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


UCAS codeL100

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Study the principles and applications of modern economics

Course Overview

Why take this course?

What will be the long-term economic consequences of the Brexit vote and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union? Why does the gap between rich and poor keep growing?

If you find these issues interesting, our highly ranked* BSc (Econ) (Hons) Economics degree will develop your knowledge in this fascinating subject.

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 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 professional economists.

  • Learn from active researchers, whose cutting edge expertise on topics such as monetary policy and behavioural economics 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 depending on your particular areas of interest 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, Amazon, BMW and the Government Economic Service.

  • Choose to study abroad through our links with overseas universities.

  • In the most recent National Student Survey, 93% our students stated that staff are good at explaining things.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The latest employability data shows that 95% of employed Portsmouth economics graduates were in a professional or managerial role within six months of graduating. They’ve gone on to work for companies such as Microsoft, Zurich, KPMG and the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Our graduates hit the ground running because of the breadth of learning and experiences to which they have been exposed. We’ll introduce you to real-world problems faced by individuals, companies and governments giving you a taste of the issues experienced by economists.


Alexandra Piper, current student

I’ve been so fortunate to secure a prestigious placement at the Government Economic Service – it’s given me the extra motivation to work hard for the rest of my course!

Alexandra Piper, current 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

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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 Economics
  • Mathematics for Economics
  • Statistics for Economics

Year two

In this year you will take your knowledge of micro-economics and macro-economics to a greater depth. You will also begin to become acquainted with techniques which are in widespread use for analysing economic data.

Core units in this year include:

  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Econometric Methods
  • International Economics
  • Quantitative and Research Methods for Economics

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

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

Year three*

In the final year, the subjects of macroeconomics and microeconomics are studied in greater depth. Also, you are introduced to more specialist econometric techniques. Furthermore, you will complete an independent project across the two Applied Economics units, in which you will undertake supervised research on a topic of your choice in economics.

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Topics in Economics
  • Econometric Analysis
  • Applied Economics: Research Review and Design
  • Applied Economics: Empirical Research

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Business Competition and Regulation
  • Development Economics
  • Financial Economics
  • Financial Statement and Data Analysis
  • International Banking and Financial Management
  • Labour 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: 19% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 81% 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: 62% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 38% by coursework
  • Year three students: 33% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 62% by coursework

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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.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

A good class of economics degree should enable you to obtain a fulfilling and financially rewarding job. An economist’s perspective is always valued in many sectors and you can be successful securing work in a variety of roles. 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
  • Graduate 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 be 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.

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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.

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