Economics BA (International Honours) 2023 entry

The BA (International Honours) in Economics provides a sound understanding of economics and insight into social issues and problems ranging from the most important and pressing that face the planet today, to everyday phenomena which are central to the way society is organised.

The BA (International Honours) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.

Start date
September 2023
End date
September 2027
Duration
Four years full time
School
School of Economics and Finance
“The programme enabled me to access both the New York and London markets, which helped introduce me to a career in finance and fashion. The programme is challenging while we navigate between Virginia and Scotland and meet the heavier academic requirements of both universities. The reward is double or triple: double the friendship, double the opportunities, and ultimately a stronger person than we would have been staying in one university for four years”
Zhu
- Shenzhen, China

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard and Minimum entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

  • Standard entry grades:
    AAAAB
    Minimum entry grades:
    AABB
  • Standard entry grades:
    AAA
    Minimum entry grades:
    ABB
  • Standard entry grades:
    38 (HL 6,6,6)
    Minimum entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,5,5)

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous experience in this subject is required, but advanced school mathematics is an advantage, and an ability to learn mathematical skills is essential.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.

Course details

The BA (International Honours) in Economics is a four-year course run jointly by the School of Economics and Finance at St Andrews and the Department of Economics at the College of William & Mary. 

You will study for two years at both St Andrews and William & Mary, spending the first year of the programme at one institution and the second year at the other. You will then be able to choose where you wish to spend your third and fourth years of study and graduate from either university.

You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year.

What you will study

If you study a BA (International Honours) in Economics, you will learn to reduce complicated problems to their important components, formulate solutions, and apply up-to-date theoretical ideas as a framework for understanding the real world.

The economics departments of the two universities complement each other very well. Both departments have strengths in applied economic theory. Economics at St Andrews has particular strengths in dynamic macroeconomics, finance, and applied microeconomics. Economics at William & Mary has particular strengths in the areas of health, experimental and international economics.

The BA (International Honours) is a single Honours degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects offered by both institutions. Find out more about the St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree.

About the BA (International Honours) programme

The BA (International Honours) is a four-year undergraduate degree that combines the best of the Scottish and American educational experience.

Students on the BA Economics programme will be able to choose a greater variety of modules than would normally be available to other students. Available subjects vary from year to year and depend upon the strengths of each institution, but often include modules in financial economics, development economics, international economics, inequality, environmental economics, and so on. You also benefit from having access to two sets of staff who are dedicated teachers as well as active researchers.

Honours students take a number of core subjects (such as microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics), but also typically choose from a number of available optional modules.

Students will also benefit from study under two distinct educational traditions and by being part of a unique and diverse community. By the end of your degree you should have friends and contacts from many different places in the world and from a number of different backgrounds.

In addition, the BA (International Honours) degree is classified according to both UK and US practice, which means the quality of your degree should be understood by potential employers and universities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.

Modules

Students studying the Economics BA (International Honours) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.

The following modules are those offered at St Andrews. Find out more about module requirements at William & Mary.

At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in first year are:

  • Macroeconomics: introduces the study of economics at the national and global level.
  • Microeconomics: explores the basics of the market system and consumer and producer behaviour.

At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in second year are:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics: deepens the general understanding of microeconomics gained in first year.
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics: explores theories of the determinants of long-run economic growth and theories of the causes of short-run “business-cycle” fluctuations.
  • Statistics for Economists: introduces statistical methods and regression analysis.
  • Mathematics for Economists: covers calculus and algebra to provide indispensable mathematical tools for modern economists.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered at St Andrews in recent years:

  • Behavioural Economics: Individual Decisions and Welfare 
  • Development Economics 
  • Economic Fluctuations 
  • Economics of the Environment 
  • European Macroeconomics 
  • Game Theory 
  • Health Economics 
  • Incentives, Contracts and Markets 
  • Innovation Economics 
  • International Trade 
  • Mathematical Economics  
  • Public Economics 
  • Topics in Economic History.

If at St Andrews for 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 compulsory modules listed here must be taken 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. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.

Teaching

At St Andrews, 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.

In third or fourth year, 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.

In addition to these classes, students at St Andrews are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

Modules in economics at St Andrews are assessed 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.

Coursework takes the form of essays, along with other kinds of assessed work including oral presentations and group projects. 

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

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

At St Andrews, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of economics. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of classes and seminars under the supervision of the module coordinator.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.

Fees

Find out about fees, living costs, scholarships and funding.

Careers

Students on the Economics BA (International Honours) will gain a highly marketable set of skills, including thinking analytically, critically and strategically. The course also provides international experience which will make students more competitive in a globalised job market.

Popular career destinations among recent graduates include: 

  • economic consulting 
  • management consulting 
  • accountancy 
  • business intelligence analysis 
  • broadcasting and journalism 
  • risk management 
  • research analysis 
  • financial services analysis 
  • stockbroking. 

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

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

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Undergraduate visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.

Contact us

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 2443
Email
econsec@st-and.ac.uk
Address
School of Economics and Finance
Castlecliffe
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AR

School of Economics and Finance website