Undergraduate menu

Economics and Politics

LL12 BSc (Econ) (Hons) 3 years


Our Economics and Politics degree is about the real world: about how people respond to incentives, and the production and allocation of resources. Think how many news items involve economics: the global recession, tax, interest rates, prices, and the job market. The study of economics leads to the investigation of whether any economic policies should be introduced by governments and if so what kind. In turn this leads to the need to be aware of issues related to politics and, more generally, to the policy making process. In this respect, Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government, and politics.

Politics and Economics are closely related disciplines and this degree is especially suited to those with an interest in public policy and governmental decision making. In the first year, you will take four Politics modules and four Economics modules. In your second and third years, you can continue to split your studies in equal proportions, or you can choose to specialise.

Why study an Economics and Politics degree at Queen Mary?

The quality of teaching and research within the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary has been widely acknowledged. In the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) 94% and 96% of our students expressed a high level of overall satisfaction with the quality of teaching and support provided for their course, for economics and finance respectively. In terms of Research, Economics at Queen Mary has been ranked 10th in the UK for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). We are a young and international School with staff from all over Europe and beyond, who have links to important institutions in the City and further a-field.

You will be able to choose from a wide range of study options and benefit from a varied programme of visiting speakers. Our established exchange programme allows you to spend either a year in the USA, Australia, Singapore or China or a semester through the Erasmus scheme either in Italy or Spain.

The School offers excellent resources to its undergraduate students. We have two computer labs for the exclusive use by economics students. Ten Bloomberg terminals give students access to the latest technology and financial software used in the banking and finance industry. We also subscribe to the major statistical databases, and software packages such as those used by economists in finance or in government for data analysis and simulation.

The School strongly believes that education, personal and professional development also takes place outside the classroom through structured extracurricular activities. Examples of such extracurricular activities organised by the School and open to all students include the research assistant scheme, the maths and book clubs, economics debates, imagery and essay competitions, football and tennis tournaments. The School also actively support the work of two societies, the Economics Society and the Trading and Investment Society.

Every year the School of Economics and Finance organises various guest speaker lectures. So, you will be able to attend a varied programme of lectures and talks. Some of the invited speakers in the past include Tim Harford, John Roemer, Lord Meghnad Desai, Charles Goodhart, Rt Hon Roy Hattersley, Dan Corry, Robert Peston, Scott Page, Frank Allen, Lord Sebastian Coe, Richard Lipsey, Richard Layard, and Sanjeev Goyal.


Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Principles of Economics
  • Mathematical Methods in Economics and Business 1
  • Microeconomics 1
  • Macroeconomics 1
  • Introduction to Politics (double module)

Plus one module from:

  • Background to British Politics (double module)
  • Introduction to International Relations (double module)

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Games and Strategies
  • Macroeconomics 2
  • Microeconomics 2
  • Statistical Methods in Economics

In your second year you may choose from a range of Politics modules:

  • Modern Political Thought I and II
  • International Relations: Theories and Contemporary Issues
  • War and Security in World Politics
  • Global Governance
  • British Politics
  • The International Politics of the Developing World
  • Theories of State, Economy and Society
  • Representative Democracy in Practice

Year 3

Compulsory Module

  • Politics Research Project (double module)

You must take a total of at least six level 6 modules including at least one level 6 module from the School of Economics and Finance:

3rd Year Politics Modules

  • Ideology and Political Critique
  • Electoral Behaviour
  • Theories of the Self
  • European Integration and the European Union as a Political System
  • The Politics of Economic Ideas: Key Texts in Modern Political Economy
  • The Politics of the New Left: Ideas, Practice and Legacy
  • European Politics: National Identity and Ethnicity
  • Liberalism, Past and Present
  • Globalisation: Issues and Debates
  • US Foreign Policy
  • Gender and Politics
  • The Politics of the Post-Colonial Middle East

3rd Year Economics Modules

  • Economics Project 1
  • Economics Project 2
  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Development Economics
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Industrial Economics
  • Business Cycles
  • Environmental Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Economics of Technology and Innovation
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Macroeconomic Policy
  • Experimental Economics
  • Health Economics

Entry requirements


2017 grades required: A*AA–AAA, including A in A-level maths (or pure maths).

Excluded subjects: General studies, critical thinking and use of maths.

Additional information: We encourage entrants who are predicted to achieve good to excellent A-level grades (at or near A*AA-AAA or equivalents) to apply. If you have any doubts or questions about the suitability of your predicted grades we strongly encourage you to contact the School of Economics and Finance.

International Baccalaureate:

38–36 points including 7,6,6–6,6,6 in higher level subjects. Must include at least 6 in standard level or higher level Maths, and at least 5 in English A or 6 in English B if taken at standard level, or 5 in English A or B if taken as additional higher level subject.

Additional information: We encourage entrants who are predicted to achieve good to excellent IB grades (at or near 38-36 points) to apply. If you have any doubts or questions about the suitability of your predicted grades we strongly encourage you to contact the School of Economics and Finance.

Vocational and other qualifications:

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as: Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Entrants with equivalent EU qualifications and equivalent qualifications from overseas (non EU) examinations are also encouraged to apply, as are applications from mature or returning students. Please visit our Entry requirements page for further information.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications


Learning and teaching

Learning is organised around three hours of weekly contact time per module, complemented by independent work aimed at carrying out the reading, writing and problem solving required by each lecturer. A variety of teaching methods are used ranging from student-led activities to problem-based learning.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2 - 3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment is by a variety of methods including formal examinations, in-class tests, coursework of various forms, presentations and independent dissertation. Most modules have two methods of assessment (e.g. coursework and a two-hour exam).

Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Economics and Finance go on to work in a variety of careers. Most people apply their degree knowledge directly, entering roles in insurance, banking and accounting. Others transfer skills gained during study into sectors such as marketing or law.

The national 2012 destination survey confirmed that 91% of graduates for the School of Economics and Finance were in employment and/or study six months after graduation, with 91% of these individuals working/studying at graduate level. School of Economics and Finance graduates have a strong earning power, with a median salary of £23,157.

The broad range of skills gained through this course, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra- curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into a variety of careers.

Roles that graduates from this School have obtained include:

  • Civil Servant - Prime Minister’s Office
  • Copy Editor and Reporter - Dow Jones Newswire
  • Data Analyst - Singtel Digital Media
  • Financial Analyst - Morgan Stanley
  • Interest Claims Analyst - JP Morgan
  • Operations Analyst - Goldman Sachs
  • Policy Intern - Community Environmental Centre
  • Project Manager - Transport for London
  • Project Administrator - Central Government Agency
  • Research Analyst - NS Lemos

Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 70 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

The School of Economics and Finance has a weekly programme of in-school workshops and events led by the School’s Careers Consultant. These include events such as Meet the Alumni, a mentoring programmes with RBS and access to weekly 1-2-1 appointments with the Careers Consultant to get support with work experience and job applications. There is also a 3 week Focus on Finance programme with workshops on economics in industry and government, working in insurance, investment banking, consulting and accounting, and featuring employers such as KPMG and Bloomberg as well as accountancy training providers.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study, through, for example, our QProjects work experience scheme, our QRecruit internships and temporary work hub, the part time work Experience Works event and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 1400 vacancies are available to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.



Name: Tom Ireland
Studied: BSc Economics & Politics

"The lecturers and tutors are really friendly, and it’s great having the opportunity to join in with extra curricular activities."
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

I chose Queen Mary after having visited the campus and local area on numerous occasions over the previous 3 years, as my sister is studying Medicine here. I also thought it would be a good idea to base myself in London, with an eye towards future job prospects. Being situated between Canary Wharf and The City makes Queen Mary very appealing. I also liked the idea of being part of a campus university. Its situation close to Central London is a big attraction, although the campus is just far enough away to make you feel that you’re not always in the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
You took a gap year prior to joining us; what experiences did this allow you to gain and would you recommend it to other students?
The gap year I took was a fantastic experience and one I would be keen to repeat at a later stage of my life. After working for 7 months, I went with 3 friends on a trip that lasted 4 months, although looking back it felt a lot shorter than this. I would recommend it to anyone. It lets you, albeit briefly, see and experience other cultures. To do it justice you need to be able to get your hands dirty and experience the living conditions in different countries, which are sometimes far from the luxurious. You certainly get to experience other things you ordinarily wouldn’t back in Britain, like scuba diving on the barrier reef, sky diving over glaciers, coming face-to-face with wildlife like dingoes, sharks and bears and on one memorable occasion canoeing through a canyon with rabid monkeys climbing all over your boat trying to steal your fresh water! The trip pushed me out of my comfort zone especially when we were amongst the Thai protests of March 2010, but I now look back at the photos I took and I only have fond memories of my travels. It really makes you grow as an individual, taking you out of the comfortable bubble of the Western World. The trip took a fair amount of organising but the skills you learn through organising and then doing something like a gap year are invaluable. Also the people I met and friends I made on the trip I will never forget. I’m sure some of you reading this will have watched the Gap Yah video on YouTube and think I might sound a little similar but it’s really hard not to once you’ve experienced it.
How have you found your time at Queen Mary so far?
To say that the start of my time at Queen Mary was plain sailing would be a lie. There were some difficult moments at times, and I think that’s always going to be the case with big changes in life. But now I’m really starting to settle in and am really enjoying myself. I’ve got a good bunch of friends now, which is great, the lecturers and tutors are really friendly, and it’s great having the opportunity to join in with extra curricular activities. I can’t wait for the next couple of years.
What have been the most interesting aspects of your course?
Doing Economics and Politics has allowed me to do two subjects I am really interested in. I like the diversity of topics within both subjects. It’s nice to be able to jump between the two and it prevents me from getting bogged down in any one area particularly because within the two topics the styles of learning are very different. I find it most interesting when the two topics overlap, for example using economic theory to describe political ideologies such as communism. It allows you to draw ideas from another area and adapt it.
What are your future career goals?
This question seems quite daunting being a first year. A lot can happen over the next few years and so I prefer to leave the door open for opportunities that might take my life in any number of directions. At present I would be keen to continue my studies through a postgraduate degree, but I am also keen to experience different parts of the world and so working in countries like: China, Singapore, India and Japan interest me, but with the present economic climate who knows.

Eve Connor

BSc Economics

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I chose Queen Mary for three reasons. Firstly, the location of the university is perfect: it's set in the heart of east London, and with views of the City and Canary Wharf I get daily reminders of my gap year. It also puts those early morning walks to lectures into perspective! Secondly, the economics department at Queen Mary is renowned for excellent teaching. Thirdly, I wanted to experience the campus environment but still be in London.

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“Since being at university I can only say that my expectations have been exceeded. Not only is the teaching creative and engaging, but the lecturers are approachable and extremely helpful. There is also a wealth of information and support available to you, including the recently refurbished library and the excellent careers events that frequently involve guest speakers and networking opportunities.

“There is a very strong community within the department that makes it easy to settle into university life. As a course representative I can attest to the opportunities to get involved within the department and provide your opinion about your course.”


Return to top