BSc Geography with Economics

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • UCAS code L7L1
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Economic activity is highly geographically uneven, with significant consequences for human development and environmental quality. This makes it vital to understand the forces driving social, political, environmental and economic change. The BSc in Geography with Economics at LSE provides students with the analytical tools needed to do this.

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 sector, 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, which will allow you to apply your knowledge to a topic of your choosing.

Watch a video about the BSc Geography with Economics programme

Programme details

Key facts

BSc Geography with Economics
Academic year (20120/21) 28 September 2020 to 18 June 2021
Application deadline 15 January 2020
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2018 128/74/22
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 A, with A in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 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 Mathematics at grade A or International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 6 at 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.

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 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 an A in Mathematics (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 7 6 6 at Higher level, including 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 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.

Find out more about subject combinations.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

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

- strong mathematical ability and quantitative skills
- an interest in contemporary geographical problems and their alleviation
- an ability to evaluate and challenge conventional views
- an ability to follow complex lines of reasoning and analyse data
- an 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 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.

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. You have the choice of undertaking an independent research project in your final year. Fieldwork is an important component of the programme and there is the option of an overseas fieldtrip as part of the second-year course Field Methods in Geography and Environment (see Fees and Funding section for details of costs).

First year

You will take methodology courses, a geography course, and an economics course. (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 also choose one course from a choice of three. You will also take LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

(* denotes a half unit course)

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.

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 
This course provides students with an introduction to Geography at LSE, including human, economic and environmental geography.

Contemporary Europe
Introduces students to some of the most important economic, social, and political challenges Europe faces.
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.
London's Geographies
Addresses class, ethnicity and other matters by focusing on the intersection of people and place in London.

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. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Second year

In your second year, you take a range of compulsory courses in geography, a compulsory course in microeconomics and choose further geography and environment options to the value of one unit. You will also continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Microeconomic Principles I
An intermediate course which provides the foundations of microeconomic analysis.

The Economic Geography of Trade, Production and Development*
Draws on ideas from international trade, international economics, development and regional economics to examine location and spatial analysis. 

The Economics of Cities*
Focuses on urban economics, addressing the spatial form of cities and the division of national economic activity into cities. 

Quantitative Methods in Geography*
Provides students with an introduction to quantitative methods for geographical analysis, specifically regression analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). 

Field Methods in Geography and Environment*
Examines methods used in field-based geographical research, and helps prepare students to undertake individual research projects.

Geography and environment courses to the value of one unit

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. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Third year

In the third year you take two compulsory half-unit courses in geography. You will then choose from a range of geography and economics options to the total value of three units, of which a maximum of two units can be from economics.

Firms and Economic Geography: Location, Technology and Innovation*
Develops theoretical and empirical understanding of spatial economic processes in order to study and evaluate a wide range of issues and policies. 

The Economics of Housing Markets and Migration* 
Course analyses how decisions made by individuals influence the distribution of economic activities across space. 

Geography and/or economics courses to the value of three units

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page

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 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 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 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 mentor 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. 


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose and J Tomaney Local and Regional Development (Routledge 2016)

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

E Moretti The new geography of jobs (Mariner, 2013)

O'Sullivan, Urban Economics (Irwin/MacGraw-Hill, 2012)

A number of academic staff have spoken at public lectures – these are available to listen again as podcasts, for example Professor Henry Overman, Professor Steve Gibbons and Professor Michael Storper.


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)

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

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

It is 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 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


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

Ajay Shah

BSc Geography with Economics, 2017
London, UK


Why did you choose the course / LSE? To be honest, when I was looking at universities I went through the league tables and saw that LSE was near the top overall, and at the top for Geography. Given that I had a keen interest in Geography, it made sense to apply. I chose to do Geography with Economics because I felt that this would be more varied and also diversify myself for the future. At the open day, everyone was really friendly and I enjoyed the ‘sample’ lecture that was given, this is the point that really cemented my desire to study at LSE. 

What has been the highlight of your LSE experience? I strongly believe that 90% of what you learn at university is outside of the classroom. Sure, you have your lectures, classes and readings; but you are also learning independence and seeing what university has to offer. For me, this was the Hindu Society - being on committee for 2 years and President for one of those has definitely been my highlight, as it has given me a platform to meet new people, learn new skills and organise events I never thought I would have been capable of organising before university. 

How are you planning to use your degree for your future career? I plan to go into Technology Consulting and have a job lined up with Deloitte Digital. I think Geography has expanded my skills in reading analytically and concisely as well as writing. I think in terms of the degree contents, it is difficult to know for sure exactly how I will use this. I believe that my knowledge of the world has improved as a result of the extremely varied course and readings on offer at LSE, and I hope that this will prove useful in dealing with different consulting projects at Deloitte. 

Sum up your experience in 3 words: Independence, decisions, opportunity.

Eden Dwek

BSc Geography with Economics
Analyst, KPMG

Watch Eden's video

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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