What's it like to study an Economics degree?

Fancy studying for a degree in Economics? Check out our real-life success stories of students who studied it for themselves!

Click on each name to read their story, or just scroll through:

Holly – Durham

Holly Anderson – Durham University

Holly was in her third year of an Economics degree at Durham University and looking forward to a career in professional services when we caught up with her:

What inspired you to study an economics degree?

I have always enjoyed maths but I wanted to do a degree which enabled me to maintain my writing skills as well as my numerical skills. Economics seemed like the perfect fit – it’s a good balance of essay writing and mathematical work.

Why did you choose to study at your university?

I was originally attracted by Durham’s strong reputation as one of the UK’s top universities.

The collegiate system was a particularly big draw for me and the pastoral care and catered accommodation allowed a smoother and easier transition into living away from home.

What do you like about the course?

I particularly like that the course has given me the opportunity to choose several of the modules I study, even from first year, and provided a wide variety of options. This has allowed me to tailor the course to my strengths and interests.

What learning methods does your department employ?

We have one or two hours of lectures per week and a one hour seminar every two weeks for each module. The lectures teach us the material that we then use to prepare answers for seminar questions which we then work through.

What aspects of the course are you finding difficult?

There is a big difference between the difficulty levels of each year of the course. I have particularly noticed it this year as although the volume of work has stayed the same, the technical difficulty of the topics has increased dramatically.

How are you funding your studies?

I've used a combination of savings, student loans, and working during the summer.

In the summers before my first and second years I worked as a Customer Services Advisor at a school uniform retailer close to my home, and in the summer between my second and third years I undertook two paid internships.

What about the social side of things at university, does an economics student find much time for it?

I have been in the college cheer leading team since first year which has been great for meeting students from other year groups. I was also in the university ski and snowboard club and college choir.

There are so many university and college clubs and societies – there’s something for everyone and joining a few is a great way to meet likeminded people outside of your course. My social life has been great here, although admittedly I don’t go out as much now as I did in my first year.

What do you plan to do once you’ve graduated?

I have been given two graduate scheme offers, both at professional services firms in London and have yet to decide which one to take – one is in tax, the other is in performance improvement consulting.

Lisa – Nottingham

Lisa Maria Peyer

We caught up with 20 year old Lisa halfway through her third year of Economics at the University of Nottingham. Born in Austria, her passion for languages brought her to the UK for uni, a decision Lisa seemed quite happy with:

What inspired you to study an economics degree?

My enthusiasm for economics has mainly derived from how economics – its workings, implications and results – influences our everyday decisions, and how it is involved in almost every aspect of society.

Learning and understanding the theory of economics has always interested me, but its application and relevance is what really enticed me.

Why did you choose to study at your university?

Nottingham appealed to me because of its academic quality. Its in the country's top 10. The department is also famed for its distinguished Behavioural and Experimental economics research centre.

The university offers a range of societies to join, great opportunities to study abroad, and the campus set up and effort of uni staff has made it particularly easy to meet people and make friends. 

What do you like about the course?

The lecturers and tutors are very concerned with providing cutting-edge information, straight from the field's latest research. They are very enthusiastic when talking about new developments and linking them to the established lecture material – this has to be my favourite thing about the course. 

What aspect of the course are you finding difficult? How's the support?

I feel like the final dissertation is not given enough credit – in terms of actual credits as well as in terms of time devoted to the project according to the schedule.

There is a slight discrepancy between the academic quality we are required to deliver and the time and support we actually receive from the department.

How are you funding your studies?

I try and contribute to the tuition fees and my living costs via summer jobs and internships. The summer break is really long so it's well worth ensuring you have something to keep you occupied, making a bit of money at the same time. 

What about the social side of things at university? Does an economics student find time?

My course keeps me quite busy but I consciously make an effort to balance my time between academic and social endeavours.

I've joined several societies including music, the university choir, and the lacrosse team. It requires some time management and multi-tasking skills but it's not impossible to get your fair share of both work and social life. 

What do you plan to do once you’ve graduated? 

I wish to pursue a Masters degree in either Management or a combination of Economics and Business courses. Eventually, I hope to embark on a career in management consulting.

How has your department supported your career aspirations?

The networking opportunities at the university have been very helpful in getting in touch with future employers and gaining a competitive edge over other applicants. I've received some useful insights into the workings of the respective companies and tips on how to excel during the recruitment process.

Having a really strong Economics and Finance society, that has taken on the duty of delivering all these opportunities and workshops, has definitely helped.

Any other comments?

Nottingham offers you the best of both worlds; a well reputed and established English institution with academic with high quality teaching and a great social life.