First steps

So you’re going to your first Economics lecture at Birkbeck. Let us offer some practical tips for you.


If you don’t have an office suite installed on your computer, you can get Microsoft Office 365 for free and install the full applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more) on up to 5 PCs or Macs. You will also have access to their online versions and get 1 TB of free online storage. While personal preferences may vary, it is highly recommended to become skilled in using these, as you’re bound to work with them at some point.

Follow this simple guide.

  1.  You need a Birkbeck e-mail account (username AT to do that. If you don’t have one, click here and log in with your ITS username and password. Go to “Manage” and choose “My Birkbeck user & email account”. You will find the Birkbeck e-mail option in this page.
  2. When you have access to a Birkbeck e-mail account, click here and follow the instructions to complete signing up.

If you don’t want to use a commercial suite you could try Libre Office (free, open source, standards-compliant).

If you just want to plot something quickly, try the Desmos graphing calculator.

FT subscription

If you want to learn more about the economy, you should read about the economy. The School of Business, Economics and Informatics has secured access to the full edition of the Financial Times. There is a wealth of articles and data there, going many years back.

Again, you need a Birkbeck e-mail address to take advantage of this subscription (instructions found above). When you have one, click here, go to the “Financial Times Subscription” option and register. Following that, you have unlimited access to FT via the web and the FT apps for Android and iOS.


The recommended textbooks and the notes should be your first stopping points. However, it is advisable to study from other textbooks as well. The library offers many choices and you can find an author whose style you like. If the book you’re looking for is new, get in touch with the subject librarian.