Economics BA

2025-26 entry
Department of Economics

Our BA programme provides you with a broad understanding of economics, and exposes you to a wide range of specialist economics areas. As you progress through your degree, your focus will be on the application of economics to real-world problems.

Key details

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    Course description

    Photo of undergraduate lecture

    You'll develop theoretical understanding and quantitative skills to help you become a highly proficient economist, with a focus on the application of economics to real-world problems.

    In your first year you'll be introduced to foundational economic principles and theories and develop your core quantitative skills in mathematical and statistical methods for economics. You will then build on your toolkit of theoretical and quantitative skills in your second and final years and apply these to the specialist areas of economics that interest you the most.

    You will be able to choose which pathway to specialise in. You'll have the same core and optional modules on the BA Economics and BSc Economics courses in the first and second years, so that you can study modules in both applied and methodological economics.

    At the end of your second year you will then decide if you wish to focus on the applied pathway (BA Economics), or switch to the methodological pathway (BSc Economics).

    This will determine the set of modules you can choose to study from in your final year, which includes the flagship Economics Policy and Practice module. This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your skills and knowledge to contemporary economic policy challenges, while also developing new skills in economic policy evaluation and in the communication of economics to both specialists and non-specialists. In addition to developing subject specific knowledge, this module will enhance your employability skills, challenging you to critically appraise, analyse, interpret and communicate economics when it is applied to real-world issues.

    This degree comes with the opportunity to do a year-long, paid work placement, starting after your second year with some of the UK's top employers – these have included the Bank of England, HM Treasury, IBM and PwC.

    Whichever path you choose, you’ll graduate equipped with the practical skills you need to forge a career as an economist in the public, private or third sector, or other related professions.

    Why study this course?

    • Variety, choice and flexibility - this course allows you to specialise in your area of interest, building from a broad grounding in economic theory and analysis, and guiding you through the pathway of your choice.
    • Placement opportunities - this degree comes with the opportunity to do a year-long, paid work placement with a leading employer in your second year.
    • Excellent career prospects - 94% of economics students who graduated in 2020 were in employment or further study 15 months after leaving university (2020-21 Graduate Outcomes Survey, UK undergraduates).
    A group of undergraduate students working together - image

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Our degrees are structured around two pathways that allow you the flexibility to explore the methodological and applied approaches to economics. Throughout your levels of study, these pathways will help guide you through your learning so that you can develop your skills and knowledge and specialise in your chosen pathway in your final year.

    Applied pathway

    These modules provide you with the skills to analyse the economic issues that you're most interested in, whether related to individuals, firms or governments, using the methodological tools you have learned throughout your degree programme.

    Methodological pathway

    These modules will train you in theoretical, mathematical and statistical methods and you will learn how to to use these tools to analyse economics issues. In your final year, you will have the option to specialise in this methodological pathway and change your degree to BSc Economics.

    Title: BA Economics course structure
    UCAS code: L100
    Years: 2022, 2023, 2024
    First year

    Methodological pathway:

    Economic Analysis and Policy

    This is a compulsory module for all single and dual honours students in Economics. The module provides students with an introduction to microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis together with examples of their application in order to develop students' understanding of the roles of both in economic policy making.

    40 credits
    Statistical Methods for Economics

    The aims of the module are: 1. To introduce statistical methods and provide an insight into their uses in economics. 2. to demonstrate application of a range of statistical techniques to economic problems. Topics include collection and presentation of data, descriptive statistics, probability and applications, statistical inference, correlation and regression.

    20 credits

    Plus one from:

    Mathematical Methods for Economics 1

    The aims of this module are: 1. To give an insight into the importance of mathematical methods in economic analysis. 2. To introduce a range of mathematical techniques. 3. To give an understanding of how and when to apply the techniques. The module will include revision of basic concepts, algebra, equations, exponential and logarithmic functions, differential calculus, optimisation, geometry

    20 credits
    Mathematical Methods for Economics 2

    The aims of this module are to introduce mathematical skills that are essential for problem solving in economics and used throughout the degree programme. The module will provide an insight into the importance of mathematical methods in economics, and to study the key mathematical concepts widely applied in modern economics.

    20 credits

    Optional modules:

    Classical and Contemporary Thinkers in Economics

    This module introduces students to a range of classical and contemporary economists, including the founders of the discipline and some Nobel Prize winners, past and present. For each economist, a senior member of the department will give a short biography, outline their contributions to the discipline of economics and the development of the subject, and explain how they have influenced their own thinking and research that is undertaken in economics today. Examples of the contribution of these economists to a range of economic issues will be used to illustrate the continuing relevance and application of their ideas.

    20 credits
    Economic History of Britain and the Modern World

    This module provides an introduction to the economic history of Britain and the evolution of the global economy in the context of modern theories of economic growth and development and present-day debates about poverty, inequality and North-South relations.

    20 credits
    Introductory Finance for Economics

    This module introduces students to the financing and investment decisions that financial managers make, and the financial market context in which those decisions are made. Its aim is to provide a solid grounding in the basic concepts of finance for economists, focusing in particular on theoretical analysis and problem solving.

    20 credits

    Plus a limited number of level one modules from outside the Department of Economics.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    We provide students with a varied and interactive learning experience. You'll learn by attending lectures and seminars, interactive workshops, tutorials and computer labs. We also incorporate online resources into our teaching, such as online videos, to enhance your studies.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Assessment

    This degree is primarily exam-based, however you'll also be assessed by written coursework, computer-based assignments, research projects, presentations and reports to assess the range of knowledge and skills that an economist needs.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    ABB + B in a relevant EPQ (relevant research topics include Economics, Statistics, Maths or Business); ABB + A in Core Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    34
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in a relevant subject
    BTEC Diploma
    DD + A at A Level
    Scottish Highers
    AAAAB
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction and 9 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Native language A Levels can be accepted if taken alongside an acceptable A Level subject

    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    ABB + B in a relevant EPQ (relevant research topics include Economics, Statistics, Maths or Business); ABB + A in Core Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    33
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in a relevant subject
    BTEC Diploma
    DD + B at A Level
    Scottish Highers
    AAABB
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AB
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Native language A Levels can be accepted if taken alongside an acceptable A Level subject

    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course, we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Graduate careers

    Skills for employment

    Employment skills and personal development are embedded throughout our curriculum. All students receive employability sessions in their first year, where you will learn about finding placements or internships, and what jobs you can do with an economics degree.

    Our courses have a strong emphasis on data analysis from year one, where you will learn to analyse real data using software including Excel and Stata. You’ll gain independent research skills that are highly valued by employers in your final year dissertation or Economics in Action module. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in the Sheffield Economics Employability Development (SEED) scheme which is a series of careers events and opportunities to develop your skills for employment. 

    Department of Economics

    Some of our graduates become professional economists in government, industry or the City. Others enter related professions - banking, ‭insurance, accountancy, sales and marketing, and ‭retail management.

    Recent graduates are now working for the Bank of England, HM Treasury, the European Parliament, PwC, Deloitte, IBM and Rolls Royce. Some prefer to advance their knowledge by studying economics at postgraduate level.

    Department of Economics

    94% of economics students who graduated in 2020 were in employment or further study 15 months after leaving university

    2020-21 Graduate Outcomes Survey, UK undergraduates

    We have an international reputation for practical and real-world economics.

    You'll be taught by some of the top economic experts in their field and you'll receive the latest cutting-edge teaching from people who care passionately about their subject.

    Our staff advise government departments in the UK such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education, as well as advisory bodies such as the Low Pay Commission. Their research helps shape government policies and aims to improve people's lives. This research also informs what you will be taught in your modules.

    The Department of Economics is based in Elmfield building, close to The Wave, the new home for the Faculty of Social Sciences. The Wave features state-of-the-art collaborative lecture theatres, study spaces and seminar rooms.

    Teaching may take place in Elmfield, The Wave, or in other buildings across campus, many of which are close together so it’s easy to walk between them and it’s a great way to get to know the city. You will also be close to our Students' Union and central libraries.

    Facilities

    Our state-of-the-art classrooms are in the same building as our staff offices. You'll also have your own social space with computer access.

    Department of Economics

    University rankings

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      University of the Year and best for Student Life 
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2024

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2024, 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Placements and study abroad

    Placements

    You may have the opportunity to add an optional placement year as part of your course, converting the three year course to a four-year Degree with Placement Year. 

    A placement year will help you to:

    • gain an insight into possible careers
    • develop a range of transferable skills
    • build a professional network
    • get a feel for what you do and don’t like doing
    • add valuable work experience to your CV
    • gain experience of applying for jobs and interview practice
    • apply elements of academic learning in the workplace

    Recent placements have been with the Bank of England, Lloyds Bank, IBM, ASOS and Mercedes-Benz.

    Study abroad 

    Spending time abroad during your degree is a great way to explore different cultures, gain a new perspective and experience a life-changing opportunity that you will never forget.

    You can apply to extend this course with a year abroad, usually studying abroad between the second and third year at Sheffield. Or you can apply to replace a semester or year of your time at Sheffield with a period abroad without adding additional length to your course.

    We have over 250 University partners worldwide. Popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Find out more on the Global Opportunities website.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2025-2026

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    Our BA programme provides you with a broad understanding of economics, and exposes you to a wide range of specialist economics areas. As you progress through your degree, your focus will be on the application of economics to real-world problems.

    No No