Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Economics

Why choose Economics at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We’re ranked in the top 10 universities in the UK for economics in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

  • Economics can be taken on its own or as part of a joint honours programme with subjects such as business, Chinese and social policy. Employers may see this as an advantage because of your double specialisation, interdisciplinary knowledge and adaptability.

  • You will join a vibrant learning community where active and engaged student societies like the Economics Society and the Edinburgh University Trading and Investment Club, which holds the UK’s biggest student-run investment portfolio, run events and activities throughout the year.

  • You don’t have to have studied economics at school to undertake this programme.

Study abroad

Economics has great career opportunities and is a fulfilling and rewarding subject. I like how my programme is split 50:50, which is more balanced than a major-minor course.

Winnie Zhang 2nd year MA (Hons) Economics & Mathematics
Winnie Zhang 2nd year MA (Hons) Economics & Mathematics

There has never been a more exciting time to study economics. The ongoing consequences of the last economic crisis mean that the world urgently needs new thinking and new processes to meet the challenges of a changing economic climate.

As an economics student, you will explore issues of economic stability, growth and development, all vital for economic forecasting and for influencing economic performance and policy.

You will also examine the causes of economic growth and the policies that are designed to promote prosperity, increase efficiency and reduce unwanted fluctuation in fiscal activity. There is a distinguished history of economics in Scotland that includes the work of David Hume and Adam Smith.

Throughout your studies, you will learn from world-leading economists before following in the footsteps of our graduates who are in demand by national and international organisations.

Year 1

You will study our Year 1 economics course, which is accessible to those who have not previously studied economics, but is challenging to those who have. You will also study two courses of your choice from other academic areas of the University.

Year 2

You will study Economics 2, which builds on your knowledge from Year 1, and one other economics course. You will also choose option courses from other subject areas.

Year 3

You will start to study compulsory economics topics in more detail and will be introduced to econometrics. You will take further courses in economics or, if you are studying for a joint honours programme, you will take courses from your other subject area.

Year 4

You will be able to choose from a wide range of specialist courses such as International Economics, Development Economics, Modelling the Financial Crisis and its Aftermath, Labour Economics and The Economics of Crime. You will also complete an honours dissertation.

Are there additional costs?

There are required textbooks that you will use in your courses in Years 1 – 3.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place across the Central Area campus. You will have access to all the University’s libraries and computer labs.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3, through the Erasmus programme, through School bilateral exchange programmes, or through the University's international exchange programme.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and web-based learning.

The MathsBase and Economics Help Desk offer students help and support throughout their programme. The peer assisted learning scheme, EconPALS, aims to help first year students develop their learning and study strategies.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams and coursework, including problems sets, essays, and project reports, and presentations. In Year 4 you will complete an honours dissertation.

Our graduates are highly regarded by employers.

The skills you learn during your programme will equip you for careers in accountancy, business, management and consultancy, or for work in aid agencies, not-for-profit organisations or government departments.

Many previous graduates have entered the finance sector and some large financial firms actively recruit Edinburgh graduates.