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Undergraduate course

Politics and Economics BA (Hons)

Combine study of two of the most influential fields in business to learn what impacts businesses, policies and the labour market.

Student studying in seminar

By studying Politics and Economics, you will develop a deep understanding of global markets and political systems. This course has been designed to deliver practical skills that enhance your employability. Career prospects include roles such as an economist, advisor or consultant.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L1N7 | With placement year L3N7
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 4 years with a placement or foundation year
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

York Business School

Course overview

In addition to delivering the comprehensive practical aspects of politics and economics, this programme will provide you with a firm understanding of the key issues facing both the political and economic arenas. You will develop a solid knowledge of underpinning foundations for critical areas in the world we live.

Why choose this course:

  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of political systems and economic markets. Develop the practical skills needed for a career in politics or economics, such as a consultant or policy advisor.
  • To enhance your CV, we fund your membership of the Royal Economic Society during your study. Membership increases your professional profile as a future economist and enables you to access competitions, grants, conferences, job market and symposiums.
  • We invite a range of high profile guest speakers. Our cooperation with businesses provides a great opportunity for networking, internships and work related experiences.
  • Field trips and real-life economic projects and live experiments embedded in the programme.
  • Opportunity to qualify as a Microsoft Office Specialist.
  • Opportunity to take a placement year, giving you chance to gain experience while studying.

Year in industry

All of our business students have the option of adding in a year in industry and / or a semester of studying abroad with one of our partners to their course. A year in industry gives students fantastic experience and is attractive to potential employers. This normally takes place after the second year of the course and extends the course duration by one year (15% of the standard tuition fee is chargeable). Study Abroad normally takes place for a semester of the second year of the course and doesn’t extend the course duration as credits achieved abroad count towards your degree.

You don’t need to decide whether you would like to take either of these options until after you have started the course with us.

Course structure

Level 1


Compulsory modules:

  • Principles of Applied Economics

The module aims to provide knowledge and comprehension of the basic economic principles and techniques related to microeconomics and macroeconomics.

  • Introducing Politics: Key Concepts and Skills

This module introduces students to basic terms, concepts, methodologies and issues in the study of politics. A key focus will be exploring the diverse definitions and the scope of politics.

  • Economic Policy and Practice

This module provides understanding of quantitative techniques and their usefulness in theoretical and applied economics with focus on developing a deeper understanding of modern macroeconomics.

  • International or Global? Globalisation in Debate

The module introduces students to the debate surrounding the nature and extent of globalization and its impact on the role and power of contemporary states.

  • Politics of Business

This module provides students with a broad understanding of the key concepts and principles of politics and how these will affect both individuals and organisations.

Optional modules:

  • Comparative Politics

The module exposes students to the comparative method in studying modern politics. There will be a focus on theoretical and methodological approaches, ensuring students develop a solid grounding in these key tools of political analysis. These will then be applied to authoritarian and democratic regimes.

  • Practising Responsible Business Behaviours

This module examines the nature of business enterprise and its relationship with wider society, seeking answers to the question: what does it mean for businesses to behave responsibly?

All modules are worth 20 credits unless stated otherwise.


Level 2


Compulsory modules:

  • Industrial Economics

This module is designed for students who are interested in understanding the issues that are present in everyday news: anti-competitive practices, the effect of market power on consumer welfare, incentives for product innovation, and the private and public effects of mergers.

  • International Relations: Theory and Practice

The module introduces students to theories of international relations, such as realism, liberalism, neoliberalism, Marxism, critical theory, constructivism, feminism, postcolonialism. You will critically examine how they can be applied to developments in state relations.

  • Research Methods

This module considers the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods in subject contexts, and allows students to develop skills in the collection, analysis and reporting of relevant data.

Optional modules:

  • Labour Economics

This module explores factors that affect distribution of income, work, opportunities and inequality. We examine current changes in the labour market and the effectiveness of government policy focusing on data rather than theoretical models.

  • Democracies

Explore various models of democracy, from executives, legislatures, judiciaries to electoral and party systems. This module will examine established democracies and also democracies in transition, allowing you to complete a comparative analysis of democratic states throughout the world.

  • Professional Placement

In this module, students begin their transition from university into the workplace. It is designed to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of career-related personal, professional and key skill areas.

  • Business, Creativity and Opportunism Skills for the Workplace of Today

This module explores the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship and the behaviour and skills required to 'think out of the box' to identify and pursue opportunities. You will establish what the behaviours and skills are of an entrepreneur, define creativity and innovation, as well as ask why they are so important to entrepreneurs. We will explore idea generation and evaluation techniques and learn how to recognise enterprise opportunities.

  • Controversies in International Trade

This module seeks to understand the patterns of international trade, past, present and future by understanding the underlying forces that drive international trade.

  • Political Parties and Politicians in the UK

The module examines the rise and evolution of political parties in the UK. There will be an initial focus on Labour and Conservative. Examining arguments surrounding class and partisan dealignment along with rising voter apathy, there will also be a consideration of nationalist parties at the devolved and national levels, as well as the rise and influence of smaller, issue-based political parties.

All modules are worth 20 credits unless stated otherwise.

Level 3


Compulsory modules:

  • Critical Economic Policy

This module builds on and applies previous learning in the Programme to critically examine economic policy issues of contemporary importance.

  • Global Governance

The module explores in detail the institutions, structures and processes of global governance. In particular it focuses on the institutions of the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, regional organisations such as the European Union, and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.

  • Beyond Economics: Understanding the Changing Global Economy

This module provides students with the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the bridge between politics and economics on an international level.

  • Politics of the Environment

The module examines the nature and causes of environmental problems, and the political response to these. In the continuing context of global climate change, the focus is placed on the international system as a means to address environmental problems, and the level of success in doing so.

Optional modules:

  • Research Investigation (40 credits)

This module provides students with the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the bridge between politics and economics on an international level. Or

  • Dissertation (40 credits)

All modules are worth 20 credits unless stated otherwise.

Teaching & assessment

All modules are delivered utilising a range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, seminars, guest speakers, tutorials, workshops and a range of events and learning activities.

Throughout the programme you will be introduced to a range of different teaching and learning strategies. This includes case-based learning, live projects and practice and enquiry based learning. This gives you the opportunity to develop creative and innovative solutions to problems.

As a university student, there is an expectation that you will develop from being a dependent learner to being an independent one. This means you are expected to undertake self-study and group learning. In year one you will be provided with guidance to progress your learning and self-development. By the time you get to year 3 it is hoped you will have developed greater autonomy and independence.

You will undertake a variety of assessments that include the use of written assignments (often in the form of reports), predominantly practical activities with some individual and group presentations, exams or tests. An essential part of the assessment is to encourage both learning and the development of skills as well as preparing you for the requirements of the workplace.

You will have the opportunity for study support including academic writing and research skills to enhance employability and career development in the field of politics and/or economics.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

104 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equiavalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Advanced Entry

Considering transferring to join us in year 2 or 3 of our Business Courses?

Please see our Advanced Entry page for information on the courses available and how to apply.

Personal statements

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for an interest and enthusiasm for the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, either from an academic viewpoint, for example studying an economics related A Level, or through relevant work experience or placements.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Career plans
  • Attending workshops or seminars related to the chosen subject area
  • Showing leadership and teamwork skills through project work or awards such as the Duke of Edinburgh or sports teams, theatre groups etc.
  • Experience of work

Canditates may also look to undertake professional qualifications such as accounting qualifications or CIPD.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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