Economics BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 year extended, 4 years with placement)



This course is available as a 3 year degree, a 4 year degree with placement, or a 4 year extended degree.


You’ve set your sights high. You want a course that connects you with up-to-the minute ideas and discussions. We’ve designed our full-time Economics degree to match that ambition. Based in Cambridge, you’ll be at the forefront of current issues and challenges in economics. And you won’t just learn in the lecture theatre. There’s the chance to get involved in extracurricular activities, debating big ideas such as the minimum wage, capitalism and Brexit, and gain valuable work experience with a placement year.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Our BSc (Hons) Economics gives you the theoretical and practical knowledge you’ll need to work as an economist. It also provides a basis for a wide range of careers in industry, business and the public sector.

On graduation, you could choose to progress to postgraduate studies in economics, or in a variety of business- and policy-related disciplines.

Or, when you graduate, you might choose to pursue further study, such as our MSc Management, MSc International Business or our MBA.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Academic Skills
    On this module, you'll learn a range of skills required to function effectively as an independent self-learner. You'll develop both practical and academic skills that are essential for you to be successful in your chosen business undergraduate degree. The module will equip you with skills that can be used in modules throughout your chosen degree. The focus of the module includes: the use of information technology and associated software packages, presentation skills, problem-solving, both individually and in teams, critical analysis, critical writing and referencing.
  • Accounting for Managers
    The module aims to give students a sound grasp of the basics of financial reporting (context, purposes, regulatory framework). It introduces the principal concepts of financial accounting and the preparation of principal financial statements will also be explored. This module is also designed to introduce students to key management accounting skills necessary to support decision-making. It will emphasise the acquisition and application of skills and knowledge necessary to inform managers responsible for planning, decision-making and control and will provide the underpinning skills and knowledge required for more advanced study. The key issues addressed will be the fundamentals of cost data collection, analysis and allocation of costs, costing of products and services using absorption and marginal costing techniques, short term decision making - Cost Volume profit analysis, budgeting and budgetary control. The key techniques will be demonstrated and applied in active learning workshop sessions and students will be expected to work on practical examples and case studies.
  • Economics for Managers
    This module introduces you to the fundamentals of economics and focuses on applying key economic insights to business and management. First, the module focuses on microeconomics - the decisions and behaviour of individuals and firms. The economic principles underlying the determination of price and output, firm costs, industrial structure and market failures are outlined. Next, the module focuses on macroeconomics - the economy at national and international levels - and its impacts on business behaviour. You’ll learn how the key macroeconomic variables (inflation, unemployment, and so on) influence business activity and government macroeconomic policy.
  • Mathematics for Economics I
    An introduction to mathematical concepts which are of key importance in economics and needed for later modules in your course. This module aims to enable you to use differential calculus to confidently solve constrained and unconstrained optimisation problems at the core of economic modelling. You do not require more prior knowledge than GCSE maths and begins with a revision of basic algebra, covering exponents, roots, logarithms and manipulation of algebraic expressions before introducing linear and non-linear equations, interest rates, differentiations and multivariate optimisations.
  • Mathematics for Economics II
    This module builds on your knowledge from Mathematics for Economics I and will train you to use mathematical tools needed to study economic theory in your second year and to apply this theory in your final year of studies. This module begins by revising differentiation and then covers three big topics: integration and it's economic applications; dynamic systems which are the basis of macroeconomic models; and matrices which are essential in econometrics.
  • Statistics
    Explore the key numerical techniques used to aid decision making and familiarise yourself with the mathematical foundations that are necessary in any area of international business and economics. You will learn to understand probalistic and statistical techniques in theory and to apply them in a business context with the support of relevant software.
  • Microeconomics I
    This module builds on the introductory material covered in Economics for Managers and the techniques learned in the first semester of Mathematics for Economists. It is a prerequisite for Microeconomics II in the second year. The module considers the way in which various decision making units in the economy (individuals and firms) make their decisions. These are fundamental concepts and approaches that underpin much of modern microeconomics. Consumer choice based on utility maximisation is considered in detail and then applied to areas such as labour supply and intertemporal choice. It also considers in detail firms’ input and output decisions based on profit maximisation and cost minimisation. These approaches are then combined to consider a simple general equilibrium model of the economy and provide an overview of the fundamental theorems of welfare economics. By the end of the module you will have a solid grasp of the fundamental ideas and terminology of microeconomics and should be able to apply these ideas to real economic problems. Basic economic models are used to introduce you to analytical methods of reasoning. Applications and mathematical problems are used to enable you to see clearly the interplay of key concepts. The module is assessed by a 45 minute in-class mid-semester unseen examination, and a two hour unseen examination at the end of the module.
  • Macroeconomics I
    This module builds on the brief introduction to macroeconomics provided in Economics for Managers. It aims to introduce the concepts and techniques used in macroeconomics and to develop your ability to use macroeconomic theory to analyse macroeconomic events. The focus of this module is on using theory to understand and explain recent and past macroeconomic events. It provides the macroeconomic foundations for the second year intermediate module Macroeconomics II and the advanced material in the third year. This module largely focuses on the short- and medium-run performance of economies and the insights macroeconomics can offer. We consider the real economy; the monetary system, interest rates and inflation; labour markets and unemployment and construct a model of the economy. This is then used to consider government policies to stabilise the economy – monetary and fiscal policy, budget deficits and government debt and responses to the financial crisis. The exposition is predominantly diagrammatic but will use simple algebra and some differential calculus offering the opportunity to apply the techniques learned in Mathematics for Economists.

Year two, core modules

  • Introduction to Econometrics
    Building on your previous Statistics module, you will be introduced to the tools and concepts to perform empirical research projects from a practical viewpoint. You will get a sound understanding of relationships among the population of interest, the sample available for the research and the statistical inference needed to study population features. The module will discuss how to collect, manage and prepare secondary data for research projects, focusing on using Stata software. The data will be used to produce summary statistics as a preliminary analysis to the linear progression model and focusing on the difference between causation and correlation. You will then focus on hypothesis tests for linear regression analysis before moving on to multiple linear regression analysis.
  • Applied Econometrics
    This module builds on Introduction to Econometrics with the aim of preparing you to confidently use the necessary tools and concepts to perform empirical research projects. You will explore in detail the multiple linear regression model techniques briefly introduced in Introduction to Econometrics and will focus on reinforcing the intuition about studying the effects of one variable on the variable of interest, while maintaining all other potential explanatory variable constants. You will learn how to test hypothesis around the effects of single and multiple variables. You will then go on to study the effects of qualitative independent variables, such as gender or ethnicity, focusing on the possibility of interaction effects between qualitative and quantitative variables. Finally you will consider the construction of models that may take into account the presence of non-linear relations between variables and the different tools and techniques used to choose between different possible functional forms and specifications. Every topic will be accompanied by a practical computer workshop, where you will learn how to use more advanced commands of Stata software to produce independent empirical research projects.
  • Microeconomics II
    This module will introduce you to the game theoretic approaches and asymmetric information problems that are the foundation of much modern microeconomics. Strategic behaviour and imperfect information are at the heart of many applied economic problems. The module first introduces risk and decision making under uncertainty. We then consider some standard models of strategic behaviour by firms in oligopolistic markets. The remainder of the module is devote to introducing game theoretic concepts and approaches and applying them to problems of asymmetric information such as moral hazard (unobserved actions), adverse selection (unobserved characteristics), screening and signalling and principle-agent problems. The module is assessed by a 45 minute in-class mid-semester unseen examination, and a two hour unseen examination at the end of the module.
  • Macroeconomics II
    This module builds on the first year Macroeconomics I module and provide the opportunity to practice and develop the techniques learned in Mathematics of Economists (especially the dynamics considered in the second semester). There are three parts to the module. In the first we revise the ISLM model and extending it to the open economy. We will cover exchange rates models of exchange rate determination in the short- and long-run and alternative exchange rate regimes countries might adopt (including currency unions such as the Eurozone). In the second we consider two important (and volatile) components of Aggregate Demand in detail: Consumption and Investment. Consumption is a very large component of GDP and we will consider theories of consumption such as the consumption function, the life-cycle, permanent income, and random walk hypotheses. Investment is a very volatile component of GDP and the module covers business fixed, residential and inventory investment decisions and behaviour. The final section of the module considers the very long run performance of the economy – economic growth and its impact on economic development. We will cover exogenous and endogenous theories of growth and their implications for policy and development.
  • Business Research Methods
    This core module introduces you to the various methods of undertaking business research - vital tools for anyone hoping to pursue a career in business. The module covers a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. It’s a practical module informed by theory and real-life examples, which’ll help you to explore the philosophical debates underlying business and management research and consider how they relate to our understanding of knowledge and business practice. You’ll be encouraged to develop your ability to critically assess both the theory and practice of business and management research and to reflect on your own learning and development. This module will help you think about a final project and give you confidence in using research methods.
  • Career Development and Employability
    This innovative and exciting career-focused module will help you develop the employability skills and capabilities that are needed to compete successfully in the graduate labour market whilst seeking to provide you with knowledge, support and insight into the contemporary world of work and the business market. The module will also develop your skills and is therefore practical and engages you in case study exercise, real-life scenarios, audit and skills testing techniques and invites external guest speakers and employers to provide insight and input. The lectures and seminars will provide key inputs to help introduce you to fundamental employability concepts, insights and techniques, drawn from the world of business and management, but also from other disciplines such as sociology, social psychology and the humanities.

Year two, optional modules

  • Project Management
    Project management is a key skill for any future professional to acquire, at some stage in your career you will be involved in delivering or working on a project. This module focuses on providing a sound basis for managing or working on projects. In essence, the concept of managing a project hinging on one quite basic principle, managing the triangle of: quality of the project outcomes, cost and time. In practice, this is a complex juggling act. The module covers: the major process groups of the Project Management Body of Knowledge; the importance of stakeholder and risk management; scheduling and costing; monitoring and controlling techniques, including cost control, time management and resource optimisation; improving the success of projects; and the principles of agile project management. Assessment is by two pieces of coursework: a project schedule and discussion of stakeholders and risks, and a limited time case study problem.
  • Responsible Business
    On this module you will learn about the shift towards more environmentally, socially and economically responsible business practice and in particular focus on the drivers behind this shift. Furthermore, you will explore the concept of global responsibility and citizenship and growing business arguments for including a consideration of sustainability in all business practice. The module examines our increasing recognition that as individuals and businesses we have responsibilities as 'global citizens' in ensuring a more sustainable future. Assessment is an online referenced blog.
  • History of Political Economy
    This module introduces students to study of economic ideas of the past and provides them with the opportunity to contribute to the reviving interest in the history of economic thought, which is now occurring in response to the current financial and economic crisis, and to think ‘outside the box’ when addressing contemporary economic issues.
  • International Trade
    This module provides an introduction to the economics of international trade. It seeks to equip students with the theoretical knowledge to explain the patterns of global trade and to explore policy issues relating to international trade. The module will introduce classical theories of trade - including the Ricardian theory of comparative advantage and the Heckscher-Ohlin model - as well as more modern approaches based on increasing returns and imperfect competition. Students will develop the ability to analyse the economic effects of trade policies such as tariffs, subsidies, import quotas and strategic trade policy. Both the efficiency effects of trade policy and the political economy of who wins and who loses are examined. Students will also develop an understanding of why countries join international trade agreements, of the costs and benefits of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements such as NAFTA and the European single market, and of the role of the World Trade Organisation in the management of international trade and the settling of trade disputes.

Placement year (Optional)

  • Work Placement - Economics and International Business
    This is a pass/fail optional module. In a competitive job market, understanding how the professional work place functions, along with well-developed employability skills, are key to a graduate securing employment. The work placement gives you the opportunity to put into practice what would have been learned in the first two years and to enter their final year with the insights of their practical experience in the field. During this module you will undertake a work-based learning internship with a company or organisation where they will be supported in developing effective professional practices through guidance in generic and specific employability skills and through developing independent reflective learning practices to enhance your continuing professional development in the context of your own working environment. The module aims to provide you with experience of work in a business environment including familiarisation with a professional work environment. The module will be underpinned by employability skills training, reflective assessment and support from academic tutors. You will expected to be able to reflect on your experience in writing and orally, and demonstrate how you have applied theory, and learnings to date within a work-based environment. The assessment aims to support and develop your ability to demonstrate your professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer whilst also learning key communication and personal skills. - You must secure a placement, or placements (maximum 3) amounting to 9 months duration with minimum term of 3 months per placement. - Placement can start at any point from 1 June and must have started by 1 October.

Year three, core modules

  • Applied Economics
    This module will equip you with the knowledge and techniques needed to apply economic theory to a current economic or socioeconomic issue. It offers the opportunity to apply the theories covered in Microeconomics II, Macroeconomics II and practice the techniques developed in Econometrics (30 credit). You’ll study a range of applied topics. There’ll also be sessions based around the research areas of lecturers and researchers from Economics, Finance, and the Anglia Ruskin research institutes: the Institute for International Management Practice, and the Global Sustainability Institute. You’ll be exposed to a range of contemporary issues that are of current interest to business, policy makers and their stakeholders. You’ll produce an individual research paper based on one of the areas discussed on the module. The methodology can be econometric or a critical evaluation of secondary data employing economic theory.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    Undertaking a Major Project allows you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research, and/or product development work, on a selected topic within the broad business and management field, relating to your particular interests and background, although closely linked to our wide range of staff interests and research. You will have many group sessions to support your project, plus the supervision by an academic member of staff. The project also encourages students to share ideas and approaches. The chosen topic will be in your course subject area and require you to identify/formulate problems and issues based on a range of topics provided by conducting a literature review and evaluating information. You will investigate and adopt a suitable desk based methodology and determine solutions, perhaps developing hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate. You will critically appraise and present your findings, reflecting upon the limitations of your research and the research process.
  • Critical Approaches to Economics
    This module explores a range of contemporary economic issues (and more) by introducing you to a range of alternative perspectives on economics and economic activity: heterodox economics. Heterodox economics (Austrians, Post-Keynesian, Institutionalists, Green and others) differs from mainstream economics not simply because it finds its asocial explanations of the provisioning process unsatisfactory, but also how it reaches this conclusion. The module encompasses debates from history of economic thought (being organised around schools of thought), modern economic debates, economic methodology, philosophy of economics and how various schools of thought address different economic issues and policies.
  • Behavioural Economics
    Behavioural Economics is part of this new development in economics which integrates insights from psychology and other social sciences into economic models of human behaviour. Mainstream economic analysis assumes that economic agents are rational and behave in a way to maximise their individual self-interest. While these assumptions yield a powerful tool for analysis, there is a growing body of empirical evidence challenging these assumptions. Behavioural economics is about understanding economic behaviour and providing more realistic psychological foundations to the assumptions about how economic agents make decisions. These more realistic foundations include aspects of cognitive ability, risk perception, social interaction and emotional responses.

Year three, optional modules

  • Consultancy for Economists
    This module builds on the theoretical knowledge and practical skills students have acquired in their course to work on an economics project in groups with an external, local business partner. External partners can propose a project of their choice, but students must be able to complete it in 12 weeks and should be encouraged to apply their knowledge of economics, statistics, mathematics and econometrics independently under supervision of the external partner and the module leader/tutors. Exemplary topics could be “An analysis of export market penetration of Cambridgeshire products”, “Impact of Inflation on Foreign Direct Investments in Industry X/Cambridgeshire” or “Human Capital Development and Local Economic Growth”. This module will support students in their development of key skills required for the job as economists.
  • EU Economy: Policy and Issues
    Economic and political aspects of the European Union are explored on this module. You will be introduced to important areas of EU policy affecting, for example, the extent and pace of EU enlargement, the competitiveness of the EU, and migration. This module also explores the reasons for economic integration, and the costs and benefits of the single currency. The EU is constantly evolving and this module will reflect this in its use of contemporary events and current controversies.
  • Industrial Organisation and Policy
    This module builds on the second year Microeconomics II module. It considers the nature of market power and how that affects firm behaviour and performance. Understanding this is relevant not just to the firms themselves, but has implications for the welfare of consumers and for the design of industrial, competition and regulatory policies. Topics covered include theories of monopoly and oligopoly, measuring market power and concentration, price discrimination and commodity bundling in monopolies, static and dynamic models of oligopoly and product differentiation. We will also consider models of, and possible policy responses to, mergers and horizontal and vertical integration, entry deterrence, predatory pricing, network externalities and pricing in regulated industries.

Optional modules available in years two and three

  • Spanish
    Perfect for complete beginners to the language, the course will focus on all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in an integrated approach. It will introduce key structures and vocabulary relevant topics whilst providing you with an insight into the Hispanic society and culture.
  • French
    Foundation French is perfect for complete beginners to the language, the course focuses on all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in an integrated approach. It’ll introduce key structures and vocabulary relevant topics whilst providing you with an insight into the French society and culture. Intermediate: If you’ve already studied French but would like to take it further, this module will develop your focus on all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) further in an integrated approach. It’ll expand upon the key structures and vocabulary relevant topics whilst providing you with an insight into the French society and culture.
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
    Perfect for complete beginners to the Chinese language, the module will focus on all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in an integrated approach. It'll introduce key structures and vocabulary relevant topics whilst providing you with an insight into the Chinese society and culture.


You can expect an interesting mix of coursework, essays, exams and activity-based assignments. Your coursework could include problem-solving activities, consultancy projects, presentations as well as group or individual reports. You'll also be able to access support materials supported by materials accessed through our learning management system, Canvas.

All assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate what you’ve learned, and to make sure you’re developing the knowledge and skills you need to complete the course.

This is a three-year programme (or 4 years with placement)

Alongside your core modules you will pick a number of optional modules. Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

You have a highly active mind and see opportunity everywhere. Now you need theory and life-changing skills to sharpen your approach to management. At the Faculty of Business & Law, you will immerse yourself in a multicultural environment where technology blends with teaching to create a dynamic and innovative learning environment. An environment to help you gain those skills.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Placement year

We want to make sure that you’re fully prepared for an increasingly competitive job market, so we offer a four-year degree option which includes a work placement in the third year. It’s an opportunity to apply and enhance your skills while developing new ones. You’ll also build valuable professional networks.

It could be that you have one placement during Year 3, or you could have two or three, giving you the chance to experience different organisations and working practices. Many of our students find that their placement company hires them when they graduate. We have a specialist team to help you find a placement and support you during this year. You might work in the UK or go abroad: our students have worked at leading organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Bosch, BMW, Airbus, BskyB and KPMG. This period of work experience can help set your final-year studies in context and may well help with your dissertation topic. All in all, it’s a fantastic way to stay ahead of the competition.

Studying abroad

You could broaden your horizons by spending time living and studying abroad. This could be a short study visit or a semester spent in Europe, Canada, the USA or Malaysia. It will look great on your CV and help you take advantage of opportunities in the international job market.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)


Placement year (UK, EU, international students)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

International students

You must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit or sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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01245 686868

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