Economics and History BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
VL11
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

two students talking in the library

Few would deny that economic issues have been at the heart of historical change or that understanding the modern economy requires an understanding of historical developments. This varied and dynamic degree will give you a deep understanding of the historical origins of economic growth and the real-world economic challenges and opportunities of the modern world. You’ll develop into a well-rounded economist and historian with a unique set of skills that that will stand out to employers.

Core modules will introduce you to key concepts and approaches in both subjects, such as historiography, public history, archival research, economic theory and statistics. You’ll build on this when you choose from an impressive range of optional modules spanning periods, cultures and sectors.

You could study anything from labour economics and macroeconomic performance to ethics and the global banking sector, alongside the Industrial Revolution, the East India Company, the slave trade, and decolonisation. It’s a fantastic opportunity to discover new perspectives on history, and the present, and gain a broad base of technical knowledge and skills.

Facilities

The University of Leeds has world-class facilities for economic historians. The Brotherton Library’s internationally significant holdings of manuscript, archive and printed materials include extensive records of businesses in the region dating back to the Industrial Revolution, charting economic activity that spanned the globe. The University is also home to the M&S Archive, one of the biggest collections in the UK for the history of retail, advertising, branding, labour, and consumption.

The University Libraries are among the largest in the UK and offer a programme of workshops and webinars to help you make the most of their collections, digital resources and databases.

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Skills@Library also offers one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing and data analysis.

The Brotherton’s Library’s manuscripts are held in the Special Collections Research Centre, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and extension, after a generous bequest from the John Victor Bedford Will Trust. This provides new working spaces for individuals or groups, and new teaching spaces that feature visualisers and projectors, allowing you to engage with sources using the latest techniques.

In your degree, you will explore a range of different approaches to economics in a challenging and supportive environment at our world-renowned Business School, home to the Applied Institute for Research in Economics.

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Course details

A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but take fewer optional modules, so you can fit in both subjects. The combination of two subjects gives perspectives that neither could produce on their own, providing you with a broad skillset transferable to a range of careers.

Year 1

DuringYear 1, you’ll lay the foundations for your degree. Core modules will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the economy in the present and the past, offering a grounding in economic theory, as well as archival and historiographical approaches. You’ll also study a specialist module on economics and global history and develop the mathematical skills you need, taking different modules depending on your previous qualifications.

Year 2

Year 2 will improve your knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics and history in practice. This year will allow you to choose from options in both subjects to tailor your degree to suit you. You could study anything from how to become a successful policy economist to why Britain became the world’s first country to experience an Industrial Revolution.

Year 3

Throughout your degree, you’ll develop your skills in independent research and analysis. You'll put these into practice in Year 3 when you undertake an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice.

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BA Economics and History in the course catalogue.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Exploring History (20 credits) – This module equips you with the fundamental skills, techniques, and knowledge to be able to flourish as an undergraduate student of history. You'll discover the range of ways that the past is researched, analysed, and presented. You'll have the opportunity to explore different approaches to researching the past as well as historical concepts, themes, and debates. This module provides you with the foundation for your historical studies throughout your entire degree. It supports your transition to university-level study through opportunities to engage in the development of the practical skills necessary to study history.

Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business 1B (10 credits) – This module aims to provide you with a basic knowledge of mathematics and statistical tools that are required 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 you to new mathematical and statistical tools.

Economics and Global History (10 credits) – This module provides an introduction to analytical global economic history and teaches some of the 'lessons of history'. It aims to give you a sense of perspective when studying a variety of modern economies across the world, both developed and undeveloped. It also introduces the study of global history, economic concepts, theories and reasoning.

Economic Theory and Applications (30 credits) – This module gives an introduction to the economic understanding of the world of individual choice, business behaviour, national level economic systems and government economic policy, exploring economic models and relevant data to understand economic issues. This module also introduces Microsoft Excel skills allowing for basic data manipulation and analysis.

Diverse Histories of Britain (20 Credits) – This module provides you with the opportunity to explore the history of Britain afresh. It is an opening into the rich and diverse history of the places, people, and cultures that make up Britain and how they have changed from the medieval to modern periods. Drawing upon the skills and awareness you developed in the first semester, you'll explore overarching 'national narratives', considering who they include and exclude, and why.

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
The Medieval World in Ten Objects 20
Medieval Lives: Identities, Cultures and Beliefs 20
Global Empires 20
Global Decolonization 20
The Making of the Twentieth Century 20
Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business 1A 10

Year 2 compulsory modules

Intermediate Microeconomics (10 credits) – The module will consider a number of microeconomic problems and explain the approach that microeconomists take when attempting to solve these problems. You’ll develop insight into how mathematical modelling is used to understand problems of consumer theory and producer theory.

Intermediate Microeconomics (10 credits) – The module will consider a number of macroeconomic problems and explain the approach that macroeconomists take when attempting to solve these problems. You’ll develop insight into how macroeconomic models and macroeconomic concepts are used to understand macroeconomic problems.

History in Practice (20 credits) – Through this core module you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of how history is made and communicated, such as working with archival material, learning digital humanities skills, or exploring heritage and the public face of history. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research project that presents your work to a wider audience or to apply what you have learnt across a range of innovative assessment tasks.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Australia and the World 20
The Tudors: Princes, Politics, and Piety, 1485-1603 20
Sin in Spanish America, 1571-1700 20
Britain and the Industrial Revolution 20
Imperial Germany 1871-1918 20
20th Century Britain: Progress and Uncertainty 1945-1990 20
Communist Eastern Europe, 1945-89 20
Mathematics for Business and Economics 2 10
The International Economic Environment 10
International Economics 10
Business Economics 10
Statistics and Econometrics 20
Labour Economics 10
How to be a Successful Policy Economist 10
Ethics and Economics 10
Evolution of Economic Ideas 10
Economic Research Methods 10

Year 3 compulsory modules

Final Year Project, choose either:

History Long Essay (20 credits) – Through in-depth study of a historical subject, you’ll write a long essay of between 5,000 and 6,000 words to develop your research and bibliographical skills and demonstrate your written skills through the presentation of an extended piece of work. You may select your own topic provided that a member of staff, normally from the School of History, is available to provide expert supervision.

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 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.

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Dividing India: The Road to Democracy in South Asia, 1939-1952 40
The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 40
Body, Mind and Senses: The Social and Cultural History of Disability in Britain, 1833-1998 40
Black British Culture and Black British Cultural Studies 40
The Soviet Sixties: Politics and Society in the USSR, 1953-1968 40
The Photographic Age: Photography, Society and Culture in Britain, 1839-1945 40
The Body in Australian History, 1788-2007 20
Early Modern Media: Printing and the People in Europe c.1500-c.1800 40
White Africans: Intimacy, Race and Power 40
Georgians at War 40
The Later Elizabethan Age: Politics and Empire 40
The Korean War 40
Nazism, Stalinism and the Rise of the Total State 20
Apartheid in South Africa: Origins, Impact and Legacy 20
In the Shadow of Franco: Terror and its Legacy in Spain, 1936-Present Day 20
'Parasites' and 'Cockroaches': Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in the Modern World 20
Doomed to Failure? European Great Power Politics from Bismarck to the Outbreak of World War I 20
Economics of Development 20
International Economics: Integration and Governance 20
Bismarck to the Outbreak of World War I 20

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors. Intellectual curiosity and debate are central to both Economics and History and we will highlight the latest research and thinking in these fields. You'll learn in lectures, seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and by creating and sharing content (including presentations, posters, blogs, and reviews). As well as meeting other students in lectures and seminars, you’ll also work with each other on field trips, and in archive visits and museum handling sessions.

These learning activities are underpinned by digital technologies that structure your learning and intellectual development. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to produce podcasts, digital exhibitions, network graphs, blogs, text analyses, timelines, storyboards, maps, and bibliographies using the latest digital tools and platforms. Our online spaces are integrated with in-person teaching activities, allowing you to review lectures, ask questions, test ideas, and record and reflect upon your learning. We strive to create safe learning spaces to ensure that everyone can participate.

Independent study is also central to the development of your skills in research and analysis. Your skills and knowledge will be applied in a Final Year Project on a topic of your own choice. Self-motivated learning allows you to build valuable experience in independent working, managing time, critical thinking, and self-awareness.

Fieldwork

During your time studying Economics and History at Leeds, you’ll engage in research in archives and museums (including the University’s Special Collections, the M&S Archives, the West Yorkshire Archives Service, the Leeds Museums and Galleries, and the Royal Armouries). Students will also have the opportunity present their own research at the University of Leeds Undergraduate Research Conference.

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.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, you may be assessed using a variety of methods. ‘Take-home’ exams and essays are just two modes of assessment used in this degree course. Some modules may also include group work, oral presentations, source commentaries, annotated bibliographies, book/literature reviews, blog posts, wikis, podcasts, digital exhibitions and self-directed heritage trails as part of the assessment mix.

We offer plenty of support, including the chance to attend extra classes on exam technique, public speaking and structuring essays if you need them. We use this variety of assessment methods to help you develop a range of transferable skills needed in professional life.

Delivering informed, relevant and appropriately communicated ideas and analysis, as well as ‘real life’ employability skills, form the basis of the assessment you’ll undertake. Throughout your degree, you’ll be presented with choices about your assignments, whether it be selecting an essay question, choosing primary sources to analyse, or developing you own lines of inquiry in your Final Year Project in either Economics or History.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

GCSE: Grade 7/A in Mathematics

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAB plus grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. Grade 7/A in Mathematics at GCSE is required.
Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

BTEC

We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 at Higher Level and 5 in Mathematics at Standard Level (or 4 in Mathematics at Higher Level)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H2

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or A Advanced Higher and AAAAB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 85%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual 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 contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: AAB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

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.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

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.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of History
Leeds University Business School

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

A joint honours degree in Economics and History equips you with in-depth knowledge of two subjects, offering a valuable range of transferable skills that are attractive to employers.

Alongside an ability to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data, you’ll have strong research and problem-solving skills, and be comfortable working both independently and within a team. You’ll also have the organisational skills needed to manage two different subjects.

Graduates have gone onto careers in diverse areas as a result. They include business and finance, management, the civil service, journalism, the media, law, education and the charity sector. Many others go on to postgraduate study. Read more about Graduate destinations.

Careers support

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

Study abroad

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.


Work placements

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: Tolly Oram

After I’d completed my second year at Leeds, I spent a year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which has to be one of the best years I’ve had yet.
Find out more about Tolly Oram's time at Leeds