The Master of Commerce specialising in Applied Economics [M031/CM032ECO08] is a programme convened by Emer Prof Anthony Black. It recognises the need for a flexible structure that allows students to focus on research while choosing a curriculum suited to their abilities and interests. This degree aims to give students essential research skills (quantitative and writing skills) and knowledge in their chosen area of specialisation. The 120-credit dissertation weighting allows students to qualify for NRF funding.

Entrance requirements:

An average of at least 65% in an Honours degree in Economics. Before admission to this programme stream, a candidate shall have completed quantitative courses in Econometrics at Honours level‚ or the equivalent. A candidate who has not completed these courses‚ or their equivalent‚ shall be required to complete these as preliminary work whilst registered as a candidate for the degree in addition to the prescribed courses. Applicants may be required to undertake a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test. Recommendation of acceptance is at the discretion of the Graduate Committee of the School of Economics.

Duration of the programme:

Offered over two years full–time. The programme begins in January.

Prescribed curriculum/programme structure:

This programme comprises two compulsory courses‚ two optional courses, and a dissertation (ECO5066W). Students taking ECO5046F or ECO5021F, or ECO5020F must take ECO5011F Quantitative Methods for Economists before registering for these courses*. A candidate will ordinarily complete the prescribed courses in the first year‚ and be expected to complete the dissertation within the following year. The programme comprises 240 credits.

* This course is non-credit bearing for this programme

Compulsory courses

  • ECO5046F Advanced Econometrics

At least one of:

Course Code Course Name NQF Credits  HEQSF Level
ECO5021F Advanced Macroeconomics 30 9
ECO5020F    Advanced Microeconomics 30 9
ECO6007F Microeconomics II 30 10

​​​​​Optional courses

Two courses to be chosen from the following (one course if both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics are chosen in the first semester):

  • ECO5003F Governance and Growth
  • ECO5050S International Finance
  • ECO5052S Natural Resource Economics
  • ECO5057S Labour Economics
  • ECO5062S Applied International Trade
  • ECO5064S Views of Institutional and Behavioural Economics
  • ECO5069S Applied Time Series Analysis
  • ECO5070S Microeconometrics
  • ECO5073F Problems of Globalisation
  • ECO5074S Research and Policy Tools
  • ECO5077S Industrial Organisation
  • ECO5075S Macroeconomic Policy Analysis
  • ECO5076S Development Microeconomics
  • ECO5077S Empirical Industrial Organisation
  • ECO5066W Minor Dissertation

Research Component

Course Code Course Name NQF Credits  HEQSF Level
ECO5066W Minor Dissertation  60 9

Options may be added or withdrawn according to circumstances each year. Students may take one approved course from a cognate discipline as an optional course (in either semester). 


To qualify for the Master's degree, ‚ students must pass all courses, including the research component to the value of 240 HEQF credits. Candidates are normally expected to complete all the coursework within one year. The 120 credit dissertation‚ which should be no longer than 25 000 words in length‚ is expected to be completed in the year following the coursework.

Readmission rules:

Students who fail may repeat a maximum of two courses of the coursework component once‚ provided that they scored at least 40% on the first attempt. If a student fails an elective‚, they may substitute it with another elective. There will be no supplementary examinations—satisfactory progress for research as per MoU’s (Memorandum of Understanding).

Distinction rules:

The degree will be awarded distinction if the candidate obtains an overall average mark of 75% or higher‚ and if the candidate obtains not less than 70% for both the coursework component and the dissertation component of the degree.

Further programme specific administrative requirements:

The closing date for applications is 31 October. The programme begins in January.


Applications are now open and close on 31 October. To apply, please click here.

For more information on the courses, please refer to Commerce Postgraduate Handbook.