Programmes

BSc Geography with Economics

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • UCAS code L7L1
  • Starting 2017

As we attempt to improve human welfare and environmental quality, it is vital that we have a good understanding of the social, political and economic forces which shape development and social change in our interdependent world. To this end, geography at LSE focuses on improving understanding of the social, economic and environmental aspects of geography and informing policy processes worldwide.

This programme combines the two complementary fields of geography and economics. It offers the analytical rigour of economics, and applies this to real-life examples in human geography. This is a major/minor programme, with around 75 per cent of this programme in geography, and the remaining 25 per cent in economics.

Teaching on the programme is informed by the latest research in the field, and academic staff work with policy makers, the third sectors, as well as big business, to apply academic insights to real-world processes. In your third year, you can choose to undertake an independent research project in the final year, which will allow you to apply your knowledge to a small research exercise in your own chosen field of interest. 

Programme details

Key facts

BSc Geography with Economics
Start date 21 September 2017
Application deadline 15 January 2017
Duration Three years full-time
Applications 2016 135
First year students 2016 23
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 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. You have the choice of undertaking an independent research project in your final year. You can choose to take courses which include fieldwork, and in this case, you should expect to pay a fee to contribute to the costs of fieldwork (see BA Geography).

(* denotes a half unit course) 

First year

Your first year combines core courses in human geography, economics and mathematics/statistics with options in European geography, research methods or environmental change. In addition, you will take LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only.
You will take Economics A or Economics B, depending on your economics background. Economics B is only for students with A level Economics or equivalent. 
You will choose either Quantitative Methods (Statistics) or Quantitative Methods (Mathematics).
You will choose one course from a choice of four. 

(* denotes a half unit)

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

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

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

Introduction to Geography 
Examines the key concepts of human geography.

Either
Introduction to Geographical Research
Introduces a range of qualitative and quantitative research approaches and methods used in the construction of contemporary knowledge related to human geography and the environment.
Or
Contemporary Europe
Provides an introduction to society, economy and polity of contemporary Europe. 
Or
Environmental Change: Past, Present and Future
Focuses on developing an appreciation of the Planet Earth as the home of human societies.
Or
Sustainable Development
Seeks to understand how the natural world is affected by development decisions.

LSE100
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.

Second year

In your second year, you take one compulsory course in geography, a compulsory course in microeconomics and two from a range of geography and environment options. You will also continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. 

Microeconomic Principles I
An intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.

Urban and Spatial Economic Analysis I
Provides a theoretical and empirical understanding of spatial economic processes and how these influence the behaviour of firms and households and the wider economy. 

Two geography and environment options

LSE100
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 take a compulsory course in geography. You will either take an economics or a geography research techniques, or another geography course, depending on your course choice in the second year. You will then choose two further geography and economics options. 

Urban and Spatial Economic Analysis II
Develops a theoretical and empirical understanding of spatial economic processes. You also choose two options from a list of geography and environment or economics courses. 

Either
Macroeconomic Principles
An intermediate course in macroeconomic analysis.
Or
Research Techniques (Spatial, Social and Environmental Analysis)
Aims to prepare second year students, who already have some grounding in social science methodology, to undertake individual research projects.
Or
Another geography option from an approved list

Two geography and environment or economics options

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

Teaching

For each course you will have a combination of lectures and classes (12 to 15 hours per week in the first year). 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 lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Lectures are given by academic staff while classes are 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 fieldwork, some of which may be abroad. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will have an academic adviser who will meet you at regular intervals to discuss your progress and concerns and help you to 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. 

Assessment

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 for most courses is at the end of the academic year. Courses usually have a three-hour examination plus an extended essay (or practical work for methods courses), although assessment methods vary. 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

Geography

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

P Cheshire, M Nathan and H Overman Urban Economics and Urban Policy: challenging conventional policy wisdom (Edward Elgar, 2014)

P Cloke, P Crang and M Goodwin (Eds) Introducing Human Geographies (3rd edition, Hodder Arnold, 2013)

P Daniels, M Bradshaw, P Shaw and J Sidaway (Eds) Human Geography: issues for the 21st century (Prentice Hall, 2008)

P Dicken Global Shift: mapping the changing contours of the world economy (Sage Publications, 2015)

R Flowerdew and D Martin Methods in Human Geography (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005)

E Glaeser Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011)

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

A Jones Human Geography: the basics (Routledge, 2012)

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

P L Knox and S A Marston Places and Regions in Global Context (Pearson, 2009)

W Murray Geographies of Globalization (Routledge, 2006)

W Oates (Ed) The RFF Reader in Environmental and Resources Management (Resources for the Future, 2006)

D Perrons Globalisation and Social Change: people and places in a divided world (Routledge, 2004)

A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose and J Tomaney Local and Regional Development (Routledge 2006)

A Rodríguez-Pose The European Union: economy, society and policy (Oxford University Press, 2002)

M Storper Keys to the City: how economics, institutions, social interaction and politics shape development (Princeton University Press, 2013)

Economics

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 HarfordThe 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 you can listen to a podcast of these authors speaking in the Old Theatre, along with 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)

Careers

Recent graduates from this programme have gone on to work in the areas of financial services, planning, consultancy, administration, marketing, development, teaching and further study. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Preeya Sud

BSc Geography with Economics, 2008
Assistant Brand Manager, Procter and Gamble

Preeya-Sud170x230

I wanted a career where I would have real responsibility every day and which would mix the elements of my degree which I loved the most – analytical problem solving along with creativity and research. During my time at LSE I learned to cope with pressure, which is really helpful in my job today, where organisation and prioritisation are key. I also learnt to be proactive and to marry my numerical skills with clear, concise communication.

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

Jonathan Tang

BSc Geography with Economics
London, UK

Jonathan-Tang170x230

My choice of subjects led me to choose LSE, as it was one of the few institutions that offered the interdisciplinary degree of Geography with Economics. Its world class reputation and the opportunity to learn from leading academic couple with its location in the heart of London made LSE more attractive than anywhere else.

 

Eden Dwek

BSc Geography with Economics
Analyst, KPMG

Watch Eden's video

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 Geography with Economics

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, including Mathematics (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 7 6 6 at Higher level, with a minimum of 6 at Higher level Mathematics).

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 Geography with 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.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

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

- strong mathematical ability and quantitative skills
- an interest in contemporary geographical problems and their alleviation
- 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 each subject

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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