Introduction

The Economics and Management undergraduate degree programme examines issues central to the world we live in: namely how the economy and organisations function, and how resources are allocated and coordinated to achieve the organisation’s objectives.  Economics and Management are ideal intellectual partners, each particularly fitted to strengthen and cross-fertilise the other.

Economics is the study of how consumers, firms and governments make decisions that together determine how resources are allocated. An appreciation of economics and the general workings of the economy have become increasingly necessary to understand government policy-making, the conduct of businesses, and the enormous changes in economic systems which are occurring throughout the world. It is also becoming increasingly important in both government and the private sector to have an understanding of some of the methods used within economics, such as quantitative methods, statistical and causal inference, and experimental methods. Management is concerned with the effective use and coordination of materials and labour within organisations in the pursuit of the organisation’s defined objectives. Management considers the interrelationship and interactions between distinct parts of an organisation, and between the organisation and its environment. Management students look at theories, models and frameworks in order to understand how managers behave and to consider their role in the process of decision-making.

Although part of the Economics & Management degree programme is taught partly by the Saïd Business School, it is not a Business Studies degree. The programme is taught as an academic subject within the Social Sciences Division of the University. This means you will be learning through traditional academic means of working on problem sets, reading, discussing and writing essays on subjects set by your tutors each week.

The degree is divided into two parts: ‘Prelims’ and Finals. The first year (Prelims) is designed to ensure that you have a broad knowledge of economics and management before you go on to do the core and option papers in the second and third years. It involves work in three subjects, leading to three exam papers that are taken in the ninth week of Trinity Term. The three subjects are General Management, Introductory Economics and Financial Management. Each of the three courses is taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials or classes.  Your first-year exams do not count towards your final degree but they will help you decide which areas you might want to specialise in for Finals.

Finals in Management and Economics build on the introductory material covered in the first year. There are no formal University examinations during your second year; Final Examinations will take place in Trinity Term of your third year. Over the course of the two years you are required to take courses for 8 Finals papers, or 7 papers and a thesis. You are required to take the three core Economics papers – Macro, Micro and Quantitative Economics. Although there are no compulsory Management courses, at least two of your options must be from the Management list.  The remaining two or three options can be selected in any combination from either department’s list of options.

 

courses

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3

Three courses are taken:

  • Introductory economics
  • General management
  • Financial management

Compulsory courses:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Quantitative economics

Optional courses, of which at least two must be in Management:

  • Choose from more than 20 options papers.

 

THE COURSE OUTLINE SPECIFIC TO ECONOMICS IS AS FOLLOWS:

YEAR 1
YEAR 2
YEAR 3
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Quantitative Economics

Typical options:

  • Microeconomic Analysis
  • Money & Banking
  • Public Economics
  • Economics of Industry
  • Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
  • International Economics
  • Economics of Developing Countries
  • Development of the World Economy since 1800
  • Behavioural and Experimental Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Finance
  • Game Theory
  • International Economics
  • Thesis

Admission Criteria

Candidates are required to have Mathematics to A-level (A* or A grade), Advanced Higher (A grade), Higher Level in the IB (score 6 or 7) or another equivalent. We expect you to have taken and passed any practical component in your chosen science subjects.

All candidates must also take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) as part of their application, normally at their own school or college, in early November.  It is your responsibility to register for the test. The registration deadline is normally 18.00 UK time on 15 October every year. For the exact test date in the year of your application, along with further information, details of how to register, and a specimen paper, see www.tsaoxford.org.uk.

  • An interest in and a motivation for studying the organisation of businesses and the economy
  • Independence and flexibility of mind
  • An ability to analyse and solve problems logically and critically
  • A capacity to construct and critically assess arguments
  • A willingness and an ability to express ideas clearly and effectively both on paper and orally.

The interview is not primarily a test of existing knowledge and, in particular, is not a test of economics or management, unless these subjects have been studied before.

Fees and Funding

The tuition fee you will be charged and the support available is determined by your fee status, which will be Home (UK), EU (rest of European Union), Overseas (outside the European Union) or Islands (Channel Islands or Isle of Man). Details of fees and funding for the academic year in question can be found on the University of Oxford Admissions website:

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/fees-and-funding/tuition-fees?wssl=1

Reading Suggestions

You can find plenty of coverage of Economic questions in good quality newspapers, magazines, blogs and articles online, and television and radio programmes. For example, try the Financial TimesThe Economist, and Prospect, which frequently include articles on economic matters; and the blogs and commentaries of economists and economic journalists.

For online resources the Economics Network website, Why Study Economics? has useful information for students considering a university course in economics, and a selection of interesting Economics blogs include:

There are several good “popular” introductions to economics, and other relevant books written for a general audience, that are accessible and interesting:

  • Tim Harford The Undercover Economist (Little, Brown, 2005)
  • David Smith Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics (Profile Books, 2003)
  • Paul Krugman The Accidental Theorist (Norton, 1998) 
  • A. Binmore A Very Short Introduction to Game Theory(OUP, 2007)
  • P. Dasgupta Economics: A Very Short Introduction(OUP, 2007)
  • Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot The Tiger that Isn’t: Seeing through a World of Numbers (Profile Books, 2007)
  • Roger E. Backhouse, The Penguin History of Economics (Penguin, 2002)
  • Andrew Mell and Oliver Walker, The Rough Guide to Economics (Penguin, 2014)

For the Management components of the degree, the SBS has provided an extensive reading list and advice which can be found here:

https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/programmes/degrees/baem/how-to-apply/sample-reading-list

FAQs

 No. Oxford does not offer a single honours undergraduate degree in Economics.

To a large extent, mathematics is the language in which much of university-level Economics is written and expressed. Introductory Economics in the first year uses elementary real analysis and differential calculus. Some subsequent options courses use more advanced mathematics and statistics while others use very little. 

Yes. Provided you select some of the more technical options papers in the third year (for example Econometrics, Game Theory. Microeconomic Analysis) you will have no problem at all accessing the very best Masters programs.