Topic: Economics of Households and Wellbeing 18 points Semester 2
ECON371 2021 Microeconomic Theory 18 points Semester 2
ECON375 2021 Econometrics 18 points Semester 2
ECON376 2021 Macroeconomic Theory 18 points Semester 1
ECON377 2021 Mathematical Economics 18 points Semester 2
ECON402 2021 Growth, Institutions and Development 20 points Not offered in 2021
ECON403 2021 Monetary Economics 20 points Semester 2
ECON404 2021 International Economics 20 points Not offered in 2021
ECON405 2021 The Economics of Natural Resources and Public Choice 20 points Not offered in 2021
ECON406 2021 Labour and Population Economics 20 points Semester 2
ECON407 2021 Topics in Advanced Economics 20 points Semester 2
ECON410 2021 Advanced Microeconomic Theory 20 points Semester 2
ECON411 2021 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 20 points Semester 1
ECON412 2021 Macroeconometrics 20 points Semester 1
ECON413 2021 Microeconometrics 20 points Semester 1
ECON480 2021 Dissertation 40 points Full Year
ECON485 2021 Master's Thesis Preparation 20 points Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year
ECON492 2021 Dissertation for Philosophy, Politics and Economics 60 points Full Year
ECON580 2021 Research Dissertation 60 points Semester 1, Semester 2, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period, 3rd Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Department of Economics
Otago Business School

Email economics@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/economics