Economics BSc (Honours) 2023 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.  

UCAS code
L102
Start date
September 2023
End date
September 2027
Duration
Four years full time
School
School of Economics and Finance
“I was attracted to the combination of quantitative and qualitative elements in the subject –microeconomics has a strong mathematical foundation, while macroeconomics and economic history involve essay assignments. I appreciated the flexibility in sub-honours as I studied Economics and Psychology for my first two years and additionally took modules in Management and Comparative Literature in my first year.”
Valeria
- St Petersburg, Russia

Entry requirements

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

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 entry requirements as outlined on their pages.

  • Standard entry grades:
    AAAAB
    Minimum entry grades:
    AABB
    Gateway entry grades:
    Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
  • 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.

Alternative study options

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:

MA 

Economics is available as both a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Arts (MA) degree. The content of the subjects is the same irrespective of Faculty. 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 in Economics may be of interest instead. The entry requirements are the same for all single Honours Economics degrees, and the chance of receiving an offer is the same for each of these degrees.

Study abroad

Economics students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.

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. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The BSc in Economics is a four-year course run by the School of Economics and Finance.

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: 

  • behavioural economics 
  • corporate finance 
  • econometrics 
  • economic growth 
  • economic history 
  • economics of labour 
  • economics of migration 
  • experimental economics 
  • health and education 
  • macroeconomic policy 
  • policy impact evaluation 
  • portfolio management. 

Alongside economics, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised. 

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

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. 

Typically, you will take a total of three modules per semester each year.

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

  • 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. 
  • Mathematics for Economists: covers calculus and algebra to provide indispensable mathematical tools for modern economists.

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

  • 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. 

If you decide to take economics in your third and fourth years, you can choose from a wide variety of advanced options. Single-Honours students are required to take at least one module in econometrics.  

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered 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. 

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 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

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), laboratories and smaller group tutorials (10 to 20 students). Students typically attend six hours of lectures and an average of one to two tutorials or labs a week. 

When not attending lectures, tutorials and laboratories, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve: 

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

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 aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework 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.

You will be taught by a research-led teaching team with expertise and knowledge of economics. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials under the supervision of the module leader. 

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

Scotland
Tuition fees have yet to be set.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
£9250

Channel Islands, Isle of Man
£9250

EU and overseas
£28190

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.

Funding and scholarships

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

Joint Honours degrees

You can also take Economics as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.

Course name UCAS code
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology and EconomicsCL11
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Computer Science and EconomicsGL41
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and Geography2A72
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and ManagementLNC2
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and MathematicsGLC1
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and PsychologyLC18
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and StatisticsGL31
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and Sustainable DevlopmentF893
Master of Arts (Honours) Ancient History and EconomicsLVD1
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and EconomicsLT16
Master of Arts (Honours) Biblical Studies and EconomicsLV16
Master of Arts (Honours) Chinese Studies and EconomicsCH04
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and EnglishLQ13
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Film StudiesLP13
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and GeographyLL17
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and GermanLR12
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and International RelationsLL12
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and ItalianLR13
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and ManagementNL21
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and MathematicsGL11
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Medieval HistoryLVC1
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Middle East StudiesTL61
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Modern HistoryLV11
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and PersianL1T6
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and PhilosophyLV15
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and PsychologyCL81
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and RussianLR17
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Social AnthropologyLL16
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and SpanishLR14
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and StatisticsGLH1
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Sustainable DevlopmentF892

Additional joint degree options are available for students who take the MA in Economics.

"With" degrees

You can take Economics as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first name subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degrees in Economics:

  • Master of Arts (Honours) Economics with German - UCAS code L1R2
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Economics with Russian - UCAS code L1RT
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Economics with Social Anthropology - UCAS code L1L6
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Economics with Spanish - UCAS code L1RK

"With" degrees taken with German, Russian, Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.

Careers

Graduates with a degree in economics have some highly sought-after skills and pursue careers in a wide variety of fields. A degree in economics will greatly enhance your analytic and decision-making abilities. You will significantly improve your quantitative abilities and greatly enhance other transferable skills highly valued by employers. 

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. 

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

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