BSc Economics and Politics

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined

For 2024-2025:
£9,250 (UK students)
£24,660 (International students)

More detail.

Our BSc Economics and Politics degree brings together two subjects that are intrinsically linked within our society. This joint honours course will prepare you to tackle a wide range of pressing issues, such as the impact of climate change on the economy, the financial crises, trade agreements and income tax.

Every economic choice is a political choice and they affect large groups of people; such as taxation, interest rates and government spending. Studying economics and politics will teach you how to understand the behaviour of populations and how people respond to economic decisions. You will learn how this knowledge and research can be applied for maximum benefit in areas such as environment, energy, charity, philanthropy, public policy, society and finance.

Working alongside experts in the fields of economics and politics, you will develop the skills required to make informed, responsible decisions and to positively impact society in a diverse range of careers.

The Economics and Politics BSc programme

In your first year you are introduced to the main facets of the discipline: statistics, microeconomics and macroeconomics. You learn about computer-based methods for analysing economic data, and explore topics in applied economics. There are modules on Economic History, along with a Quantitative Methods course for students looking for a higher level of technical skill. In the second year you consolidate the main areas of the subject and begin to explore the many optional modules on offer. You might opt for theoretical or mathematical economics or study more applied topics. The emphasis in your final year shifts towards the application of economic theory and how this impacts on policy-making.

As well as learning the detail of your subject, you will develop the all-round skills needed for a modern working world - critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity. For many students this is a big transition but you can be reassured that right across campus support and help is available if you need it. University is a time for self-discovery and adventure - shape your own experience and discover who you are.

You can apply for a placement year during your second year and undertake a year-long placement during your third year. If you successfully secure a placement you will be moved on to the four-year BSc Economics and Politics with Placement Year degree.

Experience a year abroad on this course

Polaroid photos of students on their year abroad

If you choose to study on this programme, you will be offered the exciting opportunity to study for an additional year at one of our highly regarded partner institutions across the world. This gives you the chance to continue to study a language you have already taken at GCSE or AS level, or even to start a new language. You may choose to study in countries where English is the spoken language, but some of our European partners also offer programmes in English.

If you take up this option, this international study will take place in your third year and you will then return to the UK for your fourth year to complete the final (3rd year) year of your programme. Find out more about the process

The number of places at each institution varies from year to year so you will need to be flexible about where you go, but remember there are many advantages of choosing to go to a country outside your comfort zone. A Year Abroad tutor within the Business School will provide you with support before and during your international study experience.

I always felt like I would enjoy a course I could tailor both in terms of what I studied but also how I would be examined in it. Whilst I focused my module choices on people’s behaviours - whether that be their economic decision making or their voting behaviours - the degree always gave me the opportunity to try modules covering standalone areas as well.

Daniel Brett, Alumnus


Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024.

First year

Core modules

You must also take one of the following: (dependent on whether you have A level Mathematics)

Second year

Core modules

Optional modules

One module from the following list:

Plus two optional modules from POLSIS. 

Final year

Core modules

You must take one of the following:

You will also take at least one of either Advanced Macroeconomics and/or Advanced Microeconomics 

Optional modules

Optional modules from Economics include:

You will also take a number of optional modules from POLSIS. 

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees for students starting in 2024-2025

UK students

Full-time £9,250

International students

Full-time Band 2 £24,660

Visit our tuition fees page for more information.


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. 

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code LL12.

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

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

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
GCSE Mathematics grade 7/A if not taken at A Level; grade 6/B if taken at A Level
General Studies:
not accepted
Previous offer(s)

Widening participation and contextual offer grades:
Grade 6/B if Mathematics is NOT being taken at A level. 5/B is Mathematics is being taken at A level.

Find out more about our different types of offers

BTEC Extended Diploma 

Only the following subjects can be considered: Business, Information Technology (Note that the above are not suitable for LG13 unless offering Maths at A Level.  Not suitable for language options unless also offering a modern language in an appropriate subject and at appropriate level) 

BTEC Diploma 

Only the following subjects can be considered (in combination with 1 A Level): Business, Information Technology 

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma 

Only the following subjects can be considered (in combination with 2 A Levels): Business, Information Technology


Only the following subjects can be considered: Management and Administration; Accounting; Finance. 

Pathways to Birmingham 

Our typical Pathways to Birmingham offer is ABB with GCSE Mathematics at grade 6/B.  The typical contextual offer for this programme is AAB GCSE Mathematics at grade 6/B.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

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.

Responsible for your learning

Economics is important, it means passing on our state-of-the-art knowledge to the next generation as part of our responsibility to the profession and to you. Our responsibility is to help teach you to communicate what you have learnt and how it can be applied … to prospective employers, to your parents, to all the people who benefit from the making of informed decisions.

How you will be assessed

Your modules will be assessed using a combination of coursework, exams and tests, the mix of which will be dependent upon the modules you choose.

If you choose to take up a year abroad in your third year, it will be worth 120 credits, accounting for 12.5% of the final degree award. Assessment will be conducted by the host institution, and your marks will be translated and transferred to your programme.

Your personal tutor

From the moment you begin your economics degree you will have a personal tutor who will help to guide your academic progress and support your general wellbeing. They will meet you on a regular basis either individually or in a small group throughout the year.

Contact hours

You can expect around 15 contact hours per week, depending on your year of study and the optional modules you've chosen. The remainder of the week consists of self-guided study.

Relationships for life

Your life at university isn’t just about study and work. Whilst your degree is at the heart of your time here, the relationships you build will last you a lifetime. Whether they are friends you live with in accommodation, from your course or from clubs, societies and activities, there is no shortage of opportunity to build your own community of like-minded people. Your journey through university is personal, but it will be made special by the people around you.

We have over 300 societies and clubs at Birmingham, from baking to skydiving, you can build on your existing passion or trying something brand new. We have a thriving Economics Society within the department that offers so much to our students, both professionally and personally. Choose to participate and get to know your fellow students. Choose to lead and challenge yourself in developing new skills. 

A place to call home

University is your next step on the road to independence and with at least three years ahead of you, it’s important that you choose a place that you can call home. At Birmingham the accommodation is on the doorstep of a stunning campus, which itself is within touching distance of a major, vibrant city centre, making this a truly unique place to live and study. If you choose to stay at home, you can ensure you are plugged in to campus life through the range of events and activities on offer to you. You will join a large and diverse student community and our campus is constantly evolving with exceptional facilities, plenty of space to study and peaceful grounds to relax so that you can build your life here. As for Birmingham itself, we are proud of our city.

Our community is diverse and friendly, our people are down to earth, and as one of the original pioneering cities Birmingham has developed into a melting pot for shopping, food and drink, nightlife, sport, culture, and industry. Visit us and we know you will love it here.

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 will 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,  laboratory-based work (depending on your chosen degree) 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 will 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.

Responsible for your career prospects

As a graduate of Birmingham Business School and a Russell Group University, you are an attractive prospect to employers, of which there is an impressive pool within Birmingham itself: for example, ONS, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Bank of England, KPMG, Ernst and Young, etc.

Economics also gives you a wealth of transferrable skills that will be desirable if you decide to go on to work in a different field: from strategic, logical thinking to clear communication. 

Ready for work

You understand just how competitive the graduate job market can be, and you will be looking for opportunities to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. In your first year alone the Birmingham Project gives you the opportunity to work with academics and leading employers from the world of business, industry and the arts to tackle a ‘real world’ challenge. As you shape your ambition throughout your time at university, or simply want to explore what your options might be, opportunities to undertake summer internships, gain work experience, work with an alumni mentor, take part in research projects and seek careers advice are all open to you. 

Careers Network

Our award-winning Careers Network is a dedicated service for you. Our expert professionals can provide you with guidance and support to help you succeed after university. We hold workshops, fairs and 1:1 consultations to help you develop your skills. All the support you need is here for you, it’s up to you to make the most of it.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details