Best Universities For Economics In The UK: The 2024 Guide

Welcome to our definitive guide for aspiring economists! In this article, we delve into the premier academic institutions shaping the future of economics in the UK. Whether you’re drawn to macroeconomic policy, financial analysis, or behavioural economics, choosing the right university is crucial. Join us as we explore the best universities for economics in 2024, equipping you with the knowledge to embark on your academic journey with confidence.

Best UK Universities for Economics

Table of Contents

Why Study Economics in the UK?

Studying economics in the UK offers a myriad of compelling reasons that attract students from around the globe. Here are several key factors highlighting why the UK stands out as a prime destination for pursuing an economics degree:

  1. Academic Excellence: Studying in Oxbridge, LSE, and other esteemed institutions ensure access to world-class faculty, cutting-edge research facilities, and a rigorous academic curriculum.

  2. Diverse Course Offerings: The UK boasts a diverse range of economics programmes catering to various interests and career aspirations. Whether you’re interested in traditional economic theory, applied economics, or interdisciplinary studies like economic history or development economics, you’ll find a wealth of options to personalise your academic journey.

  3. Networking and Career Opportunities: Studying economics in the UK opens doors to a vast network of professionals, policymakers, and industry leaders. Universities often facilitate internships, industry placements, and networking events, allowing students to connect with potential employers and gain real-world experience in various sectors, including finance, consulting, government, and academia.

  4. Opportunities for Further Study and Research: The UK’s reputation for research excellence makes it an ideal destination for those interested in pursuing further study or research in economics. Many universities offer postgraduate programmes and research opportunities for students looking to deepen their knowledge, specialise in specific areas, or pursue academic careers.

Top Economics Universities in the UK

Here are the best universities for Economics degrees in the UK entering 2024 using the latest QS World University Rankings

  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Warwick
  • University College London
  • Durham University
  • University of Bath

1. BSc Economics - LSE Review

I mean, the course is literally in the name of the institution, need I say more? This is indeed one of the largest and strongest economics programme in the world. Studying economics in LSE practically equips you with knowledge in all spectrums of mainstream economics. You will get to learn from the best economists in the world with regards to economics and econometrics. This 3-year programme is highly competitive, so you better get going if you are eyeing the 2026 intake! 

2. Economics BSc - University of Warwick Review

The Economics programme at the University of Warwick provides students with a comprehensive education in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Through research-led teaching, students are exposed to cutting-edge economic theories and methodologies from the outset, fostering critical thinking and the exploration of original research questions. The programme’s flexibility allows students to tailor their studies with optional modules from various disciplines, including Law, Mathematics, Computer Science, Business, and Languages, enriching their learning experience and catering to diverse interests.

3. Economics BSc - UCL Review

The Economics programme at UCL offers a compelling blend of academic rigour and practical relevance, providing students with a solid grounding in economic theories and quantitative techniques while fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills through evidence-based analysis of real-world issues. Led by expert faculty who integrate their research expertise with innovative teaching methods, the programme equips students with the knowledge and skills to independently tackle complex problems from an economics perspective. 

4. BA (Hons) Economics L100 - Durham University Review

The Economics programme at Durham University is meticulously designed to cater to the evolving needs of the business world, equipping students with the essential skills for success across various industries. The programme emphasises the development of critical and analytical skills that serve as a gateway to diverse fields such as journalism, policy, and international development. Core modules in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Econometrics provide students with a robust toolkit for economic analysis. They are complemented by a wide range of optional modules that allow for personalised learning tailored to individual interests. 

5. Economics BSc (Hons) - University of Bath Review

The Economics programme at the University of Bath offers students an enriching learning experience that combines theoretical knowledge with practical applications, preparing them for diverse careers in economics and related fields. Through a curriculum that explores the interconnections between the economy, key sectors, and individual decision-making, students gain a deep understanding of economic theory and its real-world implications. The programme’s focus on policy issues and economic institutions equips students with the analytical tools and knowledge needed to navigate complex economic landscapes at both the national and global levels. 

Economics University Rankings in the UK

Here is the latest list of the best universities for Economics in the UK as we enter 2024:

RankInstitutionEntry StandardsStudent SatisfactionResearch QualityContinuationGraduate prospects outcomesGraduate prospects on trackOverall Score
1University of Cambridge2273.5499.694.086.0100.0
2University of Oxford2123.4699.791.085.097.8
3London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London2093.943.7199.394.083.095.7
4University of Warwick1884.083.6898.
5UCL (University College London)1963.863.5898.491.081.093.1
6University of St Andrews2194.172.97100.
7Durham University1923.763.3299.
8University of Bath1823.812.8998.997.089.091.5
9University of Exeter1733.913.1998.
10King's College London, University of London1853.833.4697.
11University of Leeds1683.693.4299.589.091.091.2
12The University of Edinburgh1943.633.2998.
13University of Nottingham1743.753.5299.
14University of Glasgow1973.833.3999.893.071.090.4
15University of Bristol1763.553.4598.786.086.090.2
16University of Birmingham1503.933.3097.691.086.089.3
17Loughborough University1554.023.2397.585.085.088.9
18University of Sheffield1484.003.2597.985.085.088.6
19Lancaster University1463.763.3998.484.087.088.3
20University of Surrey1333.993.3796.489.090.088.1
21University of Manchester1633.773.3696.782.083.088.1
22University of Southampton1423.983.1997.987.083.087.9
23University of York1493.783.2998.585.078.087.6
24Queen's University Belfast1493.733.0896.590.079.086.7
25Newcastle University1513.653.0696.885.086.086.6
26Queen Mary University of London1563.703.4497.
27University of Liverpool1413.893.3898.
28Ulster University1214.033.2697.585.084.086.0
29Cardiff University1443.443.3398.
30University of Stirling1493.952.98100.085.9
31University of Strathclyde1924.013.2694.476.071.085.6
32Heriot-Watt University1713.883.0297.
33University of East Anglia UEA1354.053.2398.
34Aston University, Birmingham1233.803.0997.984.076.084.7
35University of Aberdeen1703.982.9698.673.074.084.7
36Royal Holloway, University of London1264.093.3598.567.067.084.0
37Nottingham Trent University1244.022.8697.976.078.083.7
38University of Kent1164.012.7696.877.086.083.4
39SOAS University of London1363.532.8095.
40Swansea University1183.953.0597.
41University of Reading1223.853.2193.483.068.082.5
42University of Portsmouth1243.913.0295.677.072.082.2
43University of Dundee1753.602.7997.760.082.082.0
44University of East London1034.432.30100.081.9
45University of Essex1134.013.4495.764.070.081.8
46University of Hull1164.272.9263.080.081.7
47University of Sussex1253.663.3493.569.078.081.6
48University of Leicester1183.663.1696.
49University of Hertfordshire1114.712.7994.857.074.080.0
50City, University of London1253.323.0095.
51University of Bradford1213.373.0395.580.0
52University of Derby944.252.3798.079.5
53University of Lincoln1233.932.7895.652.077.079.3
54University of Plymouth1143.792.8183.993.082.079.1
55University of Huddersfield1114.112.6493.661.082.079.1
56Sheffield Hallam University1063.882.5596.872.077.079.0
57Manchester Metropolitan University1204.073.0792.
58Oxford Brookes University1113.942.7597.
59Keele University1063.772.7795.
60University of Brighton1094.402.7389.178.4
61Bristol, University of the West of England1133.942.7694.562.071.077.8
62Cardiff Metropolitan University1113.862.4394.477.7
63Leeds Beckett University1093.612.2396.776.064.076.8
64University of Westminster, London1083.892.9491.858.076.076.7
65Bournemouth University1013.892.6090.470.068.076.1
66Middlesex University973.843.1587.570.076.1
67Birmingham City University1063.982.3695.656.065.075.3
68Kingston University1123.972.6691.358.054.074.8
69Coventry University1073.872.8888.
70London South Bank University933.9095.878.067.073.5
71University of Greenwich1013.902.8087.764.057.073.5
72Brunel University London1143.582.5192.
73Goldsmiths, University of London1063.7191.775.068.072.0
74University of Northampton923.961.2091.571.8
75De Montfort University923.8386.683.076.071.0
76London Metropolitan University1024.122.6076.570.9
77University of Winchester1184.1786.270.8
78University of Buckingham3.8587.566.070.069.0
79University of Roehampton873.6692.268.8

How are the Rankings Measured?

The ranking methodology includes several key indicators, such as teaching quality, research output and reputation, industry connections and engagement, international diversity, and citations. These indicators help evaluate the academic environment, resources, faculty expertise, and global impact of relevant institutions. The rankings also consider factors like student satisfaction, graduate employability, and the influence and reach of research conducted by the universities.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Economics Programme

When selecting an economics programme in the UK, several factors should be carefully considered to ensure the best fit for your academic and career goals. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Reputation and Rankings: Research the reputation and rankings of universities offering economics programmes. Institutions like the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are renowned for their excellence in economics education. However, other universities may also offer high-quality programmes suited to your needs.

  2. Curriculum and Specialisations: Examine the curriculum and specialisations offered within the economics programme. Some universities may focus on specific areas such as macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics, or behavioural economics. 

  3. Faculty Expertise: Investigate the expertise and research interests of faculty members within the economics department. 

  4. Resources and Facilities: Assess the resources and facilities available to economics students, including libraries, research centres, computer labs, and data analysis software. Access to state-of-the-art resources can enhance your learning experience and support your academic pursuits.

  5. Industry Connections and Placement Opportunities: Explore the university’s connections with industry partners, employers, and alumni networks. 

  6. Location and Campus Culture: Consider the location of the university and the campus culture. Whether you prefer a bustling city environment or a more tranquil setting, choose a location that suits your lifestyle and preferences. 

  7. Accreditation and Recognition: Verify that the economics programme is accredited by relevant professional bodies or accrediting agencies. 

Career Opportunities for Economics Graduates

Economics graduates possess a versatile skill set that opens doors to a wide range of rewarding career opportunities across various industries. Here are some of the career paths available to economics graduates:

  1. Financial Analyst: Economics graduates often pursue careers as financial analysts, where they analyse financial data, assess investment opportunities, and make recommendations to individuals, businesses, or investment firms.

  2. Economist: Many economics graduates work as economists, conducting research, analysing economic trends, and interpreting data to provide insights into issues such as inflation, unemployment, and market behaviour. 

  3. Policy Analyst: Economics graduates can pursue careers as policy analysts, where they evaluate the economic impact of government policies, propose solutions to address economic challenges, and provide recommendations to policymakers. 

  4. Management Consultant: Economics graduates often excel in management consulting roles, where they advise businesses on strategic decision-making, market analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and performance improvement. 

  5. Market Research Analyst: Economics graduates can work as market research analysts, gathering data on consumer preferences, market trends, and competitive landscapes to help businesses make informed marketing and product development decisions. 

Dissertation Topics for Economics

Choosing a dissertation topic in economics is a critical decision that should align with your interests, expertise, and career aspirations. Here are some interesting dissertation topics in economics across various subfields:

  1. Impact of Fiscal Policy on Economic Growth: Analyse the effectiveness of fiscal policy measures, such as government spending and taxation, in stimulating economic growth in different countries or regions.

  2. Labour Market Dynamics and Unemployment: Investigate the factors influencing unemployment rates, labour force participation, and wage determination, and propose policy recommendations to address labour market challenges.

  3. Income Inequality and Redistribution Policies: Examine the causes and consequences of income inequality, explore different approaches to measuring inequality, and evaluate the effectiveness of redistributive policies in reducing inequality.

  4. Financial Market Regulation and Stability: Assess the role of financial market regulations in promoting stability and mitigating systemic risks, with a focus on topics such as banking regulation, capital requirements, and financial innovation.

  5. International Trade and Economic Development: Analyse the impact of international trade on economic development, income distribution, and poverty alleviation in developing countries, and evaluate the implications of trade policies and agreements.

Frequently Asked Questions about UK Economics Universities

Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies allocate scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants and needs. It encompasses the analysis of production, consumption, distribution, and exchange of goods and services.

The main branches of economics include microeconomics, which focuses on individual economic agents such as consumers and firms, and macroeconomics, which examines aggregate economic phenomena such as national income, inflation, and unemployment. Other branches include international economics, development economics, financial economics, and behavioural economics.

Studying economics requires a strong foundation in mathematics, statistics, and analytical thinking. Additionally, skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, and communication are essential for interpreting economic theories and empirical evidence, conducting research, and communicating findings effectively.

Economics graduates have diverse career opportunities in various sectors, including finance, consulting, government, academia, and non-profit organisations. They may work as financial analysts, economists, policy analysts, management consultants, data analysts, market researchers, or academic researchers, among other roles.

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