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Are my A-Level choices too narrow?- History, Geography, Maths and Economics Watch

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    Hi,

    I'm currently trying to finalise my A level subject choices, but I have some concerns about whether they fit together nicely and complement each other, or if they overlap a bit too much and so whether I should take a wider range.

    I have heard that economics is very similar to human geography, which is why I'm hesitant to take economics, as it isn't as facilitating as geography, but it features many of the same things. However, I am also thinking about doing a degree related to economics, and I'd like some experience before committing to doing it at university.
    I'm definitely going to stick to maths and history, but I'm trying to keep the doors to my future as wide open as possible. Shall I swap out one subject and take another instead, such as English literature?
    The possible degrees I've been looking into are: Economics w another subject; History; Geography; and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (but I don't wish to do govt. and politics or philosophy at A level).

    Thank you!
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    Lots of advice here about choosing A level subjects: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...-form-subjects

    And advice about choosing a subject for University: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/uni...-what-to-study

    And finally, applying for an Economics degree : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Economics_Degree
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    Those are good subjects, close together is good as long as it isn't something like doing business studies and economics or doing an ict btec and computing a-level, subjects that are basically the same. Doing lessons that have crossovers makes life a lot easier and strengthens you skills making you a stronger candidate for whatever uni you apply for.
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    I did History, Geography and Economics at A-level and will start history at uni in september and i found that economics and parts of geography overlapped which made doing both so much easier whilst the two subjects are both wanted by unis/employers so its a win-win (i also did english lit at AS and thought it was rubbish compared to the others)
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    Looks like a solid combo for your aspirations.
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    Any three of those (ideally maths + 2 others) would be an excellent combination, and should be considered suitably broad by any university (the only one I know which has commented on this specifically is LSE). I would probably recommend dropping one of the essay subjects so you have 3 subjects rather than 4, which is all universities will expect or ask for, and is more of a manageable workload.

    I have no idea who told you economics isn't as well considered as geography, but they're equally reputable for applying to top courses. Also I'm not really sure who indicated there is signifcant overlap between "human geography" and economics - there is only any relation in very specific niche areas of each. The former primarily considers demography and related issues, where macroeconomic policies may affect them, and those policies may be shaped by the demographic issues of a given country. The latter is much broader, and even in the general sense of macroeconomic principles, goes far beyond that. There is some overlap in the consideration of developing economies, but the approaches and major aims of each discipline regarding that area are fairly different.

    If you're interested in Economics, maths is virtually a requirement, if not explicitly required. You will develop the core tools of A-level Maths in an Economics degree anyway if it doesn't require it already, so you may as well start taking it earlier where you have more "space" to learn the subject. Economics isn't required but can help you identify if that's something you want to pursue - since you've indicated interest in Economics and PPE generally, I would encourage you to pursue this. History is very well respected by universities, and a majority of successful applicants to PPE at Oxford for example take History - and they consider it the best preparation for the course, out of any individual A-level. Also slightly more than half of applicants, on average, have A-level Maths.

    So in general, History and Maths, as you indicated you wanted to take, is a strong core for social science courses. For the last subject(s) either Geography or Economics is suitable, although based on the courses you expressed an interest in, and given the overall social science lean of your interests (as opposed to physical geography/earth sciences aspects) I would probably slightly recommend Economics over Geography in your case.
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    Lots of advice here about choosing A level subjects: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...-form-subjects

    And advice about choosing a subject for University: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/uni...-what-to-study

    And finally, applying for an Economics degree : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Economics_Degree
    Thank you so much for the links!! I'll check them out, and I'm sure they'll help me
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    Those are good subjects, close together is good as long as it isn't something like doing business studies and economics or doing an ict btec and computing a-level, subjects that are basically the same. Doing lessons that have crossovers makes life a lot easier and strengthens you skills making you a stronger candidate for whatever uni you apply for.
    Thank you for the reply! I was hoping it would be a beneficial crossover, and I'm glad to hear it'll make me a stronger candidate (and help w making life easier haha, that's always a big plus!)
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    (Original post by AlexLamberti)
    I did History, Geography and Economics at A-level and will start history at uni in september and i found that economics and parts of geography overlapped which made doing both so much easier whilst the two subjects are both wanted by unis/employers so its a win-win (i also did english lit at AS and thought it was rubbish compared to the others)
    Thanks for your reply and advice! I appreciate hearing some personal experience- I've been hesitant all along about English lit anyways so the likelihood is I won't be taking it. I hope university goes well for you!
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    (Original post by AAls)
    Looks like a solid combo for your aspirations.
    Thanks!
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    I think you have a wide range, for example, Economics degree requires Maths and History is your essay- based subject. I think that all your subjects are strong subjects, if not, facilitating subjects. Solid combo.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Any three of those (ideally maths + 2 others) would be an excellent combination, and should be considered suitably broad by any university (the only one I know which has commented on this specifically is LSE). I would probably recommend dropping one of the essay subjects so you have 3 subjects rather than 4, which is all universities will expect or ask for, and is more of a manageable workload.

    I have no idea who told you economics isn't as well considered as geography, but they're equally reputable for applying to top courses. Also I'm not really sure who indicated there is signifcant overlap between "human geography" and economics - there is only any relation in very specific niche areas of each. The former primarily considers demography and related issues, where macroeconomic policies may affect them, and those policies may be shaped by the demographic issues of a given country. The latter is much broader, and even in the general sense of macroeconomic principles, goes far beyond that. There is some overlap in the consideration of developing economies, but the approaches and major aims of each discipline regarding that area are fairly different.

    If you're interested in Economics, maths is virtually a requirement, if not explicitly required. You will develop the core tools of A-level Maths in an Economics degree anyway if it doesn't require it already, so you may as well start taking it earlier where you have more "space" to learn the subject. Economics isn't required but can help you identify if that's something you want to pursue - since you've indicated interest in Economics and PPE generally, I would encourage you to pursue this. History is very well respected by universities, and a majority of successful applicants to PPE at Oxford for example take History - and they consider it the best preparation for the course, out of any individual A-level. Also slightly more than half of applicants, on average, have A-level Maths.

    So in general, History and Maths, as you indicated you wanted to take, is a strong core for social science courses. For the last subject(s) either Geography or Economics is suitable, although based on the courses you expressed an interest in, and given the overall social science lean of your interests (as opposed to physical geography/earth sciences aspects) I would probably slightly recommend Economics over Geography in your case.

    Thank you so much for your reply and advice! I appreciate your recommendations- I don't have a lot of interest in physical geography, so I definitely see where you're coming from w/ economics-over-geography.
    Thanks for the information on the subjects, and I definitely wish to try out economics before I make a choice for uni, so I'm guessing the time is now.
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    (Original post by Lilsthebest)
    I think you have a wide range, for example, Economics degree requires Maths and History is your essay- based subject. I think that all your subjects are strong subjects, if not, facilitating subjects. Solid combo.
    Thanks! That's what I was aiming for.
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    Your welcome!
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    Hi, I have a similar situation to you but I have a slightly more sticky situation.
    I start sixth form (year 12) in September and I would love to study economics and politics (and maybe specialise in international relations) at uni. But I have a slight problem with my a level choices.
    I did do Geography GCSE and would probably say its my best subject (along with citizenship) out of all my GCSEs (although I LOVE human geography but not too keen on the Physical side of geo, thats why I think I would like to study economics at uni), BUT the sixth form Im attending does not run Geography A level for our year because so little people picked it, so now I can't do Geography A LEVEL (BTW I really don't want to move sixth form because I want to keep same teachers etc.) The sixth form doesn't run Economics A level at all but does do Business A level. I am aiming to go to a Russel group UNI. So I was thinking to pick Maths and History A level defo (Ive always loved maths and history looks very interesting) but I'm stuck on the third option, do I study and pick Politics or Business A level? (yes I know business is a soft subject but the course especially in the second year is basically economics but want to study at Russel group uni and politics I suppose would help also as I want to study politics as well as economics at uni) I don't really want to pick 4 subjects either as I think it would be too much as well. Really stuck and would love to hear some advice , thanks.
 
 
 
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