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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.

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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.

Career opportunities

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

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.

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.

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.


Economics as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, 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 Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree


BSNS 113 Economic Principles and Policy

ECON 112 Principles of Macroeconomics



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.

Total 90

ECON papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
ECON112 2024 Principles of Macroeconomics 18 Semester 2
ECON201 2024 Microeconomics 18 Semester 1
ECON202 2024 Macroeconomics 18 Semester 2
ECON206 2024 The World Economy 18 Semester 2
ECON207 2024 Environmental Economics 18 Semester 1
ECON210 2024 Introduction to Econometrics 18 Semester 1
ECON271 2024 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 18 Semester 1
ECON301 2024 Labour Economics 18 Semester 1
ECON302 2024 International Trade 18 Semester 2
ECON303 2024 Economics of Developing Countries 18 Semester 1
ECON306 2024 Economics of Health and Education 18 Semester 2
ECON308 2024 Public Economics 18 Semester 1
ECON316 2024 Open Economy Macroeconomics 18 Not offered in 2024
ECON317 2024 Urban and Regional Economics 18 Not offered in 2024
ECON318 2024 Behavioural Economics 18 Semester 1
ECON319 2024 Game Theory 18 Semester 2
ECON350 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
ECON351 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
ECON371 2024 Microeconomic Theory 18 Not offered in 2024
ECON375 2024 Econometrics 18 Semester 2
ECON376 2024 Macroeconomic Theory 18 Not offered in 2024
ECON377 2024 Mathematical Economics 18 Semester 2
ECON402 2024 Growth, Institutions and Development 20 Not offered in 2024
ECON403 2024 Monetary Economics 20 Semester 2
ECON404 2024 International Economics 20 Not offered in 2024
ECON405 2024 The Economics of Natural Resources and Public Choice 20 Not offered in 2024
ECON407 2024 Topics in Advanced Economics 20 Semester 2
ECON410 2024 Advanced Microeconomic Theory 20 Semester 2
ECON411 2024 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 20 Semester 1
ECON412 2024 Macroeconometrics 20 Semester 1
ECON413 2024 Microeconometrics 20 Semester 1
ECON480 2024 Dissertation 40 Full Year
ECON485 2024 Master's Thesis Preparation 20 Semester 1, Semester 2, Full Year
ECON492 2024 Dissertation for Philosophy, Politics and Economics 60 Full Year
ECON590 2024 Research Dissertation 60 Semester 1, Semester 2, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period, 3rd Non standard period

More information

Contact us

Department of Economics
Otago Business School


Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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