BA (Hons) Economics

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Institute of Management Studies

Course overview

Study economics for a constantly changing world. This degree offers you formal and rigorous training in economic theory and real world application, and allows you to specialise in a key area of the modern economy.

Today economics means change. New technologies constantly reconfigure how markets work. New emerging countries from around the world reshape the world economy. At Goldsmiths we encourage you to face these new and evolving challenges by thinking outside the box and marrying innovation with tradition.

You'll cover:

  • economic analysis
  • finance and accounting
  • maths and statistics
  • microeconomics
  • macroeconomics
  • quantitative methods
  • communication and presentation skills

But your degree does not stop there. You will be given a choice of five minor specialisations. You can choose the one that best suits your interests and future plans. These minor specialisations are:

  • Communication and Technology
  • Markets and Organisations
  • Human Behaviour and Choice
  • The Creative Impulse
  • Concepts, Ideas and Perspectives

This choice makes your degree unique. You’ll be given a wide variety of modules from world-leading departments around Goldsmiths for you to explore these topics and develop links that will give you a niche in today’s competitive labour market. Any generic economic degree gives you the training you need to be an economist. But here we provide something on top of that, an understanding of the wider social and business context of economics, so that you will be able to effectively use the economist’s toolbox to solve the problems that you find interesting.


Because we want to provide you with all the support for your future career you will be given the opportunity to apply for a limited number of placements that the College would source. These will occur at the end of your second year and would constitute a 15 credit option towards your degree. This will enhance your CV, bring theory and practical experience together, and help you develop industry contacts.

Study Abroad

Through the Erasmus programme, you can spend half of your second year in a university abroad. You can choose modules there and immerse yourself in a different culture and academic environment, with the option of learning or improving a foreign language.

Why study economics at Goldsmiths?

Goldsmiths is the ideal environment to explore economics in new and imaginative ways informed by our current research. The Institute of Management Studies has academics doing research not only in Economics and Political Economy, but also in Consumer Theory, Management, Business Psychology, Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. But the research community with which you will come in contact with is much larger, as it includes leading experts from Sociology, Psychology, Computing, Media Studies, History, Politics, Design and other departments teaching courses in the relevant streams.

Furthermore, Goldsmiths has a centre for interdisciplinary research in Economics and Political Economy (PERC) that organises lectures, seminars and a host of other events bringing celebrated speakers into Goldsmiths from around the world. Through lectures in the IMS and PERC you’ll have access to today’s business leaders, economists and policy practitioners. Recent guest speakers have included renowned development economist and best-selling author Ha-Joon Chang, businesswoman Nicola Horlick, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, and Nik Kinley, Director and Head of Talent Strategy at YSC.

Finally, Economics at Goldsmiths stands on the crossroad of two amazing gifts given by the Goldsmiths Company to the University of London. One is the College itself, which became a part of the University of London in 1904. The second is the Goldsmiths Library of Economics, bought by the company from H.S. Foxwell in 1903, and housed, to this day, at Senate House Library. With more than 70,000 printed books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, broadsides and proclamations from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries it is, together with the Kress Library at Harvard University, one of the two best known collections in the world on the history of Economics and Business. We are proudly celebrating being part of this tradition by introducing a third year module in our BA Economics programme titled Manias, Bubbles, Crises and Market Failure. In this module we will discuss past economic crises by utilising the substantial resources of the Goldsmiths library and contrasting them with the current crisis. This will let you use this world-renowned collection, as the past can give us lessons on what led to the current crisis, how to overcome it, and how to avoid future ones.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Constantinos Repapis

Modules & structure

This degree operates a formal system of minor specialisations, also called streams, which are explained in detail below. The core element of this degree, that all students have to take, are a number of modules that provide students with a comprehensive training in Economic theory and application.

The Economics modules that all students take are:

Level 4

Module title Credits
  Introductory Economics 30 credits
  Economic Reasoning 15 credits
  Perspectives from the Social Sciences 15 credits
  Mathematics for Economics and Business 30 credits

You will also have the choice of optional modules to the value of 30 credits.

Level 5

Module title Credits
  Intermediate Microeconomics 15 credits
  Intermediate Macroeconomics 15 credits
  Quantitative Economics 15 credits
  Applied Quantitative Economics 15 credits
  History of Economic Ideas 15 credits
  Economic History 15 credits

You will also have the choice of optional modules to the value of 30 credits. 

Level 6

In your final year, you take three core modules:

Module title Credits
  International Economics 15 credits
  Public Economics 15 credits
  Communications and Presentation Skills 15 credits

You also take either:

Module title Credits
  Individual and Institutional Economic Behaviour 15 credits
  Manias, Bubbles, Crises and Market Failure 15 credits

You will also have a choice of optional modules up to the value of 60 credits. Modules from your chosen minor specialisation make up the remaining credits for each year of study. 

Examples of optional modules in Economics include:

Module title Credits
  Finance and Accounting 15 credits
  Introduction to Economic Policy 15 credits
  Consumer Behaviour 15 credits
  Political Economy 30 credits
  Ethics and Economics of Environmental Protection 15 credits
  Finance and the Global Political Economy 15 credits
  International Political Economy 2 15 credits
  Econometrics 15 credits
  Advanced Econometrics 15 credits
  Further Mathematics for Economics 15 credits
  From National Statistics to Big Data 15 credits
  Topics in Mathematical Economics 15 credits
  Development Economics 15 credits
  Topics in Economic Policy 15 credits
  Money, Banking and the Financial System 15 credits

Assessment is by a variety of essays, reports, exams and projects.

Choosing your Stream:

The unique feature of this degree is the choice between the different streams that you can take over your three years. These streams explore links between Economics and related disciplines, and different streams offer modules from the following subject areas: Management, Entrepreneurship, Computing, Psychology, History, Sociology, Media, Anthropology and the Arts.

Goldsmiths’ excellent reputation in all of these subject areas means you’re getting a unique educational experience and each year will provide you with a new level of learning that combines what you have learned previously in economics and in the interdisciplinary streams.

More specifically, in your first year you choose two ‘taster’ modules from two different streams to be taken in the second term of year one. These two modules will help you decide which of the streams you like best and wish to continue with for the next two years.

However, the programme continues to be flexible, as you are able to choose more economics modules from choices offered if you wish, or change streams up until the start of the third year, provided you have taken modules shared between the relevant streams. This means you do not need to worry about making the ‘wrong’ decision in your first year, as you do not choose your third year modules until the second term of your second year.

A summary of what you will learn in each stream can be found below:

I: Communication and Technology

Today communication means technology. This stream explores the new forms of social communication, from the advent of the internet in the 1990s until today and how this has changed how human beings communicate with each other and how they engage in mass, public debate. The stream aims to explore the technological elements of this communications revolution, how it has changed what media does, and how it has transformed society at large. You will learn about these changes both from a practical and a theoretical perspective, and will consider how the information revolution has changed how the economy works.

II: Markets and Organisations

What is a market? How do markets function? In this stream you will explore the differences between markets and other types of organisations found in the modern economy. Through sociology you will explore the different types of social organisations, and how different cultures build and operate their markets. Through History and Politics you will explore the origins and ideology of today’s market system. Furthermore, through a number of modules offered by the IMS you will focus on management, strategy and other aspects of how organisations function in the modern marketplace.

 III: Human Behaviour and Choice

How humans freely choose between competing products and services is a core question of economics. This stream will contrast the economist’s approach to choice, with the work of Anthropologists, Psychologists and Sociologists. You will be asked to explore not only the different findings of these disciplines, but also how they go about analysing human behaviour. The purpose is to familiarise you with a verity of tools and perspectives on human behaviour to supplement your economics training and see its broader social and psychological context.

IV:  The Creative Impulse

Goldsmiths’ research and teaching in creativity, design and the arts is world renowned. This stream creates unconventional connections between the artistic world and the social sciences. Design, Drama and Theatre Arts explore human creativity but also engage in creative activity, whereas Sociology, Psychology and Economics try to rationalise and analyse the process. In this stream you will explore this creative impulse and its psychological and social implications; you will analyse it, but also, realise that some of the magic is beyond the reach of the social scientist.

 V: Concepts, Ideas and Perspectives

What makes the economist’s viewpoint so distinctive across the social sciences? This stream explores in depth the context of economic ideas. Politics explores how economic ideas are not value free but have a strong ideological basis. History shows how ideas developed from special societal conditions, and how they change as circumstances change. Finally, Sociology explores the social setting of economic ideas, and how different societies understand and implement key economic concepts. In this stream the student will explore how economic ideas shape our world and why they are so powerful in shaping modern society.

In each of these streams you will be given a range of modules to choose from throughout the three years. Thus, this system offers you substantial freedom for you to personalise your educational experience and explore areas of knowledge that interest you.

If you would like to find out more about your module choices throughout this degree, please see this presentation explaining your options.

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 the 2018-19 intake. 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

You should have at least Grade B/Grade 6 in GCSE Economics, Maths or Statistics.

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


Learn how to lead people, create business opportunities,
and understand and influence consumers

Institute of Management Studies

The Institute of Management Studies fuses Goldsmiths’ academic rigour and creative culture with industry-informed research and core strengths in management, economics and psychology.

Our degrees

Our degree programmes focus on training you how to lead people, create business opportunities, and understand and influence consumers.

Our staff

Our teaching staff include leaders and entrepreneurs who have set up and run their own successful ventures, and who carry out leading research in economics, political economy, leadership, psychology, and complementary disciplines like design and sociology.

Our connections with industry

We also have connections with leaders in the creative and cultural industries, social enterprises and business, and regularly invite guest speakers to the department. Recent visitors include fashion designer Sir Paul Smith and ‘city superwoman’ Nicola Horlick.

Find out more about the Institute of Management Studies.

Learning & teaching

This degree is unique in that it allows you substantial freedom in shaping your programme of studies while becoming a trained Economist.

For you to achieve your potential your teachers use innovative methods to bring together theory with real world examples in all your modules. Furthermore, the degree has some special features that distinguish it from other economics degrees and enhance your learning experience. These are:

  • In the first year of the degree we employ a tutorial type system. This means that you will come into sustained contact throughout the year with an academic in a small class format who will teach you how economists approach and analyse social problems.
  • In the second year you will get training with analysing real data through the use of computer programs, so that you learn data analysis skills that you can apply in a business environment.
  • In the third year you have a special module on communication and presentation skills. There you will focus on a real world case study, learn how to articulate economic ideas to non-economists, and prepare for a business style presentation.

Class presentations and collaborative work with other students are 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. See our careers and skills section for more information. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

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

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers

This degree equips you with an array of skills that will help you stand out in the marketplace and launch your career. Through our modules you will learn economic theory and application, and practice your skills in writing, presenting and data analysis. Furthermore, in the work placement module option at the end of the second year, you will:

  • Learn to apply previously-gained, theory-derived knowledge to a practical project within a host organisation
  • Gain transferable skills and create a strategy for further skills development and career preparation
  • Gain an insight into the working environment and the career options within an organisation
  • Develop competencies and traits required to succeed in your chosen career path


This programme was created to give you a diverse set of skills that will help you to successfully overcome the challenges of a constantly evolving economy. We help you develop not only the technical skills necessary in becoming a successful economist today, but also the ability to understand economic change and adapt as the world changes. This prepares you for a number of careers in a wide variety of industries.

Technical skills

As an economist you will gain competence in the following fields:

  • Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Analysis
  • Maths and Statistics
  • Finance and Accountancy
  • Quantitative Methods from a theoretical and practical perspective
  • Data analysis using computer programs
  • Presentation skills and report writing

Broader skills

The structure of this programme of studies also equips you with the following skills:

  • An ability to explain economic ideas to non-economists in government and the business world
  • A knowledge of the limits of economic models for analysing real world data
  • An understanding of the economy that can meet new challenges and unforeseen crises
  • A personal philosophy of how the economy works that distinguishes you from the crowd

You'll also gain skills in teamwork, time management, organisation, critical-thinking, reflection and independent research. All of these skills are greatly sought after by graduate employers. 


The pioneering element of this degree is that it allows you to choose the minor stream that will help you find your niche in the labour market. This niche will be useful for gaining employment with the traditional employers of economists, which are:

  • Government departments
  • National and regional development agencies
  • Economic Consultancies
  • International and supranational organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union
  • Commercial and Investment Banks
  • Insurance Companies

It'll also give you a competitive edge over candidates that have only developed an economist's viewpoint in jobs where knowledge in the other aspects - creative, entrepreneurial, psychological, and social - of market activity are important.

The following two examples will give you an idea of how the streams can add to your economics training by adding further skills:

  • Markets and Organisations stream: you will gain an understanding of how firms behave in real market scenarios. Employers in a variety of business fields ( e.g. management, consultancy, retail, insurance, sales, etc.) want graduates that have a good background in economics but also an understanding of management, accounting, marketing, strategy or/and applied consumer choice
  • Communications and Technology stream: this will give you an understanding of the use of technology in disseminating information. This is an essential skill for anyone working in financial journalism, company and government press offices, newspapers, sales and marketing teams, or in policy oriented ‘think tanks’

 Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths. You can find out more about the career options open to you after you graduate on our Management Studies careers pages.

Student work

Institute of Management Studies - meet our students

Fees & funding

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