Master's Programmes (2016)

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The master's programme follows on from the honours programme with the option of a full thesis or coursework.

For the coursework option, a minimum period of one year of residence is required for a master's degree, although some students take two years to meet the requirements.The programme covers the fields of economic theory and policy on an advanced level. The taught master's is intended for students who aspire to become professional economists with a sound grasp of analytic techniques and a capacity for research. Special attention is also given to the development of writing skills and the preparation of research reports. The objective of the programme is to train competent professional economists for a working environment typically found in developing countries. The programme is policy-oriented and suited to the needs of private firms, public corporations, government agencies and non-governmental organisations. In addition to the course work, candidates must write an assignment on a research topic selected in consultation with the Department. The course work, evaluated through essays and written examinations, accounts for 67 per cent of the required credits and the research assignment for 33 per cent.

A select number of students may register for a double degree coursework programme between Stellenbosch (MComm in Economics) and Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany (MA in Development Economics). Students spend the first 6 months in Stellenbosch, completing a prescribed minimum credits, whereafter they travel to Göttingen to also complete a prescribed minimum credits (medium of instruction English) in the next 12 months. Thereafter they return to Stellenbosch for the final 6 months, completing a prescribed minimum credits. The research assignment is supervised and evaluated jointly by both universities. 

For the full thesis option, a minimum period of one year of residence is required, although some students take two years to meet the requirements. A thesis of independent research has to be submitted on a topic approved by the Department and supervised by lecturers in the Department. A detailed research proposal has to be prepared by the candidate and approved by the Department. While the originality of the research and its contribution may enhance the grade awarded, it is not regarded as a requirement.


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