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Maybe you’re devoted to reading the Economist, and the Financial Times is your daily bible. Or maybe you’re interested in the way the economy functions, but you’re a bit overwhelmed by the technical jargon. Either way, Oxford Economics & Management could be the course for you!

What is Economics & Management?

Economics & Management is a hugely popular and competitive course at Oxford, that involves problem solving and critical thinking skills. It’s a perfect combination of maths and the humanities.

How hard is it to get into Economics & Management?

It is a competitive course, about 1 applicant out of 17 is successful. The average offer is A*AA, and Maths is a compulsory prerequisite A-Level, and must be at A or A* grade. 

Maths was always my strongest subject at school, but I also loved writing and enjoyed my essay subjects the most. Economics was first offered to me at A Level, and I absolutely loved the course. I loved how it required both the logical reasoning of a science subject and the critical thinking of a humanity subject. I also loved being able to see its applications in the real world; Economics was so central to current affairs, it’s what everyone was talking about! When searching around for Economics-related degrees, I saw that Oxford offered a joint-honours course with Management. I didn’t quite know what Management was before I started, but I loved the look of the course and all the modules I could choose between.

Helen Lily W, E&M, Oxford

What’s it like to study Economics & Management?

Economics & Management is a course that relies hugely on independent study. For each module throughout the degree, there will be 2-3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorial, and 1 essay/problem set per week. For some modules, there will also be additional maths classes to support the tutorials. However, all of the rest of the learning is left entirely to independent study: reading books, answering extra questions in textbooks, and consolidating and revisiting your lecture notes. 

 In the first year, you study 6 modules over 2 terms, and are examined on these at the end of the first year. In second year, you study 5-6 modules over 3 terms and, in the third year, you study 2-3 modules over 2 terms. At the end of the third year, you are examined on the total 8 modules covered over the last 2 years. This is a similar format to most of the Oxford 3 year courses, with all the emphasis placed at the end of the third year (the first year examinations do not count). 

What will you study in an Oxford Economics & Management degree?

The six modules covered over first year are examined in three papers: 

  1. Economics: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. These are largely an extension to the Micro- and Macroeconomics courses at A Level. A comfortable understanding of core Maths A Level material is useful, but not essential. Almost every week there will be a problem set to complete, containing a mix of problem questions and short essays.

As Economics A-Level is not a compulsory prerequisite A-Level, the course does start from a foundational level, although acquiring an Economics textbook and looking over the key topics and terms will be extremely helpful for this course.

  1. General Management: This is made up of 16 topics, one per week over the first 2 terms. Every week, you have a reading list to complete, and then you are expected to write an essay on the given essay title. 

At first, most people find it difficult to complete the whole reading list, but you’ll quickly learn the technique to read efficiently and will able to breeze through it!

Helen Lily W, E&M, Oxford
  1. Financial Management: This course covers Financial Reporting and Financial Analysis. Financial Reporting is essentially the basics of accounting (balance sheet, accounting regulations etc.) and Financial Analysis looks at using formulas and metrics to analyse profitability, turnover, etc. A good grip on mathematical principles is useful but A Level knowledge is not essential, as all the skills are built up from foundational level, at the beginning of the course. 

What actually is Management? 

Management is the study of distribution and coordination of labour and materials within an organisation. It addresses how labour and materials can be organised, to achieve optimal profit and success for a company. It considers the relationship between different parts of an organisation, and between the organisation and other organisations working for similar aims. When studying management you will investigate the decision making process that leads managers to make the decisions they do. 

What’s it like to study Management?

The management side of the course is very reading and essay-based, quite in contrast to economics which generally relies on solving problems on problem sheets, or writing short essays on a concept. It is also important to note that unlike the Physical Sciences and Mathematical and Computational Sciences, this course has very few contact hours, so the biggest skill required is self-discipline: independent study is so important! 


If Economics and Management sounds like the course for you, take a look at our Economics reading list to start exploring the subject further. You could also take a look at our guide to Economics personal statements, which is full of top tips for developing your interest in Economics. This could be the start of your love affair with Economics!

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