Do you have a hand for maths and social sciences? Are you interested in a degree that has big potential to benefit others? Stick around because we have one for you — the Bachelor of Economics at Monash University!
Today we are going to unpack everything you need to know about this degree, so keep reading to find out all the inside info!
What is a Bachelor of Economics at Monash University?
In a Bachelor of Economics, you’ll be exposed to all the techniques used by economists to maximise people’s welfare and financial capacity. You’ll study microeconomic decisions, or how individuals manage their money.
You’ll also look at macroeconomic behaviour, focusing on issues like the contemporary economy, policy and econometrics. Through your degree, you will develop key skills to work in this field.
Monash’s main campus is based just 20 minutes outside of Melbourne CBD in Clayton. This is where most of your studies will take place!
Honours and Double Degrees
At the end of your three years, you may choose to continue with Honours through Monash Business School. This has specific admission requirements, including a personal letter of interest and a minimum WAM of 70 from your previous two years of study.
Alternatively, this degree can also be taken as a double degree with a Bachelor of Commerce. In this course, you’ll get an in-depth understanding of global trade and the way our global financial behaviours continue to change.
A Bachelor of Economics opens you up to a broad variety of jobs. You may choose to continue in academic study, or find an advisory job. You can work for the government, corporate, or as an individual.
Some key jobs include:
- Market research analyst
- Economic consultant
- Credit analyst
- Financial advisor
- Compensation manager
- Government advisor
Core Units and Specialisations
In this degree, you will have the option to choose from two specialisations.
In an Economics an Economic Policy specialisation, you will explore key areas of macroeconomics, business and general social behaviour around money.
In a Mathematical Economics and Econometrics specialisation, you’ll dig deep into the key mathematical concepts behind expenditure.
You can find out more about the subjects for each specialisation here!
This degree is fairly flexible, offering up to eight subjects of free elective study in addition to specialisations. Students not only graduate with key economic skills, but a broad range of knowledge from the various subject choices on offer. Of course, this will vary if you take on a double degree.
What are the Core Units?
There are only five core units for this degree, as they are as follows:
Principles of Microeconomics
In this course, students are taught the tools to understand basic economic ideas. You’ll learn about supply and demand, consumer behaviour and analysis of consumer decisions.
You’ll also get a brief glimpse into microeconomic theory, game theory and behavioural economics.
Principles of Macroeconomics
Imagine the same again, but bigger! Okay, jokes aside, this subject will tech out about policy analysis and indicators of economic performance in various countries.
You will learn about concepts like inflation, unemployment and economic growth. There is also discussion about the role of monetary and fiscal policy in business cycles.
Basically, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of big concepts to do with money!
Business and Economic Statistics
This is the subject where you’ll learn about the organisation of financial data. Students learn how to analyse grouped and ungrouped data through tables, charts and measures of location.
You’ll also study standardisation techniques, probability theory and the construction of confidence intervals. There’s plenty more to this course but in short, you’ll be doing a lot with numbers.
Econometrics is the application of statistical methods to certain areas of economic data. It applies current theory to real economic issues.
Most of what you will learn in this subject is based on linear regression theory, with an emphasis on interactive data analysis. You’ll study hypothesis testing, the choice of appropriate functional form and issues around modelling survey data.
The first four compulsory units are completed early in the Economics degree, with three in first year and one in second year. However, the final subject of all Economics students regardless of specialisation is the Capstone experience.
This subject often results in a major project and is designed to consolidate all knowledge that students have gained throughout their degree.
Internships and Placements
This degree doesn’t have any compulsory units for internships. However, Work Integrated Learning, run through Monash Business School, gives students the opportunity to complete industry placement as an elective unit in your degree.
Students may either source their own internship at any time or year, or complete a Monash-sourced internship in winter or semester two.
These placements can be either face-to-face or virtual and involve working with professionals in an economic area of interest.
There is also the option to travel overseas as part of your Work Integrated Learning placement! Students have travelled to China, Cook Islands and Italy. In particular, you may choose to travel to the Monash Prato Centre in Italy, where you will work in a professional team.
How to Get into a Bachelor of Economics at Monash University
The ATAR for guaranteed entry into this degree is 86. The only prerequisites are completion of VCE (or equivalent) English and Maths.
This may seem quite daunting — we get that. Don’t fear, there’s a couple of alternative entry routes which you may use.
Monash offers the Monash Guarantee to students who have experienced financial disadvantages, live in a low SES area, are an Indigenous Australia or attend an under-represented school. The guaranteed ATAR for these students is 86.
This program is a great way to obtain entry into a highly competitive course, so it’s definitely worth checking if you’re eligible.
The Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) offers ATAR adjustments to people who have had significant disruptions during their final year of school. This is another great way to gain entry into a Bachelor of Economics. It may be useful if you’ve encountered difficult circumstances like unreliable internet access, bushfire evacuations, school disruptions and property damage.
Finally, Monash supports transfer in a Bachelor of Economics from other university degrees. This is a different process for each student, so it is best to contact the university directly.
Monash is home to countless scholarships, particularly in business related subjects. You can find a full list of scholarships here!
One stand out is the Sir John Monash Scholarship for Excellence. Successful students will receive $10,000 per year of study in addition to personal mentoring from staff. This scholarship is offered to up to 20 students a year with an ATAR of 98 and above.
If you’re keen to move on campus, the Monash Resident Scholarship may be available to you. This is particularly great for low income, Indigenous and regional students.
What’s the Teaching Format?
Monash operates in semesters, or two main teaching sessions per year.
As an economics student, you’ll complete four subjects per semester on a full-time load. Each subject has roughly 4 to 5 contact hours per week, so you can expect to be on campus for up to 20 hours each week.
In your subjects, you’ll meet other students and lecturers who you’ll get great opportunities to interact with! Most subjects in the Bachelor of Economics are divided into lectures and tutorials, which both serve different functions.
These classes generally involve a lecturer sharing information with a large cohort of students — usually 100 in attendance. Lectures in Economics last roughly an hour and are an ideal way for information to be introduced.
You will get the opportunity to learn key concepts for the week, supported by readings and interactive case studies.
Tutorials are a time for students to split into smaller classes and discuss topics in depth. Often, tutors will set required work that will assist students in their assignments and general understanding of economics. This may include specific questions and problems solving.
These classes are a great time to ask about anything you didn’t understand in the lecture or to dive into new ways of thinking. As they are smaller class sizes, tutorials can also be a great way to meet people as there are typically only around 20 students in attendance.
What are assessments like?
Assessments in Economics are usually theory or problem-solving based. Generally, students are given several small tasks to complete throughout the semester, including weekly problems to bring to class or short assignments. Many subjects involve reports and essays.
In the middle of semester, most subjects have an exam that is worth between 20-40% of the overall subject grade. These exams test what students have learnt in the course so far.
End of semester exams are worth roughly 60%. These are an opportunity for students to synthesise all knowledge and prove key skills.
Skills You Refine and Learn
Economics teaches a broad range of interpersonal, cultural and mathematical skills. As students progress through their degree, they develop skills that involve critical thinking and teamwork, which can be taken into the real world!
Key skills include:
- Problem solving
- Time management
- Theoretical economic frameworks
- Interpersonal skills
- Lateral thinking
Importantly, each of the two specialisations in this degree have slightly different outcomes. Whilst you will be loaded with key skills as you study, it’s great to have a look at which specialisation plays to your natural talents!
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
The Department of Economics has over 50 staff and is led by Professor Michael Ward. As mentioned before, staff are attentive and care about their students. In fact, many run additional workshops to assist in their subjects.
This university boasts some really excellent staff, most of whom have worked in high-level economics jobs before teaching. Professor Sascha Becker, for example, has been published in several literary journals and also lectures at the University of Warwick, England. Staff enjoy helping students and are often very keen to answer questions.
Like most unis, the experience you get out of Monash really depends on what you put in!
Monash is home to a branch of the Economics Student Society of Australia (ESSA). As the largest economics society in Australia, it connects like-minded students across both Monash and Melbourne Universities.
You can regularly participate in industry days, pub crawls and social events. You might also help with an annual economics publication, Equilibrium, if you’re into writing or design!
You might also like to join a special interest club, such as Creative Writing, Chess, Muggles or Permaculture. These can all be found on the Clayton campus!
Accessibility at Monash
If you need assistance for disability, illness or learning needs, you can find information through Monash Disability Support Services. Available services include academic support workers, alternative formatting, equipment, hearing augmentation and more.
You can register for assistance here if you feel these programs would benefit you!
Monash also supports the GradWISE program, which is designed to help students with a disability find and excel in employment.
If you would like assistance with mental health, you can enrol for a variety of programs. These are designed to equip you for dealing with your own health at university, and assisting others. They are open to both students and staff.
Monash prides itself on student support. It’s great when this comes from staff, but even better when it’s from other students! If you’re in senior high and go to a partner school, you may be eligible to start one-on-one mentoring that will equip you for uni.
You’ll get the opportunity to clarify your goals, get tips on completing VCE, make new friends and explore study options!
Lucinda Garbutt-Young hopes to one day be writing for a big-shot newspaper… or maybe just for a friendly magazine in the arts sector. Right now, she is enjoying studying a Bachelor of Public Communication (Public Relations and Journalism) at UTS while she writes on the side. She also loves making coffees for people in her job as a barista, and loves nothing more than a sun shower.