BSc (Econ) (Hons) Business Economics - University of Portsmouth
A Gold rating in teaching excellence Read more
BSc (Econ) (Hons)

Business Economics

UCAS codeL112

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Focus on economical issues within the world of business

Course Overview

Why take this course?

How and why do corporations expand, what impact do entrepreneurs make and what is the role of government in regulating markets? Business economics is the study of issues and challenges faced by companies and organisations. This course provides a thorough understanding of economics in a business environment and examines the decisions faced by managers as well as the structure and regulation of industry. If you find these issues of interest, our highly ranked* BSc (Econ) (Hons) Business Economics degree will develop your skills and knowledge in order to realise your career ambitions. 

Although you will need to be confident in your mathematical and statistical abilities, we don’t expect you to have studied these at A Level as support for these subjects is embedded throughout the curriculum.  Our very popular Maths Café also runs daily to provide one-to-one help with any maths-related area. You will then be able to apply more advanced mathematical and statistical techniques in economic analysis. If you would prefer to study economics in a broader sense with more emphasis on business and management, have a look at our BA (Hons) Economics and Management programme.

* Ranked 15th out of 70 universities for economics in the Guardian League Table 2018.

What will I experience?

  • One of the few universities to offer a full Bloomberg Suite – the leading trading and information platform used by professionals worldwide. Graduates are awarded the Bloomberg Certificate which is highly regarded by employers.
  • Experience econometric software packages, such as eViews, which are used by economists.
  • Learn from active researchers, whose cutting edge expertise on topics such as consumer confidence and executive pay has a direct impact on society and the economy.
  • Our BSc economics courses share a common first year. In years two and three you can then specialise your study through a wide range of optional units.
  • Many of our students spend a placement year in industry in organisations such as IBM’s UK Corporate Office in Portsmouth, Microsoft, BMW and the Government Economic Service.
  • Choose to study abroad through our links with overseas universities.
  • In the most recent National Student Survey 88% our students agreed that staff are good at explaining things.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The latest employability data shows that 90% of Portsmouth business economics graduates were in work/study six months after finishing. They’ve gone on to work for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Amazon and Samsung.

A degree in business economics can lead to opportunities with commercial firms working in areas such as market intelligence analysis or business forecasting. The degree can also lead to careers in non-commercial organisations such as competition and regulatory agencies.


Amy Riggs, BSc (Econ) (Hons) Business Economics student

I found everything I was looking for in the course at Portsmouth.

Amy Riggs, BSc (Econ) (Hons) Business Economics student


Accounting, Economics and Finance

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • How they apply theory to real-world issues by looking at current affairs 
  • The ability to gain relevant work experience in the local community as well as through a placement year
  • The friendly and challenging environment that will enable you to gain the skills and knowledge employers need

Browse all courses in Accounting, Economics and Finance

Back to top

Structure & Teaching

Year one

This common first year among some of our economics-based courses provides you with a broad understanding of economic theory and quantitative methods.

Core units in this year include:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Issues in Business Economics
  • Mathematics for Economics
  • Stastistics for Economics

Year two

In this year you will take your knowledge of micro-economics and macro-economics to a greater depth. Business-related themes such as managerial and decision economics will also be studied in detail and you will begin to become acquainted with popular techniques for analysing economic data.

Core units in this year include:

  • Managerial and Decision Economics
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Econometric Methods
  • Quantitative and Research Methods for Economics

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • International Economics
  • Behavioural Economics and Game Theory
  • Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Market
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Foreign Language
  • Study Abroad (year long)

Year three*

In your final year, there is a particular focus on the world of business and industry. Several optional units allow you to concentrate on developing your knowledge in specialist areas and for you to learn more advanced and specialised econometric techniques. You will also complete an independent project across two Applied Economics units, in which you will undertake supervised research on a topic of your choice relating to business economics.

Core units in this year include:

  • Industrial Organisation and Competition Policy
  • Labour Economics
  • Applied Economics: Research Review and Design
  • Applied Economics: Empirical Research

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Financial Economics
  • Advanced Topics in Economics
  • International Banking and Financial Management
  • Econometric Analysis
  • Behavioural Finance and the Psychology of Investment
  • Development Economics
  • Public Sector Economics

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement).

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


We go to great lengths to ensure you will have an excellent learning experience with a high level of support. Teaching is usually undertaken in lectures supported by smaller group seminars, workshops, tutorials and practical sessions. Extensive use is also made of information technology and other teaching innovations.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 75% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 18% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 82% studying independently and 0% on work placement


There is a mix of formal examinations and coursework assessment throughout your course including:

  • analysis of topical case studies
  • written reports
  • essays
  • presentations
  • self-led independent study project

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 62% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 34% by coursework
  • Year two students: 58% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 42% by coursework
  • Year three students: 33% by written exams, 2% by practical exams and 65% by coursework

Back to top

Facilities & Features

Bloomberg Suite

You can use this essential business research tool and gain real-life financial experience. Created by the Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, the system is used by over a quarter of a million finance professionals globally. You too can virtually access the same data, analytics and software used by city traders via one of our Bloomberg terminals.


We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs (multimedia and CAD), Macs and printing facilities. There is also more specialised software and equipment available such as large format printing, audio-visual equipment and language laboratories. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.

Placements Office

Take advantage of our Faculty’s Placements Office. Advertising a great variety of work placements, the experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Back to top

Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

A good class of degree in economics or a related subject should enable you to obtain a fulfilling and well remunerated position. An Economist’s perspective is always valued in many areas. Employment spans the finance sector (including banking, accountancy and investment analysis), the corporate sector (including management training) and the public sector. However, you will also have relevant and applicable skills for roles in management, marketing, sales, advertising, human resources and IT.

Alternatively, you can choose to continue your studies to postgraduate or PhD level.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • Financial Analyst
  • Account Manager
  • Trader in Financial Assets
  • Purchasing and Acquisitions Officer
  • Econometrician

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Doing a work placement could be the best decision you make during your time at university. We strongly encourage you to take a placement year as an integral part of this course.

Work experience will help significantly with getting a job after you graduate, and you may even go on to work full-time for your placement employer. Plus, it can also the best way of finding out whether a particular career path is for you.

Our Placements Office is the one-stop shop for all things placement related. Providing you with a huge portfolio of employers offering great business-related placement opportunities, we are always on hand to advise and help you through the recruitment process and beyond.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Back to top

Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484