BA (Hons) Economics, Politics & Public Policy

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time or a minimum of 4 years part-time
  • Department
    Politics and International Relations

Course overview

This programme addresses the practice of politics in the ‘real-world’, in which every political choice is simultaneously an economic act, and every economic decision has indelible political consequences.

By studying the connections between economics, politics, and public policy, you’ll explore how political conflict and economic cooperation go hand in hand. You’ll see that the most important political questions we face concern the economic rules we use to coordinate our activity. 

You’ll develop the tools to explore and understand these political economic questions. You’ll see that the government actors who seek to address these question in practice–from the most powerful Cabinet ministers to the bureaucrats who work at the street level–face the same basic dilemmas and difficulties as every other human in history. Put differently, our political economic questions and problems are inescapably social, and have their roots in even the most mundane of our daily activities. 

It has taken economists almost a hundred years for economists to fully understand this, and you’ll see on this programme that the political, social and economic implications of this fact have still yet to be elaborated. 

With the skills provided by, and in the modules studied within the BA Economics, Politics and Public Policy degree programme, you’ll be a part of this fascinating on-going project.

Contact the department

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

Modules & structure

Level 4

Students take the following three compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
  Political Theory and Ideologies 30 credits
  UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics 30 credits
  World Politics 30 credits
  Foundations of Economics 30 credits

Students then take either:


Module title Credits
  Introduction to Political Economy 15 credits
  Introduction to Economic Policy 15 credits

or the following 30 credit IMS module:

Module title Credits
  Introductory Economics 30 credits

Level 5

Students study either:

Module title Credits
  Political Economy 30 credits


Module title Credits
  International Political Economy 2 15 credits
  International Monetary Economics 15 credits

Their remaining 90 credits are made up from the list of options currently available in the Department:

Module title Credits
  Making Modern Japan 15 credits
  Chinese Politics: The Revolutionary Era 15 credits
  Contemporary International Relations Theories 15 credits
  Europe Since 1945 15 credits
  Global Governance and World Order 15 credits
  Ideologies and Interests: Political Thought in Modern Britain 15 credits
  International Monetary Economics 15 credits
  Liberalism and its Critics 15 credits
  Life: A User's Manual 15 credits
  Modern Britain: Thatcher and After 15 credits
  Modern Political Theory 30 credits
  Politics and International Relations of the Middle East 15 credits
  Politics of Vision 15 credits
  Rough Politics 15 credits
  US Politics and Foreign Policy 15 credits

Level 6

Students write a research dissertation worth 30 credits and also select 60 credits from the following Political Economy/Economics modules:

Module title Credits
  New Radical Political Economy 30 credits
  Finance and the Global Political Economy 15 credits
  Ethics and Economics of Environmental Protection 15 credits
  International Political Economy 2 15 credits
  Liberal Government and Power 15 credits
  The Politics and Economics of Immigration 15 credits

The remaining 30 credits are then taken from the available list of modules in the Department:

Module title Credits
  An(other) China: Streetscenes of Politics 15 credits
  An(other) IR – Views from the South 15 credits
  Anarchism 15 credits
  Beyond All Reason 15 credits
  Britain and Europe 15 credits
  Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought 15 credits
  Critical Security Studies 15 credits
  Feminist Politics 15 credits
  Movements and Conflict in the Middle East: from the Arab Spring to ISIS 15 credits
  Nationalist Conflict and International Intervention 15 credits
  Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Africa 15 credits
  Rhetoric and Politics 15 credits
  Work Placement 15 credits
  An(other) Japan: Politics, Ideology and Culture 15 credits
  The Political Economy of International Development Assistance 15 credits


Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

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. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

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

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

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 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

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* and ranked in the world's elite**

Politics and International Relations

Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths doesn’t just examine parliaments, voting systems and the formal arenas of political power. We explore ‘the politics behind politics’ – the major economic, social and cultural conflicts that are hidden by the formal veneer of institutions, but are central to everyday life.

We study politics and international relations 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. 

Find out more about the Department of Politics and International Relations

*Which? University 2016
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

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. You can also find out more about the career options open to you after you graduate on our Politics and International Relations careers pages.

Student profiles


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

Why did you decide to come to Goldsmiths?

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.

What was your favourite part of university?

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.

What have you been doing since graduating?

After leaving Goldsmiths, I wanted to work in the energy industry to focus on energy efficiency, energy sustainability and reducing energy costs for consumers. I have been lucky enough to be able to focus on all three areas throughout my career since leaving Goldsmiths.
During my first role in EDF Energy, I worked on the smart metering project, where I focused on how we could deliver a robust smart metering solution whilst reducing costs to consumers.

My second role in EDF Energy involved working as a Nuclear Liaison Analyst, where I was responsible for maximising the value of the Generation Assets to ensure that providing a low carbon energy source was financially viable to ensure the longevity of nuclear generation and avoid plant closures.

Since leaving EDF Energy, I have begun work at ElectraLink as an Industry Change Analyst. This role requires me to understand and respond to widespread changes within the energy market, such as regulatory changes driven by the government or system changes driven by market actors. While my core role requires me to understand these changes and liaise with market actors to understand how these changes affect ElectraLink, working for a central actor in the energy market like ElectraLink allows me to liaise with key actors in the energy market and influence how these changes are delivered.

What are the key skills you developed at Goldsmiths?

Studying at Goldsmiths provided me with the skills to investigate and scrutinise the economic and political environment that the energy market resides within. I also believe the values of fairness and equality that are embedded in the culture at Goldsmiths continue to guide my decision-making to ensure I do the right thing by consumers of the energy market.


"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

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