Plymouth Business School

BSc (Hons) Economics with International Relations

Do you aspire to become an expert in economics? Modern economics is an exciting and challenging subject which, explores the production, distribution and consumption of wealth and resources. You'll cover topics including financial markets, globalisation, international and local trade, consumption and the way government and international policies influence these processes. You’ll also discover more about the political, economic and social issues that affect all our lives.

The combination of academic excellence and practical knowledge we encourage on this course will help you stand out when it comes to entering the world of work. Our accomplished and analytically-adept graduates are snapped up for high-flying and varied careers with KPMG, HM Treasury, Ernst and Young, and other private and public sector organisations.

Careers with this subject

Competition for graduate jobs is fierce. The combination of academic excellence and practical knowledge we encourage on this course will help you stand out when it comes to entering the world of work.

Find out what our graduates are up to 

Key features

  • All of our named awards share a core syllabus, stressing the integration of theory and evidence in economic analysis and research.
  • Engage with current and past students with our Economics Society, and hear talks from visiting academics and professionals.
  • We are one of a small number of institutions with a modern computer suite containing dedicated Bloomberg terminals giving you access to financial data and information.
  • Join the Devon Junior Chamber and receive training and professional mentoring.
  • Apply your skills in a work environment and take our optional placement year.
  • Think sustainably – in your final year you may choose to take modules covering environmental and resource economics, analysing the issue of environmental and resource scarcity and the possible policy responses to market failure.
  • Discover the political, economic and social issues that affect all our lives with the international relations minor. You’ll be introduced to key events and debates and have the opportunity to study a number of relevant themes and issues. 

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Explore the world of economics and learn how to interpret economic data. Gain a comprehensive overview of economics in action or other related business subjects. You’ll also grasp the key processes of international relations through topics including international institutions and regimes, sovereignty to global governance and contemporary international relations.
    Core modules
    • ECN2005 Econometrics

      This module provides an introduction to basic econometric techniques with an emphasis upon learning through practical investigation and experimentation.

    • ECN2006 Microeconomics

      This module develops concepts and theories of microeconomics analysis at an intermediate level and applies them to a range of contemporary issues.

    • ECN2012 Macroeconomics

      This module develops concepts and theories of microeconomic analysis at an intermediate level and applies them to the analysis of real world issues of macroeconomic stability, growth and government policy.

    • EPIE200 Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who will be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their degree. It is designed to build on skills learned in Stage 1 and helps students in their search for a placement, and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • IRL200 Understanding Global Politics

      This module provides an introduction to the main authors and debates in contemporary IR theory, from mainstream theories to critical approaches. The module pays particular attention to the historical context of each approach, and the relationship between theory and practice in contemporary global politics.

    Optional modules
    • ECN2008B Contemporary Business Economics

      This module develops and applies concepts of economics and industrial organization to the analysis of the behaviour of firms, industries and markets.

    • ECN2009 Economic Perspectives

      This module provides an introduction to the philosophy of science and considers economics within that context. The course introduces the different schools of thought within economics and examines different methodological approaches used within the social sciences, with a core focus on those used by economists.

    • ECN2011 Financial Economics

      This module provides an introduction to financial economics. The course considers theory, empirical evidence and practical application.

    • IRL201 International Security Studies

      This module considers the issue of security in contemporary international relations. It examines a variety of different security concepts from deterrence and the security dilemma to arms control, peacekeeping, terrorism, regional security complexes and governance. It then seeks to relate these to practical examples from world politics.

    • IRL203 International Relations of the Developing World

      This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at national, international and multilateral scale. The approach taken is deliberately inter-disciplinary, incorporating historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module also uses case studies based in Africa, Latin America and Asia to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the development policy arena; how it is framed and constituted; the power relations between actors; and the impact on human communities and their environments.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll build on the core syllabus of the first year, and develop your knowledge of theories and methods that are central to modern economic analysis. You’ll study micro and macro economics in depth and improve your quantitative skills with econometrics. You’ll also cover international relations topics including international security, peace and conflict resolution, imagining global society, north-south relations and international political economy.
    Core modules
    • EPIE300 Placement Year

      The placement year consists of an extended period of appropriate professional experience in a business or organisation. It allows the student to gain relevant experience to consolidate their studies and prepare for final stage study and employment after graduation.

    • EPIE301 The Placement Project

      This module requires students to produce a project relating to their placement experience.

  • Optional placement year
  • Get paid for hands-on work experience and develop your economic flair during our optional industrial placement. We support you to find the most suitable private or public sector placement. This provides an opportunity to apply and deepen your knowledge and to develop a range of skills that will be invaluable to your future career.
    Core modules
    • ECN3017 International Economics

      This module explores the economic implications of globalisation by investigating current trends in international trade and capital markets.

    • ECN3020 Economics Project

      This module allows students to undertake supervised economic research in an area of interest to them using quantitative or qualitative research methods.

    Optional modules
    • ECN3016 Environmental and Resource Economics

      Modern economies heavily depend on natural resources and substantially affect the natural environment. This module develops and applies eco­nomic theories and concepts relevant to the analysis of environmental and resource issues. It explores environmental and resource policies at the national and international stage.

    • ECN3018 Economic Growth and Development

      This module covers issues in economic growth and development. The focus is on studying the proximate (i.e. factors accumulation and productivity) and the fundamental (i.e. institutions, culture, geography and climate) determinants of economic growth.

    • ECN3019 Games and Strategy

      This module develops and explores ideas in game theory, and applies them to the analysis of a range of contemporary economic, business, political and social problems.

    • IRL302 NATO after the Cold War and Beyond

      "This module proposes to study the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from a theoretical as well policy point of view. The aim is to investigate the relevance of NATO in the 21st century by looking at how NATO survived and developed in the aftermath of the Cold War as it appeared to have lost its original purpose of containing the Soviet Union. By looking at key developments within NATO in the post-Cold War period, this module also looks at the challenges which NATO has faced and overcome but it also critically reflects on the contemporary relevance of NATO. "

    • PIR304 US Foreign Policy Since 1945

      This module introduces students to different approaches to studying US foreign policy. As well as providing an empirical survey of America's foreign relations since 1945, it draws on IR theory to examine its changing place in the world. Students will examine historical and contemporary themes in US foreign policy and explore the complex mix of factors that combine to influence it. The module will examine US interests in different parts of the world and evaluate how US foreign policy has affected regional and international orders. The ultimate objective of the course is to explore how US foreign policy shapes the world we live in.

    • PIR305 The Politics of the United States

      This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of politics in the United States. Domestic politics and the foreign influence of the United States is considered, with specific emphasis placed on the role of the Constitution and institutions of governance in promoting (or inhibiting) democracy both domestically and abroad.

    • PIR306 Environmental Political Economy

      This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A wide range of ideas, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

    • PIR307 Europe in the World

      The European Union is the world's major trading block and its most integrated region. This module takes a holistic look at the EU's role in the world and the link between its economic and political presence. Accordingly it concentrates on the impact of the EU on the world (including the developing world) but also considers the internal dynamics of Europe.

    • PIR312 The Politics and International Relations of the Middle East

      "The module introduces students to international relations in the Middle East. It equips them with the analytical skills to examine the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf conflicts, and the impact of the Arab Spring on regional politics. "

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll research a dedicated honours project on a subject of your choice. You’ll learn more about the global economy and specialise in business, finance or economics topics of your choice. You can study a number of economics topics or discover more about international relations.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Economics programme specification 3259

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

88 - 104

  • A levels: 88-104 points including a minimum of 2 A Levels. This course considers general studies.
  • BTEC: 18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: MMM–DMM in any subject. 
  • Access: Pass a named Access to HE Diploma in any subject with at least 33 credits at merit/distinction.
  • GCSE: All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade C or above. 
  • International Baccalaureate: 26 - 28 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4 Standard Level = 5
  • Other: 14-19 Diplomas are accepted – please enquire. 

Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be eligible for a foundation year to prepare you for possible entry onto this course for the following year.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

What can you do with an economics degree?

Careers in economics

Competition for graduate jobs is fierce. The combination of academic excellence and practical knowledge we encourage on this course will help you stand out when it comes to entering the world of work.

Our students graduate ready to take on all sorts of finance and economics roles – from industry economist to financial risk analyst

Find out what our graduates are up to

Expand your real world experience with a placement

Get paid for hands-on work experience and develop your economic flair during our optional industrial placement. We support you to find the most suitable private or public sector placement. This provides an opportunity to apply and deepen your knowledge.

"The University of Plymouth placements team offered me dedicated and comprehensive guidance throughout. They helped me to find a corporate internship with a profit-driven business in Malta, then supported me through a halfway transition to a diplomatic and analytical position in Paris - amidst Brexit turmoil. This allowed me to broaden my skillset and prepared me for my future career path with an exciting industry year abroad."

Sean Arrowsmith, BD Electronics - International Business Development

Discover career-enhancing placement opportunities

Why I chose Plymouth

Shahana, first year BSc (Hons) Economics Student

"I have always had a real passion for numbers and having an answer for everything – mathematics is the subject I have found the most fulfilling.

I identified early that economics would build upon my love of mathematics and that it was important for me to find a course that would enable me to channel my interest in the humanities, having studied history and geography at A level.

After considering multiple options, Plymouth remained the best choice for me due to the quality of the BSc (Hons) Economics course content as well as the course’s flexible structure of optional modules, which will allow me to carve a personal pathway that will guide me towards graduation and beyond"

Read more about Shahana's experience.

Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite

The Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite allows students to research fields such as corporate finance, derivative markets, portfolio and risk analytics, real time data and investment simulations.

Plymouth Business School students are using the Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite to gain an understanding of the stock markets

Find out more

The Economics Society

The Economics Society brings together current and past students with an interest in the world of economics. We run events throughout the year to enhance your studies and experience at the University of Plymouth.

Run by staff and students we organise field trips, social evenings and talks from visiting academics, professional economists and Plymouth graduates

Take a look at our Facebook page

Meet some of our staff

International relations

International relations is about matters of life and death - not just for soldiers and citizens lying in the path of war but for the whole human race.

Studying BSc (Hons) International Relations with the University of Plymouth offers you a fresh, contemporary approach.

View the BSc (Hons) International Relations course page

Let our graduates inspire you