History and Economics

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
History and Economics
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

GCSE: Mathematics C/4

A-levels: ABB

BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, or a minimum of 3 in Higher Level Mathematics. We will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied -advice on acceptability can be provided.

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.

You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here

If you are a mature student, further information is here

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.

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 listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

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

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.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Giancarlo Ianulardo

Lecturer in Economics

University of Exeter Business School

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 23 October 2023 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  EC111-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Economics  Core  30  30 
02    EC114-4-FY (or module from List A for suitably qualified students)  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
03  HR173-4-FY-CO  Rebellious Pasts: Challenging and Creating Histories  Core  30  30 
04    Option(s) from list or Outside Option(s)  Optional  30  30 
05  EC123-4-FY-CO  Career Skills in Economics  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  EC202-5-FY-CO  Microeconomics (Intermediate)  Compulsory  30  30 
02  HR242-5-FY-CO  Exploring History: Research Workshop  Compulsory  30  30 
03    2nd year Economics or History option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    2nd year Economics option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
05  EC123-5-FY-CO  Career Skills in Economics  Compulsory 

Year 3 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    HR831-6-FY or EC831-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02    Final year Economics option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Final year History option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    History or Economics option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
05  EC123-6-FY-CO  Career Skills in Economics  Compulsory 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To provide students with an academic education in history and training in the principles of economics.
  • To foster in students an appreciation of the appropriate level of abstraction and simplification needed to explore a range of economic issues.
  • To enable students to examine historical events and changes in cross-national, thematic, and comparative perspective, with an understanding of political, social, economic and cultural contexts.
  • To encourage in students the acquisition of autonomous study skills and the adoption of an investigative approach to tackle problems in history and in economics.
  • To develop in students the ability to construct logical arguments, to communicate arguments clearly in writing, and to appreciate, evaluate and respond to potentially conflicting interpretations of historical and economic phenomena.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills constructively to one or more specialist areas of history and economics as well as policies associated with the latter discipline.
  • To allow students, through the study of history and economics, to acquire critical, analytical and research skills, and problem-solving skills that are valuable for a wide range of future careers, further study, and lifetime learning.
  • To provide students with a foundation for further studies in history and/or economics or economic history.

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: Knowledge of the fundamental principles of economics.

    A2: Understanding of the application of economic reasoning to the study of relevant problems and policies.

    A3: Awareness of the sources of economic information and/or knowledge and understanding of sources available for historical research.

    A4: Appreciation of one or more specialist areas of economics in depth.

    A5: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of European history c.1500-1750 and/or European and world history c.1770-2000.

    A6: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of thematic historical topics and/or specialised historical topics in greater depth.

    A7: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of historical analysis, such as concepts of continuity, change and comparative analysis.

    Learning methods

    Lectures and classes are the principal methods of delivery for the economic principles, concepts and arguments in A1-A4.

    Students are also assigned readings from textbooks, academic journal papers, unpublished research papers and on-line resources.

    Lectures and classes in final year courses are particularly important in enabling students to achieve A4.

    Individual supervision of a final year project provides additional support especially for outcomes A3 and A4 or A6.

    If the project is in economics, it will reinforce A1 and A2.

    If the project is in history it will reinforce A6 and A7.

    If the project brings together the two disciplines, it will reinforce A1, A2, A6 and A7.

    In the History part of the scheme, the structure of the degree is based on progression from outline topics in the first year (A5) to more specialised courses (A6) in the second and third year.

    Knowledge of A3 and A5-A7 are acquired through lectures, seminars, independent reading and coursework.

    A7 is developed in particular in the second-year course Approaches to History.

    A3 is the focus of the third-year independent project, which the student may do in History.

    Assessment methods

    In economics, achievement of knowledge and understanding is assessed through marked assignments (A1, A2), tests (A1, A2), term papers (A1, A2, A3, A4), project work (A1-A4) and unseen closed-book examinations (A1, A2, A3, A4).

    Learning outcomes A1, A2 are assessed by tests and unseen closed-book examinations.

    Learning outcome A4 is assessed by term papers and unseen closed-book examinations in final year, EC3xx, economics courses.

    The final year project, when chosen in economics, is particularly relevant in assessing A4 and the economics component of A3.

    Knowledge and understanding of the historical component of A3 and A5-A7 is continuously assessed through coursework and examination.

    Essays are the principal form of coursework assessment, supplemented by a range of other assessments which may include document analyses, reviews, and other shorter assignments; assessed presentations and oral contributions; and in-class tests.

    The independent project, if chosen in History, tests knowledge of the history element of A3 through a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.
    In History, examinations are principally unseen, essay based, and of two or three hours duration.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Ability to formulate and analyse a specified problem in economics and/or history and choose suitable methods for its investigation and/or solution.

    B2: Ability to assess the relative merits of a range of theories, techniques and tools needed to articulate arguments and policies in economics and/or the ability to evaluate and compare historical interpretations.

    B3: Ability to synthesise and interpret information from a range of primary and/or secondary sources (lectures, classes, journals, books, documents, etc.) developing the capacity for a critical evaluation of the importance and relevance of the sources to an area of study.

    B4: Ability to construct reasoned, informed and concise descriptions and assessments of historical and economic ideas and/or formulate and present ideas and effective arguments, using historical evidence.

    B5: Students should be able to explain events, situations and changes with reference to key factors emphasised by the disciplines of economics and/or history.

    Learning methods

    Students' acquisition of intellectual and cognitive skills, B1-B5, is enabled primarily through lectures, collective class discussion, essays, theoretical/methodological exercises and project work.

    Students receive feedback from both peers and teachers.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of intellectual/cognitive skills is assessed through a number of means, including assignments of various kinds, tests, term papers, project work and unseen closed-book examinations.

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Identify, select and gather information, using the relevant primary and/or secondary sources.

    C2: Take notes and organise ideas in a systematic fashion

    C3: Present economic and/or historical ideas and arguments coherently in writing.

    C4: Use and apply economic terminology and concepts

    C5: Production of a word-processed research project and/or make appropriate use of information technology to research and/or present materials.

    Learning methods

    Skill C1 is developed via teacher- and self-directed research into academic books and journal articles, primary data as well as searches for online materials.

    Skill C2 is acquired during lectures and classes, as a consequence of studying course materials and researching for assignments.

    Skill C3 is acquired through the preparation of assignments and term papers.

    Skill C4 is developed in classes and in the preparation of assignments, term papers and projects.

    Skill C5 is acquired in researching the project and in preparing it for submission.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of practical skills C1, C3 and C4 is assessed directly through marked assignments (including document analysis), tests, term papers, project work and unseen closed-book examinations.
    Skill C2 is assessed indirectly via assignments, term papers, projects and final examinations.
    Skill C5 is assessed particularly in the final year project, though the project is also relevant for skills C1-C4.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Communication in writing, using appropriate terminology and technical language, this to include: (a) the articulation of economic theories and/or historical ideas, (b) the use of economic and historical evidence, (c) the critical assessment of historical material and/or economic arguments and policies.

    D2: Production of a word-processed research project and/or make appropriate use of information technology to research and/or present materials.

    D3: Awareness of elementary mathematical techniques used to construct simple economic models and the statistical methods used to analyse economic data.

    D4: Ability to analyse and explain historical data, understand and produce answers to historical questions and/or understand how economic reasoning is used to address problems involving opportunity cost, incentives, households' and firms' decision-making, strategic thinking, expectations and market outcomes in equilibrium and disequilibrium.

    D5: Not assessed in this programme.

    D6: Capacity to: (a) organise and implement a plan of independent study; (b) reflect on his or her own learning experience and adapt in response to feedback; and (c) recognise when he or she needs to learn more and appreciate the role of additional research

    Learning methods

    Students are guided by teachers in lectures, classes, individual consultations and commentary on work submitted in acquiring skills D1, D3, D4, D6.

    Skill D2 is developed as students pursue the learning activities associated with their courses, in the preparation of assignments, term papers and the final year project.

    Skill D3 and skill D4 as it pertains to economics are reinforced through the introductory quantitative methods course, EC114.

    The acquisition and honing of skill D4 as it pertains to history is intrinsic to all history components taken.

    D6 (a) is particularly developed through the compulsory project.

    D6 (b) and (c) are enhanced as students reflect on the feedback they receive on their work and, indeed, on the response to their contributions to seminar discussion or in consultations.

    Information technology is taught through independent learning supported by the university's online key skills package and the Computing Service.

    Use of email and the internet is part of effective course participation and students are required to check their university email account at least once a week during term-time.

    Students are strongly encouraged to produce coursework in word-processed form and it is a formal requirement that the final-year independent research project is typed or word-processed.

    The use of electronic library catalogues and other relevant electronic bibliographic resources and the use and interpretation of relevant material via the internet is introduced in first year History courses.

    Students build on these skills in subsequent years.

    Where relevant, students are encouraged to use, present or evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form.

    Problem-solving, communication, and improving own learning and performance are implicit throughout the degree.

    Only minimal formally assessed requirements for the completion of the programme are listed here.

    In reality, the overwhelming majority of students registered for a BA in History & Economics acquire a much broader range of key skills, and at greater depth.

    Assessment methods

    Skills D1 and D4 are assessed through marked assignments, tests, term papers (including document analysis), projects and unseen closed-book examinations.

    Skill D2 is assessed especially via the research project submitted by each student.

    Skill D3 is assessed particularly through tests and unseen closed-book examinations for EC114, Introduction to Quantitative Economics.

    Skill D6 is assessed indirectly through students' capacity to produce work for submission (assignments, term papers and projects, for which feedback is given) and through their preparation for unseen tests and examinations.


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of 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. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.