L100 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Economics L100 course structure?
A: The degree is based on a course unit system with a total of 12 course units to be taken during the three-year course. Some course modules are valued at 1.0 course unit and others at 0.5 course unit. Students take 4.0 course units each year and normally graduate with 12.0 course units in total. The minimum number of course units to qualify for an Honours degree is 11.0 course units.
Examples of options include:
Q: How important are skills in Mathematics and Statistics for studying on the Economics L100 course?
A: The study of economics at university level requires a good grounding in school mathematics and a willingness to use mathematics as a tool of reasoning and communication. Students take two mathematics courses in the first year designed to teach them the mathematics they will need for the rest of the degree course. Students are also required to take an appropriate course in statistics in the first year, and a course in quantitative economics and econometrics in the second year. In addition, mathematically and statistically oriented optional courses are available in the second and final years to students who wish to take them.
Q: Is it possible to take modules in other departments?
A: The Department encourages students to take challenging modules in other departments that complement or fruitfully diversify their degree-course modules. In general, modules outside the Department can be taken for up to 1.0 course unit per year and are selected from a list of allowed options, which includes foreign languages.
Q: How many weeks of tuition are provided each year?
A: The academic year is divided into one 12-week Autumn Term, one 11-week Spring Term and a 7-week revision and examination term in the summer.
Q: How will I be taught?
A: Teaching is by lectures and small-group classes. In each course there are two lectures per week. Classes are conducted in groups of about 15 students and take place four or five times a term, depending on whether the course is optional or compulsory. In all courses students are required to submit written work in the form of exercises or essays. The purpose of the classes is to review this work, and to enable students to discuss ideas arising from the course with their teacher and fellow students. Attendance at classes and submission of written work are compulsory, and both are monitored.
Q: How many hours of work will I be expected to do per week?
A: Students have approximately 15-20 hours of timetabled lectures and small-group classes per week. In addition to timetabled sessions, students are advised to undertake approximately 30 hours of personal study per week.
Q: How will I be assessed?
A: There is an unseen written examination in each course at the end of the academic year. In order to progress to the second year, students are normally required to pass examinations in at least 3.0 out of the 4.0 first-year course units. For progression to the third year, students are normally required to have passed a total of 7.0 course units by the end of the second year. The examination result of the first-year course, Economics, together with the examination results of the 4.0 course units taken in each of the second and third years, count towards the degree classification.
Q: Is there a support system in place during the degree programme?
A: Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor and they have a meeting with them at least once a term for advice on choosing courses and organising their studies. The Personal Tutor is also the student’s first port of call when experiencing any difficulties, academic or non-academic. Where further advice or guidance is required, students can consult the Undergraduate Departmental Tutor, who has overall responsibility for Economics undergraduate students. Where necessary, the Undergraduate Departmental Tutor can direct students to further sources of information and specialist advice including the UCL Union Rights and Advice Centre, the Student Counselling Service, and the UCL Health Centre.
Q: Do any student activities take place in the Economics Department?
A: There are two student societies which play an active role in organising social, academic and career activities. More information is available on the societies’ websites given below:
Q: What careers are suitable for Economics graduates?
A: Graduates entering employment move into a wide range of careers, including management, banking, finance, foreign exchange, the civil service and international organisations such as the World Bank. The Department’s Economics and Finance Society and the UCL Careers Service provide help and advice with finding suitable employment. Contacts with prospective employers, applications and interviews mainly take place during the final year.
About one-third of the Department’s graduates move directly to further study, including Master’s degrees in economics and related fields, MBA programmes and conversion courses in computer science or law. A minority of these take their studies to the PhD level, involving original research at a high level. The staff in the Department are well-placed to advise interested students of the types of graduate programmes available both in the UK and abroad and to provide details of likely entry requirements and possible sources of funding.
Q: What type of accommodation is available to UCL undergraduates?
A: UCL offers a wide range of student accommodation including catered Halls of Residence, self-catering Students Houses and assistance with privately let flats and lodgings. All single first-year undergraduate students are guaranteed a place in student accommodation provided they submit their application by 31st May of the year of entry and have spent no previous period of time living in a residence associated with an institution of higher education in the London area (i.e. within the M25 motorway). Further information is available on the UCL website at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/accommodation/.
Q: How can I find out how much it will cost to take the L100 course?
A: Information and advice on tuition fees, costs and funding is available on the UCL website at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate-study.
Q: Is there a recommended reading list for prospective students?
A: The Economics Department recommends the following short selection of books which prospective students might look at before coming to university, whether or not they have studied economics before. The first five contain relatively non-technical treatments of important economic issues from a variety of viewpoints.
- Diane Coyle, Sex, drugs and Economics (Texere)
- John McMillan, Reinventing the Bazaar (Norton)
- R. Rajan and L. Zingales, Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists (Princeton University Press)
- Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (Oxford University Press)
- Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents (Penguin)
For those interested in the history of economics, the first of the following four books is a popular introduction, written by a leading authority in the field and former UCL lecturer. The others are classic texts.
- Roger Backhouse, The Penguin History of Economics (Penguin)
- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (Oxford Paperbacks)
- John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (Penguin Classics
- John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform (Prometheus Books)
Finally, three textbooks used in the first year at UCL:
- Jeffrey Perloff, Microeconomics with Calculus (Pearson)
- Olivier Blanchard, Francesco Giavazzi, Alessia Amighini, Macroeconomics - A European Perspective (Prentice Hall)
- Malcolm Pemberton and Nicholas Rau, Mathematics for Economists: An Introductory Textbook (Manchester University Press, 2011, Third Edition)