Economics (Diploma for Graduates)


Study for your Diploma for Graduates in Economics

The programme is suitable for graduates of any discipline who, for professional or personal reasons, wish to secure a stand-alone qualification in economics. It is also ideal for those who wish to undertake postgraduate work and whose first degree is in an unrelated field. It aims to provide a thorough grounding in the principles of economics while developing critical skills for a wide range of real world professional situations.

Programme structure

You must pass four full courses (or the equivalent) to complete the programme.


The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) provides academic direction for this programme. LSE is regarded as an international centre of academic excellence and innovation in the social sciences.

Flexible study at a reasonable cost

You have between 1-5 years to complete this Diploma for Graduates. The total fee payable to the University is £1,525 if you complete in the minimum study period.

Key dates
Application deadline 1 October in the year before you intend to sit your exams
Registration deadline 30 November
Start studying Study materials are usually available from mid-August
Examinations take place May/June  

Individual courses

The courses that make up this programme are also available to study as individual courses. This may be useful if you wish to enhance your skills or demonstrate knowledge in a specific area (for example to a university or a professional body). Subject to certain requirements, individual courses can often be credited towards the full programme upon successful completion. For more details, please visit the individual courses page.



  • The structure shown above is subject to confirmation in the 2015-2016 Regulations.
  • A prerequisites is a specified courses that must be passed before a BSc student is permitted to attempt the examination for another particular course. Students of the Diploma for Graduates are not required to satisfy prerequisites but are strongly advised to ensure they are prepared for the high academic requirements of the courses.
  • Exclusions are courses which may not be chosen together. Where exclusions exist, they are listed in the Course Information Sheets and the Regulations.
  • Course Information Sheets are updated annually and you should ensure you are reading the correct information sheet for your year of study. Registered students can access these from the VLE.
Study materials

How you study

Our programmes allow you to obtain a prestigious degree or other qualification at a reasonable cost.

You can choose to study independently or, where available, pay for additional educational support at a local institution to benefit from face-to-face tutorial support and the opportunity to interact with fellow students in person.

Study materials

The specially written study materials are developed by academics appointed by LSE. They guide you through the textbooks which are the real focus of your study. The cost of your study pack is included in your initial and continuing registration fees. Study materials include:

  • a Programme handbook containing practical information and advice such as how to enter for exams
  • Strategies for success which provides help with study techniques
  • a Subject guide for each course, designed to guide you through the syllabus and offer advice on how to use textbooks in an organised and productive manner. Partial versions of EMFSS subject guides are available to view
  • past exam papers and Examiners' commentaries which are updated annually and available to download. These provide an insight into how questions should have been tackled and outline common mistakes made by students in the past. Copies of the most recent exam papers and Examiners’ commentaries are available for reference on our website, see EMFSS past exam papers. A fuller back catalogue is available for all registered students through the VLE.

We also provide all students with a student registration card.

Online support

When you register we will send you a username and password giving you access to the Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key online resources:

The virtual learning environment (VLE)

The online virtual learning environment (VLE) provides electronic copies of all printed study materials. There are also forums that allow you to share interests and experience, and to work collaboratively with other students to solve problems and discuss subject material.

Online support materials are being developed continuously and for some courses audio-visual tutorials, recorded lectures, academic interviews and debates are available, along with self-testing activities and expert study skills advice.

The Online Library

The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.

Optional courses held at LSE in London

The LSE Summer School is held annually, usually from early July to mid-August. It offers a range of stimulating and challenging courses, allowing you to undertake a period of intensive study in areas of interest.



The fees below relate to the 2015-2016 session and are subject to annual review.

Academic year2015-2016
Application fee£ 80
Initial registration fee£ 565
Examination entry fee (per full course)£ 220
Examination entry fee (per half course)£ 110
Continuing registration fee£ 370
Total for Diploma for Graduates£ 1,525
Other fees (as applicable)
Additional registration fee for students taking law courses (per course) £ 50
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Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

Fees are payable as you progress rather than as a single lump sum. The total provided above is an example of the total amount of fees payable to the University for the whole programme of study. The example is calculated using current fees, does not reflect any annual change in fees and assumes completion in the minimum time permitted with no law courses being chosen.

When to pay

The application fee is payable when you make your application. The closing date for applications is 1 October. If you meet the entrance requirements you will be invited to register.

The initial registration fee is payable when you register with the University. The closing date for registrations is 30 November.

The examination fee is payable when you choose to enter an examination. Examination entries are accepted from mid-December to the closing date of 1 February. Examinations take place in May or June each year.

The continuing registration fee is payable in the second and subsequent years of registration at the time when you confirm the courses that you will be registered for during that year. The closing date for continuing registration is 1 November.

How to pay

All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts: 

  • Western Union - Quick Pay
  • Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
  • Sterling banker's draft/cheque
  • International money/postal order

Further details are given in payment methods.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for:

  • textbooks (this may well be in the region of £300 per year)
  • tuition costs (if studying at a teaching institution)
  • LSE Summer School (optional)
  • the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.


Fees are subject to annual review and the University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.



When you decide you are ready, you enter for unseen written examinations. These are set and marked by our academics to ensure your work is assessed to the same standard as College-based students at LSE. Examinations are held once a year, in May/June, at local centres in over 190 countries as well as in London. You will be charged a fee by your local examination centre (this fee will vary).

For most courses you sit a three-hour paper (or a two-hour paper for each half course). For the following courses a project/coursework also counts towards the assessment:

  • IS1060 Introduction to information systems
  • IS3139 Software engineering: theory and application
  • GY3157 Independent geographical study
  • IS3159 Research project in information systems.

Academic Requirements

To be eligible for this Diploma for Graduates programme you must:

  • hold a full first degree from an awarding institution acceptable to the University of London and
  • demonstrate competence in Mathematics at least equivalent to UK GCSE/GCE 'O' level at grade C or above

UK GCSE equivalents, including grade requirements can be found at Entrance Qualifications.

If you are not automatically eligible then you will be individually considered by the University of London’s Special Admissions Panel although it should be noted that only those who have been awarded an acceptable full first degree can register for a Diploma for Graduates programme. If not approved we will advise you on what is required to become eligible in the future. Furthermore those who are not approved for a Diploma for Graduates programme are automatically considered for a full first degree (BSc) in the fields of Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences (LSE academic direction). 

Where possible the University will always try and advise an applicant on eligibility prior to submitting an application. However, it should be noted that such advice is not always possible unless a formal application has been submitted.

Language Requirements

The language of instruction, reading and assessment is English. To succeed on our programmes you need a good level of competence in English. If you doubt your ability in written or spoken English we advise you take a course and test in English language before enrolling on the programme.

Required standard of English

You will usually meet the English language requirement for undergraduate programmes if you:

  • hold a UK GCSE / GCE O level in English at grade C or above
  • have five years secondary schooling taught solely in English or have passed GCE A levels or IB in essay-based subjects
  • have passed an International Foundation programme that permits entry onto a recognised UK bachelor degree
  • hold a full Postgraduate award, or a full first degree or Associate degree taught and examined in English from an institute that is acceptable to the University
  • have passed, within the past three years, an Associate degree, Diploma or Higher Diploma awarded by an acceptable institute / polytechnic / university in Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore, or
  • have passed, within the past three years, a test of proficiency in English language from an organisation acceptable to the University.

Where an applicant does not meet the required English language level but believes they can demonstrate the required level for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.

Please note if an applicant satisfies one of the above conditions yet provides evidence of a test of proficiency in English language, awarded within the past three years, which is below the University’s minimum requirements then they will be required to retake such a test before being offered admission.

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB.

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Additional computer requirements for this programme

You will need Adobe Flash Player 7.0 or later to view video material in the VLE. Some courses will require you to have a media player that plays MP4 files. Courses with a coursework or project component may have additional software and hardware requirements (such as CD writing equipment). For the BSc Information Systems and Management, and courses on other programmes related to Information Systems, you will need access to a computer with standard database, spreadsheet, programming language and word processing software.


LSE academic leadership

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the Colleges of the University of London and a world-leading social science institution. Academics from LSE provide the academic direction for this programme.

Since its foundation in 1895, LSE has been regarded as an international centre of academic excellence and innovation in the social sciences. Its teaching and research is recognised worldwide as a benchmark of quality.

The School’s academic profile spans the broad range of social sciences – disciplines that reflect how we interact with one another and with society. LSE is an institution renowned for focusing on ‘real world’ issues. Current areas of research and expertise include globalisation, human rights, risk and business management, new communications technologies, urban and regional policies, and new forms of governance.

LSE alumni and former staff include 16 Nobel prize winners and 34 past or present heads of state. LSE academics come from all over the world and from many social, educational and ethnic backgrounds. They are in constant demand as commentators and analysts in the media, act as advisors to governments, and are seconded to national and international organisations.

Apply online

Student Blog
Find out more about your study experience by reading blog posts by Economics students.

Contact an alumni ambassador:

Jerome Smith
Jerome Smith, Diploma for Graduates in Economics, Alumni Ambassador
Jerome Smith has a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Chile and in 2012 completed a Diploma for Graduates in...

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