Applied Development Economics

Learn to solve real-world problems through the application of Economic and Political economy analysis.


The Honours in Applied Development Economics (ADE) offers students the opportunity to apply economic and political economy analysis to solving real-world problems. The programme is unique in that it approaches economics from a pluralist point of view. In this context, pluralism comprises three dimensions: theoretical pluralism; methodological pluralism; and dialogue between economics and other social sciences.

The Honours degree in Applied Development Economics prepares students for a career in research and policy-making in the NGO, private and public sectors in the broad field of development. Students who successfully complete this degree can also go on to enrol for the Masters degree in Applied Development Economics. 

The programme is structured on the basis that it can be taken over a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time duration.


Structure of programme:

The Honours programme comprises a research paper (of 10 000 words maximum) together with the five compulsory courses as well as two electives as indicated below:

Compulsory courses:

  • Microeconomics for Development
  • Macroeconomics for Development
  • Research Methods for Development


An econometrics course, either

  • Advanced econometrics (as offered in Economics Honours) – available to students who have completed Econometrics at 3rdyear level or
  • Applied Econometrics for Development


A development course, either

  • Development Theory and Policy or
  • Development Economics – only available to students who have completed Advanced Econometrics in Semester 1

As well as a

  • Research Paper


Students should choose two electives from the ones offered in Economics, or in another school. Below is a list of some of the available electives in Economics:

  • History of Economic Thought
  • Environmental Economics
  • Topics in Labour (Impact Evaluation)
  • International Finance or
  • Financial Economics

Due Date for the Research Paper:

The completed research paper must be submitted in October in the year in which the candidate undertakes the research.

Entry Requirements


  • A bachelors degree or equivalent.
  • At least an upper second class pass in the final undergraduate course in the subject.

Applicants are expected to have achieved at least 65% for the Economics major of their BCom undergraduate degree.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.