Good A levels for Land Economy (Russell Group)

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username3944114
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Hi,

I am completely stuck on what to choose for my fourth A level. I’ve decided on History, English Lit and Economics already - I’m thinking either maths or geography.

I find geography much more enjoyable than maths and also find maths less stressful. For GCSE I got a 9 in geography and A* in maths (80%) and A in further maths (AQA) (56%). I find maths stressful in itself so I would rather do geography but that rules me out of doing economics at most top unis.

Is economics as a degree (at Cambridge) very maths based (as in, it comprises most of the subject) or more revolved around essays/philosophical areas?

I’d want to do an economics/land economy/history/geography degree then convert it into law.

Also is maths quite necessary for land economy? Please let me know what you think!
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username3944114
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artful_lounger
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Economics and Land Economy are entirely separate courses. Economics requires A-level Mathematics, and that's not negotiable. Land Economy does not require it, and the success rate of those with Maths (and/or FM) has fluctuated somewhat, but in general those with Maths are as successful or moreso in any given year than those without. Thus, at worst it is not making you less competitive, and sometimes it seems to be a benefit in the overall cohort. Beyond that, it's likely to be very helpful for when you are actually on the degree programme - getting in is just step 1.

For most other universities, for Economics Maths is required. For Economic History, which is only offered as such at LSE as far as I know (although some universities offer Economics and History as a joint honours course, which may involve specific modules in economic history), I don't believe Maths is required. However bear in mind you are taking the same first year Economics modules as the single honours Economics students, and they are expected to have Maths. So it may well be a benefit to take it.

Moreover in general, Economics post A-level is necessarily mathematical in any frame, and so if your goal is to study Economics, you need the tools required to study it - which at minimum include calculus, which is part of the A-level Maths course (this is the main reason it's usually required). Some courses don't require A-level Maths, but they will teach you the same content on the course. However, you will cover the material much faster, have much less individual attention from the lecturer compared to your teachers in school, and you will be expected to do a lot more work on your own (you'll have probably 3-4 lectures a week, compared to probably 10+ lessons a week). It simply makes more sense to do A-level Maths, even before you consider the fact all the "top" universities require it anyway (the "best" one that doesn't that I can think of is SOAS, or maybe Goldsmiths - who are a little more niche, although still good overall, but not particularly renowned for their Economics departments). Also besides the calculus there is all the statistics and econometrics...

If you want to write essays about vaguely economic things, then something like Economic History, Political Economy, Politics, or some Philosophy courses which have options in the Philosophy of Economics might be more appropriate. While you may well write essays in an economics degree, you still need maths to understand/construct the theory and to solve relevant quantitative problems in the subject (which is sort of the point of its existence as an academic discipline these days)
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username3944114
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Economics and Land Economy are entirely separate courses. Economics requires A-level Mathematics, and that's not negotiable. Land Economy does not require it, and the success rate of those with Maths (and/or FM) has fluctuated somewhat, but in general those with Maths are as successful or moreso in any given year than those without. Thus, at worst it is not making you less competitive, and sometimes it seems to be a benefit in the overall cohort. Beyond that, it's likely to be very helpful for when you are actually on the degree programme - getting in is just step 1.

For most other universities, for Economics Maths is required. For Economic History, which is only offered as such at LSE as far as I know (although some universities offer Economics and History as a joint honours course, which may involve specific modules in economic history), I don't believe Maths is required. However bear in mind you are taking the same first year Economics modules as the single honours Economics students, and they are expected to have Maths. So it may well be a benefit to take it.

Moreover in general, Economics post A-level is necessarily mathematical in any frame, and so if your goal is to study Economics, you need the tools required to study it - which at minimum include calculus, which is part of the A-level Maths course (this is the main reason it's usually required). Some courses don't require A-level Maths, but they will teach you the same content on the course. However, you will cover the material much faster, have much less individual attention from the lecturer compared to your teachers in school, and you will be expected to do a lot more work on your own (you'll have probably 3-4 lectures a week, compared to probably 10+ lessons a week). It simply makes more sense to do A-level Maths, even before you consider the fact all the "top" universities require it anyway (the "best" one that doesn't that I can think of is SOAS, or maybe Goldsmiths - who are a little more niche, although still good overall, but not particularly renowned for their Economics departments). Also besides the calculus there is all the statistics and econometrics...

If you want to write essays about vaguely economic things, then something like Economic History, Political Economy, Politics, or some Philosophy courses which have options in the Philosophy of Economics might be more appropriate. While you may well write essays in an economics degree, you still need maths to understand/construct the theory and to solve relevant quantitative problems in the subject (which is sort of the point of its existence as an academic discipline these days)
Okay thank you for this - would you say land economy is more of an essay based subject?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by jpink2001)
Okay thank you for this - would you say land economy is more of an essay based subject?
To my knowledge they still study economics in a mathematical problem-solving manner, similar to a typical Economics degree. However, they assume less mathematical background (and I imagine teach that as they go along), and outside of the Economics content (some of which is fairly "applied" and might be less mathematical than the core economic theory normally taught on a degree in Economics) seems less heavily mathematical (certainly the options in law/policy are likely to be more skewed towards that).

However inevitably the course does contain that core economics content and many options in economics (and some in finance), so if you are uncomfortable with even the basic mathematics in GCSE it's probably a less appropriate degree for your purposes...

As an addendum to the "essay based economic related" degrees listed above, Geography and even Anthropology (as Economic Anthropology is a major subfield and Anthropologists are certainly not "mathsy" people on the whole ) can relate in various ways and might well be of interest.
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username3944114
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
To my knowledge they still study economics in a mathematical problem-solving manner, similar to a typical Economics degree. However, they assume less mathematical background (and I imagine teach that as they go along), and outside of the Economics content (some of which is fairly "applied" and might be less mathematical than the core economic theory normally taught on a degree in Economics) seems less heavily mathematical (certainly the options in law/policy are likely to be more skewed towards that).

However inevitably the course does contain that core economics content and many options in economics (and some in finance), so if you are uncomfortable with even the basic mathematics in GCSE it's probably a less appropriate degree for your purposes...

As an addendum to the "essay based economic related" degrees listed above, Geography and even Anthropology (as Economic Anthropology is a major subfield and Anthropologists are certainly not "mathsy" people on the whole ) can relate in various ways and might well be of interest.
I would say I am good at maths and probably could’ve done a bit better in Maths and FM GCSE had I cared a bit more. I reckon I could achieve a B at A level or maybe even A if I push myself enough.

That being said, do you think geography or maths would be a better A level to do? And is land economy suited to me?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by jpink2001)
I would say I am good at maths and probably could’ve done a bit better in Maths and FM GCSE had I cared a bit more. I reckon I could achieve a B at A level or maybe even A if I push myself enough.

That being said, do you think geography or maths would be a better A level to do? And is land economy suited to me?
I've already answered this. You need maths (generally) to do economics at university level proper. Land Economy includes economics in this manner; while the A-level isn't necessary for admission, if you struggle with GCSE Maths and don't take it to A-level you will probably struggle greatly with the content of that course.

If you are able to do well in the A-level and wish to study economics outside of a purely applied manner e.g. in the form of politics/political economy, philosophical approaches or in the format of human/social geography, you should do it....
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ArunM
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Personally, I enjoy mathematics and wanted Land Economy to at least have some degree of incorporation of topics like Calculus and Matrices etc. Is this the case, or do you not cover such topics in the course?
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McGinger
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Applying for Economics - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/economics_degree
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