Heriot-Watt University was ranked as the top university in Scotland for Economics and 3rd best in the UK in the Guardian University Rankings 2018. The National Student Survey 2019 found that our students had the highest levels of satisfaction in Scotland and third highest in the UK, reflecting their consistently positive experiences in areas such as teaching; assessment and feedback; learning resources; academic support and learning community.

View all Economics courses

Our Economics degrees are underpinned by the work of globally respected researchers who design and teach our programmes with a real-world focus. We begin at an introductory level so you don’t need to have previous knowledge in economics to study these courses.

Economics is the study of how individuals, firms and the government make choices, and how these choices determine the way in which resources are distributed across a society. It is about much more than money: economics is a way of thinking about the world that enables us to understand and improve decision-making and throws light on issues as diverse as the environment, unemployment, inflation, poverty, globalisation and trade.

The Department of Economics at Heriot-Watt University has a well-earned reputation for producing well-rounded graduates and, as a result, our graduate employment rate is excellent. Unistats 2018 found that 90% of our recent Economics graduates were in work or further study 6 months after graduating.

Our degree courses aim to equip students with a range of quantitative, analytical and communication skills, which are highly valued by a wide range of employers, including those in business, banking and finance, and the civil service.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to study postgraduate degrees at institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge and Columbia, whilst others have gained employment with Royal Bank of Scotland, Ernst and Young, PwC, BP, Barclays, and the Scottish and UK Governments. 

Our flexible, student-centred approach allows you to study pure economics or pair it with an additional discipline of your choosing, as outlined in the pathways below.

Skills gained:

  • ability to reduce complex problems to simple components
  • statistical techniques to test theories
  • use of incentives upon behaviour
  • framework development for the analysis of business decisions, government policy and the economy as a whole
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Effective oral and written communication of ideas.

Teaching and assessment

Learning methods include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • self-directed study.

Assessment involves submitting coursework, sitting exams, presentations and projects. Honours degree awards are based on the average mark obtained in qualifying courses completed over the last two years of full-time study.

Prizes and scholarships

Prizes are awarded to top students in Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 of our Economics courses. In addition several companies sponsor prizes that are awarded to students.

Key information

Undergraduate Admissions