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BA History and Economics

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  • We give you diverse employment potential and the chance to meet future employers.

Course options2017-18

UCAS code: LV11
Duration: 3 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Economics
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

UCAS code: VL11
Duration: 4 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Economics
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666
Email admit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

How have historical events shaped the way we buy and sell goods and services? What impact have historical events had on political, social, economic and cultural contexts? Our course gives you a solid education in the history of Britain, Europe and the world from 1500 to present day, whilst also delivering a thorough grounding in economics.

Studying economics provides you with a greater understanding of the world around you; it teaches you how the economy functions, how people make decisions, why an economic crisis occurs and what the different solutions are. The historical content of the course aids this study through developing your ability to absorb, analyse and assess a wide variety of information and viewpoints. You work with us to break intellectual boundaries and pioneer new solutions to issues of global concern.

On this course you spend equal time studying history-related and economics-related modules, exploring topics including:

  • Quantitative research methods
  • Micro- and macroeconomics
  • The history of world economics
  • Colonialism and the British Empire
  • Apartheid in South Africa

Our Department of Economics is rated consistently highly for student satisfaction, and is Top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of their research rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014).

Our Department of History also has a strong research and teaching profile, with most of our research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

“When I came for my interview, I knew the University of Essex was for me. It was so well organised and everyone made me feel welcome – I did not feel like just another number applying, My Department of History is very strong, with many lecturers known internationally for their work. I’ve had some great times and I truly believe I have made some friends for life!”

Edward Taylor, BA History , 2011

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists.

Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs. Many of our academic staff also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.

Our history staff are among world leaders in their field, and our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. Our flexible course is combined with a supportive structure which helps you to pursue the modules best-suited to your interests. We welcome you into our scholarly community and value your views.

Specialist facilities

Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:

  • Extensive software for quantitative analysis is available in all computer labs across the university
  • We have several Special Collections in history, including the Essex Society for Archaeology and History Library, the Harsnett Collection, the Hervey Benham Oral History Sound Archive, the Bensusan Collection, and the Colchester Medical Society Library
  • Access the UK Data Archive, a national service provider digital resources for historians, which is particularly strong in nineteenth and twentieth-century economic and social history
  • Access a variety of textbooks and journals in our Albert Sloman Library which houses materials on Latin America, Russia and the US that are of national significance

Your future

As a graduate of our BA History and Economics you will have strong problem solving, data analysis and quantitative skills, which are valued highly by employers. You will have the ability to understand foreign cultures and new ideas and grasp new systems quickly. All of these skills are highly transferable to the world of work.

Our students find themselves in demand from a wide range of employers in a host of occupations, including financial analysis, teaching, museum and archive services, management, public administration and accountancy.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:

  • Bank of England
  • Barlcays
  • Citigroup
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst and Young
  • Morgan Stanley
  • House of Commons
  • Santander

We also work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory and optional modules to make sure you gain key knowledge in the discipline, while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are just a selection of those available. The opportunity to take optional modules will depend on the number of core modules within any year of the course. In many instances, the flexibility to take optional modules increases as you progress through the course.

Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

How do consumers make decisions? Or firms conduct different market strategies? What impact does government policy have on inflation? Or unemployment? Develop your knowledge of economics in relation to a range of contemporary issues. Learn how to apply both micro and macroeconomic principles to the analysis of such problems.

What are the main sources of economic data? And how is data used in economics? Study the methods of quantitative economics, looking at how economic data is described and analysed. Learn to read, understand and manipulate data from both a theoretical and empirical perspective.

Gain a deep insight into the origins of today’s world. This module presents a chronological overview of the key events in western history from the last 200 years. Look at how ideas, cultures, and economies of different peoples intersected, and changed, through the conflicts brought on by capitalism, imperialism, war, and revolution. You develop a solid foundation to study modern history.

How do economists interpret data? How can we test relationships suggested by economic theory? How do we use economic theories to analyse real world issues? This module helps you to understand simple and commonly used statistical and econometric techniques, and important software for applied economics. You learn how data can be used to analyse real world economic problems.

Are you ready for graduate employment? Like to improve your core skills? Need to know more about the working world? Attend workshops, events and activities to build your knowledge, abilities and experience with this compulsory, zero credit module that runs during your three years of undergraduate study.

Year 2

How do consumers behave in a competitive market? And what about producers? How do various imperfections affect the outcome of decentralised markets? Study the fundamental concepts and methods in microeconomics. Understand the tools and methods of analysis for economic reasoning, and develop your critical approach to economic issues and policies.

This module will illuminate everything you study in history. It encourages you to think about the many and diverse ways in which historians approach the writing of history. You’ll be introduced to important historical concepts that have shaped recent historical writing, such as microhistory, class, gender and race, or to an important historical theme, such as consumption, literary history and global history.

Explore the encounters of Chinese with 'the world' both at home and abroad through the tumultuous 19th century. Learn about how and why China opened up to foreign influence, and about the possibilities and upheavals that this generated. You will develop an appreciation of China's present day engagement with the rest of the world and its contemporary transformation into an economic giant.

Historians have long debated whether there was a 'consensus' between the main political parties after the Second World War. This module examines the idea of the 'consensus' and its impact on the British people, exploring the inter-relations between the state, citizens and the broader culture of post-war Britain. You’ll learn about the nature of culture and society in a country experiencing enormous change.

You will study European medicine from the decline of Galenism to the brink of germ theory, and explore the major changes in medical thinking during this period. Gain an understanding of the differences and similarities between Britain and France, especially when considering the "birth of the clinic" around 1800. You also investigate the changing character of doctor-patient relations, the rise of the man-midwife and the politics of medical professionalisation.

Why does the government play such an important role in the health care sector? How does the patients’ lack of information affect medical prices? Can we use economics modules to understand the rationale for risky behaviours, such as smoking? These are some of the questions you will try to answer during this module, building on your insights of microeconomic theory, and covering a broad range of concepts, theories, and topics related to the economics of healthcare.

Want to know more about the IMF or the Federal Reserve? Interested in the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism? Examine these international financial institutions to evaluate their existence, policies and effects on the international monetary system. Understand the institutional framework within which international financial relations are organised.

Are you ready for graduate employment? Like to improve your core skills? Need to know more about the working world? Attend workshops, events and activities to build your knowledge, abilities and experience with this compulsory, zero credit module that runs during your three years of undergraduate study.

Final year

History is actively constructed and not simply rediscovered in the records of the past. Historical research involves a process of selection and interpretation, and there is an active exchange between theory and empirical data. The Independent Research Project gives you a unique opportunity to explore the making of history. You undertake a piece of detailed, critical and/or possibly original historical research. Meetings and workshops provide practical guidance on formulating a topic, researching, writing and presentation.

Analyse the economics rationale for ‘collective choice’ in a market economy in this applied module. Explore social welfare, equity and efficiency, and evaluate the government’s ability to identify and achieve ‘better’ outcomes. By analysing actual programmes in areas of poverty reduction, education, and health, you will be able to apply your knowledge of broad empirical patterns and institutions to real-life situations in the UK and abroad.

How do firms make decisions? And how do these decisions impact on the prices you pay? What role does game theory play? Understand strategic interaction among firms, using theoretical tools to examine real-world examples. Analyse the main economic forces behind firm behaviour, adapting economic models to study particular challenges.

Understand the events in Soviet history which led to the collapse of Socialism and analyse how the Soviet state moulded the mentality of its people, looking closely at the effects this had on the stability of the USSR. You will understand the reasons that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the processes that are shaping authoritarian states, past and present. Examine its role in the world and its impact on people's self-identification.

Explore the historical grounding of human rights by examining its origins from the 15th to the 20th century. You’ll study the practice and theory of torture, the definition of man and beast, slavery and the rights of the free man, the persecution and judicial treatment of deviance and witchcraft, the interference of Church and State in the freedom of expression, the international attempts at the definition and enforcement of rights, and much more.

Familiarise yourself with the economic and social problems faced by developing countries, and discuss possible policy recommendations. This module combines economic theory with real-world situations, and also promotes external awareness, in particular social responsibility, whilst developing academic skills through enhancing analytical reasoning and critical evaluation. Upon completion of the module, you will be able to have a good understanding of the challenges faced by developing countries, demonstrate an awareness of the main current debates in development economics, and will be able to critically discuss policy implications.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching is arranged to allow freedom in how you organise your learning experiences
  • After receiving a general overview of a topic in your two-hour weekly lecture, you discuss and solve the issues it raises in a class with 15 to 20 fellow students
  • Optional support classes in Economics
  • History modules include a weekly lecture followed by a seminar, where groups of about 15 students meet with their tutor to discuss their reading, to work together with primary sources, or to make presentations to the rest of the group

Assessment

  • Assessment methods include essays, coursework journals, oral presentations, book and film reviews, source analysis, and the dissertation
  • The weighting of your Economics modules is set at 50% coursework and 50% exam
  • Complete your final year project in consultation with a personal supervisor

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB
GCSE: Mathematics C

IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.

Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email admit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.

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Visit us

Open days

Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Visit days and interviews

Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our visit days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.

Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your visit day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.

If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email visit@essex.ac.uk so we can help you plan a visit to the University.

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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.