Social Sciences: Economics

GL12 BSc MORSE (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) (3 yrs)

This programme, which is new in 2012, replaces our old programmes of Mathematics with Operational Research, Mathematics with Management and Mathematics with Economics.

This programme is administered by Mathematical Sciences

Programme Overview

The purpose of this programme is to provide you with a broad-based programme covering topics in mathematics, operational research, statistics and economics. These different topics are related in that they all rely on using mathematical methods to formulate, model, analyze and solve a wide range of problems.

OPERATIONAL RESEARCH: The efficient and effective management of many organisations relies on solution of problems with a significant mathematical content. This programme introduces you to the most important of the mathematical methods used in formulating and solving such problems. As well as being mathematically interesting, it thus equips you with skills and an expertise that is in very high demand in a truly wide range of businesses and organisations, spanning public and private corporations both large and small.

STATISTICS: A training in statistics offers a unique range of challenges and provides opportunities to work on a large variety of important problems in industry, environmental science, medical research, social science and within the government. Statisticians analyse uncertain data where the source of uncertainty may be due to measurement error, experimental error, sampling error or modelling error. The common language of all uncertain conditions is probability.

ECONOMICS: Mathematics is being applied increasingly in the social sciences, in particular in economics. Mathematical tools are used to formulate models of the complex interactions in an economic system. For example, what would be the effect on U.K. inflation of joining the European single currency? How should firms evaluate risky research and development projects? Why might an increase in union bargaining power in a country increase its share of world markets? Mathematical models are also used to help address ethical issues: should a developing country try to protect its domestic industries from foreign competition? Ought the government to provide state pensions, and if so what form should they take? Economists also use statistical techniques to test how well models like those above explain, and ultimately predict, what happens in an economy. Special statistical techniques called econometrics are required to take account of the fact that data available to economists are not derived from carefully controlled laboratory experiments, but come from the real world.

While studying for your degree, you will develop key study and work skills including written and oral communication, the use of IT, team working, time management and basic research skills including the use of the web and the library.

The programme is centred on a coherent framework of study but incorporates flexibility so that there is ample opportunity to choose topics of special interest to you.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered on a semester pattern, each semester being of 14 weeks duration. The last two weeks of each semester are set aside for examinations. The programme requires three years of full-time study, and may lead to a BSc Honours degree in MORSE: Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics. Students take eight 7.5 ECTS (15 CATS points) modules each year, four each semester. The degree programme comprises core and compulsory Mathematics (including Operational Research and Statistics) and Economics modules, which occupy the whole of the first year, and parts of the second and third years, together with options chosen by you.

In addition there are the following exit points:

  • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), following successful completion of Part I.
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), following successful completion of Part II.
  • Ordinary Degree of MORSE (BSc (Ordinary)), following the successful completion of at least 150 ECTS (300 CATS points), including 30 ECTS (60 CATS points) in Level 3 modules.

Each of Part I, Part II, and Part III carries 60 ECTS (120 CATS points).

Key facts

  • Ranked third in UK for quality of research outputs in applied mathematics. Ranked second in the UK for research power in statistics and operational research (RAE, 2008)

    One of the largest mathematics departments in the UK

    Wide range of degrees, with flexibility to transfer between programmes

    Generous scholarship scheme for UK/EU and international students

    Large international cohort

Meet our students

Adishtaa Kundun

Thumbnail photo of Adishtaa Kundun

“I think that this wide choice of subjects available with the BSc MORSE programme presents the student with an interesting and valuable combination of skills that will be supportive in the working environment.”

View profile

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:

In terms of A-level grades our standard offer is AAA (or AAB with Further Mathematics) or equivalent, including grade A in A-level Mathematics.


36 points, 18 at higher level, including 6 in higher level mathematics

Cambridge Pre-U

Our normal requirements are for D3D3M1 in the three principle subjects including D3 in Mathematics.

In addition we welcome applications from candidates offering other suitable qualifications with an appropriate mathematical content.

Selection process:

Intake: 180
Average applicants per place: 10

Applicants are selected on the quality of their application. Applicants with a strong academic background and a clear commitment to Mathematics will be considered for an offer based on the quality of their UCAS application.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

Mathematicians develop important analytical skills and problem-solving strategies to assess a broad range of issues in commerce, science and the arts.

Mathematical models and simulations, and the interpretation of their results, are being called on increasingly in global decisions, as business, politics and management all become more quantitative in their methods. The application of mathematics is also in demand in the social sciences, particularly economics, where mathematical tools are used to formulate models of the complex interactions in an economic system – in situations as significant as the effect on UK inflation of joining the European single currency.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

Semester One


Students must take either:

ECON1001 Foundations of Microeconomics


ECON1003 Principles of Microeconomics

Students entering with A-Level Economics take ECON1003; others take ECON1001


Semester Two


Year 2

Students take optional modules for 30 credits (usually two modules). They may include modules from Economics or Mathematics. They may also be chosen from other departments, such as Languages, Management, Archaeology, Biology, Demography, Film, Geography, Philosophy, Psychology, or Music. Students may also choose from Curriculum Innovation Modules such as ‘Economics with Experiments’ for instance. Examples of Economics and Management options include:

ECON2003 Microeconomics of Markets
ECON2004 Topics in Macroeconomics II
MANG1003 Introduction to Management
MANG2007 Problem Structuring Methods
MANG2021 Operations Management

Semester One


Semester Two


Year 3

As well as the compulsory modules below, students are required to take SIX other modules at least THREE of which must be MATH3xxx modules. Modules often taken as part of this course include:

MATH3063 Actuarial Science I
MATH3066 Actuarial Science II
MANG2001 Organisations and Management
MANG3010 Knowledge Management

MANG3034 Project Management
MANG3046 Managing Innovation
ECON3009 Microeconomic Theory 3

ECON3010 Topics in Macroeconomics 3
MATH3012 Statistics Methods II
MATH3013 Simulation and Queues
MATH3014 Design and Analysis of Experiments
MATH3016 Optimization
MATH3044 Statistical Inference
MATH3072 Biological Fluid Dynamics

Students may also choose from a list of options outside of Mathematics and Economics, as in Year 2. Students take 90 credits of optional modules, i.e. 6 modules.

Semester One


Semester Two

Learning and assessment

  •   Modules are taught using a variety of methods - these may include lectures, seminars, group work or project work.
  •  Each module will involve one or two sessions each week spread over the semester. For each module, students will be expected to write one or more essays (or equivalent), make presentations and contribute to seminar discussions.
  • Some modules are assessed by essays, others by exams, and some by a mix of these methods. Exams are held at the end of each semester.
  • Lectures offer an overview of a topic, an explanation of difficult concepts, or a discussion of key issues. Lectures presume a certain amount of additional reading, so it is often a good idea to read references before the corresponding lecture.
  • Seminars provide a forum for a closer examination of particular aspects of each unit and are an important part of the learning process. Usually it is only by discussing and questioning aspects of a subject that their full implications can be understood. Students prepare papers and lead discussions or debates, and so develop their written and presentational skills.
  • A particular feature of the learning environment in the Economics Division is the research led teaching. Academic staff research in areas of important contemporary significance and bring to their teaching units the experiences of working with the wider world.
  • The increasing use of web-based, video-based and PowerPoint-based teaching methods demonstrates our commitment to the effective use of available equipment.

The facilities we provide for learning

  • We are situated on the University's Highfield campus, which includes the Hartley Library, public access computer laboratories, a wide range of teaching and social accommodation, banks, shops and restaurants.
  • We are part of the Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences, and therefore postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers can take advantage of the support, research and personal development training offered by the Faculty Graduate School.
  • The larger lecture theatres are equipped with data and video projectors, and the University has recently substantially increased the annual budget for teaching space refurbishment. Space for independent study is provided in the library and in the halls of residence. 
  • The Hartley Library houses many books and journals classified under economics, together with periodicals in related social sciences disciplines. The Library is open seven days a week in term-time, with late evening opening on five days out of seven. Databases, such as Web of Science, and the Library catalogue are available to students electronically. There are two dedicated Library training rooms with specialist teaching hardware where students can participate in practical information skills training. A specialist IT centre within the Library is devoted solely to library users with disabilities or dyslexia. 
  • Clusters of Windows and UNIX workstations, managed centrally by Southampton University Computer Services (SUCS), are provided on the teaching and residential campuses. (Some are accessible 24 hours a day). On the Highfield campus they give a ratio of approximately one workstation to fifteen taught students. Students are provided with printing facilities, e-mail, Internet access and a range of over 140 software packages, including computer based training products. Support for both staff and students is provided by help-desks and a telephone/e-mail help-line, available for nine hours each working day. The main student reception for SUCS is located in the same building as the Division. 
  • Social Sciences has recently initiated an intranet (SocSciNet ) to make learning and teaching resources more easily accessible to students and to facilitate the development of IT skills. We have material for 6 modules on-line, accessible through the intranet. 
  • Your academic tutor acts as your primary contact for support and advice on all academic, organisational and personal matters. The tutor system also provides an important avenue for feedback on student experience of the Division's teaching, programmes, policies and procedures, The convenor of your programme also acts as your tutor. 
  • You are required to meet with your academic tutor on at least two occasions: once early during the first semester and again during the second semester. Further meetings should be arranged whenever you feel in need of advice or support. Academic tutors will be available for tutorial interviews during their 'office hours', which are posted on their doors. However, you can also arrange other times by contacting them through e-mail or by leaving a note in their pigeon hole (located in the staff room).

Career Opportunities