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Economics with Political Studies BSc (Econ)

Please note that information shown below may be subject to change.

UCAS code
Year of entry
View 2019 entry »
Course length
3 years full time
Economics »
Politics and International Relations »

Studying Economics with Political Studies at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the UK’s top ten teaching and research centres. Economics is one of the most influential and liveliest disciplines in today's world, affecting the lives and fortunes of everyone on the planet. This course offers a complete education in the theories and methods of economics, with a strong focus on analytical methods and a quarter of your time will be spent on political studies.  The knowledge and transferable skills gained will lead to excellent career prospects in public and private management, financial institutions and in government.

Through your studies you will develop an in-depth understanding of economics at all levels – from the company to the state, and beyond. You will learn to appreciate and apply the core theories of micro and macroeconomics; gain important quantitative and computing skills that are widely applicable as well as skills in logical reasoning and gain experience in logical and philosophical reasoning. You will also gain a grounding in politics by analysing and criticising classic and contemporary texts and exploring political ideas and processes in countries throughout the world and the global system.

Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. Our courses follow a coherent and developmental structure which we combined with an effective and flexible approach to study.

  • Excellent career prospects; economics has an impressive employment record and graduates’ starting salaries are amongst the highest in the country.
  • Flexibility to specialise in areas, including: financial crises, economics of life, economics history as well both traditional areas of political science – including institutional politics within states – and new areas of inquiry – such as the role of new media in politics.
  • Quality research and teaching;one of only two economics departments in the country placed in the top ten for both research and student satisfaction and our Politics & International Relations department is 10th in the UK for research intensity and has over 91% overall student satisfaction (Research Assessment Exercise, 2014 and National Student Survey 2015).

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in Economics are:

Principles of Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of macroeconomics, that of the economy as a whole, and of microeconomics, the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments. You will look at how the goods and assests markets underpin growth, inflation and unemployment, and the role that fiscal and monetary policy play in macroeconomic managemenet. You will examine the theoretical basis to supply and demand and the role of government intervention in individual markets. You will consider how to solve economic problems by manipulating a variety of simple diagrammatic and algebraic models in macro- and microeconomics, critically evaluating the models and their limitations.

Quanitative Methods of Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic mathematical, quantitative, computing and statistical tools for the study of economics. You will look at techniques such as algebraic manipulation, functions, simultaneous equations, optimisation, descriptive statistics, probability theory and regressions, and learn how to apply these to economic problems.

Post-Crisis Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of how economists think about current world problems, such as generational inequality or the 'other' side of Adam Smith. You will look at how economic growth and wealth is created, and how it is influenced by technological change and institutions. You will examine how this wealth is distributed most efficiently, including situations such as who gets a kidney from a donor or which firm gets a licence to offer mobile phone services. You will also considerintergenerational inequality, including how economists think about tuition fees and university funding in general.

The core module in Political Studies is:

Introduction to Politics and Government

This module will introduce you to the academic study of politics and to the ‘real world’ of contemporary politics. As a foundational course, it will give you all the essential tools to understand the nature of politics and analyse the way different political systems work. You will be introduced to key concepts such as politics, power, rights, ideologies, democracy and representation, and will learn about the different actors, institutions and processes that make up politics today.

Year 2

The core modules in Economics are:


In thid module you will develop an understanding of the models of individual optimisation and their applications. You will look at the key determinants of an individual’s behaviour in a variety of circumstances and the behaviour of firms in different market environments, such as perfect competition, monopoly and oligopoly. You will consider how changing circumstances and new information influences the actions of the economic agents concerned, and examine the properties of competitive markets and the need for government intervention to correct market failures.


In this module you will develop an understanding of macroeconomics and macroeconomic policy-making. You will look at a variety of contemporary and historical macroeconomic events, and the differences between the short, medium and long run. You will consider why some countries are rich and some are poor, why different economies grow at different rates, and what determines economic growth and prosperity. You will examine the role of monetary and fiscal policy, its impact on the economy and its limitations. You will also analyse how taxation, budget deficits, and public debt affect the economy.

Quantitative Methods in Economics 2

In this module you will develop an understanding and practical experience of the essentials of empirical research techniques used by applied economists. You will learn how to use and distinguish between standard econometric techniques, and carry out formal statistical tests of economic hypotheses. You will manipulate and analyse data sets and conduct your own econometric investigations, both written and using computer software.

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Optional modules in Political Studies include:

European Union - Politics and Theory


Comparative Foreign Policy


International Relations Theory


Democracy in Britain


Contemporary Political Theory


International Political Economy


Politics of Migration


Empire and Decolonisation


Political Behaviour


War and Security in World Politics


Modern Political Thought


Cold War International Relations


The Politics of Human Rights


Introduction to Political Communication


Year 3 

Optional modules in Economics include:

Industrial Economics 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of the methods and models applied by economists in the analysis of firms and industries. You will learn how to manipulate these models and analytically solve problems relating to industrial economics. You will consider the applications of the models to important policy areas, exploring topics such as collusion, mergers, product differentiation and asymmetric information. You will also also examine the limitations of the theory.

Industrial Economics 2

In this module you will devlop an understanding of advanced topics in industrial organisation, with a special focus on the role that information plays in markets. You will explore topics such as collusion, mergers, product differentiation, and asymmetric information, and become familiar with a broad range of methods and models applied by economists in the analysis of firms and industries.

Financial Economics 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of the financial market, institutions, participants and traded assets that constitute a modern financial system. You will look at the theories of risk-factor pricing, such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You will consider the theory of, and empirical evidence on, efficient, markets and examine the process of price formation. You will also analyse the derivation and construction of efficient portfolios.

Financial Economics 2

In this module you will develop an understanding of the wide range of fixed income securities and derivatives available to investors in the financial markets. You will look at the basic institutional features of derivatives markets, as well as the pricing of bonds and of derivative instruments and using them for hedging purposes. You will consider investment and trading strategies that use bonds and derivatives, and evaluate the use of bonds in immunising portfolios based on the bond's duration. You will also explore the features and uses of the most popular types of derivatives available today, including options, futures, forwards, and swaps.

Econometrics 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theoretical properties of different econometric estimation and testing procedures under various modelling assumptions. You will learn to formulate, estimate, test and interpret suitable models for the empirical study of economic phenomena. You will consider how to apply regression techniques and evaluate the appropriateness of each econometric estimation method under different data limitations.

Econometrics 2

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theoretical properties of different econometric estimation and testing procedures under various modelling assumptions. You will look at regression techniquies and learn how to apply relevant econometric and statistical methods to your own research. You will also evaluate the appropriateness of each of the economic estimation methods and the impact of consider data limirations.

Understanding Financial Crises

In this module you will develop an understanding of the fragility of the financial system and its relevance to the current financial crisis. You will learn the economic meaning of the terms liquidity and solvency in the context of financial intermediaries. You will look at the models of equilibrium bank runs and consider the implications of imposing capital structure controls and liquidity control on financial intermediaries. You will also critically evaluate the links between financial crises and the macroeconomy.

Environmental Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of how economic methods can be applied to environmental issues facing society. You will consider the difficulties arising in using economic analysis in environmental policy design and learn how to solve and manipulate a variety of diagrammatic and algebraic models in environmental economics. You will evaluate a number of real world environmental policy problems and see how economic analysis has been applied in their solution.

Experimental Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the use of experiments to test economic theories. You will look at how individuals make decisions in markets, how individuals decide to spend money today or save it for future spendng, the assumption of self-regarding preferences commonly made in standard economic models, and the ability to act rationally in a strategic environments. You will consider the issues raised by experimental design and critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of experimental methods.

Monetary Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of money in the economy. You will look at models where inflation show persistence, the theory of monetary policy, monetary policy operating procedures and the central banking machanisms. You will consider why inflation is persistent in the data and how the political forces affecting monetary policy making may affect inflation.

Topics in Game Theory
Advanced Economic Theory
Financial Econometrics
Labour Economics
Economic Philosophy
Topics in Public Economics
International Economic History

In this module you will develop your understanding of important topics from economic history, covering periods of economic growth and wellbeing, agricultural and urban development, globalisation and migration, banking and monetary systems, and the Great Depression and recovery.

Topics in Developmental Economics
Advanced Topics in Game Theory
Economics of Inequality

Optional modules in Political Studies include:

Political Sociology


India and Pakistan


Politics of the Internet


The Politics of Modern Germany


Radical Political Theory


Nietzsche and Foucault


The British in India


The Politics of Toleration


Social Justice - Theory to Practice


Great Powers and Debates


Contemporary Middle East Politics


Comparative Democracry and Elections


US Foreign Policy


Issues in Democratic Theory


Thinking Green - Global Governance


Making of Modern South Asia


The Politics of Africa


Thinking Security - The Theory


War and its Aftermath


Chinese Foreign and Security Policy


Visual Politics


Undergraduate Dissertation


Teaching is mostly by means of lectures and seminars, the latter providing a forum for students to work through problem sets and applications in a smaller and more interactive setting. Outside of scheduled teaching sessions, students work independently, or collaboratively, researching, reading and preparing for seminars. 

Assessment is usually carried out by end of year examinations as well as class tests and assignments. Final year students can choose to complete an extended essay, which offers students the chance to conduct an original piece of research.

The results of the first year examinations qualify students for entry to the second year but do not contribute to the final degree award. The second and final year results do contribute to the final degree result, with the final year work counting for a larger proportion of the result.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 21% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 79% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 20% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 80% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 20% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 80% in guided independent study.


Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 52% of the total assessment for this year of study, 15% will be assessed through practical exams, and 33% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 71% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 29% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 60% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 40% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers

How we assess your application: predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered. Read more about what we look for here

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.

  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.

Required/preferred subjects

Applicants can be either taking Maths, Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A-level, or have a GCSE Maths grade A or 7 to meet the Maths requirement for this programme.

At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level subjects with a minimum of 32 points overall.including either 4 in HL Maths, 5 in SL Maths or 6 in SL Maths Methods. Maths Studies is not accepted.

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Distinction* Distinction* Distinction in a relevant subject plus grade A or 7 in GCSE Maths

Distinction Distinction in a relevant subject plus an A-level grade A plus GCSE Maths grade A or 7

BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction plus A-level grades AB plus grade A or 7 in GCSE Maths

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers


Scottish Highers

AAABB including Maths

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including Maths

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass in a relevant subject with at least 24 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit plus GCSE Maths grade A or 7. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education 

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 in both Reading and Writing and no lower than 5.5 in every other subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

An Economics with Political Studies degree at Royal Holloway will equip you with an enviable range of practical skills and can lead into a variety of career paths.  The knowledge and skills developed in an economics degree will make you highly employable.

We will help students to recognise their own strengths, skills and abilities so that they can make strong applications for their chosen job or further study.

  • Our graduates are highly employable; 93% of Politics graduates and 85% of Economics graduates achieved either full time employment or further study within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015). 
  • In recent years, graduates have launched careers with a wide-range of organisations and government departments, in roles including financial analyst, finance broker, government economist and chartered accountant as well as management, journalism, broadcasting, computing, higher education, teaching, and politics.

Our outstanding record of success for work and further study puts Royal Holloway in the top 10 for graduate career prospects (Complete University Guide, 2015). It goes to show that our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Including politics into your studies at Royal Holloway provides you with a wide range of important transferable skills, enabling you to approach problems in a rigorous, analytical and critical way and to communicate clearly and concisely in both speech and writing. Our graduates leave us with skills and knowledge that not only makes them attractive to employers in a broad spectrum of careers, but prepares them for further advanced study and research.

Many of our graduates also go on to further study, entering postgraduate programmes both at Royal Holloway and at other prestigious institutions around the world. In fact, six-months after graduation, 90% of our most recent graduates are enhancing their skills with further study or forging careers in companies and institutions such as:

  • Bloomberg
  • The Church of England
  • Citigroup
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • The Conservative Party
  • Ernst & Young
  • The European Commission
  • Global Capital
  • HM Treasury
  • The Henry Jackson Society
  • House of Commons
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Labour Party
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2018/19*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2018/19**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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