Economics with Portuguese BSc

The knowledge of the economist and the skill of the linguist make a powerful combination in the modern world. With increasingly globalised and interdependent commercial markets, Economics graduates that can apply their skills and understanding overseas have never been more sought after, opening up exciting new horizons for a successful international career.

Our BSc Economics course performed very well in the National Student Survey (NSS) and Unistats Key Information Set (KIS):

  • 91% overall student satisfaction
  • 91% of our students rate the course as intellectually stimulating
  • 94% of student go into work or further study (Employability stats - 6 months after graduating) 
  • Average starting salary for our graduates is £26,000 
  • Taught by leading economists and with an impressive faculty alumni - we're renowned for producing high-calibre graduates

Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector’s participation in EU programmes such as Erasmus and study abroad programmes. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

Quick links: Why study this course | Modules | Fees and Funding |Entry RequirementsHow to apply

To study Economics you need to understand how economists think about problems, and that means studying theoretical models. But we also understand the importance of applying those theories to the problems that economists face, so this programme (and all other Economics-based programmes) also emphasises applied Economics, aiming to help you develop skills in statistics that you can use to analyse economic data and forecast what may happen in the future.

First year

The Economics with Language programmes retain the core structure of the Single Honours Economics degree. They introduce you to the basic concepts and techniques in Economic Analysis, Applied Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, and Economic History. You also take a language module of your choice, which introduces you to the social and political background of the country concerned.

Second year

In this year you take compulsory modules in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, and a language course. The language option includes the exploration of the social and political life and the economic system of the country concerned. You also take a course in Econometrics and choose from a wide range of options including Economic Development and Environmental Economics.

Third year

In the third year you study economics in an appropriate overseas university. You select courses in consultation with your tutor, but the aim is for you to study areas of economics you would not normally have experience of in the UK. You are required to write two essays on Economics topics, one of which will be in the language that you are studying.

Fourth year

You return to Birmingham in the fourth year. In addition, you take a compulsory module in Economic Theory and choose six optional economics modules from a range that includes International Trade, Economics of Financial Markets and European Economics. You also undertake your own research and produce an extended essay on a topic of your own choosing.

If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.

Why study this course

Our BSc Economics course performed very well in the National Student Survey (NSS) and Unistats Key Information Set (KIS):

  • 91% overall student satisfaction
  • 91% of our students rate the course as intellectually stimulating
  • 94% of student go into work or further study (Employability stats - 6 months after graduating) 
  • Average starting salary for our graduates is £26,000 
  • Taught by leading economists and with an impressive faculty alumni - we're renowned for producing high-calibre graduates

There are lots of opportunities available for you to develop skills employers value both within your degree programme and outside. For example:

  • You can apply for an internship, with university funded bursaries to help with costs
  • Join our Personal Skills Award (PSA) scheme, which credits the work you do on a voluntary activities outside your degree, or through extra modules you can take over 2 years 
  • Become ‘enterprising’ and take advantage of mentoring and help from loads of ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ activities on campus
  • Or you could get involved in our Alumni Mentoring scheme and learn from the best of the best 

There is also a dedicated team of people who can help and support you including careers and employability advisers, internship officers and an application support adviser who specialise in working with students just like you. You can ask for individual advice, attend workshops and careers events tailored to your degree programme. You can browse web resources, which includes careers information, job adverts for work experience and internships, details of careers fairs and events such as presentations from past graduates. 

Birmingham is just the start of the journey. We’ll make sure you have all the support you need to help you develop, gain knowledge and the confidence you will need to make decisions about your future. 


First year

Core modules

Students without A-Level Mathematics or with A-Level Mathematics grade C or below or equivalent must choose the following module:

Students with A-Level Mathematics grades A*, A and B or equivalent MUST choose the following module:

Optional modules

Choose 20 credits from the following modules:

Second year

Core modules

Optional modules

Choose 40 credits from the following modules.

Third year

  • Year Abroad

Fourth year

Core modules

Optional modules

Choose 60 credits from the following modules. Where modules are linked both parts must be chosen.

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2017, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250.

Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2017-18
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250

Overseas students entering in 2017-18

Overseas students entering in 2017-18
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1 £15,210


At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards. 

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
GCSE Mathematics at grade A and GCSE foreign language grade B
General Studies:
not accepted

Additional information:

BTEC Extended Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with a relevant language qualification - contact us for further guidance

BTEC Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with an A level and a relevant language qualification - contact us for further guidance

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with 2 A Levels and a relevant language qualification - contact us for further guidance

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,6 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.

Standard English language requirements apply

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code L1R5.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View further advice on 'How to apply for undergraduate courses', including advice for UK, EU and overseas applicants.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Economics is a department within Birmingham Business School, which has many strong links with industry. As well as exploring theoretical aspects, you’ll find that your degree has a strong practical focus, and this is reflected in the way you’ll be taught.

Learning from experts in their field, you will be encouraged to think for yourself and will experience a number of different learning settings, including lectures, tutorials and even the opportunity to be involved in our Economics Laboratory.

Our aim is to equip you with specific skills in economics, but also generic skills that can be applied right across the job spectrum, such as analytical and data analysis.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts.

How will I be taught?

During your time at the Business School you will experience teaching through a mixture of lectures and tutorials. Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject and allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.


You are assessed mainly through examinations, with some assessed assignments for more practical modules. Whilst abroad you will complete an essay, which is to be examined for both language and economics content, and you will also write an extended essay in your fourth year, allowing you to consolidate the wide range of your acquired skills.

Skills gained

At the end of this degree, you should have a good appreciation of economics relating to financial markets and institutions; quantitative techniques for empirical analysis of economic and financial data; accounting concepts relevant to financial market analysis; the legal aspects of financial services; and the history, culture, political structure and economy of the relevant European country, allied to a high level of linguistic skill.

Contact hours

Undergraduate students can expect around 15 contact hours per week, depending on year of study and optional module choices made. The remainder of the working week consists of self-guided study based on degree programme content and requirements of specific modules.

Learning Settings

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).

You’ll find our Economics department staff here at Birmingham located in a building at the heart of our world famous main campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The main Edgbaston campus is close to the city centre but has all the amenities of a small town, as well as its own railway station. 

In 2012, Birmingham Business School founded and invested in The Birmingham Experimental Economics Laboratory (BEEL) which enables economics experiments to take place on campus. The laboratory focuses on research into individual and strategic decision making and students are actively encouraged to participate in these experiments.


To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues. During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support. 

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Virtual and enquiry based learning

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an excellent tool for supporting our academic courses, allowing you to share thoughts on assignments with other students via the discussion group facilities, and even submit your work electronically.

Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) is a group activity which requires you to work in a team, with a variety of assessment methods; in either a group or individually, by written reports and sometimes as a presentation. Based on techniques used in research-led organisations like the University of Birmingham, EBL gives you a research-orientated approach to a problem and helps you to gain essential skills that are highly valued by employers.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

At the end of four years you will be well-versed in economic concepts, have the ability to analyse issues with an economist’s viewpoint, have attained a high level of spoken and written language skills, and be familiar with another European country. These degrees are of great practical value and appeal to prospective employers both in the UK and continental Europe.

Career opportunities

A degree in Economics provides the skills required for a very wide range of careers and employers will value the training that an Economics degree provides. These skills and training are useful in the financial sector, general commerce, public sector, journalism and education to name but a few. 

Our business degrees have long been recognised by major employers across all sectors of the economy. Our students find employment in areas as diverse as retail management, financial services, accountancy, motor manufacturing, management consultancy and pharmaceuticals; some become self employed.

The University of Birmingham is known to produce high quality graduates and therefore students are in high demand when they have completed their study.

Your Birmingham degree

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Visit the University of Birmingham Careers pages for further information on how we are 'Investing in your future'.