Learn how to approach the world’s problems as an economist with our BSc Economics degree.
This three-year course will enable you to tackle a diverse range of economic issues and problems. You will acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding that are required to become an economist or use economics as a major aspect of your career. You will also work extensively with data and learn how to apply theory and models to analyse real-world issues.
- We also offer a BA Economics degree at the University of Reading, which covers an even wider range of economic markets and social policy issues but focuses less on techniques for working with data.
Choose economics at the University of Reading
- Established for more than 50 years.
- 100% of our research impact has been classed ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ (REF 2021, combining 4* and 3* submissions – Business and Management Studies, and Anthropology and Development Studies).
- We are ranked in the top 200 universities in the world for Economics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).
Our BSc programme will help you analyse what's happening in the world: how do economies grow, what can be done to manage business cycles, is a 5-day week really necessary and so on. You will analyse these using a range of theories and methods including the theory of games and strategic interactions, natural and behavioural experiments. Your degree will help you to understand and make predictions about individual and collective economic behaviour.
Your core modules will cover a range of topics, including:
- Statistical and Econometric Methods
- Mathematics for Economists
- Economic Theory
- Behavioural Economics.
In computer lab sessions, you will learn how to work with specialist software that professional economists commonly use in business, government bodies, and research organisations.
Optional modules will bring your studies to life and relate to what is happening outside of the classroom, with interactive modules such as:
- Development Economics, understanding of the causes and consequences of underdevelopment and the policies that help bring people out of poverty.
- Economics of Banking, exploring the weaknesses in the banking sector, the strategies adopted by banks to address risks, and the rationale for government intervention in the financial sector and banking regulation.
- Economics of Sport and Games, studying how the competitive and controlled environments within sport can provide laboratories to study human behaviour, to test theories, and to observe the impacts of policy.
Your learning environment
Our research in the Department of Economics 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 econometrics to understand what drives people's economic behaviour
What you study throughout your degree will be aligned with our research clusters, keeping you up to date with the latest developments in economics. This learning is complemented by guest speakers from outside the University and the student-led Economics Society.
Popular optional modules on the BSc Economics programme include:
As well as 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 will support your learning in several ways:
- Economics Surgeries offer one-to-one appointments with staff allowing you to discuss the topics you've studied and get help with specific study skills.
- Economics Conversations provide the opportunity for you to discuss an economic issue in the news with staff and other students from across the department in a relaxed, informal setting.
- The Economics Society is a student-led body that you can get involved in. It arranges social events for students, careers-focused events as well as lectures and discussions with economists on a range of topical matters, such as the economics of health and feminism.
Work placements with BSc Economics
Enhance your employability and build your network by applying for work placements during your degree.
If you are interested in doing a year-long placement, you can opt for our four-year BSc Economics with a Placement Year degree, which includes an integrated professional placement between your second and third years.
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
- HP Enterprise
- Johnson & Johnson
- NHS England
- the Government Economic Service (including the Treasury, the Office for National Statistics, and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office).
As part of your degree, you can apply to study for a year or term abroad at one of our partner universities in Australia, Canada, the USA, or across Europe.
Visit our Study Abroad website for more information.