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Politics and Economics (BSc Econ)

  • LL12

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Politics is largely about economics, as well as being influenced by economics, so an understanding of economics deepens our understanding of politics. At the same time the economy is highly regulated by the state, so an understanding of politics deepens our understanding of economics. Graduates with this degree are therefore well-placed to launch careers in both public and private sectors.

In your first year you concentrate mainly on core modules, while in your second and third years you choose from among a wide range of option modules.

Politics is central to our everyday lives. It is about who gets what, when, where, how and why. It is about people and power and involves drama and events of great significance for everyone's lives. Just think of the electoral struggle between Left and Right, the power play of the Cold War, and the great enterprise of European integration. Studying for a politics degree means investigating why politics works as it does. You explore how parliaments and governments function and evaluate political ideas such as power, freedom, democracy, conflict, legitimacy and accountability.

Can governments reduce unemployment without inducing inflation? What are the implications for the UK of the introduction of the single currency? How can the NHS be reformed to increase efficiency and equity? How should governments allocate scarce resources during a recession? What are the challenges facing the global economy in the 21st century over energy supplies? These are just some of the many issues and debates which may lead students to study Economics. Our aim is to enable you to develop a thorough understanding of economic analysis and to encourage you to value this analysis in understanding economic problems and a wide range of social and political issues.

As Economics is a numerate subject, some modules have a quantitative element. Whilst all students undertake a module in applied statistics in the first year, for Politics and Economics students the Year 2 and Year 3 specialist econometric modules are optional.

Economics and Politics

Key Facts

UCAS Code LL12
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available

Politics and International Relations admits around 100 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Cardiff Business School admits around 550 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Typical applications received

Politics and International Relations = 545
Cardiff Business School = 3500

Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB, plus GCSE Maths grade B and GCSE English Language grade C if not offered at AS or A-level (excluding General Studies)
Admissions Tutor Dr Jonathan Kirkup
Tel Number 029 2087 6102
Email address
School website

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The degree is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

Year 1

You start by studying core Politics and Economics modules:

Plus a module chosen from:

Year 2

In your second and final years you choose half your modules (in terms of credits) from Politics and half from Economics. Please note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.

Our teaching staff consists of world-leading academics who are at the forefront of knowledge within their field. They bring the lessons from their most recent research into the classroom, giving students access to the latest information and thinking on politics and economics.

Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.


The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and so develop your capacity to undertake research and communicate its findings, qualities increasingly prized by employers.

Independent Study: All modules require a considerable element of independent study alongside the formal scheduled teaching. Independent study is needed to prepare for seminars, essays and examinations, and is an important component of higher education because it helps you develop further your capacity to work independently, which is essential in the world of employment. It also enables you to follow lines of inquiry that interest you and develop your skills as an independent thinker.

Office Hours

All academic staff have designated office hours when they are available to meet with students. Office hours provide an important source of contact with your lecturers and enable you to ask questions you may not wish to ask in a large class setting. This time can help you to clarify anything you have been taught that is unclear or can give you advice on further reading or preparation for assignments.

Pastoral Care

You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

Typical A-level Offer  AAB

plus GCSE Mathematics at grade B and GCSE English Language at grade C if not offered at AS or A-level. (excluding General Studies)

Typical WBQ Offer  Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a grade A in the Core and grades AB at A-level.
Typical Int Bacc Offer   34 points. Minimum of 5 in standard level Maths and English.
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

Because business is highly regulated by the state and has frequent dealings with it, graduates with expertise in both politics and economics are in high demand by employers in both the public and private sector. The degree also demonstrates that you possess highly developed intellectual skills, including quantitative skills. You will also have learnt to construct your own answers to complex questions by developing logical arguments based on well-validated evidence. And you will have developed good communication skills.

Relevant career areas include journalism, broadcasting, local government, management, publishing, law, banking, accountancy, education, the voluntary sector, policy research and consultancy, and the civil service. Among the employers of recent graduates are political parties, local government, private companies and non-governmental organisations. A further option is to go on to postgraduate study.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Jonathan Kirkup  

Telephone: 029 2087 5036 



School Website:

More information

Politics and International Relations

Cardiff Business School