Studying Economics, Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at two of the UK’s top ten teaching and research centres. This joint degree combines the core course of the Economics degree with foundation and option courses offered by Politics and International Relations. These disciplines have many natural affinities between them, and their synergies lend themselves well to students who are interested in pursuing careers in various policy fields as well as in the areas of politics/international relations and economics generally, in both the public and private sectors. This combined with the broad spectrum of transferable skills gained will lead to excellent career prospects.
This course coves a complete education in the theories and methods of economics, with a strong focus on analytical methods. You will develop skills in mathematics and statistics and learn to tackle economic problems; cover political ideas and processes in countries throughout the world and the global system which will allow you to examine issues fundamental to our times. The curriculum is advanced and reflects the most recent research in both disciplines. By electing to spend a year in business you will also be able to integrate theory and practice.
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.
- Study academic politics and be introduced to contemporary politics.
- Cover micro and macro-economics to build a solid foundation of economic theory.
- See how economics and politics combine and challenge the world around them.
Core ModulesYear 1
You will take the following modules in 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 assets markets underpin growth, inflation and unemployment, and the role that fiscal and monetary policy play in macroeconomic management. 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.
- Data Skills for Economists
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.
You will take the following module in Political Studies:
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.
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.
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.
You will take one of the following modules:
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.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the behaviour of individuals and firms in the economy. You will look at models of individual optimisation and their applications, considering the key determinants of an individual’s behaviour in a variety of circumstances. You will examine the behaviour of firms in different market environments such as perfect competition, monopoly and oligopoly, and the factors which are important in shaping the decisions that firms make in each market environment. You will learn to manipulate and solve diagrammatic and algebraic models of microeconomics, analysing the properties of competitive markets and assessing the role of government intervention in correcting market failures.
You will take one of the following modules:
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 offer students a more advanced, deeper understanding of the essentials of the theory and practice of econometrics. The module will address many of the topics covered in Econometrics 1 but using more mathematical and statistical rigour, including an introduction to econometric computer coding, with an aim to increase understanding of the concepts, theories and techniques that underlie applied econometric research.
You will take one of the following modules:
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.
The aim of this module is to extend and deepen your knowledge of the essentials of econometric theory and practice. This module will build on the topics and techniques covered in Econometrics A looking at extensions of techniques and estimation methods to address more complex problems.
This year will be spent on a work placement. You will be supported by the Placements Office and the Royal Holloway Careers and Employability Service to find a suitable placement. However, Royal Holloway cannot guarantee that all students who are accepted onto this degree programme will secure a placement, and the ultimate responsibility lies with yourself. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme and you will be asked to complete assessed work. The mark for this work will count towards your final degree classification.
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.
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
In this module you will analyse the contemporary politics of the European Union and its institutions, amid the challenges of the triple crisis of economics, migration and Brexit. You will learn about the political history of European integration after 1949 and the contemporary theory of European integration. The first term will begin with an introduction to the European Union as a political system followed by an overview of the European Union's historical development. The second term will focus on contestation of the European Union and the theories that underpin this, in order to explain how the EU developed and the challenges that it faces. Topics will include Euroscepticism, party politics, public opinion, Brexit and EU-UK relations, and European Parliament elections. The theory sessions comprise of federalism, neo-functionalism, liberal intergovernmentalism and the new institutionalisms.
I in this module you will develop an understanding of contemporary British politics. You will look at the ways in which British government has evolved, how it continues to operate, and why it operates in the way it does. You will consider the causes and consequences of major political change in Britain and examine the underlying assumptions upon which theoretical disputes in political science are based.
In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the key concepts in political theory today. You will look at political obligation, civil disobedience, democracy, citizenship, equality, global justice, human rights, and freedom and toleration. You will consider important theorists including Berlin Rawls, Nozick, Sandel, Okin and Pettit, examining the recent major theoretical perspectives in the context of contemporary politics.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the themes, arguments, and interpretations of major political thinkers from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. You will look at the works of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, Marx and Nietzsche and consider how the ideas articulated by these thinkers continue to underpin contemporary debates about the nature of freedom, human rights, value pluralism, popular sovereignty, state legitimacy, and the modern condition. You will also examine how study of these thinkers illuminates contemporary debates even where these debates no longer make reference to them.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how citizens, politicians and the media interact across Western democracies during both electoral and governing periods. You will look at the production and consumption of political news, consider election campaigns and their effects, and examine contemporary debates in political communication, including ethical issues.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the most important features of the history of the development of the non-West. You will look at the distinctive political dynamics characterising the contemporary non-West and consider the thoughts of prominent non-Western political thinkers.
- All modules are core
In this module you will develop an understanding of regulation in the European Union, including delivery of policy and administration. You will look at how the world's largest market operates, with a focus on EU public policy, including de-regulation, re-regulation, budgets and spending. You will examine the concept of the single market, the Euro and its crisis, justice, home affairs and counter-terrorism, the EU budget, agriculture, regional development, and social and environmental policies.
- Radical Political Theory
- Young People's Politics
- Leadership, Power and the British Prime Minister
- Visual Politics
- American Political Development
- The Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe
- The Politics of International Development
- Issues in Democratic Theory
- Political Theories of Freedom
This module examines both the domestic and international politics of the environment. The first part of the module consists of defining the environmental problems faced globally, highlighting similarities and differences to other issues. This part also identifies the key actors, interests, and institutions that are necessary to understand the politics of climate change. The second part of the module focuses on three varieties of theories of environmental politics: collective action problems, distributional politics, and ideational conflict. The third part then examines a variety of topics in environmental politics, building upon the analytical approaches outlined in the first two parts of the course. The chosen topics allow for both understanding how politics shapes environmental outcomes, for example through international agreements, as well as how climate change and the environment affects political outcomes, for example by fostering political conflict.
This final-year half module offers students the opportunity to obtain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the British parliament and its place in British democracy. It will help you to evaluate the work and role of Parliament and parliamentarians, appreciate ongoing debates about contemporary legislative practice, and engage critically with previous academic scholarship in this area. It will also help you to develop you own awareness and experience of conducting research.
Party leaders, and their public image, are increasingly considered important for a party’s electoral success, for the smooth running of government and for regime legitimacy. Perhaps the most important variable for successful politicians is their ability to effectively communicate and connect with their audiences. This module will first, show you the techniques most frequently used my politicians, communicators and speechwriters to effectively deliver their messages in different contexts and settings. Next, you will analyse how these techniques have been used by the greatest leaders in the word to justify their regimes. By the end of the module you will be able to evaluate leadership styles during and after elections and design communication strategies that will deliver political messages effectively.
This module is designed to introduce advanced undergraduates to the major themes of contemporary Latin American politics and, consequently, democracy and political development. Although the module does not assume that you already have knowledge of the region, you are expected to be familiar with basic concepts of comparative political analysis. While the module stresses the political aspects of the developmental process, its objective is to show the linkages between economic, social, cultural, and political variables--both at national and international levels.
Issues of free speech are amongst the most contentious in current political debate. The module aims to give you an in depth understanding of the nature, value and limits of freedom of speech, from the perspective of normative political theory. It is not a course in the law of free speech, nor about the free speech situation in any particular country. Though the module touches on both the latter, the aim instead, is to enable you to understand the values, norms and principles at issue in contexts where free speech is promoted, regulated, limited or denied- especially contexts where that choice is contentious. You will be encouraged to look beyond the headlines to explore the rich and varied academic scholarship on free speech, and to offer critical analyses of that scholarship. By the end of the module, you should be able to interrogate your own and others’ intuitive reactions in controversial cases of e.g. hate speech, and to develop a reasoned, nuanced approach to these issues.
This module examines the contemporary literature on gender and politics, with a particular focus on women’s participation and representation in British politics. It introduces you to feminist theories of representation, debates over women’s interests, and feminist institutionalism. It applies these frameworks to consider why the number of women in our parliaments might matter and what difference – symbolic, substantive and affective – sex and gender make to elected political institutions, the policy process, political outcomes, and healthy democracies.
The politics of South Asia – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh - are central to understanding some of the themes at the core of modern politics: poverty and development, security and warfare, migration and transnationalism, decolonisation and postcolonialism, the international economy and globalisation. This module deals with the social and political development of these countries since independence from British rule in 1947. We will analyse issues including caste politics, the role of religious violence and the place of women in politics and society. Sources will come from a range of disciplines – politics and IR, history, sociology, anthropology, novels and films. We will study regional cooperation and conflict including the troubled relationship between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and their nuclear status. By the end of the module you will have a specialised understanding of the major social, economic and political developments in the region.
Teaching & assessment
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.
A Levels: AAB-ABB
- 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.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Reading and writing 6.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Reading and writing 54. No subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, the International Study Centre offers the following pathway programmes:
● International Foundation Year - for progression to the first year of an undergraduate degree.
● International Year One - for progression to the second year of an undergraduate degree. You can join the International Year One in January 2021 and progress to degree study in September 2021.
Your future career
An Economics, Politics and International Relations degree at Royal Holloway will equip you with an enviable range of transferable skills which combined with the knowledge gained, will make you highly employable. It can lead to a broad range of careers in both the private and public sectors and also for professional training in areas such as law, accountancy and management.
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; 9)% of graduates achieved either full time employment or further study within six months
- Politics and International Relations are ranked in the top ten UK university Politics departments for career prospects.
- In recent years, graduates entered many different roles in the Civil Service, accountancy, investment banking, management, journalism, broadcasting, computing, higher education, teaching, and politics and diplomacy themselves.
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 courses not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.
Choosing to include a politics based degree 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.
Fees & funding
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
EU and International students tuition fee per year**: £18,800
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, scholarships 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 2020/21, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2021/22 has not yet been confirmed.
**The Government has confirmed that EU nationals starting a degree in 2020/21 will pay the same fee as UK students for the duration of their course. For EU nationals starting a degree in 2021/22, the UK Government has recently confirmed that you will not be 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 2021, we will award an automatic fee reduction which brings your fee into line with the fee paid by UK students. This will apply for the duration of your course.
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. Fees shown above are for 2020/21 and are displayed for indicative purposes only.
***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.