This interdisciplinary degree explores the institutions, principles and theories of economics and the institutions and practices of modern political systems. It’ll give you expertise in data analysis, research and critical thinking, as well as the economic factors that influence income, wealth and wellbeing.
You’ll gain a foundation in political theory, international relations and systems of government, while also learning the fundamentals of micro and macroeconomics. You’ll explore how economics and politics are connected and the ways they shape our society. Optional modules let you take your degree in the direction that most interests you.
Within this course Politics subjects are taught by our world-ranked School of Politics and International Studies, while Economics subjects are taught by the triple-accredited Leeds University Business School.
You’ll gain a diverse skillset that’ll prove valuable to you as an employee and as an individual, regardless of the path you choose to take.
- Study in our world-ranked School of Politics and International Studies and Leeds University Business School.
- Explore the latest real-world challenges in a range of political and economic subjects and gain a broad global understanding.
- Learn from influential academics who are helping to shape policy and hear from inspiring guest speakers.
- Get the opportunity to study abroad and develop an international perspective or undertake a work placement to gain practical experience.
- Prepare for your future with careers and employability support.
In Year 1 you’ll explore key concepts and debates in economics, as well as gaining the mathematical skills that you’ll need for economic analysis. You’ll also develop the critical and research skills you need to study politics and learn about political theory and different political systems.
Compulsory modules in Year 2 will give you a broad and deep understanding of microeconomics and macroeconomics. In addition, you’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules in both subjects so you can develop your own interests. These cover topics like political theory, governments, political systems, security studies and international relations. You can even specialise in topics like transport, labour and health.
In your final year you’ll apply your knowledge and skills to your dissertation. This is an independent research project on a topic of your choice. Around this you’ll build your own programme of study in both subjects, with topics as diverse as economic development, global economic co-ordination, political psychology, international banking and finance, and gender and violence.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business 1A (10 credits) – compulsory if you have not studied Maths at A level.
This module introduces you to mathematics and statistical tools that are required to understand economics and business. It is intended to provide both an introduction to these tools for students with a less quantitative background, and a refresher for those looking to enhance their current understanding of fundamental mathematical methods.
Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business 1B (10 credits) – This module provides you with a basic knowledge of mathematics and statistical tools that you need to understand economics and business. It is intended to provide both reinforcement of learning from A-level mathematics (or Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business 1A) and to introduce new mathematical and statistical tools to students.
Economic Theory and Applications (30 credits) – This module introduces you to concepts of individual choice, business behaviour, national level economic systems and government economic policy. It will introduce economic models and the relevant data to understand economic issues. This module also teaches you Microsoft Excel skills, allowing for basic data manipulation and analysis.
The Politics of Global Challenges: Becoming an Independent Researcher (40 credits) – This module will introduce students to key themes and topics when studying politics and international studies (POLIS). You’ll understand how you collaborate in an academic community and gain key skills for academic work, research and scholarly independence. You’ll also be introduced to the main themes and questions surrounding the politics of global challenges.
Comparative Politics (20 credits) – This module features two separate yet connected components. It compares the nature of politics and processes across different political systems, and it studies how and why we make these comparisons. Featuring both theory and real-life examples, it uses case studies to put its ideas into context.
Year 1 discovery modules
You will also choose 10-20 credits discovery modules (if you have A level Maths you will take 20 credits).
Year 2 compulsory modules
Intermediate Microeconomics (10 credits) – This module looks at several problems of microeconomics, which considers economics on the scale of firms, households and individuals. You’ll learn about the approaches that microeconomists take, as well as how we use mathematical modelling to understand problems in consumer theory and producer theory.
Intermediate Macroeconomics (10 credits) – This module considers problems of macroeconomics, which include topics like economic output, inflation and foreign exchange rates. You’ll learn about how macroeconomists address problems, including some of the specific tools (like macroeconomic models and macroeconomic concepts) they use to do so.
Approaches to Analysis (20 credits) – You will learn here about the different ways we approach research, with a showcase of the latest research in POLIS. This helps introduce you to key ideas like designing and implementing a research project, along with key methods in politics, international development and international relations. You’ll gain practical experience of gathering evidence, while many of your other skills developed will transfer well to employment.
Year 2 Politics optional modules
Analysing Data in Politics, International Development and International Relations (20 credits) – The focus of this module is basic statistical analysis, which allows us to answer complex questions around human behaviour. Combining mathematics with a hands-on, applied approach, you’ll learn how to use and apply numerical data and explain the results of your analysis. The skills learned here will greatly expand your dissertation topics and approaches, and are highly valued by employers as well.
North-South Linkages (20 credits) – This module explores the political-economic relationship between the industrialised Global North and the industrialised, developing Global South. You’ll learn about the key drivers, characteristics and repercussions of the relationship, include points of conflict and whose interests it works in. You’ll also consider the roles played by organisations mediating the relations, as well as the structure of production, trade and regulation.
Theories of International Relations (20 credits) – This module explores rival approaches to International Relations (IR) Theory. You’ll analyse each theory, assessing their strengths and weaknesses and developing your critical thinking skills. You’ll also attend lectures and seminars which look at contemporary international developments. These let you put the theories you’ve learned about into practice, and let you consider how theory and practice relate to each other.
Critically Analysing the Responsibility to Protect (20 credits) – The Responsibility to Protect is an agreement endorsed at the United Nations in 2005, establishing a responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. You’ll take a closer look at the agreement in the module, and whether it is ultimately helpful or harmful in our efforts to keep people safe.
Politics of Contemporary China (20 credits) – If you’re looking for a thorough understanding of contemporary Chinese politics, this module is an essential choice. It discusses the structure of the state, the evolving role of the Chinese Communist Party and how Chinese society is affected by economic and political reforms. You’ll also explore political struggles and development strategies in regions such as Xinjiang, and critically engage with relevant literature and policy debates.
State and Politics in Africa (20 credits) – This module investigates the concept of the ‘African renaissance’, brought about by the continent’s positive GDP growth rare and increasing election frequency after the instability of the 1980s. You’ll consider if such a narrative is credible, and learn more about the continent’s various social, political and developmental challenges.
The Labour Party since 1945 (20 credits) – This module explores how the Labour Party have defined and positioned themselves to demonstrate their competence and ensure their electoral success. You’ll explore their various statecraft strategies and the developments within post-war Labour Party politics, understanding how the party has shifted from ‘Old’ Labour to ‘New’ Labour in the process.
The Conservative Party since 1945 (20 credits) – This module explores how the Conservative Party have defined and positioned themselves, to demonstrate their competence and to ensure their electoral success. You’ll learn about their statecraft strategies and how they’ve worked to preserve their self-proclaimed status as the ‘natural party of government’. You’ll also analyse the changing nature of Conservative Party policy, how Conservative ideology has evolved, and the crises in post-Thatcherite Conservatism.
United States Politics (20 credits) – This module explores the politics of the world’s only superpower: an area of particular interest within Britain, as the United States exerts significant influence on it. You’ll explore the origins of American political culture and the constitution, how the President, legislature and Supreme Court are selected, and how they wield power. You’ll also consider the influence that political parties, interest groups and the media have on the divisiveness of US politics.
Politics and Policy in the EU (20 credits) – This module gives you the chance to explore the truth behind various “Euromyths”, such as the concept of a superstate overriding the will of national governments. You’ll examine how the EU actually works, as well as the roles played by its various institutions.
Forced Migration (20 credits) – This module allows you to consider forced migration as part of contemporary global challenges. You’ll explore how forced migration must be studied in relation to international conflict, environmental changes and global governance. Your studies will focus on the lived experiences of forced migrants, paying close attention to race and gender in the process.
Global Security Challenges (20 credits) – This module introduces you to debates on security in international relations. You’ll look at the concept, role and making of security in today’s international system, and receive an outline of the theories and concepts used in security studies. You’ll also analyse important challenges framed as security threats, debate different ideas of security, whose security we can discuss and today’s security threats, including conflict, terrorism and climate change.
Year 2 Economics optional modules
Ethics and Economics (10 credits) – This module looks at the ethical assumptions in economic concepts, and the issues that may arise when they’re applied to today’s ethical problems and economic policies. You will need to do a significant amount of independent reading, with classes concentrated towards the semester’s end. Your analytical, communication and problem-solving skills will all be significantly enhanced by this module.
Macroeconomic Policy and Performance (10 credits) – Approaches to macroeconomic policy differ across countries. How much does this explain difference in performance outcomes? To what extent do policy changes reflect developments in economic theory? This module explores these issues, taking a comparative perspective and focused on key macroeconomic indicators and policy areas.
Economic Research Methods (10 credits) – The module introduces students to different research methods used by social scientists and policy researchers. It provides students with many of the critical thinking and research skills necessary for Final Year projects. A key emphasis will be placed on the critical assessment of research methodologies and research findings.
Mathematics for Economics and Business 2 (10 credits) – This module gives you a platform in advanced mathematical methods as they apply to business. It develops your ability to use mathematical tools to analyse problems in business and economics. Emphasis is placed on developing your ability to translate business/economic problems into mathematical models, and on solving these models.
Labour Economics (10 credits) – This module gives you an understanding of the nature of labour markets and labour market institutions. It’ll enable you to apply these theories to account for various labour market phenomena.
How to Be a Successful Policy Economist (10 credits) – This module prepares you for employment as a professional policy economist. Building on you’re the knowledge gained in your study of economics, you’ll be given the opportunity to apply that knowledge to practical economic policy issues. You’ll be given an opportunity to practise assessments essential for those seeking a career as a policy economist. You’ll also gain an insight into the practical aspects of policy decision making.
Statistics and Econometrics (20 credits) – Econometrics is about using mathematics, economic theory and other tools to quantify economic phenomena, with applications in most social sciences. You’ll receive an intermediate-level understanding of mathematical statistics, and you’ll be shown how to put econometric techniques into practice. You’ll need a good understanding of introductory statistical techniques to take this module.
Final Year compulsory modules
You will take one of the following dissertation options:
Politics and International Studies dissertation (40 credits) – This dissertation is a piece of written work that’s 10,000 words long. It’s an opportunity to further investigate a topic you’re interested in but haven’t had the chance to research. You can also use it to further explore second and third-year modules in greater detail.
Economics Joint Honours Final Year Project (30 credits) – This module aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to conduct a substantial research project in within the discipline of economics, broadly defined to permit insights from other disciplines according to their programme of study, independently of detailed guidance from staff.
Final Year Politics optional modules
The Far Right in Europe and Beyond (20 credits) – In this series of seminars you will be able to study one of the most important developments in contemporary European politics, and to see the rise of the radical right in a comparative perspective. You will learn about comparative and general features of the extreme right, the causes of surges in support for these parties, problems in the discussion of the extreme right and the historical context to the main extreme right movements in Europe.
Nuclear Weapons and Global Politics (20 credits) – This module explores the role of nuclear weapons in global politics. You’ll learn how nuclear weapons have influenced state power and conflict, the role of international institutions and transnational activism. Core concepts you’ll study include deterrence, disarmament, security and terrorism, as well as how nuclear weapons have more broadly shaped our politics and society.
Gender and Security in Global Politics (20 credits) – This module offers a feminist, decolonised and intersectional perspective on security, violence and war. You’ll come to understand the key concepts around gender, sex and race in international security, explore gender-based violence, and how the intersection of gender, sex and race shapes our response to violence and war.
Advanced Statistical Analysis (20 credits) – This module builds on the knowledge acquired in previous modules and develops your understanding of more sophisticated statistical techniques. It teaches you the main modelling approaches used in social sciences, as well as the tools to present these analyses as clearly and comprehensibly as possible. The first half of the module focuses on techniques useful for your dissertation, and demonstrates these in workshops. The second half introduces more advanced techniques which you may encounter in research literature or in further study.
British Foreign Policy (20 credits) – This module focuses primarily on British Foreign Policy after the Second World War. It begins with the theory of foreign policy analysis, with later weeks focussing on regions, relationships and events crucial to the policy. Examples include the Anglo-American relationship, former colonial nations like India and Australia, the Post-War Settlement in Europe and the Cold War.
Global Political Economy (20 credits) – In this module you’ll receive a thorough grounding in the global political economy, as well as the tools to critically analyse it. It focuses on both global and regional institutions including the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. You’ll be guided in each case by core political economy issues, as well as the everyday and lived experience of capitalism.
Terrorism (20 credits) – You’ll use this module to receive a deeper understanding of terrorism. Subjects explored include why people engage in terrorism, the threat it poses, and how it can be countered and prevented. You’ll come to understand the terrorist life cycle, as well as cases, concepts and debates surrounding the idea.
Video Games (20 credits) – This module reflects on how we understand the political, social and cultural impact of video games, and asks how we might better understand the messages contained within the games themselves. An enthusiasm for playing, talking about and writing about video games is essential to this module.
The End of British Politics? (20 credits) – This module examines many of the supposed threats to traditional British politics. It touches upon ideas like the end of liberal ideology’s dominance, the influence of populism on party politics, and the effects of devolution and Scottish nationalism. Other topics explored here include the impact of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic on power relations, different forms of political engagement and the role of religion in politics today.
Europe in the World (20 credits) – This module considers the role of the EU in world affairs, along with other important topics like war, peace, human rights and international relations. It looks closely at key players such as the UK, the US, Germany, France and NATO, providing you with a detailed analysis of Europe in a post-Cold War world.
Reimagining Politics (20 credits) – What do we mean by politics? Are love, dancing and pop music political issues? This module considers alternatives to state-centred approaches to politics, asking how ideas like feminism, anti-racism and queer theory have impacted political theory and practice. It helps you understand how identity and popular culture are important in understanding politics, and how to analyse many different empirical issues.
American Foreign Policy (20 credits) – Your focus in this module is the different schools of thought around American foreign policy: specifically, the liberal, realist, neoconservative and critical traditions. You’ll be given the tools to interpret and assess the United States’ foreign policy following the Cold War, why the invasion of Iraq was considered a necessity by President Bush Jr., and the impact of the Iraq War on the United States’ perception of its role in the world.
Violence and Reconciliation in Africa (20 credits) – The focus of this module is the causes, nature and consequences of violence in Africa. Touching upon race, class, ethnicity, gender, religion and resources, you’ll learn about African statehood, ‘warlord politics’, resource wars and state collapse. You’ll also evaluate current approaches to peace building and justice, as well as international intervention, peacekeeping and the International Criminal Court.
Politics of National Identity in the UK (20 credits) – This module explores national identity in the UK, encouraging you to consider how it interacts with issues of governance, party politics and public policy. The module examines the relationship between the UK’s constituent nations, and identity’s relation to culture, political ideology and immigration. It also considers the future of the United Kingdom, and how the politics of identity will play out in the decade to come.
Final Year Economics optional modules
Economics of Development (20 credits) – This module provides you with an introduction to some of the most interesting and relevant topics in economic development, including aspects of developed countries' economic history and contemporary challenges faced by developing nations. The module is characterized by a pluralistic approach to a subject like development economics. You ‘ll address key development theories with a strong emphasis on the available empirical evidence and its interpretation.
Environmental Economics (10 credits) – This module provides you with an understanding of the relationship between the economy and the environment. It will give you the skills and the knowledge to show how economic principles can be applied to the formulation and assessment of environmental policies.
Applied Econometrics (10 credits) – This course equips you with a range of advanced skills and tools for data analysis. Its focus is on the use of data and econometric analysis to answer real-world questions, and examine predictions of economic/finance theory. You’ll learn how to effectively conduct research in economics/finance.
Behavioural Economics (10 credits) – This module introduces you to core developments in Behavioural Economics. It introduces analytical tools to understand a range of different human behaviours. Abstract concepts and models will be illustrated by examples and laboratory experiments, and applied to a wide range of settings.
Advanced Macroeconomics (10 credits) – This module develops the macroeconomic modules presented in Years 1 and 2, to present the current state of different macroeconomic debates and consensus.
International Economics: Integration and Governance (20 credits) – This module will enable you to understand why economic globalisation has been pervasive in so many spheres of economic life in the 20th and 21st centuries. This will be accomplished by in-depth examinations of trade and production, money, finance, and migration. The past and future experience of Europe, the US, and the developing and emerging economies will also be considered and compared.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods on this course, including lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll study independently as well, which helps you develop your research and critical skills. This will prepare you for taught sessions, where participation, presentation skills and group work are essential.
While encouraging you to become a self-motivated learner, we will guide you through your studies and help you to develop the skills you need to become an independent thinker.
You’ll also be assigned a personal tutor, who you’ll meet with regularly. They’ll offer guidance and support, helping with your academic and personal development and making sure you get the most out of your time at university.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams, you could also be asked to complete essays, case study based projects, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs, project proposals or development agency reviews. In your final year you’ll also submit a dissertation.
We do not require A-level Politics for courses in the School of Politics and International Studies.
In general we expect applicants to have two ‘traditional’ academic subjects at A-level. See our accepted subjects document to see which subjects we accept.
GCSE: Grade 7/A in Mathematics or equivalent.
Access to HE Diploma
Complete a business related diploma of 60 credits with 45 credits at level 3, including 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit or higher.
D3, D3, D3.
35 overall (6,6,5 higher).
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AA in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers; or A in Advanced Highers and AAAAB in Highers, or AAAAAA in Highers.
We will consider T-levels in appropriate subjects as they become available. In all cases applicants should have GCSE English at 4 or above.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer:
ABB. Applicants must also hold 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or higher including Mathematics at grade A/7 and English Language or English Literature grade C/4, and pass the Access to Leeds module.
For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, we offer a foundation year for UK students who meet specific widening participation criteria. Learn more about the BA Social Science (foundation year).
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Politics and International Studies admissions team.
International foundation year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study a foundation year. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £26,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we review applications after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration. Please see our Admissions Guidance page for more details as well as advice on personal statements.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
This course is taught by
School of Politics and International Studies Admissions Team
BA Economics and Politics combines two challenging subjects to equip you with a wide range of subject knowledge, in addition to skills in data analysis, research, critical thinking, communication and presentations that will serve you well in a variety of careers.
Politics provides a strong base for a career in political research and analysis, research bodies, interest groups, political consultancy, lobbying, the media, the civil service, local and national government, NGOs, charities and international organisations like the UN and World Bank. Economics leaves you equally well-qualified for roles in management, banking, finance, the civil service and administration.
In addition, you’ll have the varied skill set needed for diverse roles in business, HR, law, broadcasting, journalism, marketing and communications or further study and academia.
Read more about career opportunities.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Student profile: Ben Sanbrook-Davies
From contemporary politics in China to the critical analysis of Bitcoin as a legitimate currency, the freedom of choice to decide what to specialise in has to be the best aspect of my course.Find out more about Ben Sanbrook-Davies's time at Leeds