Economics and Geography at Aberdeen adds to your thorough grounding in the global economy and how it operates by setting it in the context of geography, the Earth, human relationship with the Earth, the environment and much more.

This programme is studied on campus.

The Department of Economics has a well-established tradition of research in applied economics, particularly in the areas of labour economics and energy economics. There are also research interests in macroeconomics, the economics of health and wellbeing, and experimental economics.

Geography is the study of the Earth's surface, with particular emphasis on the relationships between people and their environment. Few other subjects cover such a diversity of phenomena, combining elements of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

You would normally apply for a Master of Arts (MA) degree if you wish to study other humanities or social-science courses as well as your Geography courses during your degree, if you intend to specialise in Human Geography, and/or if you wish to emphasise your humanities and social-science training beyond university.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

The Economics of Business and Society (EC1006) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introductory course in microeconomics where we study the decision making of individual actors (consumers, employees, firms, governments, etc.) in an economy. Actors must make decisions about behaviours because they face scarce resources, but often they find that trading with other actors in markets can increase the wellbeing of all parties. This course models and examines the nature of these interactions, highlighting when they work well and when they fail to increase wellbeing and what might be the solution to these failures.

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Global Worlds, Global Challenges (GG1008) - 15 Credit Points

The course explores major, global-scale issues associated with environmental change, world resources and prospects for development (sustainable or otherwise). Example topics include climate change, natural hazards, population growth, deforestation, water resources and global food supply. The course is designed to appeal to all students interested in the relationships between people and the natural environment, irrespective of their academic background or degree intention. The course combines aspects of the earth, environmental and social sciences. No prior knowledge is assumed.

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The Global Economy (EC1506) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introductory course in macroeconomics where we study the behaviour of the economy as a whole. Whereas microeconomics focuses on individual markets, macroeconomics addresses the “big issues” such as unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and financial crises. Macroeconomics is a lively subject, full of discussion and debate, as economists and policymakers take different views on macroeconomic issues, their causes and appropriate policy responses. Issues such as: Is the economy growing? What causes unemployment and how can we reduce it? How can we avoid recessions? When is inflation a problem? Are banks lending too much?

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Global Worlds, Local Challenges (GG1510) - 15 Credit Points

This course considers the geographical patterns that characterise the Earth’s physical and human environments and landscapes, and the processes that operate within and lead to changes in these. It is also concerned with the ways in which people occupy the Earth’s surface, their movements and settlements, and their perceptions and use of landscapes, resources and space. Lecture material is presented in study blocks covering: glaciology and palaeoclimates; biogeography and soils; economic, social and historical geographies; and issues surrounding sustainability. Key concepts and skills are reinforced through small group teaching (PC-classes and tutorials).

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Academic Writing for Business (AW1003)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Intermediate Microeconomics (EC2003) - 30 Credit Points

This course builds on and is a natural extension of EC 1006. By examining in a more rigorous way concepts introduced in EC 1006 students will develop further their analytical skills and they will obtain a better understanding of consumers and producers behaviour, market structure as well as the effectiveness of economic policy. The course is designed to appeal to all students interested in economics. This includes students who may wish not to enter into any further studies of economics, as well as students who may wish to continue studying economics at the honours level.

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Space, Economy and Society (GG2014) - 15 Credit Points

GG2014 examines political, economic, social and cultural change from geographical perspectives. It makes use of a range of concepts and, being team-taught, uses case studies drawn from our own fields of research. Topics covered typically include: globalisation; economic geography; mobility and transport; political geography; rural change in Western Europe; and relationships between place and identity. The course is designed to be accessible to students from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations and sociology. It is intended to provide a foundation for higher level social science study, particularly in human geography.

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Intermediate Macroeconomics (EC2503) - 30 Credit Points

This course focuses on macroeconomic policy in a global economy. The first part builds an open-economy Keynesian model to investigate what determines the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies, and how exchange rate regimes and capital mobility impact on policy effectiveness. The second part investigates what determines the level of macroeconomic activity and its growth over time. The final part looks at what determines inflation and unemployment. This intermediate level course uses live lectures to develop your analytical skills evaluating economic policy in a rigorous and technical way to equip you with the skills needed for honours level study.

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Skills and Techniques in Geosciences (GG2508) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to a range of scientific and social scientific skills and techniques used in Geography. The course involves a residential field trip in the Easter vacation, past venues have included: the Isle of Skye; the Isle of Arran, Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park. The trips enable students to employ skills and techniques learned in lectures and workgroup sessions to conduct original research into issues covered elsewhere.

Only available to students registered for programme year 2 of a Geography study aim or to students also taking at least 3 of GG2013, GG2014, GG2509 & GG2510

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Optional Courses

Select two of the following:

  • Physical Environments (GG2013)
  • Environment and Society (GG2509)
  • Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510)
Physical Environments (GG2013) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an understanding of environmental processes and landscape change through time and space. The course places Physical Geography as an integral component of Earth System Science. The first half of the course explores physical environmental processes, whilst the second focuses on evidence of environmental change across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Three themes of glaciology, hydrology and palaeoecology will be explored to illustrate the linkages and interactions between process and form over a range of temporal and spatial scales. The course is team-taught by staff with an emphasis on using examples from recent research projects.

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Environment and Society (GG2509) - 15 Credit Points

Interactions between human society and our environment have never been more complex or more critical in order to place us on a pathway to more sustainable future. This course explores the diverse approaches and perspectives that help us think about, explain and address all of the environmental challenges that we face in the 21st century. Students will be introduced to these approaches and perspectives and will have the opportunity to apply them across a range of regional and global environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable tourism, the energy crisis and the ozone hole.

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Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510) - 15 Credit Points

In a digital era of GPS navigators and many online map tools (e.g. Google Maps), there is an increase demand for professionals able to understand and manipulate geographical data and use these to monitor processes at various scales. The course provides a solid background in the acquisition of geographical data, both onshore and offshore with classic field-based and remote sensing techniques. It covers the creation and interpretation of maps and looks at the history of remote sensing and its science as well as providing the essential basis to understanding what a Geographical Information System is.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Approaches to Geography (GG3071) - 15 Credit Points

This core course is designed to introduce Honours students to key debates on the nature and scope of academic geography. Geographers past and present have studied a huge variety of phenomena using a variety of tools to investigate their subject. This course will help you understand this diversity. Topics include: the changing meaning of the ‘environment’; the use and abuse of statistical analysis; the influence of left-wing and post-modern perspectives, and the role of technology. Students may specialise in particular aspects, or mix-and-match across the breadth of the discipline, as you wish.

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Research Design (GG3574) - 15 Credit Points

This core course builds on GG2508 to provide an introduction to the conduct of research in the Geosciences at an advanced level. It is intended to familiarise students with the skills necessary to design, implement and write up effective research. These skills will support work on undergraduate dissertations and other project work. The course also introduces careers research skills, and explores how you can best make use of your degree in the 'real world' after graduation: workshops run in partnership with the University's Career Service provide practical advice and training on how best to develop your career.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Economics
  • Plus, select a further 30 credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Option 1:

  • Economics Dissertation (EC4526)
  • Geographical Issues (GG4537)
  • Plus further credit points from level 4 courses in Economics to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
  • Plus further credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline

Option 2:

  • Geography Dissertation (GG4023)
  • Plus further credit points from level 4 courses in Economics to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
  • Plus further credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
Economics Dissertation (EC4526) - 30 Credit Points

The dissertation presents students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills of Economics to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic which has been chosen by the student and approved by the Dissertation coordinator and Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the Dissertation, with guidance from the supervisor, the student will study a particular topic, conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate theoretical and/or empirical methods to address the topic and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

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Geographical Issues (GG4537) - 30 Credit Points

This core, ‘capstone’ course is designed to develop further students’ critical understanding of the contemporary intellectual and real-world contexts in which the academic discipline of geography – and its graduates! – operates. The course involves the preparation of seminar presentations and short papers on a series of issues pertinent to contemporary geography. This work should showcase new philosophies and methodologies; and/or the relationships between geography and other academic disciplines; and/or applications of academic geography to real-world problems. Students also consider how they can best make use of their degree after graduation, with preparation of a reflective, career-planning report.

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Geography Dissertation (GG4023) - 30 Credit Points

The Honours dissertation provides students with the opportunity to produce a piece of independent and original research on an approved topic. Advanced level knowledge of a sub-area of the discipline is developed through independent study supervised by a member of academic staff. This course is compulsory for any students completing a single Honours degree in Geography and for any joint Honours student who has not registered to complete a dissertation in their other Honours subject.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Economics and Geography?

Why Economics

  • An excellent teaching environment, committed to the needs of industry, which integrates research in to teaching, grows transferable skills and develops intellectual skills on a range of contemporary economic problems.
  • A thriving Economics Society, organising annual trips to international economic institutions including the European Union in Brussels, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.
  • Professional training facilities such as our virtual Thomson Reuters Eikon™ trading floor, used by major financial services companies across the world and integrates real activity in financial markets directly into our students' courses.
  • Enterprise Campus, a new initiative to nurture entrepreneurial skills and support students wanting to progress their own business ideas.
  • ACREEF (the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance) headed by leading international petroleum economist and author Professor Alex Kemp, adviser to the Scottish Government.
  • Home to CELMR (the Centre for European Labour Market Research) which leads research in education, skills and labour markets so topical today.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with brilliant study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and an extensive collection of reference books, journals and other media for economics and business studies.
  • A packed campus programme of student, public and business events, and the annual May Festival attracting internationally acclaimed public figures, business leaders, authors and broadcasters to debate critical challenges in the world today.

Why Geography

  • Geography has a strong tradition at Aberdeen having been successfully taught here since the foundation of Marischal College in 1593 and established as a formal unit within the University in 1919.
  • The degree programme reflects modern day Geography, with course options reflecting the Department's research strengths in both human and physical Geography.
  • Our curriculum is also focussed on employability, with core courses on the degrees aimed at producing graduates who can think critically and in an interdisciplinary way, communicate well and are well educated in geographic skills and techniques.
  • The department, and its students, are at a distinct advantage being based in the north east of Scotland. The University is in close proximity to some of the most environmentally important and geographically varied landscapes in the whole of the UK.
  • We offer a range of Geography based degree programmes across Arts and Science, designed to suit the individual interests of our learners.
  • Students have the opportunity to engage with industry in a number of ways, and we have developed close working relationships through research and teaching with key organisations, including Aberdeen Harbour Board, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage etc.
  • Local, national and international field trips are an integral part of all our degree programmes in the Department.
  • We have an engaging and very active Geography Society, where you can build your networks and enhance your employability.
  • We draw from social, environmental and geosciences to address local and global sustainability challenges and the impact of rapid environmental change on contemporary surface processes.
  • In the 2014 REF results, we were
    1st in Scotland - Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Geology and Geosciences)
    1st in Scotland for Impact - Geosciences
    5th in the UK for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Property and Transport)

Entry Requirements


SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
National 5/ S Grade/ GCSE - Maths
IB - 32 points, 15 points at HL

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Students admitted in 2017/18

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate Open Day

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Find out More


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX