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Social Sciences: EconomicsPart of Social Sciences

VL51 BA Economics and Philosophy (3 yrs)

Introducing your course

An Economics and Philosophy degree at Southampton provides you with an excellent and rigorous education exploring human welfare and social justice, political ideals and economic realities. During the BA in Economics and Philosophy at Southampton you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the core areas of economics and philosophy while also pursuing your own interests through optional modules.

You will graduate as an independently-minded, confident individual with the skills required for a successful career.

Programme Overview

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

Programme Structure

Over each year you must take eight modules, or the equivalent, four in each semester, with a minimum of three modules in each subject including the compulsory modules.

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme also offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines. This allows you to personalise your education and to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.

View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

Philosophy at Southampton was ranked second in the UK for graduate prospects by the Times Good University Guide 2014.

  • You can spend a period studying abroad at one of our partner institutions across the world.
  • Unusually wide range of courses, with much of our teaching conducted in genuinely small groups.
  • 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.


Did you know?

You can take this programme with a year abroad at one of our 173 partner institutions in over 24 countries – use code VL54 when you apply through UCAS.

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Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB or ABB with B in AS Mathematics. Applicants doing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

A grade B in A level Physics or Statistics can be substituted for grade B in AS level Mathematics.

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 or 32 points overall, 17 or 16 at higher level including 5 in either Standard or Higher Level Mathematics (excluding Maths Studies)
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 an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than 6.5 in Reading and Writing, 6.0 in Listening and Speaking

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.

Contextual Offers

Humanities supports contextual admission.  A typical offer for an applicant qualifying as contextual is BBB from 3 A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

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


Typical course content

Over each year, you must take eight modules, or the equivalent, including at least three modules in each subject. You take four modules each semester.

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

Students can also take an optional module from Languages, Archaeology, Biology, Criminology, Demography, Education, Film, Geography, History, Politics, Philosophy, Psychology, Music or Anthropology.

Semester One


ECON1001 Foundations in Microeconomics (for those without Economics A level)
ECON1003 Principles of Microeconomics (For those with Ecomomics A level)
ECON1005 Introduction to Maths for Economics (for those without Maths A level at grade C or above)
ECON1007 Statistics for Economics (for those with Maths A level at grade C or above)

PHIL1002 Knowledge and Mind
PHIL1016 Reason and Argument


PHIL1003 Introduction to Early Greek Philosophy
PHIL1006 Introduction to Political Philosophy

These are only examples. There is a wide choice of optional modules (see above).

Semester Two


ECON1002 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON1007 Statistics for Economics
PHIL1005 Ethics


PHIL1019 Puzzles about art and literature
PHIL1020 Faith and reason
PHIL1021 Existentialism and its Origins

These are only examples. There is a wide choice of optional modules (see above).

Year 2

Students can also take an optional module from Languages, Archaeology, Biology, Criminology, Demography, Education, Film, Geography, History, Politics, Philosophy, Psychology, or Anthropology.

Semester One

ECON2026 in a pre-requisite for ECON2032.

Appearance and Reality
Applied Microeconomics 2
Macroeconomic Policy 2
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Language
Introduction to Econometrics

These are only examples. There is a wide choice of optional modules (see above).

Semester Two
Moral Philosophy
Philosophy of Science
Continental Philosophy
Topics in Macroeconomics 2
Industrial Economics 2
International Trade Theory and Policy
Development Economics
Methods of Econometrics

These are only examples. There is a wide choice of optional modules (see above).

Year 3

Students can also take an optional module from Languages, Archaeology, Biology, Criminology, Demography, Education, Film, Geography, History, Politics, Philosophy, Psychology, Music or Anthropology.


Semester One

Students will select one module from the following:

PHIL3013 - Philosophy dissertation

ECON3023 - Economics dissertation /project

Applied Microeconomics 3
Philosophy of Mathematics
Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy
Humanities Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme Yr3
Topics in Macroeconomics 3
Principles of Finance
Labour Economics
Applied Econometrics
Contemporary Theories of Justice
Chinese Politics
Disarmament, Arms Control and International Order
The Politics of Transnational Migration
Politics of the Media
Multivariate Data Analysis

These are only examples. There is a wide choice of optional modules (see above).

Semester Two

ECON3008 Macroeconomics Policy 3

Macroeconomic Policy 3
Practical Ethics
Action, Reason and Ethics
The Ethics of Belief
Happiness and Wellbeing
Fiction and Fictionalism
Public Economics
Microeconomic Theory 3
Empirical Finance
American Power and World Order
Global Governance
Public Policy Analysis
European Security Governance
Political Thought
The Politics and Governance of the EU
The Politics of Latin America

These are only examples. There is a wide choice of optional modules (see above).

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

What can you do with a Philosophy and Economics degree? Almost anything! That's because Philosophy and Economics teach you not what to think, but how to think. This is, as a Times report on Philosophy put it, "the ultimate transferable work skill".

Our students have gone on to succeed in a dazzling range of careers, including business, law, medicine, journalism, teaching, IT, the civil service, advertising, film and television, and finance. The 2013 Destination of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey found that all of our Philosophy and Economics graduates were in work or study six months after finishing their degree, with all of those in full-time employment occupying professional or managerial roles. You can find out more about some of our graduates on our ‘Alumni: Where are they now?' page for Philosophy and Economics.

During your degree you will learn skills such as:

  • Critical thinking
  • Analysis
  • Clear oral and written communication
  • Mental agility
  • The ability to appreciate different points of view
  • Working in groups

Don't just take our word for it. In a survey of results in the American GRE tests (tests of verbal, quantitative and analytical skills), Philosophy graduates achieved better average scores than graduates of any other humanities or social science subject.

Career skills are embedded throughout every stage of our course and are developed at every moment of study. Certain modules offer specific teaching in reasoning and communications skills. In addition, there are work experience opportunities to help you understand how your transferable skills apply in the workplace. The university's Excel placement scheme offers around 150 Christmas, Easter and summer placements in a range of companies.

Learning & Assessment

Combine pleasure with learning
Combine pleasure with learning

Our teaching draws upon the cutting-edge research of Southampton's academics, all of whom are actively engaged in presenting and publishing their work in philosophy and economics to international audiences.

We place special emphasis on small group teaching. Alongside lectures, you will participate from your first year of study in tutorials and seminars in which you will explore and develop your own ideas in discussion with fellow students and staff.

You will be assessed by more than just essays and exams. Depending on the modules you choose, you will work in teams, give presentations, submit group projects, develop websites, and manage larger research projects such as dissertations.

Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor, a leading academic who provides help and support at every stage of study.

Throughout the degree, we impart advanced skills in reasoning, research, communication, and analysis, skills which, alongside the support offered by the University's career service, will prepare you for further study or a future career.


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.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays, projects and 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. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS PHIL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here:£0.05-1.00

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

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: Computer discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses - All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware - It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
PlacementsIncluding Study Abroad Programmes: Students on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.

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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