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About us - Birkbeck, University of London - Birkbeck, School of Economics - ESRC


Over two-thirds of research carried out at Birkbeck is rated as being of international importance. This research feeds directly into our teaching programmes.

Birkbeck specialises in University of London degrees by evening study. Traditionally, Birkbeck has been associated with providing a second chance for people who missed out on a university education when they were younger. But we are equally well-known for our high-quality teaching and research, with a strong emphasis on providing full- and part-time postgraduate courses and research opportunities.

At Birkbeck we believe higher education teaching cannot - and should not - be separated from university research. Over 90 per cent of our academics are research-active - the highest rate for any multi-faculty institution in London - and many are renowned as world-class experts in their fields. This research feeds directly into our teaching programmes. As a student you can be certain that your tutors are actively working to extend the boundaries of knowledge.

Birkbeck is a unique college, and so are our students. Over 95 per cent are aged between 25 and 45, and one in four come from an ethnic minority. Most combine working during the day with studying in the evening. This mix of ages, backgrounds and occupations makes for dynamic class discussions, widening of horizons and a truly cosmopolitan London experience for students.


The School of Economics at Birkbeck is one of the youngest and most dynamic in the UK and has received the excellent ranking of 23/24 in the 2001 QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) Subject Review.

The School has also received an excellent ranking of '5' in the 2001 RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) with our research judged to be of the highest international quality.

The same excellent grade of '5' has been awarded in each of the last four research assessments (held every four years) by the UK funding bodies. The 1996 ESRC Advanced Course Recognition Exercise judged Birkbeck's economics and finance degrees "outstanding". Birkbeck is one of only twelve UK economics departments with MSc programmes with this distinction.

This overall research success for the School is a great boost for providing even higher quality research inputs for our courses. We offer undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in economics, finance and e-commerce as well as shorter courses for companies and government departments. We offer high-quality, up-to-date programmes giving a balanced and varied education in economics and finance for part-time and full-time students and we enable students to benefit from the School's outstanding research activity.


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's leading agency for funding research and training in social and economic issues. We have an enviable international reputation for providing high quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector, and government. And our commitment to training excellence produces world-class social scientists.

We are an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter, but receive most of our funding through the Government's Office of Science and Technology. Our budget of more than £90million funds over 2,500 researchers in academic institutions and policy research institutes throughout the UK. Our funding also supports over 2,000 postgraduate students.

The quality of life and economic well-being of the UK and its citizens are just two of the many key, policy-relevant issues addressed by our portfolio of research and training activities. Comparative and international perspectives are strongly encouraged. For example economic performance, is increasingly dependent on the global economy, and economic distribution both within and between countries and regions is a major issue for social science research. Every member of society benefits from the contribution we make to the UK's science base and public life.

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Remarks, comments and contributions are welcome at: t.byne@econ.bbk.ac.uk
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Last updated July 2006
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