Economics is the study of how people behave; every day, people and society are confronted by choices. Should you go to university or start a career? What should you do with your next dollar? Should the government raise the minimum wage, or not? How do we address the big issues in the world, such as poverty and climate change?
Choices involve trade-offs where we are choosing between two things. The outcomes of choices have both costs and benefits to consider. Economics is the study of how people and societies make such decisions in the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
- At UC, students can specialise in Economics or study it alongside other disciplines. As an Economics major can be studied as part of an Arts, Commerce, or Science degree, you can decide which combination suits your personal strengths and interests best. Common combinations include studying Economics with Finance, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, and Mathematics. Students who wish to combine the study of Economics with another business discipline as part of a BCom degree may be interested in the Business Economics major.
- There is a 'compact study route' available, which is a pathway for students looking to combine Economics with another major or another degree but who have little interest in postgraduate study in the subject. Visit the Department of Economics and Finance website for more information on this route.
- The Department of Economics and Finance operates a consultancy project and internship programme where students have the opportunity to gain real world experience that enhances the valuable work-ready skills that an Economics degree provides.
- UC is ranked in the top 250 universities in the world for Economics and Econometrics (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
While previous study of economics is useful preparation, it is not essential to have studied this subject at secondary school.
Students can study Economics without having to take any mathematics. However, students who wish to keep open the option of progressing to postgraduate study in Economics are strongly advised to include calculus, statistics, and modelling in their Year 13 programme.
A broad education, including history and English, is useful to develop the ability to write clearly and analyse written material.
Students with very good Year 13 results in economics may be offered direct entry to 200-level Economics courses at the discretion of the Head of Department.
- ECON206 Intermediate Macroeconomics
- ECON207 Intermediate Microeconomics – Households and Government
- ECON208 Intermediate Microeconomics – Firms and Markets
If you are interested in postgraduate studies in Economics, you will also need to take MATH102 Mathematics 1A and STAT101 Statistics 1 during your degree. Those doing their major in the Bachelor of Science will also need to take ECON321 Microeconomic Analysis, ECON324 Econometrics, and ECON326 Macro and Monetary Economics.
For the complete three-year Bachelor of Commerce Economics major degree plan, see Te Kura Umanga | UC Business School website.
For the minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, complete the following courses:
- ECON207 Intermediate Microeconomics – Households and Government OR ECON208 Intermediate Microeconomics – Firms and Markets
- One 200-level ECON course
Graduates in Economics find employment in many areas of government and business, where it is recognised that an economist's education provides valuable specialist training for a professional career as well as good general preparation and background for an executive, entrepreneurial, or administrative career.
The increasingly large volume of information available to decision makers has created a demand for people with well-developed quantitative analysis skills, such as those developed in econometrics.
Professional economists are employed to conduct research and give advice on economic matters in various organisations such as government ministries and state-owned enterprises (eg, Kaitohutohu Kaupapa Rawa | Treasury, Manatū Hauora | Health, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Social Development, Manatū Ahu Matua | Primary Industries, and Manatū Aorere | Foreign Affairs and Trade). Graduates also find work in marketing organisations, Te Pūtea Matua | Reserve Bank, Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ, trading and merchant banks, stockbroking, insurance, trade commissions, local authorities, market research and other consultancies, and large businesses.
Those who are passionate about economics and education can also go on to teaching careers in schools or universities.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Economics.
Reception Level 2, Meremere building – see campus maps
Te Kura Umanga | UC Business School
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Browse related subjects to Economics
Choose an area that you are interested in and learn how UC's extensive range of study options can let you study what you want to.
Our modern society is underpinned by many mathematical insights. Mathematics is a living subject with ideas, techniques, and theorems constantly being created, ...