Economics

Economics provides the insights and tools to help address major challenges worldwide. The impact of the global pandemic makes this a pivotal time to study economics.

Academic reputation

Our courses are informed by our research, which was ranked 1st in the UK for impact in the latest Research Excellence Framework (THE analysis of REF 2014).

Highly ranked

Bristol is a leading UK School of Economics, ranked in the top 10 UK universities (Guardian University Guide, 2021).

Career success

Bristol economics graduates enjoy among the highest overall financial returns of any students in England (Analysis of Institute for Fiscal Studies / Department for Education, 2018).

Economics at Bristol

Studying economics allows you to understand how to make the world a better place while pursuing a successful career.

We are one of the leading economics schools in the UK. You will be taught by world-class academics, many of whom have experience working as professional economists. Our technically challenging courses enable you to develop your analytical and quantitative skills as well as receiving training in data-handling and programming.

We are innovative within our courses and regularly review and update what we teach. Bristol is one of the pioneers of core-econ, an innovative new curriculum. This will help you to become skilled in understanding economic concepts and in applying formal models and tools to test behavioural predictions using real-world data.

By joining the School of Economics, you will benefit from access to the largest student subject society in the University: the Economics, Finance and Management (EFM) Society, who run regular socials and peer support programmes.

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.

If you can't access YouTube, watch 'What is economics and why study at Bristol' on YouKu.

In economics, there are so many avenues you can go into, and Bristol really encourages you to find your passion. The city has everything you need to have an enjoyable and rich student life – I really like the diversity of culture, music and food, and the way Bristol celebrates that.

EMMA, BSC ECONOMICS

Career prospects

A Bristol economics degree prepares you for a successful future. 94% of our graduates are in graduate-level jobs or further study after 15 months (Graduate Outcomes survey, 2017/18 graduates).

The skills that you develop, including analytical and quantitative skills, are highly sought after by employers – enabling you to apply your economics degree to many different destinations. Opportunities include working in finance, international trade, labour markets, environmental change, public policy, economic history and developing economies.

Recent graduates have found dynamic roles at Goldman Sachs, HM Treasury, Action for ME, the Department for International Trade and Industry, and Capital Economics. In addition to a broad range of career opportunities, many of our students go on to postgraduate study. Recent graduates have progressed to Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, University College London, Copenhagen Business School and the Paris School of Economics.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

The structure of your course is determined by your degree choice. With a broad range of optional units to choose from, you can shape your degree to your specific interests and future career aspirations. View examples of how our courses were structured in 2021/22.

In the first year you will take introductory units in economics and maths. In year two you will deepen your economics knowledge with units in micro and macro-economics and econometrics, as well as optional units.

Many of our students, where possible, choose to study an Applied Economics Dissertation, providing the opportunity to develop important skills including the ability to work independently, manage time, use analytical software and to apply your economic theory to a particular question.

You can also choose to combine your degree with a second subject on our joint honours courses or extend your course by complementing your studies with a year abroad or by pursuing an integrated master’s programme.

For BSc Economics with Study Abroad in a Modern Language, you will study in the language of your host country, and you will take language units in your first and second years in preparation for this.

Visit Global Opportunities for more information on studying abroad.

Enhancing the future

We're proudly dedicated to enhancing the teaching of economics and diversifying the subject, making an outstanding education accessible.

Bristol is home to the Economics Network, an organisation committed to improving the teaching of economics within Higher Education.

We’re also home to the Economics Observatory, created during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, helping to provide public understanding on important economic questions that COVID-19 and the aftermath will bring.

Economics

Clearing 2021

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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 a 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 Abroad in a Modern Language courses 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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