School of Economics Honours
Welcome to the University of Sydney School of Economics Honours Program
Professor John Romalis
School of Economics Honours Coordinator
The School of Economics Honours Degree has a long
and prestigious history. It provides a year of intensive study to
students with superior academic records and specialized preparation. The
program produces graduates with advanced technical skills, organization
and motivation. It will challenge the best students. Our Honours
graduates are highly desired and often become leaders in finance,
industry and government. We find that Honours graduates frequently
remain in contact long after graduation.
Reasons for Undertaking Honours in Economics
A degree with Honours in Economics is highly desirable for a student seeking careers with employers that demand high academic achievement. Many of our Honours graduates pursue careers in the financial sector; consulting; the Reserve Bank of Australia; and government departments such as Treasury, Finance and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Some have proceeded to academia, politics, and journalism. A sample of School of Economics alumni (most with Honours degrees) can be found at: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics/alumni/alumni-profiles.shtml. The Business School also produced a promotion featuring some of our graduates: http://video.econ.usyd.edu.au/students/USBS_honours.mp4.
Sydney’s School of Economics is one of only a handful of schools that provide a dedicated Honours stream from second year, with smaller classes to facilitate greater interaction with academic staff and other students. Our program is built upon a core of advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics courses. We also require students to strengthen their mathematical and data analysis skills. This core of subjects prepares students for a wide range of electives in their Honours year. The courses are challenging, and as students undertake advanced coursework and conduct independent research they develop their analytical, writing, presentation and time-management skills.
Students are first invited to the Honours program if they perform well in their introductory microeconomics (ECON1001, ECON1040 or BUSS1040) and macroeconomics courses (ECON1002). Entry into the Economics Honours program is also possible in the third and fourth years, but the entry criteria are higher, and students will also need to complete some units from the second and third years of the Honours program. Since these special units are taught in one semester only, students need to plan their degree carefully. This is especially true if you plan to go on an international exchange, which for most students works most easily in second semester of second year or second semester of third year.
External students may also apply to our Honours degree. External students in the Sydney region contemplating this are encouraged to apply for cross-institutional study in some Honours prerequisite units while undertaking their degree. This will increase your familiarity with our Honours cohort and may ease entry into the Honours year.
2nd Year Economics Honours Program
The second year is where we first provide dedicated Honours classes at a more advanced level than our regular intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics classes. To prepare students for the greater rigour of Honours classes we also require a course in mathematical economics. Honours students are also required to acquire advanced data analysis skills, starting this with intermediate econometrics.
The timing of courses below assumes that your first undergraduate degree is a 3-year degree. Courses may be spread out over a longer period of time provided you respect the prerequisite structure. The “second year” Honours program consists of three required economics units:
- ECOS2901: Intermediate Microeconomics Honours (Semester 1 only)
- ECOS2902: Intermediate Macroeconomics Honours (Semester 2 only)
- ECOS2903: Mathematical Economics A (Semester 1 only, MATH2070/2970 being a Semester 2 alternative for students with the MATH prerequisites)
It is very strongly advised that students take ECMT2150 Intermediate Econometrics in second year, as it (or ECMT2110) is a prerequisite for two third year Economics Honours program units, ECOS3903 and ECOS3904. Otherwise, it must be taken in Semester 1 of your third year.
Students achieving an average of 70% across ECON1001 (or ECON1040 or BUSS1040) and ECON1002 will be invited to enrol in the 2nd year Economics Honours units. Students with an average of 65-69% may contact the Economics Honours Coordinator to request an invitation.
3rd Year Economics Honours Program
The Honours program becomes more intense in the 3rd year with compulsory advanced courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students make their first substantive choice within the Honours program when they choose between taking a micro-econometrics course and a macro-econometrics course. The macro-econometrics course has a focus on analysing time-series data, and is a natural complement to studying macroeconomics. Some of the tools are also useful for studying higher-frequency time-series data such as financial market data. The micro-econometrics course has a greater focus on teaching tools to study datasets that contain observations on many individuals, households or firms. If your schedule allows, you may take all of the 3rd year Honours units.
The timing of courses below again assumes that your first undergraduate degree is a 3-year degree. Courses may be spread out over a longer period of time provided you respect the prerequisite structure. The 3rd year Honours program requires students to take at least three Honours units:
- ECOS3901: Advanced Microeconomics Honours (Semester 1); and
- ECOS3902: Advanced Macroeconomics Honours (Semester 2)
AND at least one of:
- ECOS3903: Applied Microeconomics Honours (Semester 1); or
- ECOS3904: Applied Macroeconomics Honours (Semester 2)
Please Note: Certain combinations of ECMT subjects are acceptable substitutes for ECOS3903 and ECOS3904 but do not count towards the economics major. Please consult the handbook for details.
Students must also complete one additional 3000-level ECOS unit during their degree, except when both ECOS3903 and ECOS3904 are selected.
Students achieving an average of 70% in ECOS2901, ECOS2902 and ECOS2903 (or MATH2070/2970) will be invited to enrol in the 3rd year Economics Honours units. Students with an average of 80% or higher in ECOS2001 and ECOS2002 may contact the Economics Honours Coordinator to request an invitation, but these students will then need to complete ECOS2903 (or MATH2070/2970).