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Economics

BSc (Econ)
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If we make you an offer for this course for 2022 entry, we guarantee to confirm your place even if one of your final A-level results is one grade below those you have received in that offer. Equivalencies and exclusions apply. Full details here.

Key information

Duration: 3 years full time

UCAS code: L101

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £9,250

International/EU fees**: £19,300

The course

Economics (BSc (Econ))

Studying Economics 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. The knowledge and transferable skills gained will lead to excellent career prospects in public and private management, financial institutions and in government. 

Through this course 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 and experience in logical and philosophical reasoning.

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.

  • In depth understanding of most recent economic theories.
  • Economics is everywhere from business to beauty.
  • Understand game theory and how decisions are made.
  • Opportunity to undertake a placement year in business.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience, and this is particularly the case as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • Principles of Economics is a first-year undergraduate module in how the economy works. The module is suitable for students with or without A-Level economics or equivalent. We will cover the basic theories of macroeconomics (that of the economy as a whole) and microeconomics (the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments and the interactions between them).

    The module adopts the state-of-the-art CORE approach (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics) to teaching Principles of Economics. The approach has three pillars which we rely on throughout the module:

    • Formulate a problem that our society is facing now or has faced in the past;
    • Build a theory to explain and solve the problem;
    • Evaluate the usefulness of the theory by using data observations and more novel theories.
  • Data Skills for Economists is about understanding the data we encounter constantly in everyday life and the data that social science researchers create as they explore and analyse the world around us. We'll endeavour to understand such questions as:

    • Where does data come from and how can we harvest it?
    • What useful information does the data contain?
    • How can we create new data to generate useful insights?

    Computers equipped with statistical software are a big part of the answer to the third question (above) so, accordingly, you'll spend much of your time learning to analyse and display data using the R statistical software package (R is the industry standard).

    We'll develop an ethos of clear communication of numerical information that will be supported by our growing understanding of statistical concepts and our growing proficiency with computers.

    Simultaneously, we'll delve into the seamy underside of the tricksters who try to fool you with falsified data. Understanding their game can provide at least some degree of inoculation against their attacks.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of information surrounding economic institutions, economic history, applied economics and policy & experimental & behavioural economics. In the seminars, you will discuss each topic and learn among other things how to write an essay, how to present, how to collect economic data, how to find relevant economic research, and how to think like an economist.

     

  • The aims of the module are to cover the basic mathematical and quantitative tools used by economists every day. The module gives an emphasis to the mathematical tools, which are applicable to solving a wide range of economic problems. The first half of the module is devoted to linear algebra, specific functions of one and more variables used in economics, manipulating those functions and finding their minima and maxima. In addition, the first half of this module delivers the rules of integration and differentiation, which prepares the you to apply constrained and unconstrained optimisation techniques in their subsequent 2nd and 3rd year of studies. Constrained and unconstrained optimisation techniques are also discussed. The second half of the module is devoted to optimisation theory which in turn will use the concepts of vectors and matrices, drawn from linear algebra, and require the study of concave functions. The knowledge of matrices will help you solve systems of linear equations, which are used in both microeconomic and macroeconomic planning and forecasting.

  • This module will be composed of an introduction to Employability, library resources, team building, and CV making. Career services will provide a session on self-awareness and decision making and library services will present their relevant resources. Finally, the Economics department will organise some team building exercises.

  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.

    You are required to take and pass this module in order to progress into the second year of study.

     

Year 2
  • 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.

  • In this 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.

  • The aim of this module is to provide you with a solid understanding of the essentials of empirical research techniques (i.e. econometrics) used by applied economists. The module will cover core econometric topics that are needed by all wishing to undertake econometric analysis, with a particular focus on topics in both time series and cross section econometrics that can be used by students of industrial, business and finance.

  • The aim of this module is to extend your knowledge of the essentials of empirical research techniques (i.e. econometrics) used by applied economists. The module will build on the topics covered in Econometrics 1.

  • Career services will provide a session on how to be ready to apply for an internship at the end of the second year. Students will prepare for a psychometric test and will undertake a series of a mock interviews in order to improve their interview technique. Finally, students will attend at least one Econ@Work talk to be aware of professional life and challenges.

Year 3
  • This third-year course will deepen the elements covered previously in Employability 1 and 2. Career services will provide a session on how to be ready for employment at the end of the year. Students will prepare for a psychometric test and undertake a series of mock interviews in order to improve their interview technique. Finally, students will attend at least one Econ@Work talk to be aware of professional life and challenges.

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules 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
  • All modules are core
Year 2

Optional modules may include:

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the economic principles underlying the working of national and international financial institutions. You will look at what a financial system is and does, and the distinct functions of each component. You will consider the key financial instruments and the relationship between assets, agents, and institutions, and learn to solve simple problems using quantitative and graphical tools. You will critically evaluate country differences and analyse the interdependencies and rapid change of the modern financial world.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the principal-agent problem, the Coase theorem, theories of the firm, the role of transaction costs, moral hazard, adverse selection, and issues surrounding organisation, investment, governance and expansion of corporations. You will look the role of incentivisation and how conflicts of interests shape economic interactions. You will consider the role of transaction costs in determining the existence, scale and scope of firms, and examine why government regulation may be inferior to market solutions when dealing with externalities. You will also analyse the developments of Anglo-American industrial and Japanese capitalism.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the process of economic growth at the world level, and the sources of income and growth differences across countries. You will look at Piketty's work on income distribution and economic growth, Malthus' work on population and economic growth, and Solow's standard economic growth model. You will examine why some countries are rich and some are poor, and consider the differences between countries that explain economic success and failures.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the mathematical models used to study and analyse strategic interactions between agents. You will look at the fundamental concepts in game theory as applied to economics in general and microeconomics in particular. You will become familiar with basic equilibrium concepts such as Nash equilibrium and subgame perfect equilibrium, and be able to find equilibrium outcomes of simple games including the use of backward induction.

  • The aim of the module is for students to understand how to use data in order to draw relevant conclusions, and how to present those conclusions. This aim includes both how to abstractly think about data and data analysis, and how to concretely implement techniques using the Python programming language. As the module serves as an introduction to the language, the first part of the module provides students with general programming tools, and, as the module progresses, these tools will become more and more focused on data science applications. Of course, being an Economics module, these applications will take the form of economic and financial investigations.

    As a lab class, students will have significant hands on experience with material and will investigate problems on their own, under the continued guidance of module leaders. By the end of the term, students will have the tools to be able to conduct their own research projects. As a final project, students will be provided with a dataset, asked to draw insights into it, and to present their findings both visually and narratively.

  • The aim of the module is to advance the quantitative skills of the students and familiarize them with the use of Python and R in empirical work in economics. This includes collection, manipulation and presentation of data on economic phenomena, as well as the use of regression-based econometric techniques to draw causal inference and perform prediction and forecasting.

Year 3

Optional modules may include:

  • This module will analyse the economic issues of behaviour and outcomes in labour markets. It will focus on topics relating to labour supply and demand, wage formation and earnings inequalities, e.g.: Labour Demand; Labour Supply; Human Capital and Compensating Wage Differentials; Inequality in Earnings; Labour Mobility; Discrimination; Unemployment.

  • The module presents the main facts about modern war and, to a lesser extent, terrorism. In parallel we will develop broadly applicable empirical tools to help us measure key phenomena and drive our analysis. Specific topics include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Rwandan genocide, the economics of rebellion and the possible long-run decline of war. This module, together with Economics of Warfare 2, will prepare students of a lifetime of critical data consumption beyond the particular world of war and terrorism.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of economic inequality. You will look at the factors that determine wage differentials among workers from a theoretical and empirical point of view. You will consider why similar workers are paid differently and examine how labour mobility can improve the allocation of workers to firms, enhance aggregate productivity, and reduce inequality.

  • The module aims to introduce the student to what factors affect corporate financial decisions. Particular emphasis is given to the concepts of Net Present Value and Risk. The learning outcomes include: Understand what the goals of a firm are; Understand how investments are valued (Internal rate of returns) in order to help with good financial planning); Understand the concepts of risk, agency costs and how they feed into financial decision making; Understand the process of price formation in financial markets; Understand venture capital and different types of debt finance and debt valuation, including leverage.

  • This module equips students with the fundamental theoretical tools for the analysis of the banking sector and will be useful for anyone considering further study or a career in this area. Topics covered include perfectly competitive and oligopolistic models of banking, moral hazard and adverse selection in the loan market, the macroeconomic implications of the credit market, the money multiplier, fractional reserve banking, bank runs, financial fragility and contagion. The module’s textbook will be Freixas and Rochet “Microeconomics of Banking”, but will also use "Understanding Financial Crises", Clarendon Lectures in Finance by Franklin Allen and Douglas Gale.

  • The module applies the methodology of economics to the analysis of political behaviour and institutions. Articles on social choice, constitutional theory, and public economics are studied alongside ones on voters, parties and pressure groups, macroeconomics and politics, capitalism and democracy. Emphasis is placed on the rise of populism in Western democracies, economic strategies to mitigate it, as well as on political decisions around lockdowns in pandemics. Students are exposed to advanced formal models of political behaviour and data techniques to explain recent political events.

  • The module provides an overview of the literature in development economics. The overarching interest is what creates and what reduces poverty and how poor people live their economic lives. Students will be introduced to theoretical and empirical approaches to the understanding of binding constraints to development, household decisions and organisation, effectiveness of public policy and alternative arrangements that arise when markets and institutions fail.

  • This module is a one-term module in international trade suitable for students with basic knowledge in microeconomics. The module aims to further develop the student's analytical skills and to illustrate how these skills can be fruitfully applied to a variety of economic situations. The primary objective of the module is to teach the theory of comparative advantage and the factor proportions theory of international trade and to critically discuss these theories and their relevance in understanding real world issues.

  • Empirical work requires obtaining the correct data for the question at hand, and nowhere has more data than the internet. Nonetheless, the data created by our modern internet driven economy is not always structured or easily available. The aim of the module is to provide students with the tools to be able to collect the right data to answer important economic questions. These techniques include using APIs, static web scraping, and browser emulation for scraping dynamic webpages, all facilitated by the Python programming language.

  • Data visualization techniques are central to both for revealing structure and patterns in the data at hand and for conveying these patterns to relevant audiences -- it forms an integral part of the "data journey" from data acquisition, through analysis to product. The aim of the module is to provide students with the tools to be able tackle data of various structures and natures and select and implement appropriate and efficient tools data visualization and presentation in current standard software, including R. The content will introduce the notion of the psychology of data visualisation, outline key development tools and methods, describe how to achieve analytics storytelling for impact, distinguish between univariate- and multivariate analysis, and other forms of data -- e.g geographical and time-series data -- and structures including groups, hierarchies, networks and high-dimensional data. Students will have significant hands-on experience with material and will investigate problems on their own, under the continued guidance of module leaders. By the end of the module, students will have the tools to be able to conduct their own presentation and visualization choices, and create a portfolio of high-quality presentations of complex data structures.

  • This module provides students on the BSc Economics, BSc Economics and Data Science, BSc Financial and Business Economics, BSc Finance and Mathematics courses with an optional course in macroeconomic time series analysis. The module material will focus on Bayesian time series analysis and will include examples of how to use Python via Jupyter Notebooks to implement the analysis in the course. The content will be useful for any student aiming to begin a MSc in Economics or macroeconomics. Upon completion of the module, students will be able to draw random samples from important distributions, estimate Bayesian regression models (including time-series Bayesian models), produce economic forecasts using Bayesian Time Series Models and communicate the results to others.

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.

A Levels: AAB-ABB

Required subjects:

  • GCSE Maths at grade A or 7.
  • At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.

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. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.

T-levels

We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:

  • AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
  • AAA – Distinction
  • BBB – Merit
  • CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
  • DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)

Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.

An Economics degree at Royal Holloway will equip you with an enviable range of practical skills and can lead into a variety of career paths. 

We will help you to recognise your own strengths, skills and abilities so that you can make strong applications for your chosen job or further study.  We also provide support through short dedicated careers modules, which include employability workshops, events and guest speakers.

  • Get equipped with transferable skills such as numeracy problem-solving, computing and analytics
  • Develop your professional network by attending workshops, events and guest speaker talks
  • Dedicated short employability modules to help you in your career

Gain excellent career prospects in public and private management, financial institutions and government.

Our graduates are employed by companies such as Citigroup, Barclays, Bloomberg, Deloitte, KPMG and government departments such as the Ministry of Defence.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £19,300

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 loansscholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2022/23, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2023/24 has not yet been confirmed.

**The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us in September 2022, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 60% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more

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 at Royal Holloway during the 2021/22 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

Accreditation

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Accredited by CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). On completing this course you'll be able to apply for 4 exemptions.

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Source: NSS, 2022

98% of our research rated 4* or 3* world leading or internationally excellent

Source: Research Excellence Framework, 2021

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