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Course overview

What motivates our behaviours and choices? How do we define ethical behaviour in commerce? How do concepts of social justice influence economic policy?

Our BA Economics and Philosophy degree will help you answer questions like this through the philosophical analysis of economic phenomena. You’ll study microeconomics and macroeconomics, as well as core aspects of philosophy including reasoning, logic and ethics.

You can tailor your studies to your individual career aspirations through optional modules that allow you to specialise in areas such as behavioural economics, social philosophy, economic policy analysis and the nature of meaning. You can also enhance your CV by studying abroad at our campuses in China or Malaysia, or with a partner institution in locations like Australia, Canada or Japan.

Why choose this course?

  • Flexible course with a broad range of modules
  • Study abroad opportunities at the University’s campuses in China or Malaysia or in locations such as Australia, Canada and Japan
  • Summer internship or placement year options available, which often lead to a graduate job offer

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer A*AA (A*ABB for those taking four full A levels and completing them in the same year)
Required subjects GCSE maths, 7 (A) or above, unless taking it at A level
IB score 38

Excluding general studies, leisure studies, and global perspectives and research.

Applicants taking foundation courses should contact us for more information.

Mature students

At the University of Nottingham we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on our mature students webpage.

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 UCAS application.

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors additional to, and in some cases instead of, formal exam results.

Selection of those applicants will be based upon a combination of the candidate's academic record and an assessment of all the information provided in their UCAS application, their academic reference and their personal statement.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Examinations
  • Presentation

Contact time and study hours

You’ll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer classes and supervisions.

  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours
  • Year two: minimum of 10 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours

You will also be expected to engage in independent study.

Study abroad

On this course, you can apply to spend a semester studying abroad at the University's campuses in China or Malaysia, or at one of our partner institutions in locations such as Australia, Canada and Japan.

Teaching is typically in English, but there may be opportunities to study in another language if you are sufficiently fluent.

This will give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and enhance your CV by experiencing another culture. You can choose to study similar modules to your counterparts back in Nottingham or expand your knowledge by taking other options.

Year in industry

An optional placement year is available for all undergraduate students whose course does not have a compulsory placement or study abroad element. The University's Careers and Employability Service will support you in arranging this.

Placements

Our placements and internship programme provides local, national and international placements to ensure our graduates are competitive in the current job market. You'll have the opportunity to develop key skills and experience in the workplace.

Modules

In economics, you will typically study macroeconomics and microeconomics, as well as a study skills module to ensure that your transition to university study is smooth.

In philosophy, you will take modules such as Elementary Logic, and Self, Mind and Body.

Core economics modules

Foundations of Economics

This is an introductory module in microeconomics and macroeconomics; there is no assumption of any prior knowledge of economics.

The first semester considers microeconomics. 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 the analysis of monopolistic firms. The module continues by providing an introduction to the normative evaluation of economic outcomes and market failures.

The second semester considers macroeconomics - the study of the aggregate economy. This part 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.

The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians

How does economics impact on politicians? And how do politicians impact on economics? You will study both contemporary economics and the political leaders who have put key economic theories into practice throughout history.

This module covers the following topics:

  • The scope and method of economics
  • Alexander Hamilton and the role of state in the economy
  • Sir Robert Peel and Free Trade
  • The Meiji Emperor and Industrialisation
  • Franklin D Roosevelt and Demand Management
  • Ludwig Erhard and Supply Side Economics
  • Margaret Thatcher and Monetarism and Rolling Back the State
  • Deng Xiaoping and Growth, Development and Convergence

One of:

Mathematical Economics and Econometrics

The first half of the 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.

The second half introduces the statistical methods required for data analysis in economics. We concentrate on statistical distribution theory and statistical inference before applying these concepts to the study of the linear regression model, whose extensions will be analysed in detail in subsequent econometrics modules.

Mathematical Economics and Statistical Methods

The first half of the 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. The second half introduces the statistical methods and concepts most applicable in economics.

The analysis of economic data necessarily proceeds in an environment where there is uncertainty about the processes that generated the data. Statistical methods provide a framework for understanding and characterising this uncertainty. These concepts are most conveniently introduced through the analysis of single-variable problems. However, economists are most often concerned about relationships among variables.

The module builds towards the study of regression analysis, which is often applied by economists in studying such relationships.

Quantitative Economics

The first half of the module provides an introduction to the mathematical methods required for economic modelling, focusing on

  • mathematical finance
  • analysis of functions
  • supply and demand
  • matrix algebra
  • differentiation
  • elasticities
  • maximisation/minimisation
  • optimisation subject to constraints
  • Lagrange multipliers
  • integration

The second half introduces the statistical methods and concepts most applicable in economics. The analysis of economic data necessarily proceeds in an environment where there is uncertainty about the processes that generated the data. Statistical methods provide a framework for understanding and characterising this uncertainty.

These concepts are most conveniently introduced through the analysis of single-variable problems. However, economists are most often concerned about relationships among variables. The module builds towards the study of regression analysis, which is often applied by economists in studying such relationships.

Quantitative Methods

The first half of the module provides an introduction to the mathematical methods required for economic modelling, focusing on:

  • mathematical finance
  • analysis of functions
  • supply and demand
  • matrix algebra
  • differentiation
  • elasticities, maximisation/minimisation
  • optimisation subject to constraints

The second half introduces the statistical methods and concepts most applicable in economics. The analysis of economic data necessarily proceeds in an environment where there is uncertainty about the processes that generated the data. Statistical methods provide a framework for understanding and characterising this uncertainty.

These concepts are most conveniently introduced through the analysis of single-variable problems. However, economists are most often concerned about relationships among variables. The module builds towards the study of regression analysis, which is often applied by economists in studying such relationships.

Core philosophy modules

Mind, Knowledge, and Ethics

This module covers issues in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. Topics might include the mind body problem, the nature of persons, perception, knowledge, free will, the nature of ethics, normative theories, the problem of moral motivation, and the nature of ethical judgements.

Reasoning, Argument, and Logic

This module introduces a series of key skills relevant to the aims and methods of philosophical inquiry. It is designed to:

  • help you understand the nature and structure of arguments
  • acquire critical tools for assessing the arguments of others
  • improve your ability to present your own reasoning in a clear and rigorous manner, particularly in essays
  • supply the basic minimum knowledge of logic and its technical vocabulary which every philosophy student requires

Optional philosophy modules

One of:

Metaphysics, Science, and Language

The module will cover topics from each of Metaphysics, Epistemology and the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of language. Indicative questions include:

  • metaphysics – why is there something rather than nothing? Does it make sense to talk of a telos, or purpose, to the universe? Is the universe deterministic, or is there chance
  • philosophy of science – is science the guide to all of reality? Is there a scientific method
  • philosophy of language – what is truth? Is truth relative? Does language create reality?
Philosophy of Religions

This module will explore the thought about religion of a few key philosophical thinkers chosen from more than one tradition. Representative thinkers might include, but are not limited to, atheists such as Feuerbach and Nietzsche, Buddhists such as Śāntideva and Dōgen, Christians such as Augustine, Pascal and Weil, Hindus such as the writers of the Upanisads and Shankara, Jews such as Spinoza and Buber, Muslims such as Mulla Sadra and Nasr, and Taoists such as Zhuangzi; in some years, more contemporary thinkers might be chosen.

The texts will be used to raise issues of wider philosophical significance, such as the variety of conceptions of ultimate reality; goals for the spiritual life; the nature of religious experience; the relations of religion and morality; explanations of suffering and evil; human nature and continuing existence after death; and problems of religious diversity. While such content may vary from year to year, each year will focus on a few key thinkers and themes.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Second-year studies will build on your experience with core modules on economic theory, as well as optional modules from economics and philosophy.

Core economics 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.

Optional philosophy modules

Ancient Greek Philosophy

This module explores some of the major thinkers, texts and themes of Ancient Greek philosophy. Ancient Greek philosophy stands at the beginning of the western philosophical tradition and western philosophy has been shaped by a sustained engagement with Ancient Greek thought in areas of philosophy, such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and political theory.

Topics and thinkers may include: Presocratic Philosophy; Heraclitus; Parmenides; the Sophistic movement; Plato and Platonism; Socrates and the Socratic Schools (Cynics, Cyrenaics and Megarics); Aristotle (ethics, political theory, natural philosophy, metaphysics); Epicurus and Epicureanism; Stoicism; Academic and Pyrrhonian Scepticism; Plotinus and Neoplatonism; Pythagoreansim. No knowledge of the Ancient Greek language is required.

Being, Becoming and Reality

We look at some fundamental metaphysical questions about the cosmos. A selection of the following topics will be studied:

  • Objects: concrete vs. abstract; existence and nothingness
  • Sets and mereology
  • Properties, Property bearers, Relations
  • States of affairs and non-mereological composition
  • Modality (including counterfactuals) and possible worlds
  • Time, persistence, change, and the non-present
Continental Philosophy

This module will introduce the European tradition of philosophical thinking prevalent over the past two centuries. It will begin with an introduction to the influence of Kant and Hegel and recurrent characteristics of European thought, before turning to focus on representative texts by key thinkers.

Texts for more in depth study might include, for example: Ludwig Feuerbach’s Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, Henri Bergson’s Creative Evolution, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols, Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, and Luce Irigaray’s Speculum of the Other Woman.

Emphasis will be placed on the different images of thought at work in European philosophical texts, as well as on how differing approaches to metaphysics, ethics and politics are grounded in newly-created perspectives.

Freedom and Obligation

Are you obliged to obey the law even when you disagree with it? What features must a state have in order to be legitimate? In this module we will approach these classic questions of political philosophy by examining the work of a number of important past political philosophers, such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (this list is suggestive, and the line up each year may vary).

The emphasis of the module is partly exegetical and partly evaluative. That is, we will seek both to understand why the thinkers' works have been open to different interpretations, and to evaluate their arguments under these different interpretations.

Intermediate Logic

This module takes formal logic beyond the basics (as covered in first year Reasoning, Argument, and Logic). We’ll cover Propositional Logic, First-Order Logic, and Modal Logic (going into more detail where these were covered in first year).

We’ll learn about existence, identity, possibility, and necessity; and we’ll learn formal techniques for testing the validity of arguments. We’ll apply these logical techniques to help us make sense of challenging concepts and arguments in metaphysics and philosophy of language.

An Introduction to Metaethics
Are there moral facts? 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. Introductory reading Andrew Fisher (2011) Metaethics: An Introduction (Routledge).
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 (foundationalism vs. coherentism; internalism vs.externalism; evidentialism)
  • the justification of induction; the notion of a priori justification
  • the relation between your evidence and what you know
  • the natures of perceptual experience and perceptual knowledge
  • safety and contextualist theories of knowledge
  • Moore's response to skepticism
  • testimonial knowledge, "virtue" epistemology and its relation to "reliabilist" epistemology
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
  • The Status of Physicalism
The Nature of Meaning

The module begins with an exploration of various theories of reference and meaning, paying particular attention to the classic theories of singular terms (including Frege, Russell, and Kripke). We then turn our attention to pragmatics, and we cover Grice's theory of implicature and Searle's theory of speech acts.

In the final part of this module, we assess various problems in philosophy of language and logic, primarily having to do with the interactions between semantics and pragmatics and with the roles of context in the theory of communication.

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 theorising 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. 

Philosophy of Art

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 engage critically with positions and arguments in a wide range of areas within the philosophy of art.

These include debates such as those concerning the nature of art, the relationship between art and ethics, and the relationship between art and emotion.

Philosophy of Science: From Positivism to Postmodernism

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 postmodernism-relativism of the late-20th century and its aftermath.

Readings will include seminal works by Ayer, Hempel, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyeraband, Bloor, and Laudan. While we may consider various examples from the history of science, no background knowledge of science or logic (beyond elementary first-year logic) is presupposed. 

Social Philosophy

This module addresses issues in social metaphysics and social epistemology. We will examine the metaphysics of social kinds and explore different accounts of social kinds that have been offered. We will also examine how the fact that we are situated in a social world can affect what we can or cannot know or understand about ourselves, each other, and the social world itself. We will also address ethical and/or political issues that arise once we take account of social metaphysics and social epistemology.

In particular, we might consider whether there are special kinds of injustices that arise due to our social reality. What is epistemic injustice and how does it relate to social injustice? How do certain privileged groups structure the social world that create and maintain privilege and patterns of ignorance that perpetuate that privilege? What are some obligations that we have given metaphysical and epistemological concerns we have explored? 

Topics in Asian Philosophy

This module explores some of the major figures, texts, and schools of the philosophical traditions of India, China, and Japan. The Asian traditions address familiar philosophical themes – in ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics - but often approach them in ways that may seem unfamiliar. Studying them can challenge our culturally inherited presuppositions in instructive ways, as well as illuminating the history and current state of those cultures – an important thing in an age when many Westerners are ‘looking East’.

Topics may include:

  • Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, and Hinduism
  • the Analects, Bhagavad Gita, and Zhuangzi
  • the relationship between morality and religion
  • etiquette, ethics and aesthetics
  • the nature of ultimate reality and the good life
  • the relation of Asian philosophies to the Western tradition

Optional economics modules

Applied Econometrics I

An introduction to the theory and practice of econometric methods, focusing on regression analysis and its application to economic situations. This module will pay particular attention to the principles of estimation and inference in the multiple regression model, and will rely on illustrations and intuition to develop understanding of the techniques and their interpretation.

You will deepen your understanding of the material covered in class via a series of 'hands-on' computer classes using specialist econometric software (STATA) and a set of tutorials that will review worked examples.

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
Econometric Theory I

This module generalises and builds upon the econometric techniques covered in the year one module, Mathematical Economics and 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.

Environmental and Resource Economics

This modules will look at:

  • 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
  • fisheries - the open access problem and rights-based policies
  • 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 offer an introduction to some theoretical concepts related to the allocation of risk by financial institutions. Then it will apply these concepts to the analysis of financial and banking crises.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

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.

Optional economics modules

Up to two from:

Advanced International Trade II

This module covers:

  • Models of intra-industry trade
  • Trade policy in oligopolistic industries
  • Multinational Enterprises
  • Testing trade theories
  • The WTO and "new issues"
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.

Economic Policy Analysis I

This module will introduce you to economic policy analysis. It will focus on the role played by different institutional rules in shaping the behaviour of elected governments by providing incentives to elected governments.

Economic Policy Analysis II

The module will cover post-crisis monetary policy; controlling money markets with excess reserves; spillovers of QE; effects of QE on asset and credit markets; low real equilibrium interest rates; uncertainty in monetary policy.

International Money and Macroeconomics

This module will provide an introduction to international monetary issues, including the determination of exchange rates and international spill-over effects. 

Microeconometric Methods

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

At least two and no more than three from:

Advanced Development Economics

This module adopts a broad focus on factors influencing growth and development, concentrating on core economic policy areas and the role of international organisations.

Topics covered include macroeconomic policies, in particular exchange rates and the role of the IMF; aid policy and the World Bank, effects of aid on growth, macroeconomic and fiscal policy, and poverty; trade policy and performance and the WTO; economic reforms and growth experiences in East Asia, China and Africa; human development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Advanced Experimental and Behavioural Economics

This module discusses aspects of some of the main sub-areas of experimental and behavioural economics. This includes applications related to individual decision-making, strategic behaviour and market behaviour.

The module encourages reflection on both the role of experiments in economics and the assumptions that economics does (and should) make about people’s motivations. Both experimental economics and behavioural economics are still comparatively new fields within the wider discipline.

The module considers their potential and main achievements, relative to more traditional economic techniques. It encourages development of critical skills and reflection on specific research contributions in experimental and behavioural economics.

Advanced Financial Economics

The module covers:

  • 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
  • bond markets and fixed income securities
  • the term structure of interest rates
  • the role of behavioural finance in explaining stock market puzzles
Advanced Industrial Economics

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.

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:

  • 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 accounts for business cycle fluctuations, and what links short run fluctuations and growth processes
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 provides a rigorous introduction to formal models of money in the macroeconomy. Following this, applications for areas of central banking, finance and international macroeconomics will be explored.

Advanced Political Economy

The module will cover the following:

Foundations

  • 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
Advanced Public Economics

The module will introduce some major themes of the economic analysis of government. Using the tools of modern microeconomic theory, it will explore how government institutions are designed, how they could be designed better, and how they shape economic policy.

Optional philosophy modules

Up to three from:

Advanced Logic

This module investigates different kinds of contemporary logic, as well as their uses in philosophy. We will investigate the syntax and semantics of various logics, including first order logic, modal logics, and three-valued logics, as well as ways to apply formal techniques from these logics to philosophical topics such as possibility and necessity, vagueness, and the Liar paradox.

We’ll cover ways to reason and construct proofs using the logics we study, and also ways to reason about them. We’ll look at proofs regarding the limits of formal logic, including proofs of soundness, completeness, and decidability.

Advanced Philosophy of Mind

The philosophy of mind addresses philosophical questions about the mind and aspects of the mind: mental or psychological states and capacities. Advanced topics in the philosophy of mind will focus on a specific area (or areas) of the philosophy of mind.

Which specific area (or areas) of philosophy of mind is in focus may vary from year to year. So the topics for this area of philosophy of mind may include:

  • the nature of perception
  • the nature of perceptual consciousness
  • the directness or indirectness of perception
  • the perception-knowledge link
  • what properties or kinds perception can present
  • issues about the senses
  • specific issues about vision and audition
Advanced Topics in Aesthetics

This module is a discussion of some philosophical problems pertaining to art. Topics could include definitions of art, the objectivity versus the subjectivity of aesthetic evaluations, emotional response to art, the ontological status of artworks, and Walton's theory of make-believe.

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 the status of aesthetic evaluations, and to present the main contemporary viewpoints pertaining to the nature of artworks.

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).

Communicating Philosophy

This module will teach you 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, webpages, funding bids and posters (with optional presentations).

A number of the sessions will be delivered by professionals from outside the University, with support from the module convener. Seminars will be used to develop each of the items for assessment. You will be invited to draw upon your prior philosophical learning to generate your assessments, except in the case of handout where you will be set a specific philosophical task and asked to complete some (very basic) independent research.

Dissertation in Philosophy

The aim of this module is to provide you 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.

Representative topics include:

  • 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 ethics of zoos
  • the nature of sustainability
  • ethical issues relating to climate change
  • 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 involves the study of a set of related issues concerning the nature and explanation of action and the requirements for free action and free will. Questions to be discussed are likely to include all or most of the following:

  • What would it take for an action to be free (or an exercise of ‘free will’) in a sense that would make it an action for which we are morally responsible?
  • 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?
  • And what about the fact that at least some of our actions seem to have purely physical causes?
  • If they do, doesn’t this make any ‘mental causes’ of those actions redundant?
  • 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?
Knowledge, Ignorance and Democracy

Politics and truth have always had a complicated relationship. Lies, bullshit, spin, and propaganda are nothing new. But we have allegedly entered the era of 'post-truth' politics in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the facts. Moreover, polarization is on the rise in many democracies and political disagreements have spread to disputes about obvious matters of fact.

In this module, we will attempt to answer questions such as:

  • Should the existence of widespread disagreement in politics make us less confident in our own views?
  • Are voters morally or epistemically obligated to vote responsibly?
  • Is it rational for citizens to base their political views on group identity rather than reasoned arguments?
  • Should we have beliefs about complex policy questions about which we are not experts?
  • Is democracy the best form of government for getting at the truth?
Language, Metaphysics and Metametaphysics

Typically, this module introduces you to some advanced topics in contemporary analytic metaphysics. The module focuses on important topics, which have received recent attention. The topics covered will include:

  • metaphysical nihilism (why there is something rather than nothing, and the subtraction argument)
  • causation (the counterfactual theory and other accounts)
  • the metaphysics of grounding (and concerns with such a notion)
  • the metaphysics of absolute and relational space and time
  • vagueness and indeterminacy

The module presupposes a certain basic familiarity with general issues in metaphysics and the philosophy of language, but is designed to serve as an advanced introduction to new topics that is completely accessible to the uninitiated.

Marx

You will be introduced to the thought of Karl Marx thematically via texts selected from the Marx canon. Marxian themes considered will include:

  • Alienation
  • The Materialist Conception of History
  • Ideology
  • The Labour Theory of Value

Gaining an overview of Marx's attempt to synthesise German philosophy, French political theory, and British economics will be an important objective for the course.

Philosophy and Mortality

The module explores philosophical issues related to human mortality – illness, ageing, death and dying, and other dimensions of our embodied vulnerability. Typical topics might include:

  • the phenomenology of chronic somatic illness
  • psychiatry and mental health
  • the oppression of ill persons
  • the nature and practice of pathography (narrative accounts of the lived experience of illness)
  • the social experiences of ill persons
  • the moral and spiritual significance of illness and ageing
  • anti-natalism
  • the experience of dying
  • empathy, grief, and mourning
  • death and the meaning of life
  • the significance of human mortality to wider philosophical issues and concerns

By the end of the module, you should be able to identify and articulate the ethical and existential significance of various experiences of human mortality; to employ a range of different methods and approaches to understanding those experiences; and to think sensitively and humanely about human experiences of ageing, illness, and dying.

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. All reading assignments for this module are accessible to students with no training in criminal law.

Philosophy of Education

Education plays a fundamental part of all our lives. It shapes who we are, our value systems, our political and religious outlooks etc. This means it changes how society looks, how it operates, and what we think society ought to be like. Education is then of the most profound importance.

As philosophers we are uniquely placed to think long and hard about education: what its role is, what it role should be, who gets to decide what is taught etc. Rising to this challenge this module creates the space, and provides the tools, for you to do just this.

Philosophy of Recreation

We expect recompense when we work but appear to do recreational activities just for their own sake.

You'll use philosophical tools to examine the meaning and value of such recreational activities, exploring questions such as:

  • Is recreational sex and drug consumption merely about pleasurable sensations?
  • Why do we put such great effort into achieving seemingly arbitrary goals in sport?
  • Does it make sense for fans to feel elated if they played no part in a team’s success?
  • Is there something special about being in a zone of effortless attention whilst playing an instrument?
  • Could risking death seeking sensations of the sublime by climbing a mountain be better than safely siting on your sofa watching trash tv?
Philosophy of Sex

This module considers the conceptual, moral, political, and metaphysical issues raised by sexual activity. It also considers philosophical questions arising from the experience of groups considered sexual and gender minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.

Topics include:

  • the nature of sexual desire
  • sexual consent
  • sexual objectification
  • prostitution
  • pornography
  • sexual orientation
  • trans and intersex experiences

You will be encouraged to explore the relationships between these topics and to consider their application to debates and practices outside of philosophy.

Subjectivism and Relativism in Ethics

One often hears the opinion that ethics is subjective. But what does this mean, exactly?

And one often hears the view that ethics is relative. But relative to what?

And what is ‘ethics’ anyway?

And if ethics is subjective, or relative, what does that mean for ethics as a discipline? Does it mean, for example, that our ethical pronouncements can never be incorrect, never be challenged, or never disagreed with?

This module addresses these and other questions about the foundations of ethics, and gives students the material to develop their own views of this peculiarly human phenomenon.

Taking Utilitarianism Seriously

This module is an extended discussion of utilitarian approaches to moral and political philosophy, including utilitarian accounts of:

  • the nature of wellbeing
  • reasons and rightness
  • rights and justice
  • democracy
  • individual decision-making
  • praise and blame
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

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 £1,000 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

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Philosophy graduates are recognised by employers 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 you will be well equipped for your chosen career.

Our economics graduates also gain a range of specialist and transferable skills, including the ability to grasp complex economic concepts, both mathematical and philosophical. This will enable you to have a lucrative career in a wide variety of fields such as government, international agencies, private sector organisations or education.

Graduate destinations

Our economics graduates go into a wide variety of careers, including investment banking, accountancy, mergers and acquisitions, and stock and bond trading.

Recent graduates now work at organisations such as the Bank of America, Barclays, Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, HM Treasury, the Home Office, and Schroders.

Average starting salary and career progression

90.1% of undergraduates from the School of Economics secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £32,679.*

The School of Economics ranked 2nd in the UK for boosting graduate salaries, with graduates earning an average of £8,810 more than expected five years after graduation.**

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.
** The Economist British university rankings, 2017.

75.1% of undergraduates from the School of Humanities secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £22,180*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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 consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" I chose to study with the School of Economics not only because it is one of the best in the country, but because the school is very innovative and supportive in making sure that students' attainment is the best it can be. "
Ayotomiwa Ojo

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

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.