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Economics

Courses

Undergraduates Postgraduates
1st level economics Honours
2nd level economics Higher degrees
3rd level economics Other qualifications
Economic History Certificate programme

Undergraduate Modules

1st Level
2nd Level
3rd Level
ECS1500 Economics 1500 ECS2601 Microeconomics ECS3701 Monetary economics
FEC1501 Understanding the Economy ECS2602 Macroeconomics ECS3702 International trade
ECS1501 Economics 1A ECS2603 SA economic indicators ECS3703 International finance
ECS1601 Economics 1B ECS2604 Labour economics ECS3704 Public economics
ECS2605 SA financial institutions ECS3705 History of economic thought
ECS2606 Environmental economics ECS3706 Econometrics
ECS2607 Economics of tourism ECS3707 Development economics
ECS2608 Economic history
of the world
ECS2609 Economic history
of South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Level Economics

Number of students: 21 000 Go to 1st level staff

 

ECS1500: Economics 1500

The purpose of this module is to prepare students for studies in the world of economics. They will be able to reflect on the skills they already have and what resources they need to manage their own learning development. They will furthermore be able to have a broader vision of the South African economy and understand how these markets function and will be able to identify their own position and role, and that of the workplace within this broader economic environment.

ECS1501
Prerequisite
Examinations
1st semester Contact lecturers None One paper Two hours May
2nd semester Contact lecturers None One paper Two hours October

 






FEC1501: Understanding the Economy

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to basic economic concepts and issues and the linkages between them in a non-technical environment. The module aims to have students grasp basic concepts in order to move on and utilise these concepts in dynamic thinking at more advanced levels.

FEC1501
Prerequisite
Examinations
1st semester Contact lecturers None One paper Two hours May
2nd semester Contact lecturers None One paper Two hours October

 





ECS1501: Economics 1A

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to basic economic concepts and issues and the linkages between them in a non-technical environment. The module aims to have students grasp basic concepts in order to move on and utilise these concepts in dynamic thinking at more advanced levels.

ECS1501
Prerequisite
Examinations
1st semester Contact lecturers None One paper Two hours May
2nd semester Contact lecturers None One paper Two hours October

 






ECS1601: Economics 1B

Purpose: To gain insight into macroeconomic theory and variables such as total production and income of a country, economic growth, unemployment, inflation and the balance of payments.

ECS1601
Prerequisite
Examinations
1st semester Contact lecturers Registration requirement: ECS1501 One paper Two hours May
2nd semester Contact lecturers Registration requirement: ECS1501 One paper Two hours October

 








2nd Level Economics

Number of students: 2 200 Go to 2nd level staff


ECS2601: Microeconomics

Purpose: To gain insight into the behaviour of consumers and producers in the economy by studying demand and supply and its price sensitivity; consumer behaviour; production; the operation of different markets such as perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligopoly; general equilibrium and welfare.

ECS2601
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS2602: Macroeconomics

Purpose: To enable students to study various theoretical macroeconomic views on the determination of income in a closed and open economy and the role of economic policy in this regard, with special reference to South Africa.

ECS2602
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS2603: South African economic indicators

Purpose: To enable students to demonstrate an understanding of the meaning and interpretation of a wide range of economic indicators, including various national accounting concepts, price indices and balance of payments statistics, and to apply this understanding to recent South African economic data.

ECS2603
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS2604: Labour Economics

Purpose: To gain insight into the economic analysis of labour and the labour market with regard to the supply of and demand for labour education and training of the labour force; unemployment, vacancies and the migration of labour; trade unionism and collective bargaining, and discrimination in the labour market, and to apply this knowledge to the South African labour market.

ECS2604
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS2605: The South African financial system

Purpose: To gain insight into the operation of the South African financial system with reference to financial institutions, instruments and markets, and to demonstrate an understanding of the way that the monetary policy is implemented in South Africa.

ECS2605
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 




ECS2606: Environmental economics

Purpose: This module will enable students to determine the relationship between the macro- and micro-economy, and the natural environment, evaluate frameworks for environmental decision-making and assess the formulation of different policy measures.

ECS2606
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 




ECS2607: Economics of tourism

Purpose: To gain insight into the application of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory to the tourism environment in areas such as resource use, equilibrium in the tourism market, employment and income creation, tourism's external account and the role of multinational enterprises.

ECS2607
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





Economic History

Number of students: 60 Go to Economic History staff


ECS2608: Economic history of the world

Purpose: To enable students to critically assess the development of the modern international economy since 1820 by looking at topics such as the causes of economic growth, long-term capital movements, international migration, commercial policy, foreign trade, the growth of the multilateral payments network, the rise and fall of the gold standard, the spread of industrialisation, the impact of the First World War, the Great Depression and the disintegration of the international economy during the 1930s.

ECS2608
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS2609: Economic history of South Africa

Purpose: To enable students to critically assess the development of the Western market economy in South Africa by looking at topics such as the origins of the indigenous precapitalist economy, the development of the Cape Colony from a refreshment station to a far-flung colony of settlement under the Dutch East India Company (1652-1795), South Africa during the agricultural era (1795-1870), the impact of the mining revolution (1870-1910), and the gradual industrialisation of South Africa after 1910.

ECS2609
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS1501
ECS1601
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 






3rd Level Economics


Number of students: 850 Go to 3rd level staff


ECS3701: Monetary economics

Purpose: Students will have a fundamental understanding of core issues in monetary economics. They will be able to view, reflect on and solve current issues in the light of various theories that have been put forward concerning the roles of money, interest rates and inflation in the economy.

ECS3701
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2602 One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 




ECS3702: International trade

Purpose: This module will equip students with the ability to understand and analyse different trade theories and trade policy issues, as well as to analyse the motives and effects of international capital flows.

ECS3702
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2601
ECS2602
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS3703: International finance

Purpose: This module will enable learners to view, reflect on and solve current issues of the balance of payments, the foreign exchange rates, and the different theories thereof.

ECS3703
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2601
ECS2602
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS3704: Public economics

Purpose: This module will enable students to analyse public finance issues and policy within the context of the South African economy and other developing countries. Students will be able to describe, evaluate and advise on the role of government, its expenditures and tax revenue sources as well as intergovernmental fiscal relations.

ECS3704
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2601 One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 




ECS3705: History of economic thought

Purpose: Students credited with this module will have gained a better grasp of how economic thinking has developed over the centuries with particular references to famous economists like Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Mill, Marx, Marshall, Walras, Veblen, Keynes, Friedman, and more recently Lucas. This "historical awareness" should help them to evaluate current economic ideas and policy proposals better.

ECS3705
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2601
ECS2602
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS3706: Econometric techniques

Purpose: Introduction to statistical estimation techniques that are applied in economics. The module comprises the following: Introductory statistical overview; simple regression; multiple regression; statistical hypothesis testing; data problems; multicollinearity; heteroscedasticity; autocorrelation; dummy variables; lag models; causality tests. It is a practical module which entails a significant number of calculations.

NB: Experience has shown that it is highly desirable for students to bave some backgound in mathematics and/or statistics and/or a good mathematical ability and/or statistics and/or a good mathematical ability to cope with this econometrics course.

ECS3706
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2601
ECS2602
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November

 





ECS3707: Development Economics

Purpose: This module will enable students to analyse economic development issues and policy within the context of developing countries. Students will be able to describe, evaluate and advise on development challenges within a national and international context.

ECS3706
Semester
Prerequisite
Examination
Contact lecturers 1st & 2nd ECS2601
ECS2602
One paper Two hours May/June & October/November







Postgraduate Courses

Honours

Number of students: 350 Go to Honours staff Applying to do Honours FAQ



The two-year honours course consists of five papers chosen from the following options. Microeconomics (MICECHV) and Macroeconomics (MACECHJ) are both compulsory in the first year of study.

MACECHJ: Macroeconomics
Purpose: To critically compare and contrast the different schools of thought in macroeconomics. The module studies different theories of the economy as a whole, focussing on economic aggregates such as the level and change of national output, income and employment, inflation and interest rates and the relationships between them. The way in which the authorities can use economic policy to influence the economy is studied, especially the role of monetary and fiscal policy.

MICECHV: Microeconomics
Purpose: To equip students with insight into the economic behaviour of households, firms and markets as presented in microeconomic theories, such as neoclassical microeconomics and new institutional economics. Along with Advanced Macroeconomics, this module provides the basic knowledge and tools to be used in the other advanced modules in Economics.

DEVH00L: Development Economics
Purpose: To enable students to analyse key development issues affecting developing and less developed countries. Students will be able to describe and critically analyse development priorities and policy formulation in country-specific locations.

IERH004: International Economics
Purpose: To provide students with a thorough grasp and understanding of the main theoretical aspects of international trade and international monetary systems. The module will enable the students to critically analyse the current policy debates on international trade and finance, as well as the economic implications of different monetary systems.

MONECHG: Monetary Economics
Purpose: Students credited with this module will have an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical issues in money, banking and financial markets. They will be able to interpret events and trends in the world of finance and banking, explain how banks influence the real economy, evaluate the merits and demerits of the SARB's monetary policies and interpret the contents of financial publications.

PECH00G: Public Economics
Purpose: To enable students to critically discuss the role of government in a market economy and analyse and reflect on public expenditures and sources of government revenue. Students will be able to debate and critically analyse intergovernmental fiscal relations in the context of a decentralised form of government.

Paper in a related subject
An honours paper in a related subject (in which the student has passed the final course) subject to the approval of the heads of the departments concerned.


Higher Degrees

Doctorates and master's degrees are normally referred to collectively as higher degrees. The Department of Economics at Unisa does not offer coursework or examination courses at the higher degree level.

A master's dissertation must prove the candidate's ability to work independently [rule PG15(4)]. A good summary and critical evaluation of the international literature on a topic is regarded as adequate for a master's dissertation. On the other hand, a doctoral thesis must show proof of ORIGINAL WORK and must be a decided CONTRIBUTION to the knowledge of and insight into the subject [rule PG23(3)].

For further information contact:

The Directorate Student Admissions and Registrations: Senior Qualifications at mandd@unisa.ac.za or 012 429 4158.

Enquiries directed to the incorrect department, e-mail address or telephone number will result in unnecessary delays.


Certificate Programme in Economics and Public Finance
(NB: This certificate programme is suspended until further notice. No new registrations will be accepted.)

Why enrol for this programme?
The programme teaches students the basic principles of economics. A basic knowledge of these principles provides students with a better understanding of the economic environment in which they operate daily. The programme is aimed at all public sector employees( ie employees of government departments, parastatals, provincial and local governments), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private sector employees who want to obtain a better understanding of economic issues.

Objectives of the programme
The programme aims to create an understanding of:

  • what economics is
  • the nature of the South African economy
  • the economics of a number of development issues
  • the economics of public finance

Contents of the programme
The syllabus consists of four modules:

Module 1: INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS AND PRICE THEORY (PEPF01-4)

  • What economics is
  • The interdependence between households and firms
  • The economist's analytical toolkit
  • Markets and price determination
  • Perfect and imperfect competition
  • The labour market

Module 2: MACROECONOMIC THEORY AND POLICY (PEPF02-5)

  • The South African economy
  • Measuring the performance of the economy
  • Determination of national income
  • Money, the exchange rate and balance of payments
  • Unemployment, economic growth and inflation

Module 3: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ISSUES (PEPF03-6)

  • Nature of economic development
  • Poverty and income distribution
  • Health and education
  • Roles of market and the state
  • International trade theory and policy
  • Foreign finance and aid

Module 4: PUBLIC FINANCE (PEPF04-8)

  • Market failure and the role of government
  • Public choice and government failure
  • Government expenditure growth
  • The economics of taxation: equity and efficiency
  • Personal income tax and property taxation
  • Intergovernmental fiscal relations

Entrance requirements
Candidates for this programme should be in possession of a matric certificate or an equivalent qualification or appropriate experience.

Duration of the programme
The programme can be completed in one academic year. Registration commences in January of each year. Modules PEPF01-4 and PEPF02-5 are only offered in the first semester and modules PEPF03-6 and PEPF04-8 in the second semester. Students with a university qualification in economics may apply to be exempted from PEPF01-4 and PEPF02-5.

Evaluation/Certification
Instruction is through the medium of distance teaching. A one-day group discussion will be held in Pretoria in each semester. Two assignments are set per module, one of which is compulsory for admission to the examination. Examinations are held in May/June and October/November of each year. Successful candidates will be awarded a Certificate for the Programme in Economics and Public Finance by the University of South Africa.

Successful students with a senior certificate but without matric exemption qualify for Senate discretionary exemption and will also be exempted from Economics I, should they be interested in pursuing a degree through Unisa.

Fees and information for registration
The cost is R4 400-00, or R2 200 per semester (two modules), which includes all study material, tuition and examination fees (excluding textbooks). Fees may be paid in two instalments.

Certificate administration
Contact details
Centre for Business Management

CBM contact web page

Certificate lecturers
Title
Office No
Telephone
E-Mail
Steenekamp, T.J. Prof Club 1 Hazelwood 1-11 012 429-4449 steentj@unisa.ac.za
Van der Merwe, T. Prof Club 1 Hazelwood 2-20 012 429-4094 vdmert@unisa.ac.za
Oosthuizen, A.G. Prof A.J.H. vd Walt - 5-35 012 429-4011 toostuiz@unisa.ac.za
Le Roux, W.J. Mr Club 1 Hazelwood 1-10 012 429-4772 lrouxwj@unisa.ac.za