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  • Samin Sabah Islam

Is Economics the right degree for you?

Amidst the anxiety of results day and the anticipation of meeting UCAS deadlines, hangs the dilemma of what pathway is the one for you. If a degree in Economics is on your mind, we can make your decision a bit easier, or at least more informed.

What exactly is Economics?

In the simplest words, it is the study of people and the decisions they make to fulfil their needs and wants when constrained by limited number of resources (money, land, time etc.).

It includes Microeconomics, the study of individuals- you, me, the man who sold you apples today. This encompasses our buying and selling habits, how we react when the price changes, how much of our income we spend and more. For example, microeconomics would help to understand how the rising cost of living in the UK is affecting your spending patterns.

Then there’s Macroeconomics, a phenomenon bigger than you and I. It deals with governments, organisations, and countries. Here we learn about the way organisations compete or merge, how countries operate within and beyond their geographic borders etc. It deals with issues such as the global rise in fuel prices because of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Do I need to have studied Economics before?

While the familiarity of having studied Economics before may come in handy, no degree programme in the UK requires Economics A level. It is shown to give students no advantage when it comes to their final degree. Therefore, it’s not too late for you to pursue a future in Economics!

I’m not quite the Mathematician, is Economics for me?

There is no denying that economics is a Mathematical subject. A Level Mathematics is a requirement for most BSc (Bachelor of Science) Economics degrees in the UK. Some universities such as London School of Economics and Cambridge even require further mathematics. However, don’t let that frighten you! The first year of your degree will offer both core and optional quantitative module to get you comfortable around maths and statistics to prepare you for further studies.

However, if you didn’t have A Level Mathematics, fret not! Some universities, such as the University of Sussex offer BA (Bachelor of Arts) Economics degrees where it isn’t a requirement. It also has a lighter emphasis on mathematics and statistics than that on the BSc. Make sure to read the requirements page for universities while applying to find the best match for your interests.

What types of modules can I expect to study?

The first year of you degree will consist of introductory level Microeconomics and Macroeconomics along with modules such as mathematical tools, introductory statistics, world economic history etc. You’ll be given choices for your optional modules which range from introduction to finance and accounting, to applied economics to environmental economics. Economics is a broad field and you will surely be given the chance to pursue your areas of interest.

What A Level results should I be aiming for?

There are over 80 Economics degree programmes across the UK with varying requirements that range from CCC (at London Metropolitan University) to A*A*A (at Cambridge).

Economics is an enjoyable subject that not only allows you to understand how the world around you function, but also makes you question, unravel, and solve real world problems. So why not give it a go!

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