coconut64
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Hi, I am currently in my first year of college and will be an A2 student this September. I am interested in doing a degree in economics but since I didn't take it in college, I want to find out more about what it is actually about. What is the difference between A level economics compared to the course at uni. Also, what are the career aspects of it. I learned that there is two categories for economics, can anyone please explain how it actually is about and what is it like doing this at uni? Thanks.
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splashywill
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I'm doing a degree in economics next year despite taking business, maths and physics at A-level.... Still don't really know what economics is just heard its like business'y maths'y stuff, plus you can get a good job afterwards.
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coconut64
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(Original post by splashywill)
I'm doing a degree in economics next year despite taking business, maths and physics at A-level.... Still don't really know what economics is just heard its like business'y maths'y stuff, plus you can get a good job afterwards.
May I ask what uni did you apply for and if you are still unsure what economics is really about, I am very curious about how you have written in your personal statement... Thanks.
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CatJH
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I would recommend you read a book (Freakonomics or The Undercover Economist are good ones to start with) before you make decisions about choices.

I think the categories you are referring to are Micro and Macro Economics. Microeconomics in a nutshell is the study of the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments. Macroeconomics in a sentence is the study of global interconnectivity (e.g. the effect of interest rates on the balance of payments, the effect of the balance of payments on the exchange rate, etc.)

It's a fascinating subject!! But you should definitely learn a bit more about it first. Go to your local library and check out one of the textbooks - at least flick to the contents and have a look at the topics.
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Fas
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(Original post by coconut64)
Hi, I am currently in my first year of college and will be an A2 student this September. I am interested in doing a degree in economics but since I didn't take it in college, I want to find out more about what it is actually about. What is the difference between A level economics compared to the course at uni. Also, what are the career aspects of it. I learned that there is two categories for economics, can anyone please explain how it actually is about and what is it like doing this at uni? Thanks.
Hey there, economics student speaking.

In regards to career aspects, you can go into anything you want. Most Econ grads tend to move into the finance sector (so Investment Banking/Investment Management/Audit etc) or Consulting or Corporate Law. There is also the prospect of Economic Consulting at companies such as FTI Consulting, Deloitte, Capital Economics etc. Definitely research these career paths before embarking on them, but basically you can do anything really. Some grads also move into economist positions at places such as the Bank of England too.

In regards to what the course is like at University, it is very mathematical and theoretical. Its academically rigorous, so **** all relevant for careers in the real world, but really good for proving and explaining why we make the choices we make. It's a challenging course, by no means easy, so you have to keep on top of the work and you need to be smart (the top Universities usually ask for A*AA at A-Level and I haven't seen any Uni asking for anything less than AAB, and even then AAB is pretty rare)- and its usually compulsory to achieve an A at A-Level Mathematics (although if it is BA Economics that you go for, then Maths at A-Level isn't a necessity) - should also add that Economics is split up into BSc (Bachelor of Science) and BA (Bachelor of Arts) the BSc is far more mathematical and quantitative, whilst BA is more essay-based. However check the modules before choosing, because Economics at Cambridge and Durham are technically BA, but contain a lot of maths in them. *

A-Level Economics is very good for teaching you the fundamentals, but by no means necessary. At Uni you will be taught everything afresh, and the type of teaching and method of examination differ greatly from A-Level, however the actual content remains similar. You will learn Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, so learning the basics about Supply and Demand Analysis, Monopolies, Oligopolies etc. With Macro you'll focus on GDP/Unemployment/Balance of Payments and what not, learn about various Economic Models (such as Solow Growth Model, AK Model, Harrod-Domar Model) to capture macro variables.

A lot of the maths you do will revolve heavily around Algebra. In 1st year I had 2 pure Maths modules, the first one being a recap of A-Level Maths (Core 4 to be exact) and the second one revolved around Differential Equations and Difference Equations, whilst pretty much all the maths in 2nd Year has been about derivations and proofs. You'll need a strong grasp of Calculus (so Differentiation and Integration) as they tend to pop up quite frequently. And of course, Statistics. So Mean/Variance/Standard Deviation etc, will be present heavily throughout the degree, you'll most likely do pure stats modules in 1st year (which will cover S1,S2 and S3) and then Econometrics in 2nd year, which is a total mind****, but you don;t have to worry about that just yet.

Hopefully thats given you some insight, but if theres any doubts, just let me know.
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Luiswright31
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(Original post by splashywill)
I'm doing a degree in economics next year despite taking business, maths and physics at A-level.... Still don't really know what economics is just heard its like business'y maths'y stuff, plus you can get a good job afterwards.
My lawd. Please don't choose which degree you're going to do based of the fact it is 'business'y maths'y stuff'. Economics is nothing like business, and you'll find when you come to do economics at Uni, only a couple of modules will be maths heavy (maybe econometrics, economic models, some statistics etc), please please please don't go into doing economics at uni blind, at least have a knowledge of what economics really is!

EDIT: I know people that have been excellent at business and maths but economics is just not for them, and they've ended up failing swiftly, at least make sure economics is the right degree for you before you apply.
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splashywill
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(Original post by Luiswright31)
My lawd. Please don't choose which degree you're going to do based of the fact it is 'business'y maths'y stuff'. Economics is nothing like business, and you'll find when you come to do economics at Uni, only a couple of modules will be maths heavy (maybe econometrics, economic models, some statistics etc), please please please don't go into doing economics at uni blind, at least have a knowledge of what economics really is!

EDIT: I know people that have been excellent at business and maths but economics is just not for them, and they've ended up failing swiftly, at least make sure economics is the right degree for you before you apply.
I've cancelled my offers and i'm going to go through clearing with something I'm genuinely interested in, don't worry haha
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midgetspinner
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http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy/...economics.aspx

BSc Industrial Economics - economics with huge emphasis on business concepts, eg competitive models and huge focus on pricing theories.

AAB at A level (any A Levels, no maths needed)

however, despite not needing A Level in mathematics, they throw pretty solid quantitative modules at you such as further maths, linear algebra, calculus etc which is great since I did not study A level mathematics giving me the opportunity to have solid maths skills after I completed the bachelors
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Rajive
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(Original post by Fas)
Hey there, economics student speaking.

In regards to career aspects, you can go into anything you want. Most Econ grads tend to move into the finance sector (so Investment Banking/Investment Management/Audit etc) or Consulting or Corporate Law. There is also the prospect of Economic Consulting at companies such as FTI Consulting, Deloitte, Capital Economics etc. Definitely research these career paths before embarking on them, but basically you can do anything really. Some grads also move into economist positions at places such as the Bank of England too.

In regards to what the course is like at University, it is very mathematical and theoretical. Its academically rigorous, so **** all relevant for careers in the real world, but really good for proving and explaining why we make the choices we make. It's a challenging course, by no means easy, so you have to keep on top of the work and you need to be smart (the top Universities usually ask for A*AA at A-Level and I haven't seen any Uni asking for anything less than AAB, and even then AAB is pretty rare)- and its usually compulsory to achieve an A at A-Level Mathematics (although if it is BA Economics that you go for, then Maths at A-Level isn't a necessity) - should also add that Economics is split up into BSc (Bachelor of Science) and BA (Bachelor of Arts) the BSc is far more mathematical and quantitative, whilst BA is more essay-based. However check the modules before choosing, because Economics at Cambridge and Durham are technically BA, but contain a lot of maths in them. *

A-Level Economics is very good for teaching you the fundamentals, but by no means necessary. At Uni you will be taught everything afresh, and the type of teaching and method of examination differ greatly from A-Level, however the actual content remains similar. You will learn Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, so learning the basics about Supply and Demand Analysis, Monopolies, Oligopolies etc. With Macro you'll focus on GDP/Unemployment/Balance of Payments and what not, learn about various Economic Models (such as Solow Growth Model, AK Model, Harrod-Domar Model) to capture macro variables.

A lot of the maths you do will revolve heavily around Algebra. In 1st year I had 2 pure Maths modules, the first one being a recap of A-Level Maths (Core 4 to be exact) and the second one revolved around Differential Equations and Difference Equations, whilst pretty much all the maths in 2nd Year has been about derivations and proofs. You'll need a strong grasp of Calculus (so Differentiation and Integration) as they tend to pop up quite frequently. And of course, Statistics. So Mean/Variance/Standard Deviation etc, will be present heavily throughout the degree, you'll most likely do pure stats modules in 1st year (which will cover S1,S2 and S3) and then Econometrics in 2nd year, which is a total mind****, but you don;t have to worry about that just yet.

Hopefully thats given you some insight, but if theres any doubts, just let me know.

What a levels did you do ?
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