Economics

Bristol has one of the leading economics departments in the UK. Our research is internationally recognised for its originality, significance and rigour and for delivering real-world impact. You will be taught by a dedicated team of academics who incorporate the very latest ideas into their teaching.

Why study Economics at Bristol?

Our courses are exciting and current, delivered through technically rigorous, research-led teaching. Our innovative and challenging units expose you to cutting-edge ideas and methods and reconnect the study of economics to real life. You will become skilled in understanding economic concepts and in applying formal models and econometric tools to test behavioural predictions using real-world data.

All our degrees are informed by our economics research, which achieved 100 per cent 4* world-leading rating for research impact in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

You can apply your economics skills to many different topics, including finance, international trade, labour markets, environmental change, public policy, economic history and developing economies. You can also take optional units in management, accounting and finance, tailoring your studies to match your career ambitions. We offer a wide range of joint honours degrees, allowing you to combine economics with complementary disciplines such as finance, management, maths, philosophy or politics.

You will be taught by world-class academics, many of whom have experience working as professional economists. We are proud of the quality of our teaching and the way it equips students with the confidence to tackle unfamiliar problems. The skills you learn at Bristol will help you to become an innovative and resilient graduate who can thrive in a rapidly changing world.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Economics is a broad subject covering behavioural economics, education, environmental policy, financial markets, firms and strategic behaviour, globalisation and economic development, health, labour markets, trade, unemployment and welfare.

As an academic discipline, economics appeals to people who enjoy and are good at mathematics and who want to apply their mathematical skills to the real world. It appeals also to people who are interested in social science but desire a technical and quantitative approach.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Courses are taught through lectures and classes. Lectures introduce the course material and provide an overview of topics, models and methods. Smaller classes, led by a class tutor, offer opportunities to go through exercises and problem sets, discuss issues and present ideas.

Most of our courses are assessed by an exam at the end of the teaching block. Some courses have assessed coursework either alongside or instead of an exam.

Most final-year students complete an applied economics dissertation, which offers opportunities for group work and independent research. Students select from a range of topics, which in previous years have included: estimating returns to education, analysing corporate cash holdings, studying the determinants of economic growth, and testing for herding behaviour in financial markets.

For three-year degrees your final award will be determined by assessments in years two and three (40 and 60 per cent respectively). Study Abroad and Study in Continental Europe programmes are awarded on the basis of marks in the second year (30 per cent), year abroad (10 per cent) and final year (60 per cent).

What are my career prospects?

A Bristol economics degree develops skills and knowledge, including analytical and quantitative skills, that are highly sought after by a broad range of employers. Our students go on to a variety of careers in finance, consulting, public policy and development. Recent graduates have found roles at Goldman Sachs, HM Treasury, Action for ME and Capital Economics.

Many of our students choose to develop their economics knowledge further through postgraduate study. Recent graduates have progressed to pre-doctoral or MSc programmes at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, Copenhagen Business School, Paris School of Economics and Erasmus University.

Our Careers Service will help you gain real-world work experience during your studies and organises recruitment events and workshops, where you can network with major graduate recruiters.

Our Professional Liaison Network offers professional mentoring and insightful talks from economists working in economic research, consulting and policy. There is also a mentoring scheme, which matches students with working professionals who have studied economics.

Recent studies have highlighted that Bristol economics graduates enjoy among the highest financial returns of any students in England (Institute for Fiscal Studies / Department for Education, 2018).

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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