Economics and Management
Stock market data.
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Economics and Management

Economics is the study of how consumers, firms and governments make decisions that together determine how resources are allocated. An appreciation of economics and the general workings of the economy has become increasingly necessary to make sense of government policy-making, the conduct of businesses and the enormous changes in economic systems which are occurring throughout the world.


Management is concerned with the effective use and coordination of materials and labour within organisations in the pursuit of the organisation’s defined objectives. It considers the inter-relationship and interactions between distinct parts of an organisation, and between the organisation and its environment. Management students look at theories, models and frameworks in order to understand how managers behave and consider their role in the process of decision-making.

Economics and Management at Oxford

The top-ranking Economics and Management undergraduate degree programme examines issues central to the world we live in: how the economy and organisations function, and how resources are allocated and coordinated to achieve the objectives that are set. Economics and management are ideal intellectual partners, each particularly fitted to strengthen and cross-fertilise the other. Economics provides the broader understanding of economic activity within which all organisations function; management in turn analyses the character and goals of that functioning.

The lectures and seminars are provided by the Department of Economics and the University’s Saïd Business School.


Graduates in Economics and Management are among the most sought-after in the University. Employers of Economics and Management graduates include both leading international organisations in traditional activities, as well as new start-up companies in a variety of high-tech fields. Recent graduates have secured positions in banking and finance, consultancy, research and teaching, and include a senior associate consultant and an economist for a national bank.

Katharine joined the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2002, following graduation. After a secondment to the energy regulator Ofgem, she returned to the FSA to work as a policymaker and now specialises in negotiating and developing EU and domestic regulation of investments. Katharine says: ‘The ability to analyse information and make judgements was crucial from my very first role at the FSA – my degree gave me confidence in my own analysis, and in my ability to explain my thinking.’

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider History and Economics, or Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).

A typical weekly timetable

A typical week will involve attending six lectures and two tutorials. Prior to and after attending a lecture, students are required to undertake study to reinforce their understanding of the material introduced in the lecture. The tutorials involve discussing an essay with a tutor. Preparation for a tutorial will typically take up to two and a half days and will require extensive reading around the subject as well as the time to write the essay.

1st year

Three courses are taken:

  • Introductory economics
  • General management
  • Financial management

First University examinations:
Three written papers

2nd and 3rd years

Compulsory core courses:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Quantitative economics

Optional courses, of which at least two must be in Management. Choose from over 20 options papers including:

  • Strategic management
  • Finance
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Economics of industry
  • International economics
  • Development economics

Final University examinations:
The core Economics papers and five optional papers (including at least two from Management) are examined by written examinations
It is possible to replace one optional paper by a thesis in either Economics or Management

Candidates are required to have Mathematics to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB, or another equivalent. 

All candidates must also take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) as part of their application. Please see how to apply for further details.

All candidates must follow the application procedure as shown in how to apply. The information below gives specific details for students applying for this course.

Written work

You do not need to submit any written work as part of an application for this course.

Written test

All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA), normally at their own school or college, on 5 November 2014. Separate registration for this test is required and the final deadline for entries is 15 October 2014. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they are registered for this test. See the TSA website for further details.

What are tutors looking for?

Economics and Management tutors are looking for candidates with: an interest in and a motivation for studying the organisation of businesses and the economy; independence and flexibility of mind; an ability to analyse and solve problems logically and critically; a capacity to construct and critically assess arguments; and a willingness and ability to express ideas clearly and effectively both on paper and orally.

Throughout the admissions process, tutors are trying to detect the candidate’s potential as an Economics and Management student. Final decisions about offers of places will use the full range of evidence available, including past and predicted exam results, the school report, the personal statement, the Thinking Skills Assessment and the interviews. Entry is competitive, which means that not all candidates who satisfy the admissions criteria will receive offers.

We do not interview everyone who applies, only those who have a realistic chance of getting in. Candidates from overseas may be considered without interview.

The interview is aimed primarily at assessing the candidate’s potential for future development. Interviewers will be looking for evidence of genuine interests and enthusiasms, and the motivation to work hard at them: candidates are expected to give reasons for their expressed interests in the course. The interview is not primarily a test of existing knowledge and, in particular, is not a test of economics or management, unless these subjects have been studied before.

Selection criteria

Candidates may wish to refer to the selection criteria for Economics and Management.

Suggested reading

An indispensable introduction to economic analysis, both for those who have not studied it at school and for those who have is The Economist or the Economics pages of newspapers. Paul Krugman’s writings are highly recommended. Begg, Fischer and Dornbusch’s Economics is one of the introductory textbooks widely used at Oxford.

Jack, 2nd year

'I find that Economics and Management is a varied, engrossing, relevant and academically rigorous degree. The scale and scope of the course is amazing. This year, I’m studying marketing and strategy as part of my Management options, and think I will keep an even split between economics and management as I enjoy being able to study both mathematics and essay-based elements of the course.

The Saïd Business School, where the Management part of the course is taught, has everything from an expansive library to a subsidised canteen (which is useful for study breaks!). The Economics Department is close to the Social Science Library which has every book an Economics student could need.'

Dean, who completed his degree in 2009

He is an Analyst for Greenhill & Co, a leading independent mergers and acquisitions advisory firm. He says:

‘Oxford provided an unparalleled opportunity to enhance my self-confidence, develop thorough analytical skills, and hone my ability to communicate in a clear and articulate manner – prerequisites for a career in investment banking.’

Contextual information

The Key Information Sets provide a lot of numbers about the Oxford experience – but there is so much about what you get here that numbers can’t convey. It’s not just the quantity of the Oxford education that you need to consider, there is also the quality – let us tell you more.

Oxford’s tutorial system

Regular tutorials, which are the responsibility of the colleges, are the focal point of teaching and learning at Oxford. The tutorial system is one of the most distinctive features of an Oxford education: it ensures that students work closely with tutors throughout their undergraduate careers, and offers a learning experience which is second to none.

A typical tutorial is a one-hour meeting between a tutor and one, two, or three students to discuss reading and written work that the students have prepared in advance. It gives students the chance to interact directly with tutors, to engage with them in debate, to exchange ideas and argue, to ask questions, and of course to learn through the discussion of the prepared work. Many tutors are world-leaders in their fields of research, and Oxford undergraduates frequently learn of new discoveries before they are published.

Each student also receives teaching in a variety of other ways, depending on the course. This will include lectures and classes, and may include laboratory work and fieldwork. But the tutorial is the place where all the elements of the course come together and make sense. Meeting regularly with the same tutor – often weekly throughout the term – ensures a high level of individual attention and enables the process of learning and teaching to take place in the context of a student’s individual needs.

The tutorial system also offers the sustained commitment of one or more senior academics – as college tutors – to each student’s progress. It helps students to grow in confidence, to develop their skills in analysis and persuasive argument, and to flourish as independent learners and thinkers.

More information about tutorials

The benefits of the college system

  • Every Oxford student is a member of a college. The college system is at the heart of the Oxford experience, giving students the benefits of belonging to both a large and internationally renowned university and a much smaller, interdisciplinary, college community.
  • Each college brings together academics, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and college staff. The college gives its members the chance to be part of a close and friendly community made up of both leading academics and students from different subjects, year groups, cultures and countries. The relatively small size of each college means that it is easy to make friends and contribute to college life. There is a sense of belonging, which can be harder to achieve in a larger setting, and a supportive environment for study and all sorts of other activities.
  • Colleges organise tutorial teaching for their undergraduates, and one or more college tutors will oversee and guide each student’s progress throughout his or her career at Oxford. The college system fosters a sense of community between tutors and students, and among students themselves, allowing for close and supportive personal attention to each student’s academic development.

It is the norm that undergraduates live in college accommodation in their first year, and in many cases they will continue to be accommodated by their college for the majority or the entire duration of their course. Colleges invest heavily in providing an extensive range of services for their students, and as well as accommodation colleges provide food, library and IT resources, sports facilities and clubs, drama and music, social spaces and societies, access to travel or project grants, and extensive welfare support. For students the college often becomes the hub of their social, sporting and cultural life.

More about Oxford’s unique college system and how to choose a college