Economics BSc (Hons)
2017 entry

The BSc (Hons) in Economics provides a structured, cumulative and rigorous foundation in economic concepts, principles, analysis, techniques and knowledge. During your studies, you will develop your analytical and decision-making abilities through training in quantitative and model-based methods of analysis.

Students studying Economics at St Andrews have the opportunity to focus on macroeconomics, choice theory, behaviour economics, game theory, international economics and development, competition and innovation, and climate change.

Economics is studied up to Honours level in both the Faculty of Science (BSc) and the Faculty of Arts (MA). Students who have a background in the sciences or who wish to study Economics alongside Science subjects at St Andrews should apply for the BSc. For those interested in studying Economics alongside Arts subjects, the MA (Hons) in Economics may be of interest. 

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

UCAS code


Course type

Bachelor of Science (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

Entry requirements

SQA Highers

AAAB, including at least two of the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science or equivalent
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Physics
  • Psychology.
GCE A-Levels

AAA, including at least one of the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science or equivalent
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Physics
  • Psychology.
IB points 38

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No, but mathematical ability is an advantage.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Science minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.  

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty.

Find out more about Faculty of Science entry requirements.

Course information

The BSc in Economics is a four-year course run by the School of Economics and Finance. The School also offers an MA in Economics, which may be more suitable for students who wish to take Economics alongside Arts subjects. The Economics element within both the BSc and MA degree programmes are exactly the same.

In the first two years, you will build a solid foundation in the general knowledge of Economics. This includes an introduction to the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics; an insight into quantitative techniques; and developing an understanding of economic relationships and the techniques necessary for their analysis.

At Honours level, students may select modules from a range of options on specific topics. These provide an analytical understanding of key aspects of finance, economics and government policy formation.

Specialist subject areas may include:

  • macroeconomic policy
  • behavioural economics
  • experimental economics
  • health and education
  • economics of labour
  • economic history
  • portfolio management
  • corporate finance.

Find out more about studying Economics at St Andrews.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Economics alongside modules in at least one other subject in the Faculty of Science.

Typically, you will take a total of three modules per semester each year. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take all of the following first-year modules:

  • Macroeconomics introduces the fundamentals of macroeconomics.
  • Microeconomics explores the basics of the market system and consumer and producer behaviour.
  • Mathematics for Economists covers calculus and algebra to provide indispensable mathematical tools for modern economists.

Students will take all of the following second-year modules:

If you decide to take Economics in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Decision and Game Theory
  • Incentives and Contracts
  • Economic Fluctuations
  • International Trade
  • Economics of the Environment
  • Public Economics
  • Inequality and Redistribution
  • Economics of Development.

In fourth year, students may also undertake a dissertation or research project on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

The modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

First and second year modules generally involve a series of lectures (100 to 350 students), laboratories and small-group tutorials (15 to 20 students) designed to facilitate effective interaction.

At Honours level, modules are taught through lectures (10 to 140 students) and smaller group tutorials (10 to 20 students). Students typically attend seven to eight lectures and one to two tutorials or labs a week.


Progress is monitored through tutorial assignments and assessment is by a combination of graded work and examinations. Almost all of the modules are assessed by at least 50% written exams with the balance of assessment made up by coursework.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

Coursework takes the form of essays, along with other kinds of assessed work including oral presentations and group projects. The School provides feedback on assessments, with a view to improving your performance in future.


Tuition fees for 2017 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £20,570

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Economics as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects:

  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • Management
  • Management Science
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

Your future


The wide range of transferable skills you gain through studying Economics are marketable in many career areas, and recent graduates in Economics have pursued a wide variety of career paths.

Popular career destinations amongst recent graduates include:

  • investment
  • commercial and international banking
  • accountancy
  • consultancy
  • university research and teaching
  • the media.

You will find St Andrews Economics graduates at renowned financial institutions such as:

  • Accenture
  • Ernst & Young
  • JP Morgan
  • Barclays Capital
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Economics may be interested in joining the St Andrews Economic Society. This active society is run by students and holds regular career events, essay competitions and social occasions. The society also publishes The St Andrews Economist, a magazine covering current affairs, academic theory, economic policies, and trends.

The School of Economics and Finance is located in Castlecliffe on The Scores in a beautiful Edwardian mansion overlooking St Andrews Bay, next to the ruins of St Andrews Castle on the Fife coast.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland. Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


School of Economics and Finance
University of St Andrews
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AR

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2420

School of Economics and Finance website