Applied Economics (BSc (Hons))


Programme Description

The BSc Applied Economics is a degree in Economics with a difference. It is a 4 year degree combining the study and application of Economics with personal, professional development and the opportunity to go on work placement or study abroad.

Economics is the study of people in the ordinary business of life. It is about the choices and decisions that we make and the consequence of these decisions. The focus of the BSc Applied Economics is on using Economics and the economic way of thinking to develop your understanding of the world around us. You are invited to develop your ideas and are supported to be curious, open-minded, creative, critical, collaborative and reflective. Students’ ability to formulate questions, research, problem-solve and communicate to diverse audiences – all essential attributes for employability - is embedded throughout the programme.

With over 40 faculty and associated staff the Department of Economics in UCC has a leading reputation for research in Applied Economics. The dynamic research environment focuses on a range of topics critical to our understanding of the modern world including Environmental Economics and Sustainability, Financial Economics, Health Economics, Regional and Urban Economics and Sports Economics.  Our faculty members have received numerous teaching awards and hold a variety of qualifications in teaching and learning in higher education.  The Department prides itself on having outstanding teachers of Economics, who will help you achieve your career goals.

Unique to the BSc Applied Economics is the emphasis on professional and personal development through the “Transition to Professional Life” modules supporting you in designing your future career plan. In Year 3 of the BSc Applied Economics you have the option to either go on a 6-month work placement (or complete a 6-month Economics project) or study at a university abroad for the academic year.

The goal of the BSc Applied Economics is to develop graduates to succeed in the 21st century workplace who:

  • question, analyse and research issues in business, finance, government
  • use economics as a way of thinking
  • think independently and creatively
  • are effective communicators and active team players
  • are reflective and aware of their own capabilities and strengths and able to plan for their future careers.

Year 1

Core Modules (45 credits of Economics)

  • EC1113 Microeconomics: Cooperation in the Economic System (5 credits)
  • EC1114 Macroeconomics: Public Policy in the Economic System (5 credits)
  • EC1115 Microeconomics: Coordination and Individual Decision Making (5 credits)
  • EC1107 Reading Economists (5 credits)
  • EC1111 Economic Data Collection (5 credits)
  • EC1112 Economic Data as Evidence (5 credits)
  • EC1123 Writing for Economists (5 credits)
  • EC1124 Critical Reasoning Skills in Economics (5 credits)
  • EC1125 Transition to Professional Life I (5 credits)

Electives Modules 15 credits of another First Arts subject from Groups 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 

Year 2

Recessions and Booms in Ireland and the International Economy;  Money and Monetary Policy;  Government Spending and Tax in Ireland and the International Economy;  Economic Information and Uncertainty;  Firms in a World of Uncertainty; Behavioural Economics;  Economic Modelling of Decision Makers;  Empirical Research Methods;  Reasoning and Problem-Solving in Economics; Research in Economics;  Debates in Applied Economics; Transition to Professional Life II

Year 3

Applied Economic Modules (e.g. Environmental Economics; The Economics of Sport; Health Economics); Research in Economics; Professional Skills for Placement; Work Placement or Economics Research Project

Year 4

Creativity as a Developmental Resource; The Role of Place for Innovation; International Cooperation; Economic Growth and Development in a Global Context; Financial Institutions and Markets; Business Practice for Sustainable Economies;  Survey Design and Implementation; Empirical Econometrics; Honours Dissertation;  Transition to Professional Life III

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Why Choose This Course

  • This degree invites you to participate actively in your study of Economics.
  • We aim for primarily interactive classes and workshops where you will be challenged and supported to develop your own ideas, views, and perspectives using Economics.
  • You have the opportunity to study in a leading department whose applied research focuses on the big questions faced by business and society including the economics of the environment and sustainability, regional and urban development, health and wellbeing, finance, and sports.
  • You can either go on a 6- 6-month work placement (or undertake a 6-month research project) in Year 3 or study abroad for Year 3.
  • The Transition to Professional Life modules enable you to practically participate in your development while at university, in a unique three-way University-Industry Collaboration involving the Career Service UCC, lecturers in the Department of Economics and employers.
  • The Transition to Professional Life modules won the AHECS (2017) Excellence in Employability Award. “This is a developmental, inspiration and incremental employability initiative that can act as a template for other departments and other institutions”. 
  • Shortlisted for the Irish Education Awards Best Career Impact Strategy Award in 2019.

Skills and Careers Information

The following work-based competencies are specifically targeted to improve your employability:

  • problem-solving and analytical skills
  • critical reasoning skills
  • communication and presentation skills
  • numeracy and IT skills
  • group work/leadership skills
  • planning and organizational skills

Graduates with Economics have traditionally gone into a wide variety of careers such as:

  • economic consultancy
  • data analyst
  • junior economist
  • project management
  • advisory services
  • accountancy
  • marketing
  • banking 
  • postgraduate, doctoral, and professional training

The capability to be reflective, self-aware, creative and to develop yourself is in keeping with the need today for self-motivated and independent graduates able to change and adapt throughout their working lives.

Study Abroad

In Year 3 you have the option of either:

  • study abroad. You will then return to UCC to complete your degree;
  • complete a 6-month placement arranged by UCC. Students who do not obtain a placement will undertake a research project.
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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to: 

  • Communicate and Work effectively to a Professional Standard
  • Demonstrate analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice
  • Engage in the application of frameworks and techniques in organisational practice
  • Demonstrate independent research capabilities
  • Demonstrate self-awareness of their strengths, capabilities and weaknesses
  • Be personal leaders in their own education.
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Practicalities & Assessment

The class size is small. The course comprises a variety of delivery methods and you will also be expected to study independently. Classes consist of interactive seminars/workshops in a highly supportive and challenging learning environment.

Expected lecture hours:  In year 1 you will have about 12 hours on average per week; in years 2, 3 (Semester 1) and 4 you will have about 12 hours on average a week.

Expected lab/practical hours: Practicals are provided in the statistical packages in Economic Data Collection, Economic Data as Evidence, Empirical Research MethodsEconometrics

Full module information is detailed in the section below.


Written exams will take place at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment including:

  • group projects and individual assignments
  • oral presentations, poster presentations, videos
  • business and economic report writing, research dissertation, newspaper articles
  • interactive blogs, reflective journaling interview preparation and performance
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Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishOther LanguageMaths
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7
EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest. Irish Leaving Certificate Maths (or equivalent) is recommended. Applicants may also be called for interview.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

Non-EU Applications

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

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