Economics (Diploma)


Gain an Economics Diploma, with Academic direction from the London School of Economics and Political Science

The Diploma in Economics is a qualification in its own right. For students who do not meet the degree entrance requirements, it also provides an entry route to all of the Economics, Management, Finance and Social Sciences degrees offered through the International Programmes, with academic direction from LSE. By successfully completing the programme you will develop analytical competence allowing you to undertake further undergraduate study. The Diploma is a taught programme and must be studied at a recognised Diploma-teaching institution listed in our Directory of Institutions.

Key dates  
Application deadline You must apply directly to the Diploma-teaching institution. Please contact them for their application deadline.
Registration deadline 31 October
Examinations take place May/June

Programme structure and estimated study hours

The Diploma consists of four full courses (or the equivalent). You have between 1-5 years to complete the programme, although it is usually taken over one year. You are expected to study for 35 hours per week, including lectures and tutorials.


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.


Several universities in the UK, including LSE and other University of London Colleges, will consider you for entry into the second year of a degree. You will need to have passed syllabuses similar to those taken at the Colleges concerned and to have achieved very high marks.


Structure and syllabus

You must pass all four courses in order to be awarded the Diploma in Economics. If you are applying for the Diploma with the intention of proceeding to one of the degrees in Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences, you should choose your courses with care. Consider the courses that are available on the degree that interest you and choose courses that are common to both that degree and the Diploma. This will help to ensure that, when you successfully complete the Diploma, you will receive credit for the courses you have passed.

Four courses in total

    Elective courses

  1. Principles of accounting
  2. Introduction to international development
  3. Principles of banking and finance
  4. Human geography
  5. Introduction to international relations
  6. World history since 1945
  7. Introduction to information systems
  8. Introduction to computer systems architecture and programming
  9. Common law reasoning and institutions
  10. This comprehensive introduction to the English legal system seeks to convey what is distinctive about the common law approach as a legal methodology and as it refl ects the history and politics of England and Wales. It examines the sources of law, the civil and criminal court structures, the role of judges and the jury. A running concern of the course is the question of fairness: the impact of the Human Rights Act on the criminal justice system and the issues of access to justice in the civil courts. This course is also vital in initiating students into the process of legal research and the final examination has a compulsory section on research activities carried out during the year.

    Download the module descriptor [PDF].

    [Registration with the Online Library is a requirement for successfully completing this course.]

  11. Contract law
  12. Contracts are the legal basis of all commercial transactions. Covering the core topics – including formation of contracts, capacity to contract and privity, performance and breach of contract and remedies for breach of contract – the emphasis is on understanding the key underlying principles of English law. This is very much a case law subject, with judicial precedents stretching back nearly 400 years in some instances (but more usually of 19th- and 20th-century origin) and a small number of statutory provisions, as well as the impact of EU law. An understanding of what factors judges may, or must, take into account when exercising their discretion is crucial.

    Download the module descriptor [PDF].

  13. Business and management in a global context
  14. Mathematics 2 (half course)
  15. Algebra
  16. Introduction to political science
  17. Introduction to modern political thought
  18. Contemporary sociology in a global age
  19. Reading social science
  20. Statistics 2 (half course)


  • ST104B Statistics 2 must be taken after or at the same time as ST104A Statistics 1.
  • MT105B Mathematics 2 must be taken after or at the same time as MT105A Matematics 1.
  • A student registered for the Diploma in Economics will not be permitted to transfer their registration to the Diploma in Social Sciences after 31 October in the first year of their registration.
  • 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 study the Diploma 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 session2015-2016
Registration fee£ 745
Examination fee for four full courses£ 625
Other fees (as applicable)
Continuing registration fee£ 370
Additional registration fee if you choose a law course (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.

When to pay

Applications are made direct to the teaching institution so contact your chosen teaching institution in good time to ask for their closing date for receiving applications.

The registration fee is payable to the University when you register. The closing date for registrations is 31 October.

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. It is payable if you progress to a BSc degree or if you continue on the Diploma. 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 Study weekend and Summer School (optional)
  • the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.


Fees are subject to annual revision and typically may be increased by up to 5% per annum. 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 the Diploma in Economics you must:

  • normally be 18 years or older before 31 December in the year you first register with the University
  • be admitted to a course of instruction at a Diploma-teaching institution listed in our Directory of Institutions.

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 37 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.

Further information

Lecture Taster: Introduction to Economics

Professor Witztum provides an introduction to economics. This video was filmed at the LSE study weekend in February 2012