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Social Science

How do societies, economies and governments influence the way we live, relate to others, and evolve as a society? Social science makes it possible for us think about, understand, analyze, and answer these questions systematically in a variety of ways. It enables us to uncover and clarify the ways in which the large human community we call society functions, changes and affects us. At Azim Premji University, students pursuing Social Science specialization can major in Economics.


How do human beings cooperate and coordinate productive activity and why does this take different forms? Why is some labour considered productive and paid highly while other labour is either undervalued or unpaid? How does the economic system evolve cumulatively through time? Why are there periodic cycles of high and low unemployment? Why are there such conflicts over economic theories and their outcomes? And, finally, can any of the knowledge we gain in answering these questions be used to better people's lives?

Students of Economics will be encouraged to gain a strong understanding of the Indian economy, economic theory, tools of analysis and practical application of these skills to current economic issues.. Emphasis will be on understanding social coordination of productive activity especially in the Indian economy and in a development context. Upon completion of the programme, our students would be philosophically grounded, historically informed, socio-politically engaged and quantitatively adept. Students taking up Economics as a major require successful completion of 6 core courses and 5 elective courses.

Azim Premji University is part of a group of international institutions that include the Institute for New Economic Thinking, New York, and Sciences Po, Paris contributing to a project ( dedicated to developing an innovative undergraduate Economics curriculum. The CORE project, based at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford has produced a new introductory undergraduate textbook that will be provided free globally and used by many leading Universities in the world. Leading Economists from all over the world have contributed to writing the book. We will use this book in our Economics programme starting July 2015.

Watch videos to learn more about the CORE project: Video I Video II

Prof. Arjun Jayadev
"Students will be introduced to economic issues through a political economy approach that is historically grounded and that puts real world issues and problems in the forefront"

Core Courses

The objective of the required core courses is to ensure all Economics students have a foundation level of knowledge, skill acquisition, exposure to economic history and understanding of different methodological approaches. The 6 required courses in the Economics core curriculum are as follows:

  • Introduction to Economics I
    The Introduction to Economics course is designed as either a first course in economics in conjunction with Introduction to Economics (II), or as a stand-alone introduction for those anticipating study in other fields. It develops an understanding of key economic themes from a social science perspective.
  • Introduction to Economics II
    This course is designed as either a first course in economics in conjunction with Introduction to Economics (I), or as a stand-alone introduction for those anticipating study in other fields. This course is designed to engage more extensively with macro and political economy debates.
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
    This course seeks to provide an overview of microeconomic theory and extend students' knowledge of the basic principles that will provide the foundation for future work in economics. Topics included are the behavior of individuals, households, firms and the interaction of these agents, and the organization of markets and institutions. Game theory and public goods will also be studied in this course.
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
    This course develops conceptual foundations and analytic methods in macroeconomics. Topics include the analysis of theories of determination of national income, aggregate employment, and the price level; monetary and fiscal policy; Inflation; unemployment; open economy macroeconomics; role of future expectations; and the current economic crisis.
  • Mathematical and Statistical Methods
    This course covers the principal mathematical techniques as used in economic theory and modeling, including an introduction to statistical inference. By the end of the course successful students will have the knowledge and skills to apply common mathematical and statistical techniques to economic issues and data.
  • Economic History or Indian Economic History

For the additional elective courses, we aim to cover a wide variety of topics covering the diversity of subjects and skills within the field such as, Political Economy of India, Economic Approaches to Environmental Problems, Economics of Education, Economic History or Indian Economic History.


Honours students will complete an honours project (for 6 credits) and can be combined with research, class or practicum placement. The honours project is designed for students to be able to apply their knowledge in a synthesized piece of work. An honours thesis will involve working closely with a faculty member on a specific topic, developing a research question and writing up a thesis.

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