We live in a time that has been described as the ‘Golden Era’ of economics. The 21st century has brought with it a world of opportunity, allowing us to develop global insight as we respond to new challenges, and find new and innovative ways to maintain a sustainable, equitable, and above all liveable society.
The Financial Times explains that advances in theory, economic history and quantitative processes have allowed us to suppress the dark forces of inequality; to quash universal tensions surrounding financial instability; and confront the worldwide threat of a fluctuating climate. As a sought-after degree subject, economics allows us to better understand the functions of our complex world.
“My core advice is if this is an industry you really wish to pursue, then you need to live and breathe it,” says Aniq Ahmed, former student of the BSc in Financial Economics with Econometrics at the University of Kent’s School of Economics – an institution that has been ranked among the top 10 Economics departments in the UK for the past 10 years, according to the National Student Survey. Now, Aniq works as a successful Assistant Manager for Deloitte LLP – one of the world’s most esteemed financial advisory firms.
Image courtesy of the University of Kent
Aniq’s prominent position sees him provide advisory services on UK and European regulation, as well as to retail, commercial and investment banks, and wealth management and custody institutions. He cites diversity as one of the most exciting aspects of his job, relishing in the fact that no two days are the same, providing a constant stream of opportunities to keep him on his toes.
Marina Gordon is a former student of Economics at the University of Edinburgh; she couldn’t believe the breadth and depth of topics on offer as part of her comprehensive and specialised four-year degree programme.
“In four years you cover all aspects of Economics: from Game Theory to Econometrics, from Growth Theory to the Theory of Firm, and everything in the Honours years counts towards your final mark,” she says.
“You…gain relevant skills, which will help you to get your dream job and will prepare you for further education if that is what you want to do.”
Image courtesy of the University of Nottingham
But it’s not just academic skills and theoretical knowledge that you can gain from an economics degree from a good university. Being prepared for the workplace also means being prepared to take control over your career, as Ryan Mitchell, former BSc Economics student at the University of Bristol agrees:
“My main academic interests at school were Mathematics, Economics and Business. I felt that an Economics degree gave you a good rounding in all of these three areas,” he says.
“As to how my degree helped me – it’s not just the academic knowledge you learn that will help you achieve your goals, but also the life skills you learn. For example, unlike school you are no longer micro managed. The course really pushes you to think and solve problems by yourself in a logical manner, which I think is vital for any career path you may take in the future.”
There are currently over 95 higher education departments in the UK offering world-class qualifications in the field of Economics. Whether it’s an experience of the subject in a broad, all-encompassing manner, or a more specialised route such as Agricultural Economics or Economics and Philosophy, this is a subject that’s considered both a science and an art. With the chance to observe real-world problems and produce intuitive solutions, these graduates advocate positive change for society, now and long into the future.
Image courtesy of the University of Bristol
Read on to learn more about some UK schools that are pushing graduates to the height of professional success in the field of Economics…
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AND RELATED STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF YORK
The University of York has come far from its humble beginnings, growing from a tight-knit community of just 230 students to a world-leading powerhouse of international education.
Despite being a fairly young university, founded in 1963, the school has secured international recognition alongside a range of elite and established institutions.
Home to one of the UK’s largest Departments of Economics, the University of York boasts an exciting range of programmes and research-led instruction. Faculty are drawn from across the world and are research leaders in their fields.
In addition to the development of key skills like critical analysis and evaluation, York’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes provide students a solid grounding in economic theory and quantitative methods, and emphasise the value of empirical evidence and historical context. The School’s aim is to challenge and to excite students about Economics – a core social science discipline that demands intellectual rigour, but in return offers important practical insights into the real world.
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF KENT
The University of Kent is a leading UK higher education institution, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Known as the UK’s European university, Kent prides itself on its strong international focus, with specialist study centres across continental Europe and long-standing partnerships with universities worldwide.
Kent’s School of Economics is consistently among the UK’s top achievers in terms of student satisfaction. The department has been placed in the top 10 in the National Student Survey each year for a decade, and last year was ranked 10th out of all economics departments in the country, with 93 percent of students claiming they were satisfied with their course.
With a broad and flexible range of taught undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, the School of Economics blends real-world applications with solid theoretical knowledge, providing a comprehensive training in core economic principles. The School’s Industrial Placements programme offers students the opportunity to spend a year working in industry in either the public or private sector as an integral part of their degree.
The School of Economics has an excellent record for employability and is placed 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2017 for graduate prospects. In today’s complex and uncertain environment, an Economics degree from the University of Kent gives students the skills, knowledge and competitive edge they need to build a successful career.
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Established in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s oldest and most respected universities.
As one of Europe’s most vibrant and historic capital cities, Edinburgh is consistently ranked among the world’s most liveable cities, and the university that bears its name is ranked among the world’s top 50 universities.
Staff at Edinburgh’s School of Economics comprise Europe’s leading group of economic theorists, as well as the base for the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics.
The department consistently receives high ratings for both its undergraduate and postgraduate provisions, allowing students to gain an in-depth understanding of an economic specialisation of their choice. Edinburgh’s undergraduate degrees in Economics are a solid basis for further study or a career in economics. The School also has the ability to offer a flexible programme with a wide range of courses due to the School’s expansive list of specialities.
Image courtesy of the University of Edinburgh
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
As one of the UK’s most popular and successful universities, the University of Bristol ranked among the world’s top 40 universities in the QS World University Rankings in 2015.
The university’s primary aim is to instil students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their respective careers. The high quality of research was illustrated in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, where 88 per cent of the Department of Economics research was classified as either world leading or internationally excellent, whilst 78 per cent of the research in Business and Management was rated as world leading, or internationally excellent, placing the Departments of Management and Accounting and Finance amongst the leading schools in the UK.
Bristol’s School of Economics, Finance and Management is made up of three distinct departments, each producing world-leading research and contributing towards teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Each year, the school accepts 60 postgraduate research students, on top of 550 undergraduates and 600 taught postgraduates.
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
The prominence of the University of Nottingham is reflected by its rankings in the global league tables, which currently rank it among the top 30 of Europe’s best universities, and among the top 1 percent of universities worldwide.
The School of Economics at the University of Nottingham is internationally renowned as a leader in the field. The school’s high-quality research seeps into its teaching, providing a unique learning experience for students from all four corners of the globe.
Ranked 8th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2016, Nottingham boasts one of the most esteemed Economics departments in the UK education system. The School is also one of Europe’s top economics departments – recently placing 13th in Europe and 36th in the world by the latest Tilburg ranking of Economics departments.
As one of the UK’s largest economics departments, Nottingham offers broad programmes of study, combining all of the core analytical and quantitative techniques required by modern economics graduates. The School aims to provide a stimulating environment for learning, without losing the friendly and informal atmosphere for which Nottingham is renowned.