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Social Sciences: EconomicsPart of Social Sciences

L100 BSc Economics (3 yrs)

We take economic decisions every day of our lives, and in turn are affected by the decisions of other people and institutions. Economics is the study of these decisions and actions.

This single honours degree programme provides you with the opportunity to study economics in the greatest depth whilst also providing a considerable amount of choice regarding both the areas of economics and other subjects that you may wish to study.


Introducing your degree

Economics is a social science and concerns how decisions affect our wealth, well-being and income. Through the BSc in Economics, you will study macroeconomics and microeconomics and can choose from a number of optional modules such as finance, health economics or experimental economics.
You will be able to use the behavioural economics laboratory to run real experiments. You also have open access to the Bloomberg facilities, which are the same trading terminals used in the City. You can take optional modules from the Humanities and Social Sciences and interdisciplinary modules. Single Hons Economics students from the University of Southampton can also take a minor subject, such as a language, web science, criminology, demography, education, sustainability or social policy. There are over twenty minors to choose from.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Programme Structure

You can choose between a number of 'pathways' through the degree, to reflect your background and interests.

Module choices in year one are dependent on whether you have studied economics at A level. Eight modules are studied each year, with four in each semester. During year three you will study a dissertation, equivalent to two modules, which is a piece of independent research on a topic of your choice spread over both semesters.

You may also combine single Honours Economics with a minor subject. You apply for the BSc. Economics programme and only have to decide if you want to do a minor once you arrive. You can drop the minor subject at any time. The minor consists of five modules from a particular structured pathway. Usually the minor begins in the second semester of first year. The degree title becomes BSc. Economics with (insert name of minor).

Minors will be offered in:
American Studies; Anthropology; Archaeology; Creative Writing; Criminology; Demography; Education; English Literature; Film Studies; Geography; History; International Relations; Jewish History and Culture; Linguistics; Modern Languages; Music; Politics; Philosophy; Psychology; Sociology, and Sustainability.

New for 2014/15
Ecology and Evolution; Latin American Studies; German Cultural Studies, and The Ancient World.

For example, a student could graduate with BSc. Economics with History. Likewise, students from other disciplines may take a minor in Applied Economics. Please note: the choice of minor subject is subject to timetabling constraints.

View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

Studying Economics at the University of Southampton means joining one of Europe's top Economics departments, with a high profile in both teaching and research.

UK and EU students can study abroad for a semester. As part of the ERASMUS scheme, they can study in Norway, the Netherlands or Italy. Outside Europe, we have exchange programmes with Brazil, Hong Kong, the USA, Canada and Australia.

Thumbnail photo of Holly White

“Everyone is so nice. I have really enjoyed my course, especially the development economics module which had great lecturers and led me on to my dissertation topic. ”

Holly White - BSc Economics

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGCSE English grade C or above (or equivalent English language qualification)
A Levels:
GCE A-level 3 A level subjects: AAB (including A level Mathematics at grade B or above) or ABB (including A level Mathematics at grade B or above) with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification. 4 A level subjects: ABBB (including A level Mathematics at grade B or above) or BBBB (including A level Mathematics at grade B or above) with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification. Queries about contextualised offers can be made to: Information about the university’s scheme to widen participation (A2S) can be found here: Access to Southampton Although an Economics A level is not required, preference will be given to applicants taking at least one analytical A level subject; that is, either Economics or Mathematics or a science-based subject Most A level subjects are acceptable with the exception of General Studies. One subject such as those on the following list is accepted if combined with other academic subjects: Art, including Design, Fine Art, Photography, Textiles, etc Critical Thinking Home Economics ICT Leisure Studies Media Studies Music, including Music Technology Sports Studies including all forms of PE, Dance, etc Theatre Studies including Drama and Performing Arts Travel and Tourism There may be a few places available for marginal candidates who have just missed the grades required by their conditional offer. For these students ONLY, the Admissions Tutor will consider any extra A level subject, including General Studies. Therefore, it is worth taking an extra A level as an insurance policy. There is no guarantee that extra spaces will be available.
International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at Higher Level, including 5 in Higher Level Mathematics
Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Please note that we cannot accept applicants from Greece on the basis of the Apolyterion alone; it must be supplemented by two A levels or an equivalent qualification.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for a score of IELTS 6.5.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students: if you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful study (e.g. Access, Return to Study, Open University Foundation Courses), and of your capacity to pursue the course. Please note - due to the mathematical content of the courses at Southampton, you will be expected to have studied the appropriate level of mathematics relevant to the course.

Contextual Admissions

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme

A typical contextual offer is ABB including grade B in A level Mathematics from three A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Selection process:

We usually make our decisions based on your UCAS form alone. Only candidates who require special consideration, e.g. on grounds of age or non-standard entry qualifications, are interviewed.

All of our degree programmes require modules in mathematics (algebra and calculus) and statistics to be taken in the first year. If you have not studied mathematics for some time, you are strongly advised to prepare for these courses prior to entry.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Eight modules are studied each year, with four in each semester.

The programme structure below outlines the modules that you may typically expect to study, although this may vary depending on demand for the modules and staff availability.

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

The aim of the first year is to provide you with a firm foundation in the core subjects of your degree and an opportunity, through the choice of optional units, to broaden your field of study. Module choices in year one are dependent on whether you have studied economics at A level.

Students also take optional modules each year. They can choose options from other departments, from the Curriculum Innovation programme, and from Economics. Students are offered a variety of Social Sciences and Humanities modules: for example in Languages, Psychology, Management, Anthropology, Demography, Politics, Criminology, Philosophy, and Statistics. Curriculum Innovation modules include ‘Experiments in Economics’ and ‘Health Policy and Economics’. Modules in Economics itself include options in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Labour Economics, Finance, Public Economics, and Development Economics. If the minor subject is a language, students will have to start their minor in semester one and may have to complete more than five modules overall.

Semester One

Students who do not have Economics A-level take Module ECON1001, those who have Economics A-level take Module ECON1003. Once chosen, these modules will become core.

Mathematics For Economics
Financial Accounting 1

Year 2

Year 2 comprises a mixture of compulsory and optional modules.

Students take two optional modules in semester 2. Students taking a minor will take two modules from their minor subject.

Semester One

Students are to choose to take either ECON2006 or ECON2026.

Macroeconomic Policy 2
Microeconomics of Markets
Microeconomics of Strategy
Semester Two

If ECON2026 was chosen in semester one, then student must take ECON2032.

If ECON2006 was chosen in semester one, then student must take ECON2007.

Topics in Macroeconomics 2
Development Economics
Industrial Economics 2
International Trade Theory and Policy

Year 3

Students take five optional modules. Students taking a minor will take two modules from their minor subject.

Semester One

During year three you will study a dissertation (ECON3023), equivalent to two modules, which is a piece of independent research on a topic of your choice spread over both semesters.

Topics in Macroeconomics 3
Labour Economics
Principles of Finance
Applied Econometrics
Semester Two

The dissertation module, ECON3023, runs over both semesters.

Empirical Finance
Public Economics
Macroeconomic Policy 3

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the degree skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules.

The skills you will develop are in high demand. Our degrees are a passport to vocational and non-vocational careers alike, with recent graduates employed in a diverse range of professions from banking and insurance to analysis, market research and economics.

Read more about the careers and employability support we offer.

Learning & Assessment

Our degrees are full-time honours programmes of three years duration, with the exception of the M.Econ. programme, which lasts 4 years. All programmes aim to provide knowledge of the key concepts and arguments in the relevant subjects together with the capacity to apply this knowledge in a variety of contexts. In addition, we seek to ensure that all of our students are able to use data and quantitative techniques appropriately and effectively. The overall programme structure is a flexible one, allowing you to discover and pursue your own interests - either by choice of options or, if appropriate, by changing degree course at the end of year one.

Lectures and classes

Teaching takes place during two semesters, the first running from October to February and the second from February through to June. Eight subject units are taken per year - normally four per semester - some of which are compulsory and others optional. Teaching comprises both lectures (two or three per week, depending on the module) and weekly or fortnightly small group classes. In a typical semester you would spend about twelve hours per week attending lectures and classes; in addition, we expect about twenty-eight hours of self-study (preparing for classes, writing essays and so on) bringing the weekly total to forty hours.


Modules are examined at the end of the semester in which they are taught, and in some cases a coursework mark will contribute to the overall grade for the unit. Satisfactory performance in the first year is required in order to progress to year two. Final degree classes are based upon marks from the second and third years.


The resources for teaching and learning at Southampton are excellent. The University's Hartley library, which is located close to the Division, contains a comprehensive collection of books and journals. Computer workstations are available both on the campus and at halls of residence, in many cases offering round-the-clock access. In addition, every student is provided with an e-mail account, and all rooms in halls of residence have a telephone/internet connection.


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT: Software licences - Like hardware below: publicly available software in public workstations and some available via iSolutions, but otherwise purchase.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays, projects, dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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