BA (Hons) Economics, Politics & Public Policy

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: ABB/BBB
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time or a minimum of 4 years part-time
  • Department

Course overview

How big should the state be? And what should it seek to do? Learn how and why politics always has an economic dimension, and why economics is, in its turn, always political.

Why study BA Economics, Politics & Public Policy at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll study the most important concepts and ideas in economics, and explore how these concepts lead to a specific set of real-world debates and problems
  • The Department provides a lively interdisciplinary environment, specialising in the study of cultures and conflicts in a way that crosses boundaries between disciplines
  • You won't simply learn about economics and politics in terms of what happens in conventional arenas of power, but also what happens on the streets, in art galleries, and in the non-Western world
  • We'll defamiliarise you from what you think you already know, and encourage you to look at the subjects from a different perspective
  • We have a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers, meaning that you'll have the opportunity to hear the latest political arguments, theories and ideas

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Paul Gunn

Modules & structure

Level 4

At level 4 you take four introductory modules worth 30 credits each that will help you develop a broad foundation in politics:

  • Ideas, Ideologies and Conflicts is an introduction to political theory and an exploration of why central political ideas and concepts influence our understanding of the world around us.
  • Political Economy and Public Policy provides an introduction to the main theories and concepts in economics, and to debates about major issues in public policy that are informed by economic analysis.
  • UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics introduces the comparative approach to politics and government, in addition to building a foundation understanding of the politics and governance of four key members of the European Union: the UK, Germany, Italy and France.
  • World Politics takes a critical look at the study of world politics, emphasising that there are different and competing perspectives on how to approach the subject, drawing on perspectives from both international relations and international studies.

Each unit is assessed by one essay and a two-hour unseen examination.

Levels 5 and 6

At level 5 you then specialise in the subjects that interest you most. 

You must take at least one 30-credit Politics unit from a range of choices which currently includes:

  • An(other) Japan: Politics and Popular Culture (30 credits)
  • An(other) IR (15 credits) (subject to approval)
  • Chinese Politics (30 credits)
  • Comparative European Politics (30 credits)
  • Contemporary International Relations Theories (15 credits) (subject to approval)
  • Life: a User’s Manual (30 credits)
  • Modern Political Theory (30 credits)
  • Political Economy (30 credits)
  • Themes and Issues in British Politics since 1945 (30 credits)

And at least one 30-credit Economics unit from a range of choices which currently includes:

  • Africa in the Global Political Economy (30 credits)
  • Political Economy (30 credits)

And a further 60 credits chosen either from the lists above or 30 credits from the list above and 30 credit unit approved from another department at Goldsmiths.

At level 6 you are required to write a dissertation on a subject of your choice in the broad disciplines of politics, public policy and economics.

You must also take at least 30 credits from a range of choices which currently includes:

  • Anarchism (15 credits)
  • An(other) China (15 credits)
  • Art War Terror (15 credits)
  • Britain in the EU (15 credits) (subject to approval)
  • European Union and Immigration: The Contours, Politics and Economics of New Policy Domain (15 credits)
  • Nationalist Conflict and International Intervention (15 credits)
  • Party Systems and Electoral Systems (15 credits)
  • Politics and Welfare (15 credits)
  • Politics of the African City (15 credits)
  • Beyond all Reason (15 credits)
  • Public Policy Analysis (15 credits)
  • Discourse, Power and Politics (15 credits)
  • Rhetoric and Politics (15 credits)
  • Risk and Politics: Theory and Practice (15 credits)
  • Technology and Political Mobilisation (15 credits) (subject to approval)

At least 30 credits of Economics units from a range of choices, which currently includes:

  • Political Economy of the European Union (30 credits)
  • New Radical Political Economy (30 credits)

And a further 30 credits chosen either from the above lists.

Find out more about the modules listed above

To be awarded a degree in Economics, Politics and Public Policy you need to take at least 120 credits of politics units and at least 120 credits of economics units over the entire length of the degree.


Most units in the first and second years are assessed by a combination of written essays and unseen examinations. In the third year, there is a greater focus on coursework, and a substantial dissertation on a topic chosen by you.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB/BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

Our entry requirements are equivalent to 300-320 UCAS tariff points.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: ABBBC/BBBBC (Higher), ABC/BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 80%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A2 B1/A1 A1 A2 B2

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


Voted one of the top political universities in the UK by students**


In the Department of Politics at Goldsmiths our focus goes beyond voting systems, parliaments and the conventional arenas of power. And it looks beyond the West.

We study a politics for the 21st century, in which anarchism may be as important as liberalism, and in which Asia and Africa are as economically and geopolitically important as Europe and North America. 

We also take an unconventional approach. So you may be working on group projects, writing a blog, or submitting a Manga comic instead of an essay.

Find out more about the Department of Politics

**Which? University 2014

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

The teachers are imaginative and innovative in their methods, to bring together theories and concrete examples. We use various assessment methods, such as asking you to write blog posts and contribute to Twitter discussions. Class presentations, writing various types of documents (such as a policy report) and collaborative work with other students are all important parts of our teaching process, which aims to give you confidence and practical experience in the skills that you will need later in your career.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers.

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments
  • The Goldsmiths Virtual Learning Environment 

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers


This programme will develop you intellectually, and will enhance your transferable and communication skills – learning to plan your workload, to research solutions, and to express your ideas coherently.


Our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. Some go on to postgraduate study or further training in law, accountancy, social work, business administration, or to specialise in one area of their academic studies, whilst others go directly into employment.

Recent graduates have found employment in administration and management; in various departments of central and local government; in finance, in the media; in research and computing; in voluntary agencies; in health, education and housing management; the probation service; in company management, and as lecturers and teachers.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



"I picked Goldsmiths because it had a reputation for excellence, which was confirmed by my experience."

"I came straight from sixth form to Goldsmiths as I knew my degree would broaden my knowledge and understanding of the world, especially of politics and world affairs, and greatly enhance my employment opportunities. I picked Goldsmiths because it had a reputation for excellence, which was confirmed by my experience.

I’ve enjoyed my Goldsmiths’ experience, especially the second and third years as I gained more confidence and was more involved in directing my studies. I found the course challenging, yet engaging and thought provoking. The lecturers are very supportive, so I’d recommend all students take advantage of all the help and support available. And you should always discuss your coursework and essay practice with your lecturer – they’re the ones marking it! 

I'd advise any Politics students to keep up-to-date with current affairs and carefully balance university work with a social life. I'd also recommend students make the most of the Student Union societies.

Since finishing university I've started work for EDF energy as a Business Analyst. I plan to continue to pursue my interests in ‘green energy’ and environmental politics and economics."


"There are very few universities where you can engage with the great debates of politics, philosophy and economics while surrounded by the great artists, playwrights and musicians of the future!"

"I studied at Goldsmiths between 2005 and 2008, taking BA (Hons) Economics, Politics & Public Policy, and I think it offers one of the most distinctive undergraduate experiences around.

Goldsmiths specialises in creativity and ideas, and this shows in the teaching. Students are challenged to think for themselves and to constantly question the ideas that they are being presented with. The lecturers are fantastic, treat all students with the same degree of respect and are very generous with their time. A diverse yet tight-knit community, the body of students is large enough to create a collegiate atmosphere but small enough that you don't get lost or feel forgotten. And there are very few universities where you can engage with the great debates of politics, philosophy and economics while surrounded by the great artists, playwrights and musicians of the future!

After graduating from Goldsmiths I went to work for a politics think-tank, a micro-finance bank in Bangladesh, and spent a summer studying at Beijing University. I then completed a Masters degree in international political economy, while working for an economics consultancy. I now work for a 'big four' professional services firm, specialising in the financial services sector, and am now training as a chartered accountant.

I think that my time at Goldsmiths prepared me for my current and future career by encouraging me to continually challenge myself and to develop critical thinking skills. All interesting careers require good judgment which entails independent, rational and creative thinking. I was given both the space and the support to develop thoughts and ideas which were, crucially, my own. I would recommend the Goldsmiths experience to anyone who wants to push themselves intellectually, socially and creatively. But most importantly to me, the friends I have today are some of the most interesting people I've ever met."

Fees & funding

How to apply

Related content links

University statistics for this course