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Degree type


Course length

4 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level A*AA
International Baccalaureate 38

Course details

Economics is at the heart of decision-making across every aspect of society. From individuals and businesses to public bodies and multinational organisations, economists examine available resources to work out how they can be used efficiently and effectively.

The BA Economics (with placement year) has been developed to meet the needs of the business world and equip you with the skills to succeed in a range of industries. As well as preparing you for a career in the financial services sector, the critical and analytical skills developed during the degree provide a springboard into the worlds of journalism, policy, education and international development.

Central to the course is the real-world application of economics. The curriculum includes lectures from expert speakers and projects where you will have a chance to investigate a range of contemporary economics issues. Learning from industry experts you’ll develop a solid grounding in economic analysis, applied economics and statistical techniques.

The work placement is a valuable opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience and start building a network of business contacts in preparation for graduation.

As well as the placement route you also have the option to complete the degree in three years or spend a year abroad. It may also be possible to spend the third term of your second year at the University of Pisa.

The first year provides a foundation in domestic and international economics. In subsequent years you will further develop your understanding of core areas such as macroeconomics, microeconomics and data analysis.

The degree culminates in a final-year dissertation on an area of economics of your choice.

Course Structure

Year 1 

Core modules:

Principles of Economics provides a sound foundation for modules in micro- and macroeconomics. You will cover areas including methodology of economics, supply and demand, consumer spending choices, competition and growth theories.

Economic Methods familiarises you with the use of mathematical and statistical tools in solving economic problems. You will look at equations, matrix algebra, calculus, statistics, distribution, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing.

The World Economy provides knowledge and understanding of the features of different types of economy, and of world trade and the international financial system. You will learn about international trade theory, economic growth and cover some of the key concepts relating to developments and crises in the world economy using real-world case studies.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • The Economics of Sustainability 
  • Introduction to the History of Economic Thought 
  • Mastering Data and Computation
  • Foundations of Finance.

Year 2 

Core modules:

Macroeconomics uses real-world examples to analyse the general equilibrium of an economy both in the short term, with a static model, and in the medium to long term, with a dynamic model.

Microeconomics develops your knowledge and understanding of the essential components of microeconomics with a particular focus on the analytical skills relevant to consumer and production theories, general equilibrium and welfare.

Econometrics equips you with the skills to understand the type of empirical analysis used in economic literature. You will also write a report based on econometric analysis.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Behavioural and Experimental Economics
  • Intermediate Methods for Economics
  • Microeconomic Applications and Policy
  • Macroeconomic Applications and Policy
  • Corporate Finance.

Year 3

Year 3 is spent on placement. During the year you will be assigned an academic tutor who will visit you, liaise with your employer and provide the support to help you gain the most from your experience.

The placement year, a minimum of 40 weeks of work experience, is an opportunity to put learning from the first two years into practice in the workplace. You will also gain valuable experience and a tailored skill set to take forward to your final year. The skills and professional network gained during the placement year will give you a head start with graduate employers.

Year 4

The Dissertation is a detailed and critical examination of a relevant area of economics. It develops your ability to plan and manage your own learning and provides you with an opportunity to research a specific topic and present your findings and conclusions.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 
  • Advanced Microeconomic Theory 
  • Applied Econometrics 
  • Developmental Economics 
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 
  • Financial Theory and Corporate Policy 
  • Game Theory and Applications 
  • International Economics 
  • Monetary Economics 
  • Labour Economics
  • Security Investment Analysis.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Lectures and small-group seminars are complemented by specialist workshops. Using up-to-date resources, the workshops provide hands-on experience of the kind of work professional economists perform. You’ll also benefit from one-to-one support and self-directed learning to develop your critical thinking skills.

Years 1 and 2 include placement-specific workshops, bootcamps and employer-led events. This helps you develop your placement strategy and identify and develop the skills and competencies that will help you stand out to potential placement employers. The Department also hosts specialist business and management events where you can further develop your knowledge and start building industry networks.

We place great emphasis on high-quality small-group teaching. The small-group teaching format and one-on-one attention from the personal academic advisor are embedded into the learning experience to help you get more out of your studies.

As you move into the final year the focus on self-directed learning and independent research increases, particularly around the dissertation, as you begin to prepare for professional or postgraduate life.


Modules are assessed via a combination of examinations, written assignments and reports, investigative projects and presentations.

The range of assessment methods is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of the material, test your critical thinking skills, enhance your written and oral communication skills, and assess your ability to relate your learning to real-world issues.

The 12,000-word dissertation makes up one-third of your final-year marks.

Entry requirements

A level offer – A*AA including Mathematics.

Contextual offer – ABB including a grade A from A level Mathematics.

BTEC Level 3 NationalExtended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – D*DD and Mathematics A level at grade A (or equivalent) is required.

IB Diploma score – 38 with 666 in higher level subjects, including Mathematics.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We also consider other level 3 qualifications, including T-levels.
  • For all Single and Joint Honours degrees involving Economics, including Philosophy, Politics and Economics, we require you to obtain a Grade A at A level Mathematics or its equivalent. For students taking the IB we are happy to accept either Higher Level grade 6 or Standard Level grade 7 in Mathematics. 
  • We do not accept Advanced Higher Statistics as a substitute for AH Mathematics. If you are taking both of these subjects at this level then a further Advanced Higher is necessary.
  • If you are studying for the IB Diploma please note that we do not accept Mathematical Studies at standard level instead of standard level Mathematics.
  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. Please contact our Admissions Manager.
  • You are not required to have A level Economics though for anyone taking this subject this will form part of the offer made to you.
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer.
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary programmes to prepare you for a range of specified degree programmes.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
  • We are willing to consider applications for deferred entry from those who have well-structured plans for work or travel, for example. We may, however, need to restrict the number of deferred entry offers we make because we have to be careful not to fill too many of next year’s places in advance. However, if you do apply for a deferred place and are unsuccessful, you are welcome to reapply the following year.

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2025/26 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.


We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find Out More

Career opportunities

Business School

Our students graduate with subject-specific knowledge such as economic theory and data analysis, as well as the commercial awareness, IT and problem-solving skills that are highly valued by employers across the world. This combination of academic knowledge and transferable skills will open up a range of career possibilities in the economics and finance sector and beyond.

Our focus on employability stretches beyond the classroom. You will benefit from events that will give you a competitive edge in the job market. From employer talks and interview advice to business-tailored careers fairs, we work with you to achieve your goals. 

Previous Economics graduates have gone on to work for global innovators and leaders in their sector including Ernst and Young, Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group, PwC, JP Morgan and for government departments such as the National Audit Office, HMRC and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

Of those students who graduated in 2020-21:

  • 89% of Economics and Finance graduates are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 96% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £36,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

Business School

Gain constructive insights from active practitioners and researchers. Our Economics degrees close the gap between the business world and the classroom, and prepare the next generation for success across a range of disciplines.

We are part of Durham University’s Business School, one of the UK's longest established business schools. We offer an inspiring and stimulating learning environment, and consistently rank highly for the quality of our teaching, research and for graduate career prospects. 

The rigorous curriculum combined with exceptional teaching prepare you to navigate the economic challenges faced by the modern world.

You will learn from leading academics across a range of economic disciplines. Many of the academic team are active practitioners and researchers who will share their skills and knowledge directly, delivering their insights to the classroom and bringing you closer to the realities of the business world. You will also benefit from lectures by guest speakers who give new perspectives on relevant topics, while case studies give you the opportunity to explore a range of contemporary economics issues. There are further opportunities for hands-on work placements and international study.

You will gain an understanding of the principles of Economics, including supply and demand, competition and growth theories while developing the skills to effectively analyse and interpret data. All our degrees can be tailored to your interests through a wide range of option modules, including the chance to study a language. 

Economics degrees at Durham prepare students to become the innovative business thinkers of the future and our qualifications are highly successful in creating job opportunities.

For more information see our Business School website.


  • 8th for Economics in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • 9th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the Business School web pages.


You’ll be taught across the University campus by world leading academics from the Business School. You’ll have access to the Business Schools modern, spacious meeting rooms and study areas. The University campus is within walking distance of the historic centre of Durham, a city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

You’ll be able to access up-to-date financial and market research information from sources such as FAME, Mintel, IMID, European Business asap and Pro-Quest. There’s also a wide range of information available via online databases, including Emerald, Mintel, Lexis-Nexis, Reuters Business Insight, IMF Statistical Service Online. In addition, you’ll have access to Durham University’s prestigious libraries and archives.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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