BA Economics And Politics- University Of Leeds

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ANO-NI-MUS
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I'm an international prospective student and I am considering applying for economics and politics and I was wondering if someone could clarify certain things for me.
1)I'm interested in both subjects equally, is the course equally divided between economics and politics?
2)I have an okayish set of IGCSE grades at 5A* (Math, Eng lang, physics, economics, geography), 2A (French, chemistry) and unfortunately a D(art): will this seriously hamper my application?
3) My A Level (CAIE) subjects are Math, economics, sociology and psychology: will my subject choice disadvantage me?
4) How is the cost of living in Leeds? I'm guessing (and hoping), lower than the London unis?
And this is a general question,
5) How well reputed is Leeds? Are the job prospects from Leeds good?
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LuigiMario
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answering 4) and 5) reasonable cost of living, you can choose from a wide choice where to live and what to eat. Buy from market & self-cater = great. Still good to estimate ~£10 thousand per year support costs as a guide, but you could do better than that. It’s a very sensible university choice, decent, stable place. Multicultural and “Yorkshire” at the same time. It is as well respected as the other members of the Russell group of research universities. Top place. (tho Bradford is also good for politics & peace studies)

1)2)3) dunno. Business & Japanese is my course, it’s 50%-50% but not each term, or each year. On average over the course it is equal, but you might do a whole term of one, then a whole year of the other. It works out.
Your grades, well, either you get an offer or you don’t - the uni is looking for people who have a drive to finish the course & prosper, the school grades are a bit like bus-tickets, useful to get in, then not really relevant anymore. If Leeds can’t cope with your grades, then next down the list are great places like Cardiff & Exeter, Exeter might be those “london” prices...
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nabitai
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  • 1)I'm interested in both subjects equally, is the course equally divided between economics and politics?
I'm currently an international relations student at Leeds, so not exactly the same but I overlap a lot with politics students as its the same school and a lot of the same modules. as mentioned before it'll be 50/50 over the course of the degree but I expect that first year will be more heavily economics based as there's more technical content that's vital to be thoroughly understood before you can go further.

  • 2)I have an okayish set of IGCSE grades at 5A* (Math, Eng lang, physics, economics, geography), 2A (French, chemistry) and unfortunately a D(art): will this seriously hamper my application?
no, other than highly competitive unis like lse and Oxbridge your gcses don't really matter. also compared to most UK students you have wayyy better gcse results lol.
  • 3) My A Level (CAIE) subjects are Math, economics, sociology and psychology: will my subject choice disadvantage me?
not at all. you have the mandatory subject choices for economics already and most if not all social science degrees at Leeds don't have subject requirements. you have an even split of math based and social science a levels and sociology and psych are some of the most common a levels among politics students

  • 4) How is the cost of living in Leeds? I'm guessing (and hoping), lower than the London unis?
VERY CHEAP and I say this as someone from London. provided your first year halls aren't within the expensive bracket (Charles morris, devonshire etc) you can live on like £300 a month. also make sure you're self catered! pretty much no student in Leeds uses public transport within the city and ubers are really really cheap, especially because they're mostly used on nights out and the cost is split between the people in the car. the cheapest accommodation for second year+ is about £85 per week not including bills, and tbh if you're paying more than £110 a week you're being ripped off. making sure you don't leave choosing your hose till the last minute will mean you're paying less than £105 weekly.

i will say that living on a budget in Leeds is super easy but it depends on what kind of person you are. if you're a big partier (2/3+ a week) then 300 a month will be a tight budget as alcohol is expensive and so can be going out. its all about motivation and picking the right places to do stuff. like, for example, doing your shopping at lidl or aldi vs Morrisons or asda is going to save you a ton of money. using apps like too good to go instead of getting a takeaway will save you money. including phone bills, food shopping, etc etc i personally can live on £200 a month- it's not the most fun but it is manageable and i know the costs can add up for international students. to live a very comfortable life as a student in Leeds that makes sensible purchases (ie, not buying designer and luxury goods on your monthly budget) and not have to constantly have money on the back of your mind id say £500 a month is more than enough.

  • And this is a general question,
5) How well reputed is Leeds? Are the job prospects from Leeds good?


Leeds is a good uni that's part of the Russell group which automatically means you're in the second tier of unis in the UK. its not on Oxbridge or lse level obviously but it's not going to give you a degree that people will look down on. most of the highest achieving students with politics and economics or PPE degrees do tend to go to places like Oxbridge, LSE, Warwick and St Andrew's which are all a tier above Leeds which means that those are the type of people you're competing against if you go down a traditional job route for your degree which /may/ lead to some bias from UK employers. however as you said, you're an international student. if you're planning on being employed in your home country then you're unlikely to be facing the same competition, in which case your degree from Leeds will be beneficial. afaik, while it might not be at the top top of the league tables (which are subjective anyway) Leeds has better job prospects than your average uni and i think a big chunk of students report being hired within a year of graduating. however I'm pretty sure that's data collected from UK students rather than international. the uni does a lot to help students within the uk find jobs here so I'm not sure if the same services are accessible to international students, but i wouldn't say that's relevant enough to discount you from applying.

hope this helps!
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ANO-NI-MUS
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#4
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(Original post by nabitai)
  • 1)I'm interested in both subjects equally, is the course equally divided between economics and politics?
I'm currently an international relations student at Leeds, so not exactly the same but I overlap a lot with politics students as its the same school and a lot of the same modules. as mentioned before it'll be 50/50 over the course of the degree but I expect that first year will be more heavily economics based as there's more technical content that's vital to be thoroughly understood before you can go further.

  • 2)I have an okayish set of IGCSE grades at 5A* (Math, Eng lang, physics, economics, geography), 2A (French, chemistry) and unfortunately a D(art): will this seriously hamper my application?
no, other than highly competitive unis like lse and Oxbridge your gcses don't really matter. also compared to most UK students you have wayyy better gcse results lol.
  • 3) My A Level (CAIE) subjects are Math, economics, sociology and psychology: will my subject choice disadvantage me?
not at all. you have the mandatory subject choices for economics already and most if not all social science degrees at Leeds don't have subject requirements. you have an even split of math based and social science a levels and sociology and psych are some of the most common a levels among politics students

  • 4) How is the cost of living in Leeds? I'm guessing (and hoping), lower than the London unis?
VERY CHEAP and I say this as someone from London. provided your first year halls aren't within the expensive bracket (Charles morris, devonshire etc) you can live on like £300 a month. also make sure you're self catered! pretty much no student in Leeds uses public transport within the city and ubers are really really cheap, especially because they're mostly used on nights out and the cost is split between the people in the car. the cheapest accommodation for second year+ is about £85 per week not including bills, and tbh if you're paying more than £110 a week you're being ripped off. making sure you don't leave choosing your hose till the last minute will mean you're paying less than £105 weekly.

i will say that living on a budget in Leeds is super easy but it depends on what kind of person you are. if you're a big partier (2/3+ a week) then 300 a month will be a tight budget as alcohol is expensive and so can be going out. its all about motivation and picking the right places to do stuff. like, for example, doing your shopping at lidl or aldi vs Morrisons or asda is going to save you a ton of money. using apps like too good to go instead of getting a takeaway will save you money. including phone bills, food shopping, etc etc i personally can live on £200 a month- it's not the most fun but it is manageable and i know the costs can add up for international students. to live a very comfortable life as a student in Leeds that makes sensible purchases (ie, not buying designer and luxury goods on your monthly budget) and not have to constantly have money on the back of your mind id say £500 a month is more than enough.

  • And this is a general question,
5) How well reputed is Leeds? Are the job prospects from Leeds good?


Leeds is a good uni that's part of the Russell group which automatically means you're in the second tier of unis in the UK. its not on Oxbridge or lse level obviously but it's not going to give you a degree that people will look down on. most of the highest achieving students with politics and economics or PPE degrees do tend to go to places like Oxbridge, LSE, Warwick and St Andrew's which are all a tier above Leeds which means that those are the type of people you're competing against if you go down a traditional job route for your degree which /may/ lead to some bias from UK employers. however as you said, you're an international student. if you're planning on being employed in your home country then you're unlikely to be facing the same competition, in which case your degree from Leeds will be beneficial. afaik, while it might not be at the top top of the league tables (which are subjective anyway) Leeds has better job prospects than your average uni and i think a big chunk of students report being hired within a year of graduating. however I'm pretty sure that's data collected from UK students rather than international. the uni does a lot to help students within the uk find jobs here so I'm not sure if the same services are accessible to international students, but i wouldn't say that's relevant enough to discount you from applying.

hope this helps!
Hey thanks a lot this was very helpful!
I'm actually applying to LSE and Warwick as well and those will be my top choices. I'm not too hopeful for LSE because of my D in Art although I'm hoping by some miracle that my A* predictions in A levels lake up for it. Hopefully the same happens for Leeds.
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nabitai
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#5
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
Hey thanks a lot this was very helpful!
I'm actually applying to LSE and Warwick as well and those will be my top choices. I'm not too hopeful for LSE because of my D in Art although I'm hoping by some miracle that my A* predictions in A levels lake up for it. Hopefully the same happens for Leeds.
agsdhs, here's another long one;

pretty sure they'll discount the D in art haha. I also applied to LSE but I didn't get in. (lucky for me as I didn't want to go and my parents were making me apply lol.). it's true that they do care about GCSE results but predominantly ones that are relevant, which art is not. A* in your a levels is great but id really make sure that you're offering more than just results to them. it doesn't get talked about as much as Oxbridge but LSE is more difficult to get into than both of them. the applicants: places ratio at LSE is much bigger than Oxbridge, and that's especially true for courses like politics and economics, let alone combined. At LSE its not a battle between applicants with amazing grades vs ok grades, its a battle between applicants with amazing grades and amazing extracurriculars vs just amazing grades.


as someone who goes to Leeds, is from London, knows a lot of people from Warwick, and is planning to do a year abroad, here's my two cents- feel free to tell me to piss off if this is all stuff you've already considered haha.

personally speaking imho if your options are Leeds vs Warwick, I'd take Leeds, purely because you're not just paying for an education. as an international student generally, you're paying at least twice as much as UK students and I truly don't think that Warwick would be worth it for a holistic experience. The reasons that Warwick is ranked above Leeds on most sites is generally because more of their staff are research specialists which on an undergrad level really isn't going to add or take away much to your degree, even more so on joint honours. I know personally that a lot of the POLIS lecturers I've had in Leeds have been research specialists/key academics in their niches and all of them have published research. even if all of your lecturers are high level academics, the likelihood of engaging with them on a level that you would benefit from their position as such in undergrad is slim, especially because you'd be joint honours so you won't specialise in either of your paths enough for that to occur. also, specialist researcher =/= good lecturer. Leeds and Warwick generally are only a few % points away from each other on student satisfaction and graduate prospects (which again, league tables here are entirely subjective and don't truly represent much) Ultimately they're both top universities.

Warwick is in the middle of nowhere, has little nightlife that's easily accessible and little going on for it outside of campus. The nearest cities are also pretty small. Again, not sure what country you're from but from what I've heard from friends who go there, the international student community isn't very big, and Warwick and the surrounding areas are super white if that's something that matters to you. obviously, as someone going to Leeds I'm going to be at least a little biased lol, but objectively you will get a much broader and richer experience at Leeds over Warwick purely because of the nature of the two places, as Leeds is a microcosm of London. Studying abroad is a huge investment and while I don't know your financial situation and whether going abroad for you is a huge financial investment or just a casual chunk of money, I personally think that you/anyone doing a degree abroad should take into account far more than the education you'll be getting.

For example, I'm planning on doing a year abroad in Japan in my third year. I know that Waseda U and U of Tokyo are generally viewed as being better universities than the U of Osaka (where I'm planning on going), but I also know that I'll get a more authentic experience of Japan in Osaka vs Tokyo, and the difference between the two in terms of education is slim. Obviously our situations are not immediately comparable as my degree won't be from those Universities, but it's still a matter of investing a huge chunk of money into going abroad, and deciding where I want to make tradeoffs for my education in favour of getting the most out of where I'm living. after all, there's 168 hours in a week and for your first year at least, only about 11 of those will be contact hours at university. you need to make sure that the other 157 hours are in a place you like.

Outside of the UK, the only universities that most people are aware of are Oxbridge, LSE and maybe St Andrew's. Neither Warwick nor Leeds are widely known and revered educational institutes by the rest of the world, but should a future employer look online for either of them they'll see that both are Russell group universities and most likely leave it at that. Outside of the UK I'd honestly say a 2:1 or first from Leeds will be received just as well if not the same as from Warwick.

Maybe this is all stuff that you've considered and researched which has led you to the conclusion that Warwick is a better fit for you than Leeds, in which case that's great, and I hope you get the offer and grades to get there!
Last edited by nabitai; 1 year ago
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