Study Economics and graduate with a university degree

What causes inflation? Can unemployment be reduced? Can tax be equitable and efficient?

These are some of the questions economists try to answer. They also seek to understand issues such as: how do people decide what to buy and what job to do? How do firms decide what to produce and what to charge? What determines the profit they earn?

Due to its structure and the way it’s taught, Economics is recognised as a good source of transferable skills. Our recent graduates have embarked on a wide range of careers, including management, accountancy and banking, as well as economics itself. Surveys have regularly found Economics to be one of the top four subjects for graduate pay.

In the latest review, all aspects of our teaching had the highest rating. Many of our lecturers have an international reputation.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include Economics.

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Not available

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those students who do not meet the required criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Business, Finance, Economics and Marketing to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language skills

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

Course contact

Prof Frans de Vries University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467473

Course Director

Prof Frans de Vries

Find out more

Degree course

You will take Economics plus two other subjects in Year 1. Economics may be studied as part of a General degree or to Honours level, either on its own or in combination with other subjects (see Combined Honours Degrees list below).

You will have numerous opportunities to develop appropriate work-related skills at every stage of your studies, culminating in the Professional Development and Practice module in Semester 8 which helps you prepare for entering the workplace.

Semesters 1 - 4

You will take the following core modules:

  • Introductory Microeconomics: This module analyses how individual markets work, how prices are set, how resources are allocated in an economy and how firms and households respond to changing market conditions
  • Introductory Macroeconomics: Macroeconomics is concerned with issues relating to the economy as a whole such as the general standard of living, unemployment and inflation

You will move on to study Intermediate Micro-economics and Intermediate Macroeconomics, which build on the work done in the introductory modules. You will also take Introduction to Quantitative Techniques for Economics and Business in Semester 4.

Semesters 5 - 8

All Honours students take core advanced modules designed to develop their knowledge and understanding of the central methods of economic analysis and major policy issues.

These are:

In the final year, you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice. The remainder of the course consists of a number of options, such as: Financial Economics; Monetary Economics and Environmental Economics. Combined Honours students take the same core modules as Single Honours students but replace some of the Economics options with modules in their other subject.

View full module descriptions

Teaching and assessment

There are typically two or three lectures per week on each module. You also attend a weekly meeting in a smaller group, either a tutorial or a seminar, for each module. Your final grade for each module is based on 40 percent for coursework and 60 percent for the examination. Usually the coursework consists of two class tests and some tutorial preparation. In the first two years, a good performance in your coursework gains you exemption from the examination.

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.



Subject 1

Subject 2

Subject 3



Introductory Microeconomics (Core) Any module Any module
2 Introductory Macroeconomics (Core) Any module Any module

3 Intermediate Microeconomics (Core) Any module (a) Any module
4 Intermediate Macroeconomics (Core)

Introduction to Quantitative Techniques for Economics and Business

Any module

5 Advanced Microeconomics (Core) Using Economic Data (Core) Economics Option
6 Advanced Macroeconomics (Core) Behavioural Science for Managers (Core) Economics Option

7 Economic Policy (Core) Research Methods (Core) Economics Option
8 Dissertation (Core) Professional Development and Practice (Core) Economics Option

(a) Accounting and Finance for Managers strongly recommended

Combined degrees

Economics can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
Accountancy LN14
Business Studies LN11
Environmental Science FL91
Finance LN13
Marketing NL51
Mathematics GL11
Politics LL12
Politics/Philosophy LOV0

(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)

Related degrees

Study abroad

You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities.



The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools. 

In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.


A high standard of teaching 

Teaching provision in Economics has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and achieved the highest possible rating of ‘commendable’ in all aspects.

Many of our lecturers have an international reputation in their specialisms and are at the forefront of research. These strengths are reflected in the modules we offer and underline our commitment to quality in teaching. Strong research improves teaching quality.

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 15% of our research was rated as world-leading and a further 45% as internationally excellent, placing us in the top four Economics units of assessment in Scotland and the top 25 in the UK.

Flexible degree courses 

The Stirling degree is modular and therefore highly flexible. You are not committed to taking the course for which you applied. You do not need to commit yourself to a particular course before the end of your second year. In the third and fourth years there is a range of courses available that allow you to specialise in Economics or to combine the study of Economics with one or two other subjects. 

Useful skills 

The structure of our degrees helps to develop useful skills. Assessment is based on coursework as well as examinations. This helps to build up independent learning skills. Communication skills are developed in tutorials where students present arguments orally. Our quantitative modules develop skills in using computers and presenting statistically based arguments.

Most Honours students write a dissertation in their final year on which they work independently with a staff supervisor. A good performance can enhance career prospects as many employers and postgraduate admission selectors are particularly looking for the ability to work independently on a project.

Good information about your progress 

The Stirling system of basing grades partly on coursework marked during the semester and on awarding grades for each module taken at the end of each semester means that you are kept well-informed about your progress throughout your university career.

A degree result that fairly reflects all your work at Honours level 

In determining the class of an Honours degree, examiners take into account the grades achieved in all the modules taken in the third and fourth years. There are no final examinations covering work in earlier semesters - many students only do a dissertation in their final semester and have no exams at all at the end of their fourth year. Thus your degree result depends on a range of work done over two years, rather than solely on your performance in examinations concentrated in a few days right at the end of your university career. The rules that the Examiners use to determine the class of degree are published, so you can work out semester by semester what class of degree you are likely to get, and make adjustments to your work effort to achieve the result you want. 


94% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education, 2012/13).

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

Economics graduates are currently working around the world in countries such as: Thailand, Finland, Canada, Luxembourg, Columbia, Malaysia, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and Norway.

Economics graduates are currently helping shape the performance of the following organisations:

  • Accenture
  • BMW Group
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Universities around the world
  • Barclays Bank
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • BNP Paribas
  • Local and central government
  • Disney
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Deutsche Bank
  • John Lewis
  • IBM

Economics graduates entering work in the past two years have progressed into roles such as:

  • Debt Products Analyst, Merrill Lynch
  • Economic Analyst, Scottish Water
  • Insurance Consultant, Aviva
  • Credit Risk Analyst, Lloyds Banking Group

Graduates of Stirling’s Economics degree from five to ten years ago are now working as:

  • Personal Banker, JPMorgan Chase & Co
  • Compliance Auditor, National Lottery Commission
  • Global Transition Manager, Standard Life Investments
  • Partner (International Trade), Clydesdale Bank
  • Portfolio Manager, Bergen Energi
  • Senior Treasury Analyst, Royal Bank of Scotland

Some of our more established graduates are currently employed as:

  • Principal Research Officer, Scottish Government
  • Head of Business Transformation, AEGON Scottish Equitable
  • Investment Manager, Deutsche Bank
  • Head of Risk, Capital One (Europe) Plc
  • Senior Economist, Government Economic Service
  • Executive Director, Goldman Sachs

An Economics degree can be a solid foundation upon which to base your career and some of our graduates have use this to progress into some potentially less obvious career including: Senior Procurator Fiscal (Crown Office), Group Finance Director (Kwik-Fit Group), HR Partner (Robertson Group), Global Procurement Manager (Syngenta Crop Protection), Assistant Export Manager (British Trade International), Senior Marketing Analyst (Equifax), IT Specialist (IBM Australia), Social Workers, Teachers and Member of Parliament across the UK.

Stirling Management School’s Careers Mentoring Scheme

The Careers Mentoring Scheme is open to all 3rd and 4th year students across Stirling Management School. Mentoring is widely recognised as an effective tool for enhancing your career prospects and of ensuring informed choice. This scheme is designed to provide additional support as you progress through your studies, as well as preparing your for progression into your desired professions. Mentors are all former students of Stirling Management School who know what it is like to be unsure about future career plans. They are keen to pass on tips relating to potential careers and applying for jobs.

The benefits of the scheme include:

  • Improving your employability skills
  • Building your confidence and self-esteem when applying for jobs
  • Searching and applying for suitable jobs, writing CVs, interview skills
  • Providing an insight into the world of work and a particular industr
  • For more information, and to discover other ways in which our alumni get involved with our students, visit Getting involved

Internship – What they are and why you should consider doing one?

An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to students (or interns) over a fixed, limited period of time, which enables the student to gain practical experience. The Career Development Centre has details of internships available around the world with large private sector organisations, as well as opportunities with smaller local businesses which are promoted through both the Third Sector Internship Scheme, the Saltire Foundation, and our very own Stirling Internship Programme. As a student, you will automatically be registered onto the University’s Vacancy & Events System which means that you will receive regular updates regarding new opportunities as they become available.

Six reasons why you should consider an internship:

  1. Boost your CV and stand out from the crowd in order to have an edge in the graduate job market
  2. Make professional connections which may lead to the offer of a job upon graduation
  3. Test your career choices – internships can ease your transition into future careers or alternatively, help you decide that you don’t want to work in that area after all
  4. ‘Real world’ business experience, enabling you to put theory into practice
  5. Develop transferable skills such as communication, team working, problem solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity
  6. Help fund your studies by earning a full-time salary during the vacation periods

Find out more about the Internships, which our Management School students have undertaken here.

Fees 2016/7

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBC
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2015/6

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

  • Degree award
  • UCAS Code L100
  • Start date September
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