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Master of Economics

Join one of the world’s top economics schools and gain advanced training in contemporary economics. Choose from four core and various elective courses.

  • Overview
  • Program structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Why choose this master’s degree?

  • A specialist degree designed for graduates with a major in economics
  • Acquire advanced knowledge in economics from one of the world’s leading economic schools
  • Gain advanced training in economics and econometrics, including technical modelling for independent research
  • Develop critical thinking and analytical skills for advanced research
  • Wide range of electives: Ability to select courses to tailor to your interests and professional development
  • Further studies: Opportunity to pursue a PhD in economics after completion

Who is this degree for?

  • You’re an economics graduate looking for an advanced program in economics
  • You would like to extend your skills and knowledge with the latest research and thinking in economics
  • You might be looking to pursue a PhD program in economics after completing the program

Job and career prospects 

The degree will open up many career opportunities including:

  • Government departments, including the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics and Treasury
  • International organisations, including the major banks
  • Consulting firms
  • Research centres
  • Educational institutions

The Master of Economics is a 1 year program consisting of 8 courses (48 UOC): 4 core courses, plus 4 elective courses.

Core courses

ECON6001 Microeconomic Analysis

The first part of the course deals with individual decision making and basic game theory. Fundamental topics covered include utility maximisation, expenditure minimisation, duality, welfare changes, and decision making under uncertainty. Producer theory and market equilibrium may also be discussed, along with an introduction to basic game theory which is an essential tool to analyse strategic behaviour.

The second part of the course builds on the first by exploring economic environment with asymmetric information (asymmetric information, signalling and screening), as well as other topics in contract theory such as principal-agent problems and incomplete contracts.

Course outline
ECON6002 Macroeconomic Analysis

Advanced analysis of macroeconomic issues.

Topics include:

The structure of macroeconomic models, growth theory and capital accumulation, the structure of short run classical and Keynesian models, equilibrium and disequilibrium models of the business cycle, open economy models, fiscal policy and deficits,.monetary policy and stabilisation theory.

Course outline
ECON6003 Econometric Analysis

This course is designed to provide a rigorous foundation of modern econometrics for applied research in economics. The first part of the course covers classic econometric concepts and techniques, such as moment estimation, maximum likelihood, least squares regression, and hypothesis testing and inference. Where necessary some statistical theory as well as basic matrix algebra will be taught. The second part of the course builds on these sound fundamentals of econometric theory. Topics covered could include instrumental variables, generalized method of moments (GMM), the bootstrap, quantile regression, or panel methods. Students will be required to use statistical packages to conduct econometric data analysis.

Course outline
ECON6004 Mathematical Economics

This course is an introduction to mathematical techniques that are widely used in economics. We study the properties of sets, vector spaces, functions and equations and use them to describe economic environments. We employ mathematical techniques such as equation solving, static and dynamic optimisation and duality to analyse economic problems.

Course outline

Elective courses

ECON6101 Advanced Microeconomic Analysis

Advanced topics in microeconomics. These may include: existence and uniqueness of competitive equilibrium, the welfare theorems, incomplete markets, games with complete information, games with incomplete information, market equilibria with asymmetric information (adverse selection and moral hazard), principal-agent models and mechanism design.

Course outline
ECON6102 Advanced Macroeconomic Analysis

Consumption and investment theories including models of optimisation, overlapping generation models with money, real business cycle models, equilibrium asset pricing, multiplicity of equilibrium and bubbles. Recent topics in contracting and market imperfections and the role of policy.

Course outline
ECON6201 Advanced Econometric Theory and Methods

This course covers a selection of advanced econometric methods such as maximum likelihood, generalised methods of moments, simulated maximum likelihood, simulated methods of moments, Bayesian inference, and bootstrap methods. Irrespective of the particular topics taught in any year, the course will emphasise the theoretical foundations of methods and their application to substantive economic problems in areas such as financial econometrics, micro-econometrics and macro-econometrics. This course is designed for students who want to acquire a higher level of knowledge in the area of econometrics beyond that expected of a good applied economist.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

ECON6202 Policy Evaluation Methods

This course provides a set of statistical tools and research designs that are useful in conducting empirical research in applied microeconomics and related fields. Because of the importance of economic research with direct policy implications, the focus will be on methods for estimating causal effects. We will critically discuss various techniques and indicate strengths and weaknesses. We will review several different approaches to program evaluation and apply these methods to real data, in the context of policies and programs in a broad range of areas including development, labour markets, health care, political economy, social welfare and poverty, education, and crime. The course will equip students with the necessary knowledge to be able to conduct program evaluations and to be informed consumers of such research.

Course outline
ECON6203 Applied Macroeconometrics

This course provides an introduction to econometrics as it is applied in macroeconomics. Emphasis is on hands-on implementation of the methods covered in the course. Topics include macroeconomic data, linear and nonlinear time series models, practical issues with likelihood-based inference for these models, computational approaches to hypothesis testing and model comparison, forecast evaluation, and structural identification. The course will equip students with the necessary knowledge to be able to undertake econometric analysis of the type commonly associated with modern macroeconomic research.

Course outline
ECON6205 Microeconometric Modelling

This course covers the specification, estimation, and use of econometric methods that are necessary to model discrete choices made by individuals, households, firms, etc. Situations where data are available either as a cross section or as a panel will be covered. Special emphasis will be placed on illustrating the appropriate use of such data and application of associated models using case studies drawn from health, labour, and environmental economics as well as business disciplines such as finance and marketing. The course will equip students with the necessary knowledge to be able to conduct research in the specialised area of micro-econometrics and to be informed consumers of such research.

Course outline
ECON6301 Strategic Market Behaviour and Government Regulation

Topics covered will be from amongst the following. Theory of the firm, production costs, monopoly, dominant and fringe firms, cartels, oligopoly and monopolistic competition, differentiated products, regulation, advertising, horizontal and vertical integration, strategic behaviour by firms, and R &D. Both theoretical and empirical results will be covered in the course.

Course outline
ECON6302 International Trade

The theory and practice of international trade. The course will emphasise both traditional neo-classical trade theory as well as the more modern strategic trade theory. The principles and predictions of these theories will be used to consider the recent developments in Australian trading relations and international trading relations in general.

Course outline
ECON6303 Economics of Labour Markets

Traditional models of labour supply; participation and hours of work, immigration. Provision of training and skills, human capital theory. The theory of screening, specific and general skills models. Demand for labour, marginal productivity theory, labour hoarding, quit rates and turnover. Internal labour markets. The theory of wage differentials and the structure of earnings. Labour market segmentation. Trade unions and theories of bargaining.

Course outline
ECON6306 Environmental Economics

This course considers the main elements of environmental economics and cost benefit analysis as it relates to the assessment of environmental issues.
Topics include: pollution and pollution policy; environmental cost-benefit analysis and economic methods for measuring costs and benefits; species extinction and irreversibility; environmental ethics and discounting; the environment and developing countries; and the sustainable economy.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

ECON6307 Health Economics

The course provides an economic approach to the analysis of health and medical care markets. Topics covered include the production of health, the production and consumption of medical care, the relationship between health and wealth, the health workforce and the training of health professionals, social insurance and the organisation of health insurance markets. Throughout the course reference is made to current government health policy.

Course outline
ECON6309 Economic Measurement

This course covers the theory and practice of economic measurement, including the measurement of key economic indicators such as the Consumer Price Index, Gross Domestic Product and productivity growth. Approaches employed by international statistical agencies will be highlighted, along with the possibility that policy implications are often reliant on the choice of measurement techniques. The course will be technically rigorous, particularly in the use of microeconomic theory and econometric analysis, and will draw on the latest international research developments.

Course outline
ECON6310 Advanced Experimental and Behavioural Economics

This course is designed to deepen students' understanding of the experimental method of investigation in economics research. Some prior study of experimental and behavioural economics in undergraduate studies is desirable. In the first half of the course we will review questions of experimental design and implementation such as appropriate procedures of subject recruitment, programming tools, statistical and econometric analysis of experimental data, and other methodological issues in experimental economics. Further, we will survey the topics covered by current research into experimental and behavioural economics, as well as the main results and conclusions.  In the second half of the course, students will form groups and develop their own experimental project, from design over programming and the actual implementation to the analysis and write-up of a research paper. Grading will rely on class participation, exam and the research paper.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

ECON6350 Special Topics in Economics

This course provides a comprehensive and in-depth treatment of a topic at the forefront of contemporary research in economics or econometrics.

Potential topics: political economics, auction theory, economic measurement, real business cycle theory.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

There are 3 categories of entry.

Category A

To be eligible for the program, you must have:

  • A recognised Honours degree (with a research thesis) in economics with a Second Upper Class (2.1) or better

Category B

To be eligible for the program, you must have:
  • A recognised bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) with a minimum overall average of 70%, as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator; and
  • A major (at least seven courses) in Economics; and
  • Completed second- or third-year courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and mathematical economics at a minimum average grade of 70% for these courses

Category C

To be eligible for the program, you must have:
  • A recognised bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) with a credit average (65% or higher) as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator; and
  • Substantial studies in intermediate level microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics as well as mathematical and statistical methods within the bachelor degree; and
  • A graduate certificate in economics (equivalent to that offered at UNSW Business School) with a minimum overall average of 70%, as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this program.

Note: No other requirement (such as GMAT, GRE, personal statement, academic referee) is considered unless otherwise specified.

Preparatory program

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you might want to consider the Graduate Certificate in Economics as an alternative entry into the Master of Economics.

Students who are not graduates of Australian or NZ universities

For students who have studied at overseas universities, the normal minimum academic requirement is the equivalent of a credit average grade (65%) from an Australian university, as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator. Details on assessment will be determined by your grading system so it is important that this is attached with your transcript when you apply.

Note: For applicants from non-211 China universities for UNSW Business School Postgraduate Coursework programs, 88 cut off is equivalent to an 85% Australian scaled average using the calculator.

We will use the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR). They are the government body that provides official information on the comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications using the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as our benchmark.

In those countries where an equivalent grade has not been established, the following will be taken into consideration:

  • The standard and content of the undergraduate program completed, and
  • The standard of the institution from which the qualifications were obtained
  • Indian universities award different types of bachelor and master degrees, with different requirements in terms of length of study. At a minimum, applicants would be required to have a 3-year bachelor degree or professional bachelor degree and provide all individual marksheets.
  • Iranian universities award different types of bachelor degrees, with different requirements in terms of length of study. At a minimum, applicants would be required to have a 4-year bachelor degree.

Application checklist

Before you apply, ensure that you:

  1. Choose the right program that matches your interests and career aspirations
  2. Meet the entry requirements of the program
  3. Have the various supporting documentation for your application. E.g.
    1. Official academic transcripts
    2. Proof of completion of qualification
    3. Proof of identity and citizenship
    4. Proof of relevant work experience (if required)

You can upload the above documentation during the online application process

How to apply

You can apply for this program online:

There is one intake per year:

  • Semester 1 (March) intake, apply by November 30

Need help?

Still need help finding the right postgraduate business program for you? Contact us now.

We know you're busy balancing postgraduate study with your personal and other work commitments. So UNSW Business School's dynamic learning spaces, facilities and student support helps you make the most of every day on campus.

Expand your professional network

Your postgraduate cohort is more than a valuable future business network – you'll make lifelong friends in class and at a range of social events. Join a student club – there are more than 180 social, cultural, sports and professional clubs to choose from. The Graduate Student Association is a great place to start.  Find out more

All the support you need to achieve

If it has been a while since you last studied, you may need to brush up on your skills. We'll help with study skills workshops and Career Mentoring programs. Our Meet the Executive series offers unique behind the scenes business insights and the Business School's LEAD Business Leadership program, as well as many other orientation, leadership and mentor programs, can open the door to new opportunities. Find out more

Stay active on campus

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It's easy to stay fit with state of the art sporting facilities on campus, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Everything you need in one place

The UNSW Kensington campus is like a village hub, with cafes, bars, banks, a post office, medical and dental centres as well as retail outlets. It's a short bus trip to Sydney's CBD, many beautiful beaches, the SCG and Centennial Park, and movie theatres at Fox Studios.

Make the most of every opportunity

Your postgraduate degree is a unique chance to get a new perspective on life. So get involved – as well as student clubs and social activities there are internships, volunteer projects, competitions and international exchanges on offer. It's a great way to further develop your leadership, project management or specialist skills.

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Quick facts for students

Program code
Masters Degree (Coursework)
Assumed Knowledge
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Study Mode
Face to face
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Commencing semesters
Semester 1 - March
Course fee*
Program fee (total)*
* Fees are indicative only

​​​​​​​​​Area of Study

Browse the list of study areas available for postgraduate study


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest