Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2019

Economics and Geography BSc (Econ)

Economics and geography have been moving ever closer in their concerns. The fields of development and the environment are obvious examples. This challenging combined-studies programme is designed to equip students with a thorough grounding in the theoretical principles and techniques of application in both fields.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Mathematics and Geography required, with A* in Mathematics.
(contextual offer)
A*AB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A* in Mathematics and A in Geography.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A total of 19 points in three higher level subjects including grade 7 in Mathematics and grade 6 in Geography, with no score below 5.
(contextual offer)
38 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including 7 in Mathematics and 6 in Geography, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Mathematics grade D2 and Geography grade D3

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including Mathematics at grade A1 and Geography at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades A*AA, including A* in Mathematics and A in Geography.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • You will acquire a distinctive mix of theoretical and practical skills (including a range of analytical techniques, independent research skills and project work) and specialised knowledge.

  • At the end of the programme you will be able to analyse and evaluate policy choices in the fields you have studied and carry out research on a sound basis.

  • Resources include: computer clusters, together with specialist facilities for geographical information and satellite image analysis; science laboratories; a reference map collection; a dedicated reading room and first-class library facilities.

  • Both UCL Geography and UCL Economics receive consistently high scores for the quality of their research. You will therefore be taught by leading thinkers in their respective fields for both disciplines.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The degree gives equal weight to both disciplines, although the balance can be modified in the final year. In each year you will receive regular programme-related classes in economics and in geography.

In the first year, you will take two compulsory modules in Economics and one optional module. In Geography, you take three core modules and one optional module.

In the second year you will take two compulsory modules in Economics and a module in economic geography. A further 1.5 credits are normally selected from the Geography second-year options.

In the final year you will choose 4.0 credits from a wide range of second- or third-year optional modules. A minimum of three credits must be taken in both Economics and Geography over the second and third years. Most students do not take a dissertation in their final year but exceptions may be made.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Introduction to Mathematics for Economists
Thinking Geographically I and II
Geography in the Field

Optional modules

You will select 0.5 credits of optional modules from Economics and 0.5 credits of optional modules from Geography.

Economics options may include:

History of Economic Thought
Statistical Methods in Economics
The World Economy

Geography options include:

Human Ecology
Global Events
Space and Society
Environmental Change
The Earth

Core or compulsory module(s)

Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

Optional modules

You can then choose a further economics module and will also take between three and four geography modules from the following:

Human Geography: Cultural and Historical Geography; Development Geography; Environment and Society; Economic Geography; GIS and Geodemographics; Political Geography and Geopolitics; Urban Geography; Human Geography Fieldclass

Physical Geography: Ecological Patterns and Processes; Environmental Remote Sensing; Geomorphology; Hydroclimatology; Reconstructing Past Environments; Statistics for Environmental Geographers; Physical Geography Fieldclass.

Optional modules

You will select 4.0 credits from a wide range of second- or third-year optional modules in Economics and in Geography, ensuring that a minimum of three units has been taken in each subject over years two and three.

Your learning

Your timetable will include lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes. As you progress, the focus shifts to independent and critical learning, with student-led discussions becoming more important.


First-year assessment combines independent coursework completed throughout the year with written examinations taken at the end of the year. In the second and third years, the assessment may vary between modules, some combining written examinations with various types of independent projects, some assessed solely by written examination.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Economics and Geography BSc (Econ).


Having been trained in both sciences and humanities, UCL geographers are skilled in taking different perspectives on an issue, working independently and adapting to changing circumstances. Skills gained through the further study of economics include finding solutions to real-world problems, mathematical skills and an enhanced understanding of political and economic events.

A degree combining economics and geography has proved attractive to many employers, particularly those in business and commerce, the public sector and international organisations.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:

  • Campaigner and Researcher, Oxfam
  • Research Associate, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2014-2016 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£20,340 (2018/19)

Overseas fees for the 2019/20 academic year are expected to be available in July 2018. Undergraduate UK/EU fees are capped by the UK Government and are expected to be available in October 2018. Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In the selection process we aim for there to be two-way communication so both you and the department can make the right choices. In addition to looking at your qualifications we will also be examining your personal statement for evidence of your interest in and enthusiasm for geography and for proficiency in key skills.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2019


Most students are invited to attend an open day once they have been made an offer based on their predicted or actual A level (or equivalent) performance and their potential and aspirations. Our open days include student-led seminars, a short tour of UCL, a chance to talk with representatives of all our different research groups, and introductory masterclasses run by key members of staff.

We are happy to consider applications for deferred entry, especially where interesting and productive plans are being made for the 'gap' year.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.