Master of Science Degree in Economics [MSc ECON] (18 Months Block Release & Conventional)

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for normal entry into the Master of Science Degree in Economics including any of its specializations at Bindura University of Science Education, Prospective students, in addition to satisfying the minimum conditions prescribed under the General regulations must have obtained a good undergraduate degree in Economics, Development Studies, Finance, Health or their equivalent.

AIMS
This program seeks to produce and nature economic professionals who are oriented towards good economic governance, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

LEARNING OUTCOMES
Critical Thinking Skills: Students are expected to be able to apply economic analysis to everyday problems in real world situations, to understand current events and evaluate specific policy proposals and to evaluate the role played by assumptions in arguments that reach different conclusions to a specific economic or policy problem.
Quantitative Reasoning Skills: Students are expected to understand how to use empirical evidence to evaluate the validity of an economic argument, use statistical methodology, interpret statistical results and conduct appropriate statistical analysis of data.
Problem-Solving Skills: Students are expected to be able to solve problems that have clear solutions and to address problems that do not have clear answers and explain conditions under which these solutions may be correct.
Specialized Knowledge and Application of Skills: Students are expected to develop critical and quantitative thinking skills specific to business and accounting.
Communication Skills: Students are expected to be able to communicate effectively in written, oral and graphical form about specific issues and to formulate well-organized written arguments that state assumptions and hypotheses supported by evidence.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
Our graduates will be economic experts who can pursue careers in the following capacities: Economist; Policy analysts, development specialist, project managers, bankers and industrial experts. Employment in these titles opens up in public, private, and nongovernmental financial and developmental sectors. Students who fancy a career in the academia will be able to pursue doctoral studies Economics or related fields.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
To qualify for normal entry into the Master of Science Degree in Economics including any of its specializations at Bindura University of Science Education, Prospective students, in addition to satisfying the minimum conditions prescribed under the General regulations must have obtained a good undergraduate degree in Economics, Development Studies, Finance, Health or their equivalent.

The program shall be covered over a period of eighteen [18] months as follows:

Part 1 Semester 1

MEC501Advanced Microeconomics
MEC502Advanced Econometrics
MEC503Research Methods 

Specialization Electives (Choose only one for your preferred area of specialization)

MEC504Contemporary Issues in Development Economics
MEC505Contemporary Issues in Health Economics
MEC506Contemporary Issues in Financial Economics

Semester 2 (Non Specialised)

MEC507Advanced Macroeconomics
MEC508Health Economics
MEC509International Economics
MEC510Public Finance Management and Analysis
MEC511Development Economics
MEC527Agricultural Economics

Semester 2 (Development Economics Specialization)

MEC507Advanced Macroeconomics
MEC512Structural Transformation and Growth
MEC513Institutions and Development
MEC514Sovereign Debt Management
MEC515Economics of Governance and Development 

Semester 2 (Health Economics Specialization)

MEC516Health Administration and Management
MEC517Health Financing 
MEC518Health Policy and Planning
MEC519Health Economic Evaluation
MEC520Epidemiology
MEC521Health Promotion

Semester 2 (Financial Economics Specialisation)

MEC507Advanced Macroeconomics
MEC522Advanced Monetary Economics
MEC523Corporate Finance and Investment Analysis
MEC524Financial Engineering
MEC525Financial Services Regulation
MEC526International Finance

Part 2    Semester 1

MEC600Dissertatio
 

Master Of Science Degree In Economics Course Synopsis

Part 1 Semester 1

MEC501 – Advanced Microeconomics
This course covers the analysis of individual units at household and firm level at an advanced level using both theoretical and mathematical tools. Topics covered in this module include Game theory general equilibrium and exchange, efficiency, welfare economics, externalities and public goods.

MEC502 – Advanced Econometrics
This course introduces the microeconometric methods needed for the analysis of cross-sectional and panel data and teaches the application of these methods and the programming of the respective estimators using the econometric software STATA. The goal of the course is to be able to read and understand more advanced methods in microeconometric research and to evaluate the output of academic articles using microeconometric methods. In addition, the students should be equipped to undertake their own microeconometric analyses. Empirical research in macroeconomics as well as in financial economics is largely based on time series, ie chronological sequences of observations, showing the development of quantities, goods and asset prices, and interest rates. This course offers an introduction to contemporary time-series econometrics, linking the theory to empirical studies of the macroeconomy. Topics include: stationary and non-stationary stochastic processes; linear autoregressive and moving average models; linear difference equations; autoregressive distributed lag models; cointegration and equilibrium correction; vector autoregressive models. These topics are illustrated with a range of theoretical and applied exercise.

MEC503 – Research Methods and Dissertation Skills
This course helps students develop research skills, research abilities; critical thinking; scholarly writing skills; communicating clearly with the reader; building arguments; using source materials; and critical analysis leading to development of their individual dissertation proposals. This allows them an extended period of data collection and analysis in the third semester when they write and submit their dissertation.

MEC504 – Contemporary Issues in Development Economics
This course examines the important development issues. It will mainly concentrate on current events that are affecting the financing of development projects at the national and global level. This course will also make use of seminars/presentations by developmental practitioners and experts so that students also learn from current practitioners. Topics to be covered can include: The Globalisation Debate: Immiserising growth or sustained competitiveness?; New Perspectives on Industrial Organisation; Industrial clusters; Global value chains; Technical Capabilities; Industrial success and Failure case studies.

MEC505 – Contemporary Issues in Health Economics
The basic aim of this module is to guide the participant in the economic analysis of the functioning of the health sector and the economic behaviour of the agents involved in it, with special reference to the application of economic concepts and instruments to the management of health services. Specific topics include Health Production Function; Costing, payment systems; Demand for Health; Outsourcing and Competition in Health Services; Equity in Health: Theory and Applications; and Health Financing.

MEC506 – Contemporary Issues in Financial Economics
This course seeks to impart the basic framework of investment decision making under uncertainty and modern portfolio theory, and to acquaint students with some of the main assets traded in global markets. After an introductory description of the investment environment, we will develop the theory of the relationship between risk and return of single securities (stocks, bonds and derivatives) and portfolios of assets, including models such as the CAPM and the APT. We will also learn how to apply these tools to create investment strategies, and derive measures of performance to test these strategies and compare different approaches to modern investment practice. Finally, we will explore recent research into deviations from the Efficient Market Theory, on which most modern financial theory is based, which have prompted much new research and empirical applications, in short introduction to Behavioral Finance.

Semester 2 (Non-Specialised)
MEC507 – Advanced Macroeconomics
The course emphasizes on the basic methodology of macroeconomic models. It examines how the macroeconomic theories of aggregate demand and aggregate supply are derived. It also covers microeconomic fundamentals of macroeconomics to understand in-depth the determinants of consumption, investment, and labour supply decisions. It then extensively examines macroeconomic demand management policies (fiscal and monetary) and their shortcomings. We finally study the role of the financial system in the macroeconomy and the causes behind economic crises.

MEC508 – Health Economics
This course covers fundament issues of health economic. It is tailored for students who require familiarity with resource allocation in the health sector, economic evaluation, health financing, demand and supply of health services.

MEC509 – International Economics
The course covers an understanding of trade theories that form the basis for trade policy analysis. These theories include: classical theories, neoclassical theories and `new’ trade theories. The theory of trade protection, exchange rates and the Balance of Payments are also covered in this module. The policy section covers such topics as terms of trade and economic development, the role of industrial policy in the creation of comparative advantage, trade liberalization in Zimbabwe, the global trading environment, regional co-operation and integration and the role of the WTO.

MEC510 – Public Finance Management and Analysis
The course explains the behaviour of the public sector and how it informs and shapes policy decisions related to taxation and government expenditure. Specific topics include: the size and composition of government expenditure; efficiency arguments for public expenditures; distributional arguments for public expenditures: the equitable provision of basic goods and essential services (education, healthcare); the allocation of expenditure responsibilities across levels of government (central, regional, local); the financing of government: taxes, user fees, property income; the pattern of taxation in major economies; the efficiency effects of taxation; the distributional effects of taxation; the trade-off between redistribution and efficiency and the concept of optimal taxation.

MEC511 – Development Economics
The course aims to provide a thorough review and critical assessment of contemporary issues in economic development, covering the main analytical approaches, empirical evidence and policy issues in development economics. Topics to be covered include: overview of Contemporary Issues in Economic Development; Economic Growth Theory and Experience (including neoclassical, institutional, historical perspectives); The Growth-Inequality-Poverty Triangle; Rural-Urban Migration, Industrialization and Urban Labour Market Informality; Rural Development, Food Security, Value Chains; Credit Markets and Insurance; Population issues (demographic trends and human capital development); and International Trade and Technological Upgrading.

MEC527 – Advanced Agricultural Economics
The course teaches students traditional topics in Agricultural economics and encourages the development of independent research interests. It covers theories and empirical modelling of agriculture driven growth. Other specific topics include agricultural finance; agricultural marketing and price analysis; agricultural trade; agricultural production economics.

Semester 2 (Development Economics Specialization)

MEC507 – Advanced Macroeconomics
The course emphasizes on the basic methodology of macroeconomic models. It examines how the macroeconomic theories of aggregate demand and aggregate supply are derived. It also covers microeconomic fundamentals of macroeconomics to understand in-depth the determinants of consumption, investment, and labour supply decisions. It then extensively examines macroeconomic demand management policies (fiscal and monetary) and their shortcomings. We finally study the role of the financial system in the macroeconomy and the causes behind economic crises.

This course focuses on the structural changes that accompany economic growth and will review recent literature that attempts to analyse the growth process at the level of sectors and firms. Specific topics include the measurement of sectoral productivity differences; theories of long-run growth and structural transformation in a historical perspective; the “food problem” and the role of agriculture in economic growth; and open economy models of transformation.

MEC513 – Institutions and Development
The course reviews and critically discusses four main economic approaches to institutions: the transaction-cost approach, the principal-agent approach, the equilibrium-of-the game approach, and the evolutionary approach. The central question that drives the presentation is: to which extent a particular approach, based on specific concepts of institution and efficiency, enables us to understand the institutional inefficiencies most currently observed in the developing world? It is argued that each approach has its own merits and, therefore, an eclectic approach to institutions is necessary. Specific topics include: Transformation of farm-cum-family structures; Property rights; Harmful social norms and practices and the role of the modern law; and Institutional perspectives on aid effectiveness.

MEC514 – Sovereign Debt Management
Public debt management is the process of establishing and executing a strategy for managing a governments’ debt in order to raise the required amount of funding, achieve its risk and cost objectives, and to meet any other debt management goals that a government may have set, such as developing and maintaining an efficient market for government securities. This course provides an overview of public debt management and uses simple illustrations and country examples. Specific topics include Domestic Debt; External Debt; Contingent Liabilities; The Budgetary Framework; Restructuring Public Debt; Managing Public Debt; Monitoring Organizational and Legal Issues in Public Debt Management.

MEC515 – Economics of Governance and Development
This course seeks to provide an advanced treatment of recent theories, policy issues, controversies and progress on the role of governance and institutions in raising standards of living in the developing world. The analysis draws on cutting-edge economic theory, without neglecting history, and emphasises the importance of political economy factors to understand the functioning of states and markets in developing countries and their systemic effects on the process of economic development. Topics include: the role of governance and institutions in long-run development; Governance and the curse of natural resources; Inequality, institutions and development; Development and informal institutions: the case of cultural factors; State capacity and development: Fiscal and legal capacity; and Governance Reforms and Institutional Change.

Semester 2 (Health Economics Specialization)
MEC516 – Health Administration and Management
This course is designed for students to gain competencies in management, leadership, communication, healthcare policy, and quality. At the end of the course, students would have learnt to create strategic operational plans to guide healthcare organizations; demonstrate operational and fiscal management of healthcare organizations; employ leadership theories to manage and advocate for individuals and communities; Interpret the impact of healthcare policy and economics on service delivery both nationally and internationally; use evidence-based data and research methods to guide organizational transformations and quality assurance; and employ analytical and critical-thinking skills to improve workplace performance and healthcare delivery.

MEC517 – Health Financing
This course teaches students how to apply financial management techniques to decision making for health care providers. Among the principles and topics covered in the course are financial management functions and organizations, financial statement analysis, working capital management, present value analysis, capital budgeting, cost of capital, variance analysis, financing techniques, and financial analysis case studies

MEC518 – Health Policy and Planning
This course examines the development of health services focusing attention on the social, demographic, economic and political factors that are relevant to planning health services and delivering health care (drawing on information from other states where appropriate). Students are encouraged, throughout the course, to focus their attention on the politics of resource allocation, health planning, health care costs and their containment strategies, health care quality assurance, disaster plans, and the economics of health care. The course is designed to provide students with the factual materials and conceptual apparatus needed to critically evaluate the processes that determine priorities a Health Care System and other areas of public provision – particularly those thought to be capable of influencing the health of the nation. This course addresses the current major health policy issues and the critical processes and forces that shape them. Major health policy issues addressed include: Health Insurance (Public, Private), the uninsured, public health, the impact of welfare policy on health care, managed care development and regulation, health care reform and others.

MEC519 – Health Economic Evaluation
This course teaches methodological principles of theory and practice of economic evaluation in health care. It covers the main areas of economic evaluation, including the methods for measuring costs and outcomes, the collection of data alongside clinical studies, ways of handling uncertainty, discounting and issues relating to the transferability of economic data. Specific topics include: Theoretical concepts in the economic evaluation of health care; Welfare economics and economic evaluation; Output measures and valuation in health; Costing in economic evaluation; The role and estimation of productivity costs in economic evaluation; Trial-based economic evaluations: an overview of design and analysis; Modelling in economic evaluation; Handling uncertainty in economic evaluation; Statistical considerations in analyzing health care resource utilisation and cost data; Discounting in economic evaluation; and Transferability of economic evaluation results.

MEC520 – Epidemiology
This course explores the concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to public health problems. Emphasis is placed on the principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation, appropriate summaries and displays of data, and the use of classical statistical approaches to describe the health of populations. Topics include the dynamic behaviour of disease; usage of rates, ratios and proportions; methods of direct and indirect adjustment, and clinical life table which measures and describes the extent of disease problems. Various epidemiologic study designs for investigating associations between risk factors and disease outcomes are also introduced, culminating with criteria for causal inferences. The application of these disciplines in the areas of health services, screening, genetics, and environment policy are presented. The influence of epidemiology and biostatistics on legal and ethical issues are also discussed.

MEC521 – Health Promotion
In this course you will explore the scientific discipline of health promotion including the meaning of health and well-being, how health and well-being are created, and policies and programs that aim to improve the health and well-being of people. Students will learn about the historical development of health promotion, the spectrum of health promotion from traditional to modern approaches, and the structures and resources for health promotion, critique contemporary health promotion programs and policies for evidence of best practice; examine contemporary social perspectives on health, healthcare and on people’s everyday lived experience of health & illness, and explore the role of health promotion in addressing a range of contemporary public health problems. Current global health issues and their relevance to health promotion and the field of public health are examined through analysis and application of best practice principles including assessment for effectiveness. Students will also be introduced to strategies that pertain to global health promotion of individuals, communities, and nations and addressing physical (e.g., communicable and non-communicable disease) and social (e.g., war / conflict, gender, education, human rights, social justice) heath determinants. Professional organizations, nongovernmental and governmental organizations and agencies, and other global health organizations will be discussed.

Semester 2 (Financial Economics Specialisation)
MEC507 – Advanced Macroeconomics
The course emphasizes on the basic methodology of macroeconomic models. It examines how the macroeconomic theories of aggregate demand and aggregate supply are derived. It also covers microeconomic fundamentals of macroeconomics to understand in-depth the determinants of consumption, investment, and labour supply decisions. It then extensively examines macroeconomic demand management policies (fiscal and monetary) and their shortcomings. We finally study the role of the financial system in the macroeconomy and the causes behind economic crises.

MEC522 – Advanced Monetary Economics
This course covers a variety of monetary issues from both a theoretical and a policy perspective. It starts with an introduction to the role of money in the economy, and theories of money supply and demand. A discussion of the IS/LM model gives a basic foundation for analysing how monetary policy affects the economy, and a first theoretical perspective on the neutrality of money – ie whether monetary policy has real effects on the macroeconomy, in either the short or long run. This is followed by a discussion of other theoretical perspectives on neutrality, and relevant evidence. If monetary policy does have real effects, how are these brought about and what are the implications for monetary transmission? The remainder of the module discusses current issues in monetary policy – the goals of monetary policy and how these are expressed in modern simple models of monetary policy, central bank independence and inflation targeting.

MEC523 – Corporate Finance and Investment Analysis
The course covers theories of firm and investor financial behaviour. It explores financial markets, firm financing models, sources and uses of funds in investment, risk-return relationships, the efficiency of capital markets, introduction to securities valuation as well as investment appraisal. It also covers the taxonomy of debt and equity markets, the basic portfolio theory, asset pricing models and derivative markets and securities.

MEC524 – Financial Engineering
MEC525 – Financial Services Regulation
The course aims to explore regulatory frameworks for the provision of financial services. It will cover legal aspects of banking, financial management as well as financial markets. It will also look at international financial codes like the Basel I, II and III. Issues to do with moral hazard in financial markets and how they contributed to global financial meltdown in 2008 will also be explored.

MEC526 – International Finance
This course deals with monetary and financial relations between countries (international finance) and its theoretical underpinnings in a rigorous manner. Topics include balance of payments; exchange rates; arbitrage conditions; the impact of international trade on the alternative macroeconomic policies available; benefits and drawbacks of fixed and floating exchange rates; speculative attack; current account imbalances from an inter-temporal perspective and its role in the 2008/09 international financial crisis and recent sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
Part 2 Semester 1
MEC600 – Dissertation
The student writes a dissertation based on an independent research project supervised by a qualified member in the department. Students defend their projects in a viva voce before results are published. Students will be advised of submission dates before the second year first semester