BA (Hons) Economic Policy

Year three entry only. This course is specifically designed for students with a relevant HND to enter at year three and gain an honours degree.

This new and exciting course offers a range of different approaches to understanding the economy and its interaction with the wider social and environmental systems in the world today.

Following the 2008 financial crisis and the impact of the subsequent austerity policies, economists began to re-evaluate their approach to the scope of the discipline and how this subject is taught to students. Many students and teachers felt that mainstream economics textbooks and techniques did not do a sufficient job of explaining how events like the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 happened and why inequality is becoming more prevalent in society. The Coronavirus pandemic which emerged in 2019 has further highlighted that mainstream economic policy often follows or exacerbates already existing factors contributing to economic and social inequality. Therefore, a more pluralist and progressive way to look at the economy is embedded within this degree and equips students with a better understanding of the nature of how the economy is managed, going beyond the traditional limitations of mainstream economic teaching.

The content and the structure of this degree course, including the opportunity to gain work experience, has been developed in consultation with employers and leading colleges and is designed to develop and build on your knowledge of the subject areas you have been studying. It is therefore suitable for students with little mathematical or quantitative training.

The University's commitment to its Common Good principles and its career-focused approach is at the heart of this course, and as a graduate, you'll be in a position to make a positive difference to the social and economic regeneration of the community.

Graduate opportunities 

The degree is designed to ensure that on completion, students are provided with the tools and skills required to engage with and improve society. Employers seek graduates who possess critical thinking skills in order to solve complex problems. This degree provides perspectives from the different approaches to economics which gives students a deeper understanding of the discipline and allows them to critically assess situations and work towards the best outcomes for the common good. Policy jobs in governance, local authorities and regulatory roles would be ideally suited to the Economic Policy graduate. Equally, students with this degree will be suited to a range of commercial and third sector roles. Students will also be well equipped to progress to postgraduate-level study.

The opportunity for invaluable work experience during the course will give you the opportunity to learn through collaborating with external organisations and potential employers such as the Scottish Government, third sector organisations, charities and companies such as Morgan Stanley and Hewlett Packard.

  • International Institutions and Environments
    provides a framework for analysing the main global institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the United Nations. The module will provide you with an understanding of i) the role and purpose of each institution ii) the history and development of each organisation iii) the structure, decision making processes and policy development. 
  • Economics of International Trade and Regulation
    provide you with an analysis and evaluation of the origins, rationale application of economic theory and concepts for the legislative and economic policy framework within international trade.
  • European Economics: Policies and Problems
    explores the role of the EU in a number of specific policy areas including competition, industrial and agricultural policy. It examines the economic performance of the EU and the future development of the EU in relation to further enlargement and reform to the institutions and the decision‐making procedures.
  • Business Research Methods: Theory and Practice
    is designed to introduce you to the principles of research design, data collection, analytical skills, and writing proposals to develop research skills. It is designed to give you the prerequisite knowledge for the Honours Dissertation.
  • Economics of Regulation of Business
    provides you with an understanding of the origins and rationale for the legislative and policy framework within which business, government and consumers operate.
  • Work Placement Experience
    aims to provide a structured practical experience of work relevant to your area of study. As direct entry students are not able to go on a full-year placement, you will get an opportunity to undertake the Work Placement Experience option module in Trimester B which gives you the opportunity to gain structured, practical work experience which contextualises and integrates discipline knowledge, theory and concepts covered in Trimester A and provides experiential learning as well as pragmatic insight into business operations. 
  • Health Care and Law Ethics
    provide a comprehensive analysis of the main issues in the field of law relating to healthcare and professions allied to health. It considers both the legal and ethical dimensions of topics such as clinical negligence, consent and patient confidentiality.
  • Poverty, Inequality and Policy
    examines competing ideas about poverty and inequality ‐ including whether either are in fact social problems ‐ and the various explanations and solutions proposed to address them offered by different social theorists, political ideologies and interest groups.
  • Environmental Economics
    explores the application of economic analysis to environmental issues, particularly in the context of public policy and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Women Work and Income
    explores the role of women in the economy with a focus on analysing and understanding the nature of women's work within both the household and the formal labour market.
  • Contemporary Issues in the World Economy
    analyses some of the most important contemporary issues confronting the world economy, including the environment, the process of economic development, poverty and inequality, free trade versus fair trade and gender issues.
  • Advanced Human Rights Law
    provides you with an advanced understanding of the concept of human rights law. Issues to be explored include civil and political rights, economic social and cultural rights, and contemporary issues in human rights theory, law and practice.
  • Making and Managing Public Policy
    aims to give you knowledge and understanding of the public policy process; policy cycles; public policy in formulation, implementation and evaluation from a theoretical perspective as well as contextualise concepts, themes and issues within the UK and Europe.
  • European Business
    reviews a number of techniques, which can be utilised to analyse the effects of changes in the European business environment for the economy in general and businesses in particular. The module also explores how certain policy areas within the competence of the EU have affected the activities of businesses. The main policy areas to be covered include transport, regional, social, employment, environmental and external relations. The main objective will be to determine how these policies and changes in these policies have affected the environment in which European businesses operate.
  • The Honours Dissertation
    is the culmination of your undergraduate studies. The module offers you a sustained opportunity to conduct a research project into an appropriate issue relating to the your programme of study and execute a defined project of research, development or investigation.

Study Options

  • 2022/23


Mode of study


Start date



BA (Hons)
Full Time
2 Years
Sep 2022
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location UCAS  
BA (Hons) Full Time 2 Years Sep 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

Year 3
College HND: Business or business-related area such as HRM/Marketing or HND in Social Sciences. Graded units BB/BBB.

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Additional Information

Modern Apprenticeships

If you have completed a Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF level 6 in a relevant discipline this would be equivalent to two highers at B.

Relevant experience (RPL)

GCU’s flexible entry policies exist to allow relevant work experience and prior learning to be considered towards standard entry or advanced entry into a course. If you have three to five years of relevant work experience, you can apply for the degree that interests you and get in touch with our admissions team about your application and your eligibility for Recognition of Prior Learning.

International Pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
International: £13,000

*Scottish student tuition fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.
**Students from the Rest of the UK (RUK) will pay no more than £27,750 towards the total fees of a three or four-year degree.

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2 million per year.

View undergraduate scholarships at GCU.

Modules are presented using a range of teaching and learning strategies, with an emphasis on interactive learning, identifying and building upon your personal learning goals. Formative assessment and constructive feedback encourage individual reflection and learning from your own experiences. 

Assessment tools employed across the course modules include: 
  • Individual coursework such as essays; reports; seminar summary
  • Group coursework such as group portfolios
  • Presentations – including student-led seminars.
  • Work-based assessment
  • Data analysis exercises – quantitative and qualitative data. 
  • Research proposal
  • Dissertation
  • Written examinations

The design of this course and the modules within it are based upon the eight SfL (Strategy for learning) curriculum design principles. 

  • Engaged learning; The learning/teaching approach will be student-centred, practical, participative, and relevant to your needs. A blended approach will be adopted for learning and teaching with the use of both face-to-face contact in the mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, mentoring and workshops (as appropriate for each module and mode of delivery) as well as directed and independent (including web-based) study. A number of the modules have also adopted the ‘flipped classroom model’ to enhance engagement. 

  • Divergent thinking; The course specific modules introduce you to alternative economic perspectives to challenge the neoliberal economic orthodoxy which currently informs economic policy interventions. You will be introduced to a range of approaches to evaluating and developing solutions to a variety of economic and social issues. 

  • Flexible, inclusive and accessible learning; A key aim of the course is to provide you with the tools to analyse policy proposals and outcomes from an economic perspective. Learning and teaching materials will be designed to avoid stereotypes and assumptions. All modules will refer to a wide range of policy examples to ensure that you are exposed to material that relates to different international perspectives. An online version of the course is also available.

  • Broad and deep learning; The learning experience will be deepened however there is also the opportunity for you to broaden your learning experience through exposure to different issues and approaches to analysing and evaluating policy and problems. You are encouraged to challenge current thinking throughout all of the modules, being analytical and critical is vital to personal and intellectual development and is a requirement for all assessments. 

  • Global learning; All of the modules in the course adopt an international perspective. The course highlights the fact that many economic and social problems, for example climate change, migration and trade issues confronting individual countries are global in nature and their solution will often require international cooperation. 

  • Real-world problem solving; The course modules will address real-world issues and problems. You are encouraged to analyse these problems and evaluate policies developed to tackle them. For your dissertation you'ill be encouraged to develop a research question in partnership with external organisations such as Save the Children, Close the Gap, Scottish Women’s Budget Group, STUC and Poverty Alliance.

  • Entrepreneurship; The modules will challenge existing policies and economic orthodoxies therefore you'll be encouraged to be entrepreneurial in your thinking and approach to your studies, in particular in terms of how you  present your ideas and analysis. This requires you to think creatively, critically and divergently. 

  • Responsible leadership and professionalism; All of the modules emphasise responsible leadership and an ethical approach to policy making and evaluation.

There is a move away from the traditional learning in which the student's role was often passive, towards a more student-centred learning approach.

Furthermore, due to advances in digital learning technology (and restrictions placed by COVID-19) the course can embrace ‘blended’ methodologies towards learning delivery that utilise a range of interactive online learning.

A range of methods are used in the SfL; lectures, tutor-led seminars, case studies, individual and group presentations, problem-based learning scenarios, role-plays, individual and group exercises, self-assessment exercises and workshops.

‘Blended’ approaches with software application activities, self-directed and directed learning via videos, podcasts and other online resources. Online discussion and interaction between student groups and staff will be promoted through forums; wikis; padlet construction and collaborate ultra which are all supported by the GCULearn system.