Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2019

Philosophy and Economics BA

This three-year programme aims to provide an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates, together with a detailed education in economics. All major areas of philosophy are available for study, and the programme is run jointly with the highly regarded UCL Economics, where half your modules are taken.

Key Information

Programme starts

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

Entry requirements

A Levels

Mathematics A* required.
(contextual offer)
A*BB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
Mathematics A* required.
English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. 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 Mathematics grade 7, with no score below 5.
(contextual offer)
36 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics grade 7, 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. Mathematics required at D2

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Mathematics A1 required at Advanced Higher.

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

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: Advanced

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

Degree benefits

  • UCL Philosophy has consistently been in the top ten for philosophy in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. The research interests of the academic staff are wide-ranging, covering all the main areas of philosophy.

  • You will learn economics in one of the UK’s leading centres for research. In the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework, 99% of research at UCL in Economics and Econometrics was rated either 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent).

  • A rich array of extracurricular philosophy events is available in London. As a UCL Philosophy student you will be able to attend the meetings of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, the Aristotelian Society and the University of London's Institute of Philosophy.

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 first year includes several introductory lecture courses, which provide a foundation for later studies. The programme covers political philosophy, examining questions about the state, liberty and laws; moral philosophy, questioning distinctions of right and wrong, and our motivation for choosing between the two; epistemology which investigates the nature of knowledge and belief; metaphysics, which attempts to grasp the nature of things; and logic, which imparts principles of sound reasoning.

You will study Philosophy and Economics on a roughly equal basis.


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

Core or compulsory module(s)

Economics (1.0 credits)
Introduction to Mathematics for Economics (0.5 credits)

Optional modules

Four Philosophy modules from the following:

History of Philosophy I
History of Philosophy II
Knowledge and Reality
Introduction to Logic I
Introduction to Logic II
Introduction to Moral Philosophy
Introduction to Political Philosophy
Philosophical Study Skills: Reading, Understanding, and Essay Writing

You will also take one optional module from Economics.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Macroeconomics (1.0 credits)
Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (1.0 credits)

Optional modules

You will select 2.0 credits of optional modules from Philosophy, including modules from at least two of the groups A, B, and C:

Group A
Theoretical Philosophy (e.g. Knowledge; Metaphysics; Mind and Body; Language)

Group B
Normative Philosophy (e.g. Aesthetics; Applied Ethics; Global Justice and Health; Morality and Literature; Normative Ethics; Political Philosophy)

Group C
History of Philosophy (e.g. Aristotle; Plato; Marxism; Nietzsche; Wittgenstein; Sartre)

Core or compulsory module(s)

All third year modules are optional.

Optional modules

You will select 4.0 credits of optional modules, including:

2.0 credits from a wide range of economics optional modules
2.0 credits from the wide range of philosophy optional modules.

Your learning

Our teaching is based on lectures and seminars that complement each other. In your first year, you will be introduced to the basic elements of philosophical reasoning through lectures, seminars and small-group tutorial classes. In years two and three your chosen modules will be taught by an expert from within our department through a combination of lectures, related seminars and classes.


Assessment is by a mixture of coursework (essays) and written examination. You may also elect to submit a dissertation as one of your philosophy optional modules.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Philosophy and Economics BA.


This programme will assist you in constructing and assessing philosophical positions and arguments, thereby teaching you how to analyse and present complex ideas. Furthermore, it will provide you with an understanding of a wide range of traditional and contemporary philosophical theories. Such skills are transferable to non-philosophical contexts.

The discipline of philosophical training, and in particular its emphasis on rigorous argumentation, logic, and clarity of thought and expression, makes philosophy graduates highly suitable for a wide variety of careers.

Many recent UCL graduates have excelled in the legal profession, training as both solicitors and barristers, while others have entered publishing, journalism, finance, the civil service, Parliament, or local government. Philosophy graduates are also sought after as programmers and systems analysts. A high proportion of students go on to further study in philosophy.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2014-2015) of this programme include:

  • MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health, UCL
  • Investment Banker, J.P. Morgan
  • MSc in Economics, UCL

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
£19,390 (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 addition to looking for outstanding grades in your academic record as a whole, and in mathematics in particular, we also assess your application for evidence of your ability to engage with philosophical arguments and your skills in reasoning.

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


Selection will be made on the basis of information contained in the UCAS application: achieved and predicted academic grades, the level of interest in, motivation towards, and experience of the subject as indicated in the personal statement, the reference supplied, and any relevant contextual factors.

In addition applicants may be asked from time to time to provide further information, such as AS module results, or a response to a questionnaire.

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