BSc Environmental Policy with Economics

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • UCAS code F9L1
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Open from September
  • Overseas full-time: Open from September
  • Location: London

Increasingly, employers in environmental issues require graduates with economics training to understand and tackle environmental issues. This programme combines these two complementary fields, providing you with rigorous economics training as well as environmental social science learning. This is a major/minor programme, with around 75 per cent of this programme in environment, and the remaining 25 per cent in economics.

Many staff members from the Department are directly engaged with policy debates, sitting on government panels or being contracted to do analysis for different policy issues. You’ll learn not just academic theory, but why policies issues matter and why they’re relevant. You’re also able to see first-hand the impact LSE research has on the real world.

You will acquire a broad range of social scientific skills and knowledge with which to tackle and understand environmental problems. In the second and third year of the programme you will be able to choose from a range of options, including an international field-course, tailoring your studies to your areas of interest.

Watch a video about the BSc Environmental Policy with Economics programme

Programme details

Key facts

 BSc Environmental Policy with Economics
Academic year (2020/21) 28 September 2020 - 18 June 2021
Application deadline 15 January 2020
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2018 91/22/9
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year
Overseas fee: £21,570 per year
Usual standard offer

A-level: grades A A B, with A in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 37 points including 6 6 6 at Higher level, including Mathematics

Please see the ‘Assessing your application’ section below for detailed information and guidance on entry requirements.

Programme requirement A-level in Mathematics at grade A or International Baccalaureate Diploma with Higher level Mathematics
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required

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. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review

The programme is designed to develop core knowledge and skills, while also allowing students to follow particular interests in environmental policy-making and economics. The first year will provide you with a grounding in environmental change and sustainable development, combined with appropriate training in economics and mathematical methods. From the second year you will be able to choose between some optional courses, and you will have the opportunity to undertake your own individual research project in the final year.

There is the option of a fieldtrip (normally overseas) as part of the second-year course Field Methods in Geography and Environment (see Fees and Funding section for details of costs). You will also have the opportunity to undertake your own individual research project in the final year.

First year

In the first year of the programme, you take courses which deal with issues of environmental change and sustainable development. You will also take Economics A or Economics B, depending on your economics background. Economics B is only for students with A level Economics or equivalent. Additionally, you will take two half unit quantitative methods courses, and LSE100.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Environmental Change: Past, Present and Future
Explores the forces responsible for our dynamic environment and the changes that shape all life on Earth, our species, and society.

Sustainable Development
Examines how the natural world is affected by development decisions and how these decisions shape human development across geographical regions and socioeconomic groups.

Quantitative Methods (Mathematics)*
Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) develops the basic mathematical tools necessary for further study in economics and related disciplines.

Quantitative Methods (Statistics)*
Quantitative Methods (Statistics) develops elementary statistical tools necessary for further study in management and economics.

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

In the second year, you take two compulsory environmental courses, an economics course, and course/s to the value of one unit from an approved list, including options outside of the Department. You will continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. 

Environment: Science and Society
Examines debates concerning the nature, cause, and effects of, and alternative solutions to, the key natural environmental degradation and pollution problems faced by human societies.

Applied Environmental Economics
An introduction to the use of economic principles in the analysis of environmental change and natural resource use and in designing appropriate policy responses.

Microeconomic Principles I
An intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.

One course from second year approved 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.

Third year

In the third year, you will choose courses to the value of two units from a range of geography and environment options. You will also take courses to the value of two units from a list of approved economics and further geography options, one unit of which may be a dissertation.

Geography options to the value of two units

Options to the value of two units from geography and/or economics from a list

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


For each course you will have a combination of lectures, seminars and classes totalling 12 to 15 hours per week. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors and LSE Fellows. Lectures are normally given by academic staff while classes are normally undertaken by PhD students or LSE Fellows. Courses which focus on spatial analysis and research techniques have practical work. You will also be involved in field visits, usually in your first year. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will have an academic mentor to help you gain the most from your studies. 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. Most full units are assessed through coursework and/or summer term exams. Michaelmas term half units are mostly (but not exclusively) assessed through coursework. Lent term half units are mostly assessed through either coursework or summer term exams. Note, assessment methods vary by course, and therefore the above is only indicative. Information about 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. Feedback on formative tasks will normally be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission deadline, where students submit their work on time. You will also receive feedback on summative coursework: for assessments set during Michaelmas or Lent Term, individual feedback will normally be provided within 4 weeks of the date of submission; for dissertations, you will normally receive feedback within 4 weeks of the beginning of the following term (School holidays excluded).

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods


Preliminary reading


N Castree Making Sense of Nature (Routledge, 2013).

S Chant and C McIlwaine Geographies of Development in the 21st Century: an introduction to the Global South (Edward Elgar, 2009)

J Elliot An Introduction to Sustainable Development (4th edition, Routledge, 2012)

J P Evans Environmental Governance (Routledge, 2012)

A S Goudie The Human Impact on the Natural World: past, present and future (7th edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) 

N Klein This Changes Everything: capitalism vs. the climate (Simon & Schuster, 2014)

D Pearce and B Barbier Blueprint for a Sustainable Economy (Earthscan, 2000)

D Simpson, M Toman and R U Ayres Scarcity and Growth Revisited (Resources for the Future, 2005)

M Whitehead Environmental Transformations: a geography of the anthropocene (Routledge, 2014)


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)

T Harford The Undercover Economist (Abacus, 2007)

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)

The UK launch of these books was held at LSE and there are podcasts of these authors speaking in the Old Theatre. Listen to the podcasts of these and 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)


Recent graduates have gone on to work in all areas of environmental policy and economics at the local, national and international level, whether in the public sector for government departments and agencies, in the private sector for industry and environmental/management consultancies, or in the NGO sector for pressure groups and think tanks. A number of recent graduates have also gone on to further study at graduate level. 

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

James Foley

BSc Environmental Policy with Economics
London, UK


A degree in environmental policy is a degree in the issues of the present and the future. When you consider the topical issues on the new on any given day, a great number of them fall within the realm of the environment or economics. I was looking to diversify my study in a way that linked the two disciplines, and LSE offered it with its unique combination of the policy side of the environment and a traditional economics degree.

Petra Sarapatkova

BSc Environmental Policy with Economics
Prague, Czech Republic


LSE is recognised as one of the best social science institutions in the world and is one of few universities that offer the study of environmental policy at undergraduate level. Some of the lecturers are not only experts in their field but also great charismatic presenters who have the power to stimulate and inspire, and I really appreciate that we are offered an insight into the subject matter from various different viewpoints.

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 page.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Environmental Policy with Economics

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A A B in their A-levels, with an A in Mathematics (or 37 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 6 6 6 at Higher level, with 6 in Mathematics).

Applicants should also have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9), or equivalent. Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B (or 6). 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 Environmental Policy and Economics we are looking for students with a strong mathematical ability, and A-level Mathematics or equivalent is therefore required. We are also looking for academic students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the social sciences and human behaviour. There is no one ideal subject combination, however many applicants have studied or are currently studying one or more social science subjects in the sixth form, with Geography and Economics being the most common. Other frequently offered subjects include Government and Politics, Sociology, History or a natural science. 

If you have taken Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject at A-level, this may be considered less competitive for this programme.

A-level Economics or equivalent is not required, and the first year Economics course does not assume it, however many students on the programme have studied this.

Find out more about subject combinations.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

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

- strong mathematical ability and quantitative skills
- ability and desire to contribute to the environmental debate
- desire to understand the significance and impact of policy at all levels
- ability to evaluate and challenge conventional views
- ability to follow complex lines of reasoning and analyse data
- ability to think independently and show initiative
- excellent time management skills
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work
- a proportionate interest in the environment and economics

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 above in the preliminary reading section, 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

UK/EU* students:

The 2020 tuition fee for new UK/EU students is £9,250 for the first year.

The UK/EU undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

*The UK Government confirmed in May 2019 that the fee level for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2020/21 will be the same as Home UK for the duration of their undergraduate degree programme. Further information can be found on website.

Overseas students:

The 2020 tuition fee for new overseas students is £21,570 per year.

The overseas tuition fee will remain at the same amount for each subsequent year of your full time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants in 2020 only.

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.

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, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.


Every undergraduate programme of more than one year duration will have UNISTATS data. The data allows you to compare 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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