Economics with Chinese Studies BA


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:L1T1
Qualification:BA Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Economics with Chinese Studies
UCAS code
UCAS code
Economics with Chinese Studies | BA Hons
3 years full-time
A level offer
A*AA-AAA (A*ABB for those taking four full A levels and completing them in the same year)
Required subjects
Excluding general studies, leisure studies, and global perspectives and research;
GCSE maths, A or above, also required unless taking it at AS/A level
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


Combining economics with modules on contemporary China, this course equips graduates with skills that are sought-after by many employers as well as the chance to learn Mandarin.
Read full overview

This course reflects the growing interest in and importance of China in the global economy. At the end of your course, you will have a thorough knowledge of economic theory and how it is applied to the real world, coupled with an in-depth understanding of contemporary China.

If you have chosen to study Mandarin, your language skills will be at degree level. You will also be familiar with the key analytical techniques that economists use in practice. Employers will value your understanding of these concepts and techniques as well as your specialist knowledge of the Chinese economy. 

Economics modules form two-thirds of the degree and the remainder is made up of modules in Chinese studies. Study of the Mandarin language is popular but purely optional.

Year one 

In your first year you will cover the foundations of microeconomics and macroeconomics, and will choose between econometrics or quantitative economics, depending on your mathematical ability. For the Chinese studies element of this course, you will study full-year specialist modules in this area as well as taking optional modules relating to the history, politics, culture and literature of China.

Year two

During your second year, you will build on your knowledge of microeconomics and macroeconomics and strengthen your knowledge of either econometrics or quantitative economics. Two-thirds of this year will focus on economics, and the remainder will develop your language skills and your understanding of contemporary China.

You can choose to take your first semester studying abroad at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, deepening your experience of Chinese culture while taking the same modules as your counterparts back in Nottingham.

Year three

Your final year is made up of a wide selection of optional modules on economics and contemporary Chinese studies, including Mandarin. A minimum of 60 credits are taken from the list of modules available in economics, and the remainder from Chinese studies modules, which includes a dissertation in the discipline.

Student profile

Kay Li talks about the variety of study opportunities offered by her degree.


Entry requirements

A levels: A*AA-AAA, excluding general studies, leisure studies, and global perspectives and research (A*ABB for those taking four full A levels and completing them in the same year)

GCSEs: An A in GCSE maths is the absolute minimum requirement for all economics courses unless you are taking AS or A level maths

English language requirements 

If you have not studied using the medium of English for your entire secondary education or do not have GCSE English or equivalent at grade B or above you will be asked to achieve the following IELTS score:

IELTS: 7.0 including 7.0 in both reading and writing, and no less than 6.0 in speaking or listening

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies.

Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS.

Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

International applicants

Alternative entry requirements for those with international fees status are as follows:

International Baccalaureate: 36 including bonus points

ISC/CBSE: 90% in year 12

Applicants taking foundation courses should contact us for more information.

Alternative qualifications

View the alternative qualifications page for details. Please note, we do not accept extended project qualifications.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Notes for applicants

We are looking for students who have the ability and motivation to benefit from our courses, and who will make a valued contribution to the department and the University. Candidates for full-time admission are considered on the basis of their Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) form.

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the programme of study and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors additional to, and in some cases instead of, formal examination results. Selection of those applicants to whom we will make an offer will be based upon a combination of the candidate's academic record and an assessment of all the information provided in their UCAS application form, their academic reference and their personal statement.



Typical year one modules

Core modules

Business and Economy of China

This module intends to provide the fundamental knowledge of China's economic transformation and business development. It assists you to establish an understanding of issues including economic strategies, industrial sector transformation, investment, trade and business management.

Foundations of Macroeconomics: Growth, Cycles and Policy

This is a single semester introductory course in macroeconomics; there is no assumption of any prior knowledge of economics. Macroeconomics is the study of the aggregate economy. This module will focus on the determinants of aggregate output, both in the short run - addressing cyclical movements of booms and busts - and in the long run - providing an introduction to economic growth.

A running theme will be debates over the role of the government in macroeconomic management, covering fiscal and monetary policy. The module will introduce a series of basic models used in modern macroeconomics.

Foundations of Microeconomics: Choice, Markets and Welfare

This is a single semester introductory module in microeconomics; there is no assumption of any prior knowledge of economics. It begins by analysing how the economic choices of households and firms can be understood using consumer and producer theory. It then looks at how these individual choices are aggregated into market demand and supply to be mediated through the price mechanism.

A variety of market settings are considered, ranging from the paradigm of perfect competition to strategic interactions in oligopolistic markets. The module concludes by providing an introduction to the normative evaluation of economic outcomes in terms of individuals' welfare, covering both market and government failures.

Introduction to Contemporary China

This is an introductory course designed to provide you with an overview of contemporary China and help you establish a foundation of knowledge and skills to pursue more advanced studies of China in your later years of study.

The module examines the following topics since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, though particular attention is paid to the changes in China since 1978:

  • The Chinese economy
  • Chinese politics
  • Social policy
  • Security and foreign relations
  • China's increasing activities and engagements with the world
  • Chinese media and the Chinese internet
  • Civil society and state society relations
  • Taiwan and cross-Strait relations


Mathematical Economics and Econometrics

This module provides an introduction to the mathematical methods required for economic modelling, focusing on linear algebra, optimisation and their role in formulating and solving economic problems.



Quantitative Economics

This module covers the following:

  • Introduction to mathematical economics: mathematical finance
  • Analysis of functions
  • Supply and demand
  • Matrix algebra
  • Differentiation
  • Elasticities
  • Maximisation/minimisation
  • Optimisation subject to constraints
  • Lagrange multipliers
  • Integration

Plus optional modules taken from other schools.

Optional modules

Current Economic Issues II

This module focuses on a range of current issues facing the world economy, seeks to illustrate how economists model such issues, and examines potential policy responses. Example topics to be covered are:

  • Globalisation
  • Economic growth
  • The global financial crisis
  • The world economy
  • Emerging economic superpowers
  • Consequences of rising economic nationalism
Economic Integration I

This module introduces you to the economics of integration. The module analyses the consequences for countries seeking closer economic integration through successively more ambitious forms. This begins with a limited trade arrangement, followed by a common market, which also allows free movement of capital and migrant workers, and a Single Market.

The final part of the module examines monetary integration, beginning with exchange rate stabilisation and then considering Monetary Union. The module aims to combine principles of economic analysis with an assessment of the impact of such measures on the member economies.

Economic Integration II

This module introduces you to the economics of integration. It analyses the economic rationale for, and practice of, policy co-ordination and harmonisation both at the European and at a global level. An examination of the economic rationale for common EU policies is followed by an analysis of such examples as the common agricultural, trade and regional policies, and the operation of the European Budget.

At the global level cooperation in trade, finance and development policies is reviewed in relation to the operation of institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The module aims to combine principles of economic analysis with an assessment of the impact of international policy coordination.

Economic Perspectives

This module is intended as a foundation for the understanding of modern economic theories and policies. It is concerned with the:

  • different characters and workings of economies of the past
  • changing ways in which economic questions have been interpreted and answered over time

As will be discovered, the 21st century Western views of everyday economic concepts such as ownership, money, exchange, work, poverty, industrialisation, economic growth and government are quite different from those expressed at other times and in other places.

Growth and Development in Long-Run Historical Perspective

In this module we will explore the long-run, historical determinants of the wealth of nations. We will begin by taking a long-run view on modern economic growth, showing how this has led to dramatic changes in the relative wealth of nations over the last 500 years.

We will then ask two key questions: why have modern economic growth started in some places rather than others? And while have some countries been able to catch up, while others have not? These investigations will improve our understanding of why are some countries much richer than others, and will give us some important insights on how to promote sustained growth in developing countries.

The module draws on a vibrant new literature in economics that looks at comparative development as the outcome of a long historical process, and uses techniques originally developed in economics to improve our understanding of history. Without going into the technical details, the module reviews the main findings of this literature, discusses their implications for modern development experiences, and lays out the main challenges for future research.

By providing an historical perspective on growth and development, the module will endow you with a better understanding ofcontemporary economic issues. It will also give you some exciting examples of how the economic techniques you will learn in later modules can be used to understand the world better.


Typical year two modules

Core modules

Principles of Macroeconomics

The modules covers intermediate macroeconomics covering simple macro-models of goods, labour and money markets, such as IS-LM and aggregate supply/aggregate demand, including open economy extensions. Dynamic issues incorporating expectations and long run growth will also be considered. The module will analyse policy questions surrounding exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, budget deficits and debt.

Principles of Microeconomics

This module covers microeconomics including general equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, social choice, elementary game theory, and strategic behaviour of different actors such firms, voters and governments.




This module generalises and builds upon the econometric techniques covered in the year one module, Introductory Econometrics. This will involve introducing a number of new statistical and econometric concepts, together with some further development of the methodology that was introduced in year one. The multivariate linear regression model will again provide our main framework for analysis.



Quantitative Economics

This module covers the following:

  • Introduction to mathematical economics: mathematical finance
  • Analysis of functions
  • Supply and demand
  • Matrix algebra
  • Differentiation
  • Elasticities
  • Maximisation/minimisation
  • Optimisation subject to constraints
  • Lagrange multipliers
  • Integration

Optional modules include:

Chinese Society

This module emphasises sociological theories of family and society with reference to China. Topics include:

  • Political and social structure of China: the State, society, families and individuals 
  • Trust, Guanxi (social relations), and social capital 
  • Rural-urban divide: dualism, 'urban bias' or 'State bias' 
  • Nationhood, identity and ethnicity 
  • Health, education and aspirations
Development Economics

This module is a general introduction to the economic problems of developing countries. The module will cover such topics as:

  • the implications of history and expectation
  • poverty, income distribution and growth
  • fertility and population
  • employment, migration and urbanisation
  • markets in agriculture
  • agricultural household models
  • risk and insurance
  • famines
Environmental and Resource Economics

This modules will look at the following:

  • Principles of environmental policy: efficiency and sustainability
  • Market failure and the need for environmental policy: the Coase theorem
  • Instruments of environmental policy: efficiency advantages of market instruments; applications of market instruments, especially the EU Emission Trading Scheme
  • Valuation of the benefits of environmental policy
  • Biodiversity and its benefits
  • International trade in polluting goods
  • Mobile capital: race to the bottom?
Experimental and Behavioural Economics

This module provides a foundation in behavioural economics and the role of experimental methods in economics. The traditional approach in economics is to explain market outcomes and economic decision-making using simple theoretical models based on perfectly rational, self-interested agents who maximise their well-being by carefully weighing up the costs and benefits of different alternatives. Behavioural economics, on the other hand, aspires to relax these stringent assumptions and develop an understanding of how real people actually make decisions.

The module will introduce you to behavioural and experimental economics, discuss these fields from a methodological perspective and examine several areas of economic analysis in which they are applied. This will include individual choice under risk and uncertainty, decision-making in strategic situations and competition in markets.

Financial Economics

This module will begin by introducing some theoretical concepts related to the functioning of financial markets. Then it will apply these concepts in three main areas; namely consumer finance, corporate finance and financial intermediation.

Industrial Economics

This module provides an economic analysis of the theory and practice of organisation of firms and industries. It explores the nature of competition among firms and their behaviour in various markets, with the specific emphasis on imperfectly competitive markets. Tools for both empirical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of industries are covered.

Starting from a detailed analysis of market structures, the module goes on to discuss various aspects of firms' behaviour and their influence on market outcome. Among the behaviours covered in the module are price discrimination, vertical integration, advertising, research and development activities and entry and exit of firms. Government regulation of industries is also discussed.

International Trade

This module is an introduction to international trade theory and policy. It covers the core trade theories under perfect and imperfect competition and applies them to understanding the pattern of trade, gains from trade and modern topics like foreign outsourcing. On the policy side, it examines the effects of different government trade policy instruments and the role of international trade agreements.

Introduction to Political Economy

This module is concerned with the effect of political and institutional factors on economic variables as well as with the study of politics using the techniques of economics.

Labour Economics

This module provides an introduction to the economics of the labour market. We will look at some basic theories of how labour markets work and examine evidence to see how well these theories explain the facts.

Particular attention will be given to the relationship between the theory, empirical evidence and government policy. The module will refer especially to the UK labour market, but reference will also be made to other developed economies.


This module covers:

  • Studies on accuracy of grammar on times and changes, and connectors and discourse markers in spoken and written Chinese
  •  Vocabulary related to physical features, personalities, human social behaviours, economic developments and basic statistics
  •  Language functions for relating experiences, describing physical features, making generalisations, defining historic personalities and celebrities and describing changes, etc
Monetary Economics

This course will provide a foundation for the monetary economics modules in the third year and is a complement to financial economics for the second and third years. It will cover topics such as the definitions and role of money, portfolio choice, financial markets and banks, central banks and monetary policy, and the monetary transmission mechanism. 

Under these headings the module will address issues of theory, policy and practice relating to recent experience in the UK and other countries. The module will feature some current debates and controversies based on recent events.

Public Sector Economics

This module looks at:

  • public finances in the uk
  • market failures
  • fundamental theorems of welfare economics
  • social welfare functions
  • externalities
  • public goods
  • natural monopolies
  • public choice
  • social insurance: social security, taxation and equity
  • excess burden of taxation and tax incidence

Typical year three modules

Core modules


An independent research project, involving the application of techniques of economic analysis to a self-chosen research topic and the presentation of a written report. There will be lectures to provide general guidance on economic research methods and writing an undergraduate dissertation in economics.

Topics include:

  • introduction to the dissertation
  • types of dissertation
  • literature reviews
  • sources of data
  • writing up your dissertation
  • data entry and data management
  • an introduction to STATA
  • descriptive statistics
  • practical issues in regression analysis
  • model selection
  • endogeneity bias

Plus a selection of modules from a wide range options, including Mandarin.

Optional modules

Advanced Development Economics

This module adopts a broad focus on factors influencing growth and development. Topics covered include macroeconomic policies, aid, debt, trade; growth experiences in East Asia, China and Africa.

Advanced Econometric Theory

This module generalises and builds upon the econometric techniques applied to the multivariate linear regression model covered in the year two module, Econometrics I. This will involve introducing a number of new statistical and econometric concepts.

In particular we study large sample, or asymptotic, theory. This is needed in order to obtain tractable results about the behaviour of estimators when the standard modelling assumptions - which frequently cannot be verified in practice - are relaxed. 

Advanced Experimental and Behavioural Economics

This module provides a window on three important sub-areas of experimental and behavioural economics. The first focuses on design issues and individual decision-making, the next two sections focus on applications to the study of strategic behaviour and market behaviour.

You do not need to have studied experimental or behavioural economics before because all topics will be introduced at a level that will be accessible to the newcomer. The module is, nevertheless, suitable as a sequel to the year two module Experimental and Behavioural Economics because the contents of the two modules cover distinct, but complementary, topics.

Advanced Financial Economics

The module covers the following:

  • Saving, focusing on how agents make intertemporal decisions about their savings and wealth accumulation
  • Saving puzzles and household portfolios, focusing on credit markets and credit markets imperfections, and why do households hold different kinds of assets
  • Asset allocation and asset pricing, focusing on intertemporal portfolio selection, asset pricing and the equity premium puzzle
  • The role of behavioural finance in explaining stock market puzzles
Advanced International Trade Theory

The module covers:

  • models of intra-industry trade
  • trade policy in oligopolistic industries
  • mathematical enterprises
  • testing trade theories
  • the WTO and "new issues"
Advanced Labour Economics

The module covers an economic analysis of the labour market, with an emphasis on policy implications and institutional arrangements.

Advanced Macroeconomics

This module covers the following:

  • Dynamic general equilibrium models, focusing on how the time path of consumption, and saving, is determined by optimising agents and firms that interact on competitive markets
  • Growth in dynamic general equilibrium, focusing on the Solow model and the data, and the role played by accumulation of knowledge (endogenous innovation) in explaining long run growth
  • Real Business Cycles (RBC), focusing on how the RBC approach account for business cycle fluctuations, and what links short run fluctuations and growth processes
Advanced Mathematical Economics

The module is intended to provide an introduction to mathematical techniques used in economics. In particular, examples of economic issues that can be analysed using mathematical models will be discussed in detail.

Particular attention will be given to providing an intuitive understanding of the logic behind the formal results presented. Students who wish to pursue a higher degree in economics will find the module particularly useful.

Advanced Microeconomics

The module will cover topics in advanced microeconomics and decision theory. The precise content may vary from year to year, but the module will start from the basis established by the Microeconomic Theory module.

Advanced Monetary Economics

This module will provide an outline of the elements of monetary theory and of theoretical policy issues. 

Advanced Money and Macroeconomy

This module will provide an introduction to international monetary issues, including the determination of exchange rates, the functioning of the international monetary system, and international macroeconomic policy co-ordination. 

Advanced Public Economics I

The module will introduce some major themes of public economics, using microeconomic tools to analyse public policy. The equity and efficiency implications of policies will be examined within an economic framework.

Advanced Time Series Econometrics

This module is a continuation of the module on time series analysis taken in the second semester of the second year. While the earlier module was devoted to basic time series model building methodology, applicable over a broad range of disciplines, the present module concentrates on those developments which can be applied in the subject of economics. 

In particular, the emphasis will be on aspects of the behaviour of typical economic time series, and the implications of that behaviour in practical analysis, such as the construction of models linking economic time series.

The key issues addressed will be the identification of non-stationarity through the construction of formal tests and the implications for modelling with non-stationary data. Particular attention will be paid to the contributions of Sir Clive Granger to the spurious regression problem and to cointegration analysis, for which he was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize.

Industrial Organisation

This module provides an advanced economic analysis of the theory of organisation of firms and industries. It will analyse a variety of market structures related to the degree of market competition with a special emphasis on imperfectly competitive markets. It will also analyse issues related to the internal organisation of firms.

International Trade Policy

This module looks at:

  • trade policy: theory and evidence
  • trade policy and imperfect competition
  • trade and distortions
  • the political economy of protection
  • trade policy reform
Numerical Methods

This module covers the following:

Static numerical methods

  • Numerical solution methods
  • Numerical static optimisation methods
  • Applications: resource allocation, computable general equilibrium

Dynamic numerical optimisation

  • Discrete dynamic programming
  • Implementation of the methods
  • Applications: optimal growth, rational expectations, asset management

Agent-based economic modelling

  • Foundations of agent-based modelling
  • Basics of computer programming
  • Applications: evolutionary games, markets   
Political Economy

The module will cover the following:


  • The rational political individual?
  • Voter participation
  • Collective action and the role of the state

Core Political Economy

  • The economic approach to politics
  • Political aspects of economics: rights and the limits of the state
  • Political aspects of economics: inequality and the duties of the state

Political Economy in Action

  • Political economy in action: some current issues in applied political economy
Topics in Econometrics

This module focuses on a range of econometric methods used in policy evaluation and in the identification and estimation of causal effects. Topics to be covered include:

  • potential outcomes framework
  • regression analysis and matching
  • instrumental variables
  • difference-in-differences
  • regression discontinuity


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


Study abroad

The University of Nottingham has one of the biggest and most diverse study abroad programmes in the UK, and those who have studied abroad often say that it was the highlight of their time as a student.

This course includes the opportunity to spend part of your second year at the University's campus in China as well as other destinations. You'll get the opportunity to broaden your horizons and enhance your employability by experiencing another culture and will study similar modules to your counterparts back in Nottingham (teaching is in English).



The growth of economic awareness has increased the demand for economics graduates and a degree from Nottingham really will give you a head start in your career. At Nottingham you will acquire a strong academic foundation and a range of excellent economic and transferable skills, such as the ability to study independently and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. You will also have the capacity to grasp complicated economic concepts, whether they are mathematical or philosophical in nature.

Your knowledge and understanding of China can give you a vital edge in the graduate jobs market, with or without a high level of language proficiency.

Our graduates opt for a wide variety of careers, including investment banking, accountancy, tax consultancy, working in government offices, auditing, derivatives trading, management consultancy, mergers and acquisitions, and many more. We recognise that graduates often need more than just a great degree to make their CV stand out from the crowd so we also work with students to help them obtain internships and work experience with top employers.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 93% of first-degree graduates in the School of Economics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £29,505 with the highest being £65,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home first-degree undergraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


There is assessment associated with this programme that is not attached to a specific module. During first year students complete two assessed, non credit bearing courses on Writing Economics and Careers and Employability for Economists. Writing Economics help students adapt to university study, as well as providing information and support for effective study.  

Careers & Employability for Economists allows reflection on personal development and implications on students' future careers. It will include workshops on work experience, interviews and job application in sessions led by leading employers, graduates and the Careers Service. 

How to use the data


learning Mandarin while gaining a specialist knowledge of the Chinese economy
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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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