The School of Economics is one of the largest departments in the University, with a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Economics forms the foundation of any commerce-related degree at university and, as such, is more than just a tool to think about business. Economics is also a social science. The discipline is grounded solidly in the analysis of the social and economic relationships that underpin societies. Economics is therefore of great relevance to the development and social challenges facing South Africa.

One strength of this discipline is that it provides a theoretical lens to make sense of a complex world. But the theory itself is only one part of the story. Within the School, we emphasise analytical and empirical tools to test whether these theories are consistent with the data. In this regard, the School of Economics has several affiliated research units that do cutting-edge research in fields ranging from environmental policy to poverty alleviation and development policy. Through this research, we aim to understand better how the world works.

UCT economics degrees are very well regarded locally and internationally. Our postgraduate students are widely accepted into top international universities for PhD studies. We attract a wide range of students to our programmes from across Africa. Many UCT graduates in Economics have found excellent employment opportunities in commercial banks, the South African Reserve Bank and asset management companies and consulting firms like KPMG, McKinsey’s and Genesis Analytics. Many graduates are also employed in provincial and national government departments; others have become researchers in universities, non-government organisations and multilateral organisations such as the World Bank.

The schools' role is to contribute to the development of the student and society more broadly. We encourage you to participate with us in this challenge.