Economics and Philosophy BA


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:LV15
Qualification:BA Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Economics and Philosophy
UCAS code
UCAS code
Economics and Philosophy | BA Hons
3 years full-time
A level offer
A*AA-AAA not including general studies (A*ABB for those taking four full A levels and completing them in the same year)
Required subjects
A in maths at GCSE , unless taking it at AS/A level
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places

This course may still be open to international applicants for 2016 entry. Please visit our international pages for details of courses and application procedures from now until the end of August.


Combining two distinct disciplines, this joint honours course develops students' understanding of how societies work and equips graduates with a unique blend of knowledge.
Read full overview

This course is taught by the School of Economics and the Department of Philosophy. This joint honours degree offers you the opportunity to develop your understanding of these two distinct, yet related, disciplines. Both economics and philosophy look at fundamental aspects of human society. The combination allows a deeper understanding of how societies work and the course will provide a unique blend of knowledge from the two disciplines.

Year one 

In economics, you will typically take Foundations of Macroeconomics, Foundations of Microeconomics, and a Writing Economics module to ensure that your transition from school or college to university is smooth. In philosophy, you will take modules such as Appearance and Reality, Elementary Logic, and Introduction to Ethics.

Year two

In economics, you will typically take Principles of Macroeconomics and Principles of Microeconomics, as well as optional modules. In philosophy, you will be able to choose from a wide range of modules, typically including Contemporary Metaethics, The Nature of Meaning, and Social Philosophy.

You can also apply to spend one semester of your second year studying abroad, studying similar modules to your counterparts back in Nottingham.

Year three

In your final year you will select modules from a variety of specialist subjects offered by the two departments - 60 credits from economics and 60 credits from philosophy, with the possibility of a dissertation in philosophy.


Entry requirements

A levels: A*AA-AAA not including general studies (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

Foundation programmes: 70%

Alternative qualifications 

View the alternative qualifications page for details.

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 economics modules

Careers and Employability for Economists

This module provides a means for enabling students to reflect on their personal development and the implications this might have for their future career paths. It will include:

  • Guidance on recording and evaluating skills
  • Guidance on careers from the Centre for Career Development
  • Information, guidance and advice form a range of graduate employers and alumni

This module aims to:

  • raise the profile of employability issues within the undergraduate programme
  • provide students with the opportunity to reflect formally on their learning and wider experiences while at university
  • develop skills of reflection and recording amongst the student body
Foundations of Macroeconomics

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.

This module aims to:

  • provide a sound basis in the fundamentals of macroeconomics and their application to both theoretical and real world situations
  • develop analytical skills using the major methods of mathematics and diagrams
  • engender the ability to communicate and report findings, particularly via tutorial essays, presentations and exercises
Foundations of Microeconomics

This module 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.

This module aims to:

  • provide a sound basis in the fundamentals of micro-economics and their application to both theoretical and real world situations
  • develop analytical skills using the major methods of mathematics and diagrams
Writing Economics

This module aims to introduce students to the essential skills required for writing as an economist. It will be delivered in conjunction with Libraries, Research and Learning Resources (LRLR), who will cover content on key information skills relating to the library and learning resources.

The module will centre around economic approaches to analysing human behaviour and provide a guide to good economics writing. It will give an introduction to the language of economics and basic research skills. Among the topics covered will be:

  • academic integrity and plagiarism
  • time management
  • writing essays
  • writing quantitative projects
  • presentation skills
  • referencing and using the internet
  • revision and examinations

This module aims to:

  • introduce students to the issues and methods underpinning effective study at the Nottingham School of Economics
  • highlight the resources that are available at the University and how to access them
  • highlight the practical techniques to get the most out of study time
  • indicate good essay technique
  • highlight how to perform well in examinations

Core philosophy modules

Appearance and Reality

In this module you'll examine some of the central themes surrounding the work of John Locke, one of the first philosophers who sought to integrate philosophy with our modern scientific worldview. Topics covered include: empiricism and science, perception, justification and scepticism and the nature of objects among others. You'll have two hours of lectures and on some weeks an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on other weeks throughout the semester.

Elementary Logic

This module provides an introduction to modern logic including technical vocabulary required to aide your understanding of modern philosophical work. You'll discuss the symbolism of modern logic, the theory of the structure of thought and practice translation between symbolism and English. You'll have two hours per week of lectures studying this module.

Introduction to Ethics

This module introduces you to some of the main ethical questions studied by philosophers. The first part focuses on some contemporary moral problems (for example, the justification of punishment). The second part of the course looks at some normative ethical theories and concepts that provide ways of approaching such moral problems. The third part of the course considers some challenges to the idea of systematic moral inquiry (such as relativism, egoism and emotivism). You'll spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.

Reasoning and Argument: Introduction to Philosophical Method

In this module you'll learn a series of key skills needed to follow critical methods of philosophical inquiry. The aim is to help you understand the structure and nature of arguments of others and improve your reasoning ability to assist you in your further studies during your course. You'll have two hours of lectures some weeks and an hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on other weeks throughout the semester.

Self, Mind and Body

In this module you'll be introduced to the important central issues in philosophy of self, mind and body which continue to be debated to present day. You'll examine Descarte’s Meditations focusing on his thoughts on dualism and mind-body interaction, comparing these with other related topics. You'll have two hours of lectures some weeks and a hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.


Optional economics 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

This module aims to:

  • examine critically a number of current economic challenges facing the UK and the world economy
  • use economic analysis to investigate and clarify the underlying drivers of these challenges
  • identify potential gainers and losers and the role of economic policy in maximising the net benefits/minimizing the net costs
Economic Integration I

This module introduces students 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.

This module aims to:

  • introduce the economic analysis of relevant forms of regional economic integration, applying basic micro and macro economic principles
  • provide insight into the economic consequences of removing barriers to trade and factor mobility, and the economic costs and benefits of monetary integration
  • provide an understanding of the measures taken in Europe to promote regional economic integration
  • assess the consequences of integration measures in the European Union
Economic Integration II

This module introduces students 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.

This module aims to:

  • introduce the economic analysis of common EU level policies, applying basic microeconomic principles
  • provide insight into the economic consequences of harmonising government interventions in a regional economic group
  • provide an understanding of the objectives, actions and consequences of common EU level economic policies
  • assess the consequences of integration measures in the European Union for non-member countries
  • provide insight into the economic consequences of coordinating economic policies through international economic institutions
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
  • The 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.

This module aims to:

  • explore some key ideas and concepts of economics, both historically and culturally
  • explore both similarities and differences in solutions to economic problems, as adopted within different economic systems
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. 

This module aims to:

  • introduce students to the key questions of comparative development, the main recent findings, and future challenges
  • create a foundation knowledge allowing students to put current issues in growth and development in historical perspective
  • highlight the role of modern economics in understanding history
  • suggest students a set of applications for theoretical and empirical methods in economics

Typical year two modules

Core economics modules

Principles of Macroeconomics

This module will address both the fundamental and applied aspects of macroeconomic theory. In particular, the module will focus on:

  • Introducing the modern theory of expectations and economic dynamics
  • Using this approach to think about short run fluctuations
  • Studying the role of macro policy on short run fluctuations

The module will review the so-called modern approach to aggregate demand and aggregate supply. This entails incorporating into the classical approach to aggregate supply and aggregate demand insights from Keynesian economics. This will serve as a base to discuss the role of macro-policy in controlling for fluctuations in output and employment.

This module aims to:

  • introduce the students to the main issues and developments of modern macroeconomics.
Principles of Microeconomics

Intermediate microeconomics including general equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, elementary game theory, and strategic behaviour of firms.

This module aims to:

  • build upon the microeconomics you encountered in year one
  • develop analytical skills by employing standard diagrammatic analysis and reference to the underlying mathematical techniques

Optional philosophy modules

Being, Becoming and Reality

In this module you'll discuss several topics in contemporary metaphysics. You will examine a number of topics in detail. Recent examples include: What is metaphysics? Do composite objects exist? And, if so, when does composition occur? Do numbers, sets, propositions (etc.) exist? Do other possible worlds exist? What is the nature of time?The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.

Contemporary Metaethics

Are there moral fact? What is moral truth? Do psychopaths really understand moral language? These are just some of the questions we'll be asking on this module. Metaethics isn’t anything like normative or applied ethics; rather it is about asking how ethics works. This means we'll be thinking about, amongst other things, moral ontology, moral language, moral psychology and moral reasons. The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.

Freedom and Obligation

This module combines consideration of the political philosophy of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and J.S. Mill with related themes in contemporary debates. The module is designed to introduce you to each of the thinkers and then to consider how related issues are treated by contemporary writers. You'll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.

History of Philosophy

The module involves the study of one or more texts by one or more influential pre-21st century philosophers. The module will proceed via a close reading of the texts set and also draw on additional material by scholars, background material, and influential responses. There is a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.

Knowledge and Justification

This module explores contemporary treatments of issues pertaining to knowledge and the justification of belief. It addresses issues such as the following: the structure of justification and its relation to one's mental states and evidence; the justification of induction; the notion of a priori justification and the relation between your evidence and what you know, among others. You'll have two hours of lectures some weeks and a hour-long lecture with an hour-long seminar on others throughout the semester.

Mind and Consciousness

This module aims to introduce you to some of the major issues within contemporary philosophy of mind. We will examine four topics and the interactions between them: intentionality, consciousness, mental causation and the status of physicalism. You'll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar.

The Nature of Meaning

The module begins with an exploration of various theories of naming, paying particular attention to the works of Frege, Russell, and Kripke. We then turn our attention to various puzzles concerning the nature of meaning, including the distinction between analytic and synthetic sentences. In the final part of the module, we move on to a discussion of some of the mainstream theories of meaning; particularly, a truth-conditional semantics, and we explore how this might be developed to take into account indexical terms such as 'I', 'now', and 'here'. You'll have a weekly two hour lecture and one hour seminar. 

Normative Ethics

We all have opinions about moral matters. But for most of us, our moral opinions are not very well-organised. Indeed, upon reflection we may discover that some of our beliefs about morality are inconsistent. One of the main projects of moral theorizing over the past few hundred years has been the attempt to systematically denominate right and wrong actions. In this module you will examine some of these, including consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics. Teaching will be via a weekly two hour seminar and one hour lecture. 

Philosophy of Art

This module includes a discussion of some philosophical problems pertaining to art. Topics will include: definitions of art, Walton’s theory of make-believe, art, music, and the emotions, and the ontological status of artworks. This module aims to promote a deeper understanding of philosophical issues pertaining to art. By the end of the module, you should be able to discuss and evaluate different views of the expressive power of art, to explain certain current views on expression and representation, and to present the main contemporary viewpoints pertaining to the nature of artworks. The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.

Social Philosophy

In this module you'll discuss key issues in social philosophy. Indicative topics that might be covered include: philosophy of gender; philosophy of race; philosophy of disability; philosophy of relationships and friendship; slavery and abolition; social and psychological oppression; the political thought of Hannah Arendt.  Recently, the focus for this module has been on the Philosophy of Race and has concerned questions such as: How should race be conceptualised following the discrediting of biological conceptions of race? What does it mean to consider race as a social construct? Should we be eliminitivists about race? What are the implications of how we conceptualise race for understandings of racism? The teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars.


Optional economics modules

Development Economics

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 urbanization
  • markets in agriculture
  • agricultural household models
  • risk and insurance
  • famines

The module aims to:

  • introduce some of the main economic issues facing developing countries
  • provide students with appropriate theoretical tools to analyse and understand these issues
  • provide students with guidance as to sources of empirical analysis and evidence, which they can follow up via the reading list and in work for tutorials
  • introduce key policy issues relating to the topics discussed
  • more generally, to illustrate the application of relevant economic theory and analysis to real economic issues
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?

The modules aims to look at environmental issues from an economic perspective and provide an overview of the economic tools that are used to address environmental problems.

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 students 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.

The module aims to:

  • engender thinking about economics as an empirical science and what that entails
  • introduce students to attempts to relax conventional assumptions such as unlimited rationality and own-payoff maximisation
  • provide a foundation knowledge relating to the design and implementation of appropriate experimental tests of economic theories
  • engender presentation and communications skills
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.

This module aims to:

  • introduce some basic theoretical tools useful for analysing financial market operations
  • provide an understanding of the behaviour of financially constrained consumers and firms
  • analyse the role of financial intermediation
Industrial Economics

This module provides an economic analysis of the theory and practice of organization 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.

This module aims to:

  • introduce students to economic theories used in the analysis of industries
  • evaluate these theories in view of empirical evidence
  • describe policy implications of these theories and their empirical evaluation
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.

This module aims to:

  • provide an introduction to core theories of international trade
  • see how these theories help us think about the pattern of trade and welfare gains from international trade
  • evaluate the effects of government policies like tariffs, quotas and export subsidies
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.

The module aims to:

  • acquaint students with the modern literature in theoretical and applied political economy
  • provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary study within the Economics degree
  • promote understanding of what economic techniques have to offer political science
  • enrich students' study of economics with insights from political science
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.

The module aims to:

  • provide an introduction to theories of economic behaviour in the labour market
  • summarise and explain the empirical evidence on these theories
  • provide a description of the UK labour market and an analysis of recent policy in the light of this theory and evidence
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.

This module aims to:

  • build on core macroeconomic understanding to explore monetary economics
  • study in detail various topical issues in the field of monetary economics
  • give students a comprehensive grasp of underpinnings of monetary policy analysis
Public Sector Economics

his 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.

The module aims to:

  • introduce students to the basic conceptual vocabulary of the economic analysis of public sector economics
  • lay the foundations necessary for an understanding of those Third Year courses drawing on such a conceptual framework
  • stimulate an interest in public sector issues
  • inform students of the current agenda of public sector analysis
  • instruct in the basic analytic techniques, thereby enabling students to make informed policy judgements in the field

Typical year three modules

There are no core modules for year three.

Optional philosophy modules

Advanced Logic

This module investigates different kinds of contemporary logic, as well as their uses in philosophy. We will look at logics of possibility and necessity, time, and knowledge, as well as alternative logics, including 'anti-realist' logic and fuzzy logic. We will apply formal techniques from these logics to philosophical topics including vagueness, the liar paradox and anti-realism. We will also investigate basic set theory, infinity and the limits of formal logic, including soundness, completeness and decidability proofs.

Buddhist Philosophy

The module will focus on a critical examination of core aspects of Buddhist thinking, with emphasis on some of its basic psychological, spiritual, and metaphysical conceptions. These include, in particular: the origin and nature of suffering, the no-self thesis, enlightenment, consciousness, experiential knowing, and the doctrine of Emptiness ( the lack of inherent nature in all things and impermanence).

The module will focus particularly on Nâgârjuna's philosophy of the 'middle way' and some modern commentaries on it. The module will approach Buddhism as a philosophical world-view, rather than as a religious one. The module will not be involved in detailed exegesis of ancient texts. When possible the module will try to link Buddhist conceptions to contemporary ideas about personhood, consciousness and the fundamental nature of reality. You will have a mixture of seminars and lectures for this module. 

Communicating Philosophy

This module will teach students how to communicate philosophy through a variety of different mediums, assessing them in each. We will look at how philosophy can be communicated through legal documentation, press releases, handouts, lesson plans, digital marketing campaigns, funding bids and posters (with optional presentations). A number of the sessions may be delivered by professionals from outside the University, with support from the module conveners.


The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to write an 8,000 word dissertation on a philosophical topic, the precise subject of which is by agreement with the supervisor. At the completion of the module you will have had an opportunity to work independently, though with the advice of a supervisor.

Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics addresses the issue of how human beings should interact with the non-human natural world. This module will cover a range of topics from contemporary philosophical literature on environmental ethics, including: the scope of moral concern (ie. whether and how our moral theory should concern itself with animals, plants, rocks, ecosystems); whether nature is intrinsically valuable, or whether it possesses value only by being valuable to us; whether it is reasonable to search for just one overarching 'environmental ethic' (ie. the debate between monism and pluralism in ethics); the metaphysics, ethics and politics of the 'deep ecology' movement; whether there is any connection between the twin oppressions of women and nature (as ecofeminists claim); the nature of sustainability and whether it is worth seeking; the ethics of restoring nature after it has been damaged by human development; whether there are any distinct environmental virtues.

Free Will and Action

This module will focus on a number of questions, including: what would it take for an action to be free (or an exercise of 'free will')? Is there is any way in which our actions could be free in the relevant sense, whether or not determinism is true? How do actions differ from bodily movements that are not actions? Actions are typically (perhaps always) done for reasons, but what exactly is the relation between the reasons and the actions? Do the reasons cause the corresponding actions - and if they do, can this be the same kind of causation as is involved in ordinary 'mechanistic' causal explanation? What is the connection between intentional or voluntary action and rational action? In particular, it seems that we sometimes intentionally and voluntarily do things that we ourselves regard as irrational - but how is such 'weakness of will' possible? You'll be taught through a two-hour lecture each week.


In this module you'll be introduced to the theories of Karl Marx through selected texts from his works. Topics covers will include: alienation, the material conception of history, the labour theory of value and French political theory among others. You'll gain an understanding of concepts essential for advanced study on this course.

Metaphysics and Language: Quine, Kripke and Lewis

The module involves the study of Naming and Necessity, a seminal text in the philosophy of language, philosophical logic and metaphysics of one of the most influential philosophers of the second half of the 20th century: Saul Kripke. His work is generally considered the starting point of a twentieth century revolution in the philosophy of language and metaphysics, overturning the consensus established through the writings of Frege and Russell on reference and naming, and inaugurating a new era of analytical metaphysics, central to which is the acknowledgement of necessary a posteriori truths and a division between essential and accidental properties of individuals and kinds. The course will proceed via a close reading of Naming and Necessity, and also draw on additional material by Kripke, background material and some influential responses.

Personal Identity

If you and another person had your brains swapped, would you have swapped bodies? Or should we say that you still exist in your old body, only now your memories, beliefs, personality traits, etc. are different? Would you survive teleportation? What if teleporting worked by recording your body state, destroying your body, and then creating a copy of it elsewhere? Would this copy be morally responsible for your crimes? What if the teleporter created two copies? These puzzles raise the issue of what your continued existence consists of - are you essentially a brain, a soul, a body, a set of mental states, or something else? This is the issue we will examine in this course. We will also examine the moral implications of personal identity.

Philosophy of Criminal Law

There is perhaps no more vivid example of the exercise of state power over individuals than through the institution of criminal law. The criminal law raises a host of important philosophical questions, such as these: Is there a general obligation to obey the law? If so, what is the basis for this obligation? What sorts of acts should be criminalised, and why? What does it mean for someone to be responsible for a crime, or for the state to hold someone responsible? What is the proper role for the presumption of innocence: Who must presume whom to be innocent of what? Is criminal punishment justified? If so, why? Is the state ever justified in imposing legal restrictions on offenders even after they have completed their punishment? How should the criminal law function in the international context? Readings will include seminal works by historical figures such as Plato, Bentham, and Kant, as well as prominent work by more contemporary philosophers such as Hart, Hampton, Duff, and others.

Philosophy of Science

What is science? Is there a scientific method, and if so, what is it? Can science tell us what the world is really like? Is it the only way to know what the world is really like? Does science progress? What is a 'paradigm' and when/how does it 'shift'? Is science 'socially constructed'? Can a sociological study of the practice of science tell us anything about the nature of science? Is science 'value-neutral'? Should we 'save society from science'? What are 'the science wars' and who won?

These are some of the questions we will explore in this module. We will start with the positivism-empiricism of the early 20th century and culminate with the postmodernismrelativism of the late-20th century and its aftermath. Readings will include seminal works by Ayer, Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyeraband, Bloor, and Laudan.


This module will take a detailed look at one of the main topics of contemporary analytical political philosophy: the theory of distributive justice. This theory attempts to specify abstractly the conditions under which a distribution of benefits and burdens amongst a group of persons would be just. You will consider challenges to the legitimacy of any redistributive principle, and attempts to accommodate values such as responsibility and choice in different patterns of distribution. You'll have a two hour lecture and one hour seminar each week.


Optional economics modules

Advanced Development Economics

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.

The specific aims to this module are to:

  • introduce some of the main economic issues facing developing countries
  • provide students with appropriate theoretical tools to analyse and understand these issues
  • provide students with guidance as to sources of empirical analysis and evidence, which they can follow up via the reading list and in work for tutorials
  • introduce key policy issues relating to the topics discussed
  • more generally, to illustrate the application of relevant economic theory and analysis to real economic issues
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. We also extend the analysis from a single equation model to simultaneous equation models.

There are three specific aims for this module are to:

  • provide the necessary statistical techniques needed to conduct asymptotic econometric theory
  • develop the analytical skills required to demonstrate theoretical asymptotic properties of different econometric estimation and testing procedures under weakened modelling assumptions
  • provide a proper understanding of the applicability and limitations of asymptotic theory in econometric analysis
Advanced Environmental and Resource Economics

This module covers the following:

  • Principles of resource policy: efficiency and sustainability
  • The depletion of non-renewable natural resources: resource use under social optimum and in imperfectly competitive markets
  • Renewable resources: the economics of fisheries and forestry
  • Climate change and intertemporal efficiency
  • Energy markets and policy: the economics of electricity markets, market power, renewable energy

The module aims to look at natural resource use from an economic perspective and provide an overview of the economic tools that are used to address resource management and energy policy issues.

Advanced Experimental and Behavioural Economics

The module complements the existing second year module Experimental Economics I. Its objective is to provide a broader review of the emerging discipline of experimental economics. 

The aims of the module are to:

  • develop understanding of principles of experimental design in experimental economics
  • provide a wide-ranging review of the types of experiment that can be undertaken in economics and to enable students to assess their strengths and weaknesses
  • acquaint students with the central findings of the experimental research programmes considered and to encourage consideration of their implications for economics
Advanced Financial Economics

This module examines issues related to the impact of financial frictions on the financial system and the economy. Potential topics include:

  • the effects of financial constraints on the ability of firms to raise funds from different sources
  • the impact of financial constraints on consumer credit
  • the role of financial intermediaries

The module will also examine the transmission of shocks from the financial system to the macroeconomy and discuss relevant policies.

The primary aims of the module are to:

  • analyse the role of financial markets in the presence of frictions
  • examine the implications of financial frictions for corporate and consumer finance
  • examine the impact of financial shocks on the economy
Advanced International Trade Theory
  • Models of intra-industry trade
  • Trade policy in oligopolistic industries
  • Mathematical enterprises
  • Testing trade theories
  • The WTO and "new issues"

This module aims to:

  • provide a coherent theoretical framework that will give students a firm basis for the analysis of policy issues in the area of trade in imperfectly competitive markets
  • discuss how alternative trade theories might be distinguished empirically
  • identify and analyse changes in the nature and scale of protection in both developed and developing countries and to discuss the likely impacts of international agreements on trade and related policies
Advanced Labour Economics

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

The module examines some current issues in labour economics paying particular attention to worker compensation schemes, and the effect different compensation packages have on firm productivity and profits.

The module focuses on the UK labour market, and includes both a theoretical and empirical content throughout. 

Advanced Macroeconomics

Part I

  1. Introduction: adaptive expectations vs. rational expectations
  2. Single-equation, forward-looking linear rational expectations models
  3. Dual-equation, forward-looking linear rational expectations models and saddle-path dynamics
  4. Deficits, inflation and hyperinflation: the nonlinear seigniorage model
  5. The Lucas island model
  6. The Lucas critique of econometric policy evaluation

Part II

  1. Dynamic general equilibrium models
  2. Growth in dynamic general equilibrium
  3. Real Business Cycles (RBC) 

This module follows important developments in Macroeconomics over the last 30 years. The main objective is to provide a broad overview of the field at an advanced level.

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.

There are three main aims for this module and they are to:

  • provide a rigorous grounding in certain mathematical tools and methods of argumentation used in microeconomic theory
  • develop a clear perception of the role of mathematical tools and logical methods in the construction of the formal theory of individual decision-making
  • inculcate the ability to analyse economic problems through rigorous applications of the formal theory of individual decision-making
Advanced Microeconomics

The module will cover topics in advanced microeconomics and decision theory. 

This module aims to develop students' understanding of microeconomic theory with particular emphasis on showing the role information plays in markets. The material allows students to build on their prior learning in microeconomics.

Advanced Monetary Economics

This module will provide an outline of the elements of monetary theory and of theoretical policy issues. The module will begin with the nature of a monetary economy and will examine the characteristics of a classical monetary model. We will then consider the modifications offered by the Walrasians, Keynesians and the Monetarist, and the treatment of money as a financial asset in a liquidity spectrum will be covered in the lectures on portfolio theory. A guest lecture by a senior staff member from the Bank of England will explain how monetary policy is implemented each month by the monetary policy committee.

This module aims to:

  • convey all the basic rudiments of monetary economics

The objectives will be to cover each element of monetary economics in self-contained modules of lectures.

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.

The first part of this module aims to introduce students to some of the important concepts and techniques required to identify the limits of what markets can achieve, and to evaluate the potential for benevolent government intervention to achieve better outcomes.

The second part questions some fundamental assumptions of the previous part:

  • the government’s benevolence (what about voting?)
  • economic efficiency as the sole government's objective (what about inequality and poverty?)
  • the effectiveness of government's policy instruments (what about tax evasion?)
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.

This module aims to:

  • introduce the concept of unit autoregressive roots, and the consequences of that concept for the analysis of economic time series - in particular, the importance of co-integration analysis and error-correction models
  • introduce other time series - analytic concepts and tools that have found applicability in economics
Health Economics

This module will cover the following:

  • introduction to health and health economics
  • healthcare as a commodity (Grossman model, market complications, such as rationality, externalities, uncertainty)
  • implications of health and healthcare demand (prices, insurance, supply-induced demand, consumer protection)
  • health behaviour (illness prevention, such as tobacco smoking, vaccination, cancer screening), economic aspects of the UK National Health Service (excess demand, efficiency, equity)
  • healthcare supply (factor substitution, economies of scale, technology diffusion)
  • international aspects of healthcare

The module aims to:

  • explore the behavioural theories relevant to the analysis of health and healthcare
  • analyse the implications of alternative methods of healthcare delivery
  • demonstrate how economic analysis can inform and appraise decisions on health policy
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.

The specific aims of the module are to:

  • provide a detailed understanding of alternative theories of market structure
  • provide a rigorous analysis of issues related to the internal organisation of firms 
International 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. The first part of the module deals with fixed exchange rates, explaining the consequences of a fixed parity for monetary, fiscal and external policy. The second part deals with floating exchange rates and the market forces, which arbitrage away differentials in goods and asset prices across international borders.

This module aims to:

  • provide an introduction to the international monetary economics

The objectives include an understanding of the exchange rate markets, exchange rate policy, balance of payments and international monetary arrangements.

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

This module aims to:

  • provide a coherent theoretical framework that will give students a firm basis for the analysis of trade policy issues under competitive and uncompetitive conditions
  • show how that framework can be used to analyse and empirically estimate the costs and effects of trade policies
  • provide the basis for the further study of trade policy issues in the semester two modules on the Economics of International Trade and International Trade Policy and the European Community
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 optimization

  • 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   

The specific aims of the module are to:

  • provide a detailed understanding of numerical methods used in economics
  • develop an understanding of how the discussed methods can be applied to various economic problems
Political Economy

The module will cover the following:

  • Foundations: the rational political individual?
  • Collective action
  • The Rational Society?
  • Core: The economic approach to voters, parties and bureaucracies
  • Core: The politics of markets and government intervention
  • Political economy in action

The module will close with a discussion of two to three contemporary problems in applied political economy.

Specific module aims are to:

  • acquaint students with the modern literature in theoretical and applied political economy
  • provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary study within the economics degree
  • promote understanding of what economic techniques have to offer political science
  • enrich students' study of economics with insights from political science and political philosophy
Topics in Econometrics

This module seeks to illustrate the application of econometric techniques to the modelling and analysis of a series of economic problems, applying econometric modelling methods acquired in earlier econometrics modules. This module aims to:

  • introduce a range of state-of-the-art techniques used in modern time series econometric modelling and analysis, including an understanding of how these techniques relate to and are motivated by stylised features of economic data
  • provide an appreciation and understanding of the possible pitfalls associated with and opportunities provided by time series econometric modelling


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.

On this course, you can apply to spend part of your second year at one of our international partner universities in Australia and Canada. 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).

Find out more.



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.

Philosophy graduates are recognised by graduate recruiters as highly adept in analytical reasoning, clear presentation of ideas, constructive discussion and the ability to articulate complex ideas and lines of reasoning in accessible ways. These highly transferable skills mean that individuals are well equipped for their chosen career.

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.*

In 2015, 93% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Philosophy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,871 with the highest being £45,000.*

* 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.  


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


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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.


Jo Morgan  









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