Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
Specialise in applied economics
The BA (Hons) Economics degree will set you apart from graduates of more traditional economics degrees. Our emphasis is on developing forward-thinking economists who can be relied upon for their strategic vision and analytical thinking. You’ll not only gain a solid grounding in economic theory but also become skilled in handling economic data, completing research and analysis, and meeting the high standards of professional practice you need to shape an organisation’s success.
Practical scenarios will give you plenty of opportunities to strengthen your skills, so you could find yourself creating an investment portfolio, undertaking consultancy projects, taking part in business panel debates, conducting broadcast interviews or presenting your economic analysis at conferences.
Engaging with employers throughout your studies, you’ll develop the full toolkit of skills that the applied economist needs for business or organisational consultancy. You’ll solve real problems for real organisations, deepening your understanding of the wider business world.
We encourage and support you to take an optional year-long work placement or summer internship to give you a better understanding of how economic analysis can improve organisational performance and practice. Our students have secured placements in roles such as data analyst.
To broaden your horizons further still, you could take part in optional overseas study trips. Among recent opportunities, our students travelled to Dublin to gain insights into the work of IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for inward investment, and to Copenhagen to explore issues surrounding money laundering and international art fraud.
A visit to Vienna featured a tour of the UN Office where students had the chance to observe a live conference and attend talks by specialists such as the Director of UN Information Services Vienna, Martin Nesirky. They also heard from representatives of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) about internship opportunities there.
Specialist facilities and resources
Hands-on experience in the inspiring setting of our Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab will give you a whole new perspective on what it’s like to work at the cutting edge of economics. Harnessing the software used in financial markets worldwide and handling up-to-the-minute data, you’ll gain vital insights into financial market analysis and the fast-paced environment of the trading floor.
We’re one of a few universities to have invested in such exceptional learning facilities in partnership with Bloomberg, the global business and financial information leader. The lab puts a wealth of data at your fingertips, including company and director profiles plus analysis of current affairs from Bloomberg Intelligence. You’ll receive training from Bloomberg specialists, have access to their helpdesk and can even work towards the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate to complement your degree qualification.
An extra qualification: the Futures Award
Our Futures Award has been developed specifically for our Economics students to showcase their versatility and professionalism to potential employers. It is an additional qualification which recognises any extra-curricular activities you undertake to improve your employability and career development. Such activities could include attending workshops on CV design and improvement; developing techniques for interviews, assessment centres or psychometric tests; taking part in networking events; or leading a small project within a student society or voluntary role.
On successful completion of the degree you will also gain exemptions towards the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualifications, meaning you can achieve membership of this professional body quicker, accelerating your career progression.
You’ll be taught by an enthusiastic and experienced team within a friendly, supportive learning community. Small class sizes allow scope for one-to-one advice so that you are motivated to achieve at a high level.
Our lecturers are conducting influential research into some of the most pressing economic issues facing society, from behavioural economics to public policy, the green economy to the economics of innovation and technological change. They publish widely, including one of the main economics textbooks used in universities, and their findings will enrich your learning to keep it up to date.
You’ll also meet and interact with industry experts – for instance, you’ll hear about latest developments in the City from our visiting professor, Trevor Williams. There are further networking opportunities through our Economics, Trading and Investment Society and our Network of Entrepreneurs too.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Real world learning is at the heart of this programme, with the focus on solving genuine business problems as well as engaging with external experts to discuss economic concepts.
You’ll learn through a compelling combination of:
- interactive lectures
- expert speakers
- problem-solving seminars
- group work
- group discussion
- case study analysis
- computer lab work
- practical analysis
At the start of the course, you will benefit from substantial direction from our teaching team. As your studies progress, you are expected to work more independently, taking greater responsibility for your own learning – but always with the support and advice of your tutors.
Examples of projects
As the culmination of the course, the Applied Economics Project module enables you to apply your research and statistical skills to a theme of your choice. Recent projects have seen our students exploring the role of sanctions in the economic performance of Russia; examining the potential economic impact of large sporting events; looking into contemporary issues relating to migration; and investigating the UK's housing market, international trade and productivity.
Showcasing your skills
You could showcase your know-how and raise your professional profile in prestigious competitions. Our students have scooped major awards at the University Trading Challenge, pitting their wits against fellow undergraduate and postgraduate students from leading institutions countrywide. The competition comprises a simulated trading market which tests students’ abilities to strategise, analyse and present their ideas to a panel of traders and bankers in the City of London. There are opportunities to enter other competitions such as the IBM University Business Challenge and the CIMA Global Business Challenge too.
How you are assessed
You’ll be assessed in a number of ways, including:
- computer-based assessments
- business reports
- applied economics projects to showcase your analytical and quantitative skills
- data retrieval and quantitative analytics using Bloomberg
- computer-based analysis harnessing Excel and SPSS
- poster presentations and reports to assess your research and consultancy skills
Who you'll meet
At Derby you’ll discover a friendly and supportive learning community, with small classes where you will receive plenty of one-to-one advice.
You will be taught by an enthusiastic team who are experienced in all aspects of economics and whose research will enrich your learning. They are supported by industry experts, including our Visiting Professor of Banking, Professor Trevor Williams who is Chief Economist at Lloyds Bank PLC.
The teaching team includes:
Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Economics, Nicola is also Head of the Economics and Finance Division at Derby Business School. An applied economist researching on public policy issues, she has particular interests in areas such as the impact of business networks at micro and macro levels and the development of industrial, enterprise and economic policies. She is currently leading a research project which involves an economic impact study of the Buxton Festival. Nicola is dedicated to providing a learning environment where students can develop academically and personally, with a strong emphasis on teaching economics in an applied manner.
As well as teaching on this course, Melanie leads our MSc International Business and Finance and our MSc International Business and HRM. She is widely published and the joint author of a leading Economics textbook, published by Pearson Education and used extensively in universities. Her research focuses on applied economics, behavioural economics and financial market behaviour. As a teacher, she is committed to giving students a new way of looking at the world which nurtures their confidence, decision-making skills and a lifelong fascination with economics. She is the co-author of the University’s monthly Economic Bulletin.
Eugene leads our suite of International Business programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His focus is on encouraging students to apply economic reasoning and critical thinking. His academic interests are centred on behavioural economics and their implications for personal financial wellbeing (particularly pensions) and the application of behavioural insights to macroeconomic and business policymaking. He is the co-author of the University’s monthly Economic Bulletin.
Senior Lecturer inEconomics and Finance, Weiwei teaches various modules on the course. Her research interests lie in areas such as banking efficiency, market competition, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Her teaching philosophy is to inspire students to move from passive to active learning.
Senior Lecturer in Economics and Business, Daphne has research interests which span applied economics, public economics, corruption, business performance, management practices and e-government. She gained valuable consulting and research experience at the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Lecturer in Economics, Sayantan conducts research into areas such as international trade, economic development and public policy. He has published on various aspects of trade, economic growth and public expenditure in India.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study.
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
An Economics degree adds prestige to your CV and could be your stepping stone to a lucrative graduate training scheme or a well-rewarded financial consultancy role. Economics is among the top three subjects to take for delivering a ‘professional premium’ – the difference in salaries between graduates and non-graduates – of almost £10,000 (Complete University Guide statistics for 2017 graduates).
Economics graduates with an understanding of business and leadership are in great demand across the public, private and voluntary sectors worldwide. As well as roles in international business, consultancy and finance, you could pursue opportunities in government departments, development agencies, charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Our focus on problem-solving and practical economic analysis extends your career scope further still, opening doors to a much broader range of opportunities than with a more conventional Economics qualification. Some graduates go on to follow careers in areas such as HR, marketing, PR and sales.
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. In addition, the BA (Hons) Economics features specialist career sessions for economists to help you build your CV and social media profile and to assist in your applications for placements, internships and jobs.
The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
Many of our Economics graduates decide to take their studies to the next level with us. You can consider progressing to exciting masters programmes such as the MSc International Business and Finance or MBA Global Finance. You may be entitled to an alumni discount if you decide to extend your time studying with us.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
5 with an optional placement year
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Bloomberg data usage within modules with access to Bloomberg terminals for specified assessments
- Statistical analysis software SPSS for use in modules
- Some taster events- transport costs covered
- Opportunities to enter IBM University Business Challenge, CIMA Global Business Challenge and University Trading Challenge
- Part funded trip to Copenhagen for 2nd and 3rd year students. Optional with limited places available.
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Some taster events- transport costs
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.