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Explore how economic theory can be applied to key societal issues with our BA Economics degree.
This three-year course focuses on how economic tools can be applied to real-world situations and policy, and places less emphasis on mathematical and statistical content. You’ll still learn the fundamental mathematical skills in your core modules, with extensive support should you need it.
- If you’re interested in a more technical approach to economics, we also offer a BSc Economics degree at the University of Reading.
Choose economics at the University of Reading
- Established for more than 50 years.
- 100% of our research is judged to be world leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
At Reading, we explain what’s happening in the world through various economic tools – such as game theory, mathematical equations and diagrams, and natural and behavioural experiments. These models will help you understand and make predictions about economic behaviour.
You’ll study practical economic issues and examine the relationship between economics and society more widely, including:
- economic institutions and policy
- economics of social policy
- globalisation and the history of western capitalism.
Optional modules allow you to bring your studies to life, with interactive modules such as:
- Public Economics, offering you the chance to assume the role of a government adviser and write policy briefs that address public policy issues.
- Communicating Economics, run in conjunction with the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.
Your learning environment
The Department of Economics is internationally renowned, with 100% of our research judged to be world leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014). Our research has real-world applications and has informed policy decisions by governments, major multinational organisations, and agencies such as the UN and the World Bank.
At Reading, our researchers are addressing some of the key issues of the twenty-first century, such as the environmental impact of economic growth:
- Read about Dr Stefania Lovo’s research into calculating the cost of a clean environment.
Elsewhere, our innovative research into leisure and sport is providing vital economic insights:
- Dr James Reade combines his interests in sports and mathematics to understand what drives people’s economic behaviour.
The modules you’ll study throughout your degree are aligned with our research clusters, keeping you abreast of the latest developments in economics. This learning is complemented by guest speakers from outside the University.
Popular modules include:
- Economics of Labour
- Economics of Climate Change
- Public Economics
- International Economics
- Economics of Sports and Games
As well as traditional lectures, you’ll take part in small-group tutorials, enabling you to discuss and analyse both theory and practice through case studies, group presentations and open debate.
Supporting your learning
The Department of Economics can support your learning in a number of ways:
- Economics Surgeries offer one-to-one appointments with staff, allowing you to discuss the topics you’ve studied and gain any assistance you may require.
- Economics Conversations provide the opportunity for you to network with staff and students from across the department.
The Economics Society also arranges lectures and discussions with economists on a range of topical matters, such as the economics of health and feminism.
Industrial placements with BA Economics
Enhance your employability and build your network by applying for work placements during your degree.
We have a dedicated placement coordinator who can provide advice and support in your search for a placement.
Previous students from the Department of Economics have undertaken placements with:
- Bank of England
- Government Economic Service
- NHS England
If you are interested in doing a year-long placement, you can opt for our four-year BA Economics with a Placement Year degree, which includes an integrated professional placement between your second and third year.
As part of your degree, you can apply to study for a year or a term abroad at one of our partner universities in Australia, Canada, the USA, or across Europe.