The Master of Commerce specialising in Economics by coursework [CM031ECO01] is convened by Emer Prof Anthony Black and aims to equip students with the theoretical and technical knowledge required to practise as professional economists in the public and private sector.  All courses, including the core theory courses, include theoretical and empirical applications to reflect the objectives of the degree.

Entrance requirements:

  • An average of at least 65% in an Honours degree in Economics.
  • Applicants may be required to undertake a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test.
  • Students who have completed equivalent courses at the Master level may apply for exemption, but not credits, from particular courses.
  • Recommendation of acceptance is at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.

Programme structure:

The Masters in Economics programme comprises four compulsory courses in the first semester, two elective courses in the second semester, and a compulsory research paper.  The degree runs over 12 months.  The programme comprises 240 credits.

Compulsory courses: Course Name HEQF Credits NQF Level
ECO5011F Quantitative Methods for Economists 30 9
ECO5021F Advanced Macroeconomics 30 9
ECO5020F Advanced Microeconomics OR 30 9
ECO6007F Microeconomics II 30 10
ECO5046F Advanced Econometrics 30 9

Optional courses: Two courses to be chosen from (30 credits each) at NQF Level 9. 

  • ECO5003F Governance and Growth
  • ECO5030S Applied Growth Theory
  • 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
  • ECO5030S Applied Growth Theory
  • ECO5075S Macroeconomic Policy Analysis
  • ECO5074F Research & Policy Tools
  • ECO5073S Problems of Globalisation
  • ECO5077S Empirical Industrial Organisation
  • ECO5076S Development Microeconomics

Research component:

Compulsory courses: Course Name HEQF Credits NQF Level
ECO5023W Minor Dissertation 60 9

With the permission of the Graduate convener, students may be permitted to take one Masters course (level 5000) from another Department. Options may be added or withdrawn according to circumstances each year.


To qualify for the Master's degree, students must pass all courses, including the research component, to a value of 240 HEQF credits.

The research component is examined through a mini-dissertation (60 HEQF credits), which will be due in early February in the year following the coursework.

Readmission rules: 

Students who fail may repeat a maximum of two courses of the coursework component once they have submitted the required dissertation within the time frame for submission. A compulsory course may be repeated only if the student 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 the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) 

Further programme specific administrative requirements: 

In addition to completing the University application form, students applying from outside of UCT must also submit the course outlines of their highest level Economics courses and the names and contact details of two referees to the Graduate Administrator, School of Economics before 31 October. The programme begins in January. 

For further queries, email

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