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A-Levels for Economics Degree

By Edited May 13, 2015 0 0

If you are wondering what A-levels to study for an Economics degree -- then you are in the right place. Below we will discuss the following: i) Universities and their specific subject requirements ii) the 'respected' and 'non-respected' A-levels for economics iii) how many A-Levels to take for an Economics degree and iv) choosing your A level subject combination. As well as a final word (tips and hints!) on applying for an Economics degree at university.

i) Universities and their Specific Subject Requirements - Before applying to any university for Economics -- you should firstly check their individual list of 'entry requirements' that they expect from a student application. In this list of requirements -- they may specify particular A-Levels that are required of you (and those which are preferred -- and sometimes not preferred) -- hence, which may or may not influence the A-Levels you choose. For example, if you look up the LSE's  (London School of Economics) programme requirement for a BSc Economics degree for 2013 -- they state "A Level Mathematics is required" and that "A Level Economics is not required", furthermore that "Further Mathematics taken at A Level is strongly preferred and seen as an additional fourth subject". They also go on to mention that they "prefer traditional academic subjects" to that of subjects such as 'Accounting' etc.[4370]

ii) The 'Respected' and Non-Respected A Levels for a Economics Degree - it should be noted that not A levels are viewed the 'same' and are 'equal' by Universities. As there will be certain A-Levels that 'prepares' you as a student -- 'better' for an Economics Degree than others will to. Many students refer to the Trinity College, Cambridge University webpage of 'Acceptable A-level Combinations' [4371] for such guidance on what subjects are deemed 'respectable' and what are considered not to be. Hence, to ensure you are a 'strong' candidate in the aspect of A-Level subject combinations for Economics -- you may want to be primarily choosing A-Level subjects in List A1 and List A2 -- for 'maximum suitability'. However, it is important to note each university (stated or otherwise) will usually have their own specific list -- although many are thought to follow a very similar guideline to that of the list above. (For a great and in depth analysis of A Levels subjects check out a Student Room thread: 'A-Levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection Criteria' [4373].)

iii) How Many A-Levels to Take for an Economics Degree? - An often common question asked is the amount of A-Levels to take whether it be 3 or 4 (or more) -- the answer is totally dependent on you. However, two things should be noted -- firstly it is 'quality over quantity' when it comes to A-Levels (i.e it is better to get good grades e.g. AAA than a number of 'poorer' grades, usually e.g. AABB ) -- for example check out Oxford University's Medicine FAQ (the answer appears to apply to all subjects) and Entry Requirements "Will taking more than 3 A-Levels improve my chances?" [4372]. Having said that by doing 'more' A-Levels you are showing a university that you can carry out a greater workload -- so you need to strike up a balance between these two factors. Note: Bear in mind the Further Maths A-level is usually considered by universities to simply be an 'extra' A-Level to your 'three' and not a substitute. 

iv) Choosing Your A-Levels for an Economics Degree - as an economics degree is rather quantitative, I heavily recommend studying the Maths A Level (that is required by most 'top' economics departments) and if possible take the Further Maths A Level also. As whether to take the Economics A level or not -- it is generally up to you, a few universities require that you do and a few more 'prefer' that you do, but generally they state they are indifferent. Your other A-Levels, as stated above, I recommend that you take from the Trinity College A-subject List to give yourself a strong application from that front e.g. Geography, History, a Foreign Language (non-mother tongue), a science etc. A strong A-Level combination make look like the following for example : Maths, Further Maths, Economics, History.

Applying for an Economics Degree - if you are thinking about applying for a degree in Economics -- then I urge you to check out 'The UCAS Guide to Getting into Economics (2013)' (try to buy it second hand and used if possible -- as it should be cheaper) as well as 'Writing a UCAS Personal Statement in Seven Easy Steps' -- two really great books that should really help you gain an 'edge' over your fellow applicants (competitors) -- offering advice on improving your application and personal statements with advice such as attending 'Economics Summer Schools' and 'Economic Public Lectures' -- what books to read for your personal statement and so on.

Good Luck.

If you have any additional advice for 'A-Levels for Economics degree' or any general remarks -- then please do leave a comment below.

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Bibliography

  1. "BSc Economics - 2013." LSE (London School of Economics). 13/07/2012 <Web >
  2. "Acceptable A-level Subject Combinations." Trinity College Cambridge. 12/07/2012 <Web >
  3. "Study Medicine at Oxford." Oxford University. 13/07/2012 <Web >
  4. "A-levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection criteria." The Student Room. 13/07/2012 <Web >

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