UCL Department of Economics


L100 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for BSc Economics (L100)

Programme Overview 

What is the course structure for BSc Economics?

You'll take a total of 12 course units during this three-year course. Some course modules are valued at 1.0 units and others at 0.5 units. You'll take 4.0 units each year and normally graduate with 12.0 units in total. The minimum number of units to qualify for an Honours degree is 11.0.

Degree Structure

Year One
Year Two
Final Year
  • Economics
  • Applied Economics
  • Introduction to Mathematics for Economics
  • Introduction to Mathematics for Economics II
  • Statistical Methods in Economics
  • Optional courses
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
  • Quantitative Economics and Econometrics
  • Optional courses
  • Optional courses

Examples of options include:

  • Behavioural Economics
  • Econometrics for Macroeconomics and Finance
  • Economic Policy Analysis
  • Economics of Financial Markets
  • Experimental Economics
  • Game Theory
  • Industrial Economics
  • International Trade
  • Issues in Economic Development
  • Microeconometrics
  • The Economics of Growth
  • The Economics of Money and Banking
  • Urban Economics
How important are skills in Mathematics and Statistics?

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.

You'll take two mathematics courses in your first year which will teach the mathematics you'll need for the rest of your degree. You will also take a first year statistics course, and a second year quantitative economics and econometrics course. In addition, mathematically and statistically oriented optional courses are available in the second and final years if you wish to take them.

Can I take modules in other departments?

Yes, we encourage you to take challenging modules in other departments that complement or diversify your compulsory units. Generally, modules outside the Department can be taken for up to 1 course unit per year and you can pick from a list of options, including foreign languages.

How many weeks of tuition will I recieve each year?

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.

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught in lectures and small-group classes. Each course delivers two lectures per week. Classes are given 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 you'll be required to submit written exercises or essays. The classes then review this work, and enable you to discuss ideas from the course with your teacher and fellow students. Attendance at classes and submission of written work are compulsory, and both are monitored.

How many hours of work will I be expected to do per week?

You'll have approximately 15- 20 hours of timetabled lectures and small group classes per week. In addition to timetabled sessions, you're advised to complete approximately 30 hours of personal study per week.

How will I be assessed?

There is an unseen written examination in each course at the end of the academic year.  In order to progress to the second year, you'll normally need to pass examinations in at least 3.0 out of the 4.0 first-year course units.  For progression to the third year, you should have passed a total of 7.0 course units by the end of the second year. The exam result of the first-year course, Economics, together with the examresults of the 4.0 course units taken in each of the second and third years, count towards your degree classification.

Preparation to join the Department 

What type of accommodation is available to UCL undergraduates?

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 31 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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/accommodation.

What are the the fees for the the three year BSc Economics degree?

Information and advice on tuition fees, costs and funding is available on the UCL website at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate-study.

Is there a recommended reading list for prospective students?

We recommend the following selection of books which you might look at before coming to university, whether or not you've 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)

If you're 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)

You can also look over the 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, 2015, Fourth Edition) 

Wellbeing, careers and social activites

How will I be supported during my degree?

You'll be assigned a Personal Tutor and meet with them at least once a term for advice on choosing courses and organising your studies. Your Personal Tutor is also your first port of call when experiencing any difficulties, academic or personal.

If you would like further advice or guidance you can contact the Undergraduate Department Tutor, Frank Witte who has overall responsibility for Economics undergraduate students.  If needed, the Undergraduate Departmental Tutor can help you access further sources of information and specialist advice including the UCL Union Rights and Advice Centre, the Student Counselling Service, and the UCL Health Centre.

Do any student activities take place in the Economics Department?

There are two student societies which play an active role in organising social, academic and career activities. You can find more information on the societies’ websites:

What career paths do Economics graduates take?

Our graduates 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.