BSc Economics with Economic History

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Economics
  • UCAS code L1V3
  • Starting 2017

Economic history is concerned with economic change in the past. It uses concepts and theories from across the social sciences to examine important global issues such as the economic and social effects of wars, the importance of education and human capital in economic change, and the history of economic development in the third world. Meanwhile, economics takes an open-minded and scientific approach to consider broad-ranging real world issues, from barriers to economic development to international financial crises. It considers questions such as why, as economies grow richer, are people often not any happier?

This programme combines the two complementary fields of economic history and economics in a major/minor format, with around 75 per cent of this programme in economics, and the remaining 25 per cent in economic history.

Economics at LSE is mathematically rigorous, and you should have aptitude for and enjoyment of mathematics, along with a strong analytical ability. This programme will provide you with a thorough grounding in the analytical methods of economics and you will then learn to apply these methods to a diverse range of problems. You will also learn to analyse and construct complex arguments and communicate these effectively.

Programme details

Key facts

 BSc Economics with Economic History
Start date 21 September 2017
Application deadline 15 January 2017
Duration Three years full-time
Applications 2016 63
First year students 2016 1
Availability Closed
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas fee: £18,408 for the first year
Usual standard offer A level: grades A* A A, with A* in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level, including 7 in Mathematics
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required
Location  Houghton Street, London 

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100.

First year

In the first year of the programme, you will gain an essential foundation in economics and will learn the necessary quantitative skills. You will take introductory courses in economic history, economics, mathematics, and statistics, as well as LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only. You will take either Economics A or Economics B, depending on your economics background. Economics B is only for students with A level Economics or equivalent.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Mathematical Methods
An introductory-level "how to do it" course designed to prepare you for using mathematics seriously in the social sciences, or any other context.

The Internationalisation of Economic Growth, 1870 to the Present Day
Focuses on the inter-relationships between the development of the international economy and the growth of national economies since the late nineteenth century.

Elementary Statistical Theory
This is a theoretical statistics course which is appropriate whether or not your A level Mathematics course included statistics. It forms the basis for later statistics options. 

Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Economics A
Provides a foundation in economics, primarily to those without significant background in the subject.
Economics B
An introductory course in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Second year

The second year concentrates on building a firm grasp of core analytical methods in economics and applying them to a range of problems. You will choose either Microeconomic Principles I or Microeconomic Principles II, and will continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. You will also take one further compulsory course in each of economics and economic history, and will chose one further economic history course.

Microeconomic Principles I
This is an intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.
Microeconomic Principles II
This is an intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.

Macroeconomic Principles
An intermediate course in macroeconomic analysis

Theories and Evidence in Economic History
Examines theories and concepts used in economic history and introduces the methods used to collect evidence and generate inference on relevant historical questions.

One economic history option

Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Third year

In the third year you study two economics options, one economic history option, and have the choice of taking either a further outside option, or an economic history dissertation.

Two economics options

One economic history option

One outside option
Economic history dissertation

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment


You will have around 12 hours of lectures and classes each week, as well as LSE100 teaching. In addition, we recommend that students do six hours of independent study per week for each course. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

Classes in groups of around 15 students are the main form of interaction with teachers. Lectures are delivered by academic staff, while most classes are taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants, who include many of our experienced PhD students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will have an academic adviser who is available to offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns on an individual basis. There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 


All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment is through examinations in the first week of January and/or May-June each year. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

If you would like to gain further insight into what economists study, we suggest looking at one or more of the following popular books or others like them:

A V Banerjee and E Duflo Poor Economics: barefoot hedge-fund managers, DIY doctors and the surprising truth about life on less than $1 a day (Penguin, 2012)

D Coyle GDP: a brief but affectionate history (Princeton University Press, 2014)

T Harford The Undercover Economist (Abacus, 2007) and 

T Harford The Logic of Life (Little Brown, 2009)

P Krugman End This Depression Now! (W W Norton, 2012)

S D Levitt and S J Dubner Freakonomics (Penguin, 2007)

S D Levitt and S J Dubner Superfreakonomics(Penguin, 2010)

Some of these books were launched at the LSE. Listen to the podcasts of these launches (and many other talks).

It is also a very good idea to have a look at one or more economics textbooks, to have a clear idea of what the serious university study of the subject involves, which will differ from these popular presentations. Although the texts and editions listed below are currently recommended for the first year, other editions of these books and other university-level textbooks are also entirely valid for this first investigation.

N G Mankiw Macroeconomics (7th edition, Worth Publishers, 2010)

W Morgan, M L Katz and H Rosen Microeconomics (2nd edition, McGraw-Hill, 2009)


This degree provides an excellent preparation for a range of careers, but we particularly welcome students who want to learn about economics, rather than simply prepare themselves for a prosperous future.

Over the past two decades many of our graduates have chosen to pursue careers in the financial sector, which can include positions involving economics research as well as those in banking or hedge funds. Increasingly, many have also preferred to take up positions as economic or management consultants, to join central banks, their home country’s government economic service or international organisations. Some graduates from the programme pursue quite different careers, whether as professional accountants and auditors, engaging in entrepreneurial activity, marketing or law, or in entirely different fields.

A significant number choose to go on to graduate study, not just in economics but also in finance, management, development, economic history and other fields. Throughout their time at LSE we work to prepare our students who are aiming in this direction to understand the rewards of engaging in economics research and the benefits of interacting with faculty and visitors who are leading economists.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Demas Koh

BSc Economics with Economic History, 2016


Studying economics at LSE was rewarding, it was a rigorous learning process that constantly challenged me to understand our world economy. My professors and teachers helped me develop a good sense of economic intuition. Moreover, studying economic history as a minor subject was an excellent complement to economics. In particular, I found the use of econometric methods to re-examine economic histories fascinating and illuminating.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Economics with Economic History

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A* A A in their A levels, with an A* in Mathematics (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 7 6 6 in Higher level subjects, with 7 in Mathematics). Please also see subject combinations regarding Further Mathematics requirements.

Applicants should also have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A and A*, or equivalent. Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B. We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A levels or equivalent in these subjects.

For the BSc Economics with Economic History we are looking for students with a strong mathematical ability, and A level Mathematics or equivalent is therefore required.

Further Mathematics at A level is also desirable, but as a fourth subject only. It is acceptable to take it to AS level only, in which case you will be required to achieve grade A. If you take four or more full A levels, you will be expected to achieve A* A A (with A* in Mathematics), and a pass in the fourth A level. We understand however that not everyone has the opportunity to follow a Further Mathematics programme, and you will not be disadvantaged because of this. Therefore it is helpful if you and/or your referees can indicate whether or not your school or college offers Further Mathematics classes. 

In addition to Mathematics, we are looking for subject combinations which indicate that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Subjects which appear as common post-16 choices are Economics;; Physics; History; Chemistry; English and Government and Politics.

Although many students on the programme have studied A Level Economics or equivalent it is not required.

Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should also be no lower than B. We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following skills:

- ability to apply logic
- quantitative aptitude and the ability to follow complex lines of mathematical reasoning
- ability to be creative and flexible in approaching problems
- ability to think independently and ask questions
- good communication skills
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work
- a proportionate interest in each subject area

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2017/18

UK/EU* students: £9,250 for the first year (provisional pending final approval by Parliament)
Overseas students £18,408 for the first year

UK/EU undergraduate fees may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years and the overseas fee usually rises by between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent each year.

*The UK Government confirmed in October 2016 that the fee level listed for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2017/18 will be the same as Home UK for the subsequent years of their undergraduate degree programme.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education. 

Further information about fee status classification
Further information about tuition fees

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students.

Find out more about tuition fee loans.

Key Information Set

From September 2012, every undergraduate programme of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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