10 Best Universities for Economics in the UK

5th December 2021
Someone working on a laptop looking at economics

Money makes the world go round and economics is the study of money among many other things. It’s a wide-ranging subject that is more relevant now than at any time before.

If you’re interested in studying economics, where should you study? What’s the best university for economics? What university will give you the best education and the best chance to get a job after graduation?

We used the many university league tables out there and our own experience to create our own top 10 universities guide.

If you’re planning to study economics, these are the top 10 universities in the UK to apply to!

The study of economics

Economics influences everything around us. From the food we eat, the clothes we wear, how much tax we pay to the cost of energy.

Economics is a fascinating subject that has more influence over our way of life than most of us realise. A degree in economics prepares you for a career studying or working within this fascinating area.

Macroeconomics is the study of economies, countries, governments, inflation, monetary policies, unemployment and more.

Microeconomics covers how individuals are impacted by finances, money, wealth, taxes, spending and more.

Both offer fascinating insight to how the modern world works!

What careers use an economics degree?

Economics is so wide-ranging that many careers not related to finance could benefit from it. There are specific economic careers also, so choice is something you have plenty of.

Careers that use economics include:

  • Economist
  • Government advisor
  • Business analyst or consultant
  • Banking and finance
  • International trade and industry
  • Financial law or law enforcement
  • Political adviser or lobbyist

As economics impacts everything we do in life, you can use the degree for almost anything you like.

Where to study economics?

If you have decided that economics is for you, where should you study to get your degree?

Here are the top 10 universities in the UK for economics.

1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge has a strong presence in economics and offers two BA degree courses on the subject. The university needs no introduction as it’s one of the most prestigious in the country with exceptionally high standards of teaching.

The university is usually between first and third in league tables alongside Oxford and St Andrews. Entry criteria is high but once you’re in, you’re in for some of the highest quality teaching available.

Cambridge is a nice city north of London. It’s flat, historic and has a lot of character. There is everything here you’re likely to need, with many businesses around that actively seek graduates.

2. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is another institution that needs no introduction. It’s one of the top universities in the UK and rivals Cambridge in almost everything. The quality of the teaching is high and this is one of the nicest universities to attend.

The University of Oxford offers three economics degree courses covering economics with philosophy, history or management. With some of the best lecturers in the country and the automatic prestige, this is an excellent university to attend.

Oxford itself is nice too. It’s a relaxed city with a lot of history and has evolved around the university. There is everything here you need and it manages to balance old-world charm with new-world amenities.

3. St Andrews

It’s no surprise that St Andrews University ranks highly for economics as well as general teaching. Along with Oxford and Cambridge, these three universities consistently rank in the top 10 universities in the UK.

St Andrews University offers 47 economics courses that include pure economics plus many variations of economics and other subjects such as finance, history, philosophy, psychology and others.

St Andrews as a place to live is nice. It’s a town a short distance northeast of Edinburgh surrounded by countryside and golf courses. The town centre is friendly and has everything a student needs while the Scottish capital is a short distance away.

4. Strathclyde University

Strathclyde University is also highly rated for economics and one of two universities in Glasgow. It’s highly rated overall for the quality of teaching, student satisfaction and the campus, so is a good option.

Strathclyde University offers 22 economic degree courses covering a variety of complementing subjects. Those subjects cover many areas of life including history, business, politics and more.

Strathclyde University is close to Glasgow city centre. It’s great for enjoying everything this characterful city has to offer and is a short walk from shopping, dining and entertainment.

5. Stirling University

Stirling University is one of the most northern universities in the country and is well-recognised for the quality of its teaching. It excels in economics and is definitely a university to consider.

Stirling University offers 22 economics degree courses, including many business-related subjects, finance, law, education and others.

Stirling is a short distance north of Falkirk, northwest of Edinburgh. It’s a modest city with lots of history and some newer areas offering entertainment, plenty of shopping and dining and lots of outdoor activities.

6. Warwick University

Warwick University is another regular in most of the top 10 universities in the UK lists, and for good reason. It has a solid faculty with high standards of teaching and equally high student satisfaction scores. Plus, the city itself is a nice place to live.

Warwick University offers 13 economics degree courses covering pure economics and supporting subjects like languages, history, philosophy and psychology.

Warwick is a town southwest of Coventry. It’s nice in its own right with lots of shops and bars but is a short distance from the city of Coventry, which offers much more for students.

7. Leeds University

Leeds University is a very popular university and enjoys a great reputation for the campus, the quality of teaching and student satisfaction. It’s no different for economics.

Leeds University offers 10 economics degree courses that include economics and other subjects like mathematics, business, politics, geography and other related subjects.

As a place to live, Leeds is excellent. It’s a vibrant city with a lot going on. A large city centre, revitalised areas, modern shopping, dining and entertainment and easy access to transport links.

8. UEA

UEA, University of East Anglia doesn’t usually appear in the top 10 universities in the UK lists, but for economics it does. It more than holds its own in this area of study against the big guns.

The University of East Anglia offers 24 economics degree courses covering pure economics and supporting subjects. The quality of teaching in this area is very highly rated.

The University of East Anglia is located on the outskirts of Norwich in Norfolk. It’s a relaxed town in a relaxed part of the country. The city is modest in size but has plenty going on and decent shopping and dining.

9. Bristol University

Bristol University usually places just outside the top 10 universities in the UK, but for economics, it breaks new ground. It’s a top university for this subject and well worth considering.

Bristol University offers 16 economics degree courses covering pure economics and other business-related subjects such as innovation, management, finance and more.

Bristol is an excellent city to be a student. It’s big, has a large student population, is laid-back and has lots and lots of shopping, dining and entertainment. It’s a very cosmopolitan city to study in.

10. Durham University

Durham University is a regular in the top 10 universities in the UK tables. It’s a well-respected university in the north of England that offers high-quality teaching in nice surroundings.

Durham University offers 7 economics degree courses that include pure economics, plus finance, philosophy, politics and other relevant subjects.

Durham is a northern city close to Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. It’s a lovely town with lots of interesting buildings, things to see and do. There are also plenty of shopping and entertainment options with those larger towns close by.