About the department

REF 2014 ranked the Department of Economics at UCL the top Department in the UK in the field of Economics and Econometrics as well as the top Department in any field in any university in the UK.

The Department of Economics has an outstanding international reputation in key areas of current research. It is the only department of economics in the UK to have received the outstanding grade-point average of 3.78 (out of 4) in the 2014 REF with 79% of all indicators of output rated at the highest 4* level.

Before the foundation of UCL in 1826, the benefits of a university education in England were available only to men and only to those who were members of the Church of England. UCL, the first university established in England after Oxford and Cambridge, was founded to provide academic opportunities to non-Anglicans and placed no restrictions on race, class or religion of its students. In 1878, it also became the first British university to admit women on equal terms to men. Its academic programme was also innovative in its recognition of new disciplines, including many of the social sciences.

The Chair of Political Economy at UCL was created in 1828 in memory of David Ricardo, establishing the first Department of Economics in England. 


Founded in 1827, in memory of David Ricardo, the UCL Department of Economics was one of the first of its kind in England. 

Letter from Jean-Baptiste Say to Jeremy Bentham, 2 February 1824 regarding the establishment of the Department of Economics


London has been associated with many pioneers in economics and statistics. Many of whom have associations with University College, either as students or teachers there. 

Have a look at our time-line and find out more about these fascinating individuals

Discover our series of Economists' walks around London

London walks


The Department of Economics at UCL is located at 30 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AX, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)203 549 5375
Fax: +44 (0)207 679 5489

UCL's Public Transport Guide