Economics

About the major

Economics is a diverse, fascinating discipline that studies a wide range of issues that shape the broad framework of society – political, social and commercial. The School of Economics has a proud history as one of the most highly ranked centres in economics. This is reflected in our degrees, which promote a deep understanding of the key concepts of economics with a focus on contemporary issues of Australian and international importance. Our graduates are leaders in their fields – at the Reserve Bank, Treasury and other government departments, in global financial institutions, and with international agencies and NGOs. They also go on to further study at some of the finest institutions in the world.

The objective of the major in Economics is to equip students for the diverse range of careers which value the key skills of the discipline - understanding economic and social phenomena, analysing economic data, and exploring alternative choices in addressing key challenges. The major builds the training in economics incrementally. It addresses the essentials of the discipline early in the degree, which opens a wide range of choice at senior level. This allows students to shape concentrations in areas of interest – in macroeconomics, or in areas of applied economic policy.

Requirements for completion

A major in Economics requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level units of study (ECON1001, ECON1002)
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units of study (ECOS2001/ECOS2901, ECOS2002/ECOS2902)
(iii) Alternative units for core units of study may be taken from the 2000 level selective units, if the core units have already been completed for a different major
(iv) 24 credit points of 3000-level selective units of study including 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units of study

A minor in Economics requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units (ECOS2001/ECOS2901, ECOS2002/ECOS2902)
(iii) Alternative units for core units of study may be taken from the 2000-level selective units, if the core units have already been completed for a different major
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units

First Year

The core first year units introduce students to the basic tools and concepts essential for economic analysis.

In ECON1001 students will be introduced to the key tools that they will use throughout their major, including the concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, marginal analysis, efficiency and market failure. Students will be also be introduced to game theoretic models of strategic interaction.

Similarly, in ECON1002 students will learn the basic tools and concepts of macroeconomic analysis. These include methods of measuring economic performance (eg select and utilise relevant techniques and principles to analyse economic events) and models of explaining short-run output, such as the Keynesian income-expenditure model. Students will also be introduced to the basic mechanics of monetary and fiscal policy.

Second Year

The tools of microeconomic analysis are further developed in ECOS2001. Students will learn models of consumer budgets, preferences and utility, providing the foundation of individual and market demand. This will allow the development of individual and market demand. Similarly, students analyse firm production, costs and the profit maximisation problem.

For the first time students will be introduced to general equilibrium models of the economy. Models of imperfect competition and strategic interaction, first introduced in ECON1001 are further developed. For example, students analyse models with incomplete information. In addition, game theoretic tools of analysis are used to model economic activities with both simultaneous and sequential moves. These models provide a framework to in which to analyse the effectiveness of government intervention in the economy. From this, students will be able to analyse and interpret economic events using economic models.

ECOS2002 develops each student’s macroeconomic skills, introducing them to the IS-LM model, models analysing output and price equilibrium (AD-AS models) the role of wages and prices in adjustment to equilibrium output, fiscal policy, monetary policy, demand and supply ‘shocks’. Models of consumption, investment and economic growth (the Swam-Solow model) will be presented.

Third Year

In their third year selectives, students apply the skills they have learnt in the four preceding theory units in a variety of applications. The culminating unit for the major is the interdisciplinary project unit. This unit will require students to demonstrate that they can choose the appropriate model to critically analyse and to provide advice. Students will also need to be able to demonstrate they understand the limitations of the models used.

Honours

Sydney’s School of Economics is one of 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, problem solving, writing, presentation and time-management skills.

Preparation for the final honours year in Economics at the University of Sydney begins in the second year of the undergraduate degree, with dedicated honours program units in both the second and third year. Entry into the Economics honours program is also possible in the third and fourth years, but the entry criteria are higher for students who take this pathway than for students who begin in their second year. Students entering in later years will also need to complete some units from the second and third years of the honours program.

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours requires a major in Economics with an average of 70 percent or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018 or 2019: Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Economics with an average of 70 percent or above. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

For details please see http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics/undergrad/honours.shtml

The Honours year requires 48 credit points including:
(i) 18 credit points of 4000-level Honours thesis units of study
(ii) 30 credit points of 4000-level Honours seminar units of study

Advanced Coursework

The requirements for advanced coursework in Economics are described in the degree resolutions for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies.

24-36 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Contact and further information

School of Economics
sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
Email:

Example pathways

Economics major pathway

Year and Semester Units of Study
1st Year S1 ECON1001
Introductory
Microeconomics
 
  S2 ECON1002
Introductory
Macroeconomics
 
2nd Year S1 ECOS2001
Intermediate
Microeconomics
 
  S2 ECOS2002
Intermediate
Macroeconomics
 
3rd Year S1 ECOS3XXX
Economics major
selective unit
ECOS3XXX
Economics major
selective unit
  S2 ECOS3XXX
Economics major
selective unit
ECON3999
Economics major
selective unit
(combined
interdisciplinary
project unit)

Economics minor pathway

Year and Semester Units of Study
1st Year S1 ECON1001
Introductory Microeconomics
  S2 ECON1002
Introductory Macroeconomics
2nd Year S1 ECOS2001
Intermediate Microeconomics
  S2 ECOS2002 Intermediate
Macroeconomics
3rd Year S1 ECOS3XXX
Economics selective unit
  S1 ECOS3XXX
Economics selective unit