BSc Philosophy and Economics

UCAS code: LV15

Programme requirement:
 A level Mathematics at grade A or International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 6 in Higher level Mathematics

Usual standard offer:
A level: A A A, to include Mathematics

International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level (to include Mathematics)

Other qualifications are considered

For further details, see

Applications 2015:

First year students 2015:


This joint degree allows you to study some of the central questions of philosophy alongside core courses in economics. The course 'Philosophy of Economics' links the two subjects.

First year:

(* half unit)

Second year:

Third year:

  • Philosophy of Economics
  • Either an approved course taught outside the Departments of Philosophy and Economics or an approved economics or philosophy option
  • An approved economics option
  • An approved philosophy option

Please note that not every course is available each year and that some courses may only be available with the permission of the course convenor and/or may be subject to space.

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 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 exceptional circumstances or events outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses or programmes of study and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. 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 page.

Programme details

First year

In your first year, you take a compulsory course in economics and a compulsory course in philosophy. 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. Reason, Knowledge and Values provides a critical introduction to some central problems and classic texts of philosophy. This course includes a supplementary five-week Philosophy and Argumentative Writing seminar, which gives intensive training in writing skills. You then take either Quantitative Methods (Mathematics), which provides you with the basic mathematical knowledge required for core economics courses, jointly with Quantitative Methods (Statistics), which develops the elementary statistical tools necessary for further study in economics with an emphasis on the applicability of these methods; or you will take Mathematical Methods, an introductory-level course for those who wish to use mathematics extensively in social science, and Elementary Statistical Theory, which provides a precise treatment of introductory probability theory, statistical ideas, methods and techniques.

If you take the two Quantitative Methods half units, then you complete your first year by taking either Logic, which introduces the basic system of modern formal logic, including propositional logic, predicate logic and the theory of identity, or the more demanding Formal Methods of Philosophical Argumentation, which combines logic with probability theory and makes these formal methods relevant to argumentation analysis and the study of scientific reasoning. If you take the full units of mathematics and statistics, then you take Formal Methods of Philosophical Argumentation in the second year. Along with all LSE students, you take LSE100 (which commences in the Lent term): an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to fundamental elements involved in thinking like a social scientist.

Second and third years

In the second year, you take either Formal Methods of Philosophical Argumentation (if this course or Logic has not been taken in the first year) or an approved philosophy option. You then have the choice of either Microeconomic Principles I, which studies the economic behaviour of individuals and firms, or Microeconomic Principles II, which studies the same topics employing more formal methods. You also take Macroeconomic Principles, which examines economic growth, consumption, investment, unemployment, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, financial markets and international macroeconomics. Finally, you also choose an approved philosophy option. LSE100 continues in the Michaelmas term.

In the third year, you take Philosophy of Economics, which covers topics in the philosophical and economic analysis of public policy, including fair distribution, cost-benefit analysis, individual rights, and the moral limits of markets. It also addresses questions about the methodology of economics and its status as a science. 

Finally, you choose one approved economics option and one approved philosophy option and one further approved optional course taught anywhere in the LSE.