Masters Thesis Guidelines - Economics and Finance - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Master of Commerce, Master of Science, and Master of Arts

The Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Canterbury offers several research-focused Masters degrees (for coursework-based masters degrees, see http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/master_applied_finance_economics.shtml):
Master of Commerce (MCom) in economics
Master of Commerce (MCom) in finance
Master of Science (MSc) in economics
Master of Science (MSc) in finance
Master of Arts (MA) in economics

Master of Commerce (Economics)

Elizabeth Prasad - MCom
"I really enjoyed the chance to conduct more extensive research into my chosen subject..."
(Read more)


There are two pathways leading to the MCom in economics.

A. For students with an undergraduate degree, or equivalent, in economics or another approved subject
This pathway consists of a coursework component (120 points of approved courses chosen from Econ 601-679) plus a research dissertation (Econ 691; 60 points). For fulltime students requiring no additional preparatory work, this pathway can be completed in approximately 12 months: two semesters of coursework followed by the research dissertation over the summer. Requirements for admission to this pathway are:

(i) B+ average in final-year economics courses

(ii) Successful completion of core papers in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory and econometrics, at both the intermediate- and advanced-undergraduate levels.

For more information, contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator (Economics) or consult the University Calendar. To be awarded with honours, the minimum study period for full-time (part-time) students is 12 (18) months, and all requirements must be completed within 18 (36) months; without honours, the corresponding periods are 12 (24) months and 24 (48) months respectively.

B. For students with an honours degree, or equivalent, in economics or another approved subject
This pathway is designed for students who have previously completed a graduate-level coursework programme, and consists solely of a thesis (Econ 695; 120 points) on some topic in economics. The main purpose is to demonstrate an ability to undertake a significant piece of independent research (under the supervision of two academic staff members), using the established methods of research appropriate to economic analysis. Requirements for admission to this pathway are:

    (iii) Award of honours, or equivalent, at the second class (division 1) level or better (approximately B/B+) ;
    (iv) Availability of an appropriate supervisor.
The Graduate Studies Coordinator (Economics) will help students who qualify under (iii) to establish if there is a suitable staff member able to act as their supervisor. This cannot be guaranteed. The minimum study period for full-time students is 7 months, and the thesis must be submitted within 12 months to be eligible for Honours, and within 24 months to be eligible for a pass. Part-time students have twice the time limits of full-time students. Most full-time students take approximately 12 months.

Master of Commerce (Finance)

Sarah Reeves - MCom
"I have learnt valuable skills that I would not have otherwise gained at the undergraduate level... doing a Masters was definitely worthwhile..."
(Read more)

There are two pathways leading to the MCom in finance.

A. For students with an undergraduate degree, or equivalent, in finance or another approved subject
This pathway consists of a coursework component (120 points of approved courses chosen from Finc 601-679) plus a research dissertation (Finc 691; 60 points). For fulltime students requiring no additional preparatory work, this pathway can be completed in approximately 12 months: two semesters of coursework followed by the research dissertation over the summer. Requirements for admission to this pathway are:

    (i) B+ average in final-year finance courses; and
    (ii) Successful completion of undergraduate papers in statistics, mathematics, econometrics, and financial economics.

For more information, contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator (Finance) or consult the University Calendar. To be awarded with honours, the minimum study period for full-time (part-time) students is 12 (18) months, and all requirements must be completed within 18 (36) months; without honours, the corresponding periods are 12 (24) months and 24 (48) months respectively.

B. For students with an honours degree, or equivalent, in finance or another approved subject
This pathway is designed for students who have previously completed a graduate-level coursework programme, and consists solely of a thesis (Finc 695; 120 points) on some topic in finance. The main purpose is to demonstrate an ability to undertake a significant piece of independent research (under the supervision of two academic staff members), using the established methods of research appropriate to economic analysis.

Requirements for admission to this pathway are:

    (iii) Award of honours, or equivalent, at the second class (division 1) level or better (approximately B/B+) ;
    (iv) Availability of an appropriate supervisor.
The Graduate Studies Coordinator (Finance) will help students who qualify under (iii) to establish if there is a suitable staff member able to act as their supervisor. This cannot be guaranteed. The minimum study period for full-time students is 7 months, and the thesis must be submitted within 12 months to be eligible for Honours, and within 24 months to be eligible for a pass. Part-time students have twice the time limits of full-time students. Most full-time students take approximately 12 months.

Master of Arts and Master of Science

For students with an honours degree or equivalent who wish to do a thesis-only (120 point) masters degree, the MA (Economics), MSc (Economics), and MSc (Finance) are also available. Requirements and prerequisites are very similar to those for the MCom. For more information, contact the For more information, contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator (Economics) or the Graduate Studies Coordinator (Finance), or consult the University Calendar.

Contacts and Further Information

Applications are welcome at any time, but international students should do so at least four months before the desired semester start date. The University Calendar contains the regulations for all study undertaken at the University of Canterbury, and should be consulted carefully by all students.

Forms used for the 120 point, thesis-only, MCom pathway:

MCom Thesis Enrolment Application Form
MCom Thesis Proposal Registration Form
MCom Thesis Student Progress Report
Administration of the MCom Theses