Bachelor of Business - Economics major

Economics is about choices; choices people, companies and governments make every day. How do we spend our money? How do we address issues like poverty and climate change? Economists analyse and implement solutions to many of today’s problems.

In a world with increasingly scarce resources these decisions are crucial, which is why economists with rigorous analytical and communication skills are highly sought after in both the private and public sectors.

The Economics major helps you develop a sound understanding of economic principles and advanced concepts. You become familiar with strategic analysis, pricing policies, company organisation and structure, and competitive advantage and innovation. Throughout your studies you learn to apply economic theory to a range of issues consumers, businesses and governments face.

  • Complements other majors such as finance, international business, marketing, management and a law degree
  • Real business experience through an applied business project or a work placement (recent placements included Auckland Council, Vodafone and Spark)
  • Includes an introduction to SAS, STATA and other data-handling and statistical software packages
  • Research active staff with strong links to Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Treasury, Auckland Council, Ministry of Social Development, Department  of Labour and the Reserve Bank
  • Opportunity to go on a student exchange to the US, Europe or Asia
  • Weekly seminar series run by the department – showcasing current research by AUT staff and visiting academics
  • The AUT Business School is among an elite group of 5% of business schools worldwide accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
More information about the Bachelor of Business


The economics major provides the skills needed for analysing and implementing solutions to many of the critical problems facing society today. It offers ways of thinking about how individuals, firms and governments make essential decisions about allocating increasingly scarce resources.

You will gain insights into international trade and foreign currency exchange markets, learn how prices can alter consumer and producer behaviour and analyse data to forecast economic outcomes.

The outcomes for graduates of this major are outlined in the Graduate Profile.

Structure and content

Part One

Papers in part 1 provide you with an introduction to the roles of business and fundamental concepts in business disciplines. You complete 5 core papers in part 1 which are:

  • Business in Context (30 points)
  • Management and Organisation (15 points)
  • Accounting for Decision Making (15 points)
  • Quantitative Methods for Business (15 points)
  • Economic Principles I (15 points)

In addition to the 5 core papers, in order to major in economics you must complete the elective paper Economics Principles 2 (15 points) and  you choose 1 elective paper from the list below, or from elsewhere in the university:

  • Introduction to Finance (15 points)
  • Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Sales: Positioning in an Omni Environment
    (15 points)
  • Business Information Systems (15 points)
  • Design for Business (15 points)
  • Leadership for Sustainable Enterprise (15 points)
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (15 points)

Part Two

Over the next two years, you develop an understanding of how economic theory can be applied to a wide range of issues faced by consumers, businesses and governments. You gain valuable insights into international trade and foreign currency exchange markets, learn how prices can alter consumer and producer behaviour and analyse data to forecast economic outcomes.

Part Three

Workplace experience (Co-operative Education) is the final part of your degree and takes a full semester. This is a supervised work placement related to your major(s), for an organisation of your choice in New Zealand or overseas. You apply what you’ve learnt in a real-world business, not-for-profit organisation, entrepreneurial venture or through an applied project, which is a supervised research project.

Recent placements included:

  • Auckland Council
  • ASB
  • Goldman Sachs
  • KPMG
  • Spark
  • The Warehouse Group
  • Vodafone NZ

Further information about Co-operative Education

Economics major papers (105 points):

Level Five:

ECON502 Economic Principles 2

Level Six:

ECON601 Microeconomics
ECON602 Macroeconomics
ECON603 Introduction to Econometrics

Level Seven (select three):

ECON701 Applied Microeconomics
ECON702 Applied Macroeconomics
ECON703 Applied Econometrics

ECON704 Industrial Organisation

ECON705 Economics, Natural Resources and Society
ECON706 Growth and Development Economics
ECON707 Economics of Labour & Health Policy
ECON708 International Trade Economics
FINA701 International Corporate Finance

Career opportunities 

  • Acquisition manager
  • Business risk auditor
  • Financial markets analyst
  • Investment banker
  • Policy advisor in a government ministry
  • Researcher in a consulting firm or non-profit organisation
  • Strategic planner, analyst or policy advisor in a local council

Related programmes 

Please visit our AUT Postgraduate Business Qualifications page to view our range of postgraduate programmes.

Graduates and students of business

AUT's economics department is one of the country's leading research departments. Find out more about our international rankings, academics and research projects.

Last updated: 30-Aug-2016 12.41pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.