BAEcon Development Studies and Data Analytics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

The BA(Econ) course is an interdisciplinary course that allows you to not only specialise in Economics, but also supplement with other social science subjects such as philosophy, politics and sociology.

You have the flexibility to delve into technical units in Economics such as Econometrics and Mathematical Economics or combine Economics units covering inequality and climate change with social science units to develop a well-rounded understanding on social issues.

The Development Studies pathway is taught by experts in Economics, Politics, Sociology, Social Anthropology, and Social Statistics, and the course offers a rich and coherent basis for understanding the processes and solutions to the problems of development.

It is an interdisciplinary field of study concerned with the issues, problems and policy options facing the development world, such as:

  • inequality;
  • poverty;
  • hunger;
  • wellbeing.

Data Analytics uses data such as numbers, text, sounds, images, memories or experiences to study human behaviour and social environments.

We use data to ask questions about business environments, the ways they function and their impact. You will be able to understand and apply central concepts in Data Analytics, including the theory and method involved in using quantitative data in social science research.

You will be able to take a critical approach to data sources and understand their strengths and weaknesses. You'll also be able to demonstrate to employers that you have skills in complex problem solving, research, and making sense of statistical information in the workplace.

After your first year, you can switch to a different pathway should you discover interests in other social sciences.

Special features

Leading research

World-leading research and teaching in economics has been at the heart of higher education in Manchester since the early days of the University.

Manchester professor William Stanley Jevons (1835 to 1882) helped build the foundations of modern economics.

Three winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics have worked at Manchester:

  • Sir John Hicks (1904 to 1989) wrote his most important works on welfare economics during his time at Manchester.
  • Sir Arthur Lewis (1915 to 1991) for his pioneering work in development economics.
  • Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner 2001) has led the Brooks World Poverty Institute.

We are proud to be a leading centre for economic research, scholarship and research-led teaching in all areas of the discipline, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, financial economics, environmental and resource economics, development economics and industrial/business economics.

Study abroad

You can apply in Year 2 to spend a year abroad in Year 3. If successful, you will put together a programme of study at the host university in consultation with your Academic Exchange Advisor, to complement your studies at Manchester.

Professional Experience Year Opportunity

You apply in year 1 to boost your employability through a paid Professional Experience Year.

If you meet the criteria, the Professional Experience Team and Careers Service will work with you to find a suitable placement in your 2nd year.

You will then complete your Professional Experience Year in 3rd year extending your degree to four years, before returning to University to finish your final year.

Your degree title will be extended to include 'with Professional Experience', giving you the added advantage of relevant work experience when entering the competitive graduate jobs market.

Teaching and learning

Course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars, where you explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth. 

Tutorials and seminars are key in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing, and presentations. 

You are assigned an Academic Advisor who takes a friendly interest in your progress, and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

The way that you study and are assessed will depend on which course units you choose. Our methods are designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding, including: 

  • essays, coursework, and other mid-term evaluations; 
  • dissertations; 
  • presentations; 
  • group projects; 
  • exams.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 gives you a broad introduction to Economics and Social Sciences. This will help you decide what to study in Years 2 and 3.

In Year 1, you would take 120 credits overall made up of:

  • 40 credits of Economics;
  • 20 credits of either Introductory or Advanced Mathematics/Statistics (depending on your A-level qualifications or equivalent);
  • 10 credits of an introductory unit in Social Sciences;
  • 40 credits from a list of Social Sciences optional units;
  • Remaining 10 credits from Economics or Social Sciences, or Study Skills.

At the end of your Year 1, you would have an option to switch to a different pathway.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Power and Value: Perspectives from Social Sciences SOCS15001 10 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you study your chosen pathway in depth and take 120 credits over the year.

Single pathway

If you specialise in one pathway, you can take a maximum of 80 credits in that single pathway and up to 40 credits from other pathways from the BA(Econ).

Joint pathway

If you specialise on a joint pathway, you also take a maximum of 80 credits in any one pathway, but you have the freedom to split these between the two disciplines depending on what you would like to study.

To specialise in Development Studies, you will be taking compulsory units in Development Economics, as well as a 20-credit optional Social Sciences unit on a topic of development, such as the Politics of Development or Political and Economic Anthropology (the list is subject to change). You will also be taking compulsory units in Data Analytics which include survey designs and statistical models.

Free choice units

You can also take up to 20 credits from across the University. For example:

Course content for year 3

In Year 3 you take 120 credits depending on your chosen pathway.

Single pathway

If you choose to specialise in a single pathway such as Development Studies, you can take a minimum of 80 credits in that single area and up to 40 credits from other pathways from the BA (Econ).

Joint pathway

If you specialise on a joint pathway, you will choose a selection of modules in each of the two pathways to fulfil your credit requirements. You will also have an option to do a Development Studies Dissertation where you will be working with a supervisor from either Economics, Politics or Sociology to develop your own thesis.

Free choice units

You can also take up to 20 credits from across the University. For example:

Course content for year 4

If completing a year abroad, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.

If you are selected to take up the Professional Experience opportunity in Year 3, then you will take Year 3 course content in Year 4.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: