CameronWS
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So I recently landed a spot on an Economics course, through clearing at a good university. Which I am quite happy about, considering the whole Ofqual situation.

I want a career in finance/economics/business so I'm happy. Now, I fear I may be at a disadvantage due to my A levels being Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science with an AS in Engineering.

I'm an avid reader and I soak up books like a sponge, so are there ANY books any of you would recommend for me to read (As I don't exactly want to buy the revision guide and study that as I feel I won't need to) in order to keep up with the students who have done A level economics. Stuff that explains economics, the principles, the mathematics behind it (would be really good as I aim to focus my degree around the mathematical side).

Any books at all would be awesome. Thank you.
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ml.1612
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Honestly I think as long as the course doesn't have Economics as a requirement, it's safe to assume that you'll be able to pick it up when you get there. So don't stress about learning everything before you start - after all, you're going to uni to learn! That being said, there are a few interesting books to get you thinking economically about the world, which will really help you settle in fast. Obviously, The Undercover Economist is a classic introduction and a great primer for what you'll be learning in the Autumn. Some of my favourite non-technical economics books are the Freakonomics series, by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. It tackles how economic thinking can be used to answer some freaky questions, and you'll end up with great contextual understanding of economic principles. I'm studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics next year, and a book I loved was 'What Money Can't Buy' by Michael J Sandel. In year 1 microeconomics, you'll learn a ton about markets and the benefits of them. This book is a great introduction to where markets are and aren't useful, and in each case, why that is so.

As I said, I wouldn't be concerned about not having studied economics before. That's what uni is for! However, I see that you didn't study an essay subject at A-Level. It might be worth making sure you're up-do-date on essay technique, since it's likely that a good portion of your course will involve written work. In economics, maths and theorems only get you so far. There's thousands of laws and principles which are cleverly proved using complex equations, but very rarely do they actually apply to the real world. It's very easy to get sucked into the theoretical world, lose any bearing on reality. So it's definitely worth having a balance between the theoretical, mathematical approach to it, and the practical, qualitative one.

Hope this helps!
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CameronWS
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(Original post by ml.1612)
Honestly I think as long as the course doesn't have Economics as a requirement, it's safe to assume that you'll be able to pick it up when you get there. So don't stress about learning everything before you start - after all, you're going to uni to learn! That being said, there are a few interesting books to get you thinking economically about the world, which will really help you settle in fast. Obviously, The Undercover Economist is a classic introduction and a great primer for what you'll be learning in the Autumn. Some of my favourite non-technical economics books are the Freakonomics series, by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. It tackles how economic thinking can be used to answer some freaky questions, and you'll end up with great contextual understanding of economic principles. I'm studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics next year, and a book I loved was 'What Money Can't Buy' by Michael J Sandel. In year 1 microeconomics, you'll learn a ton about markets and the benefits of them. This book is a great introduction to where markets are and aren't useful, and in each case, why that is so.

As I said, I wouldn't be concerned about not having studied economics before. That's what uni is for! However, I see that you didn't study an essay subject at A-Level. It might be worth making sure you're up-do-date on essay technique, since it's likely that a good portion of your course will involve written work. In economics, maths and theorems only get you so far. There's thousands of laws and principles which are cleverly proved using complex equations, but very rarely do they actually apply to the real world. It's very easy to get sucked into the theoretical world, lose any bearing on reality. So it's definitely worth having a balance between the theoretical, mathematical approach to it, and the practical, qualitative one.

Hope this helps!
Oh awesome, glad to hear that! . That is true. Okay, awesome just found that on Amazon, thank you for the recommendation! I literally bought Freakonomics and Thinking slow and fast earlier today they're arriving tomorrow. So thank you for that! Brilliant I like the sound of Microeconomics so a good primer would be awesome. I've bookmarked that too.

Too true! I guess I was just worried as I really want to do well on my course and hopefully pursue an MSc. Okay, I will definitely do that, I think there's extra support where I'm going for that anyway for students who focused on mathematics at A level anyway so I should be sorted!

Your post has helped me so much, I can't thank you enough since you're the only person to reply!
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Lancaster Student Ambassador
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(Original post by CameronWS)
So I recently landed a spot on an Economics course, through clearing at a good university. Which I am quite happy about, considering the whole Ofqual situation.

I want a career in finance/economics/business so I'm happy. Now, I fear I may be at a disadvantage due to my A levels being Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science with an AS in Engineering.

I'm an avid reader and I soak up books like a sponge, so are there ANY books any of you would recommend for me to read (As I don't exactly want to buy the revision guide and study that as I feel I won't need to) in order to keep up with the students who have done A level economics. Stuff that explains economics, the principles, the mathematics behind it (would be really good as I aim to focus my degree around the mathematical side).

Any books at all would be awesome. Thank you.
Hi Cameron,

As a recent graduate of an economics degree I was in the same boat as you before starting my degree. The books listed in this thread are a great start to get introduced to economics, one thing I would add to this is, if you don't already, keep a keen eye on the news and current events by reading papers/watching the news. This was a bit of advice given to me before starting my degree by a lecturer, as by keeping up to date with the news and applying your economics knowledge you've learned, you'll find understanding the content of the course easier if you can apply it to what's going on in the world! Also for university coursework/exams, the ability to apply your learning outside of the scope of the course is looked upon really well.

Any more questions feel free to get in touch,
Finn (3rd Year Economics & Politics Student)
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CameronWS
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(Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Hi Cameron,

As a recent graduate of an economics degree I was in the same boat as you before starting my degree. The books listed in this thread are a great start to get introduced to economics, one thing I would add to this is, if you don't already, keep a keen eye on the news and current events by reading papers/watching the news. This was a bit of advice given to me before starting my degree by a lecturer, as by keeping up to date with the news and applying your economics knowledge you've learned, you'll find understanding the content of the course easier if you can apply it to what's going on in the world! Also for university coursework/exams, the ability to apply your learning outside of the scope of the course is looked upon really well.

Any more questions feel free to get in touch,
Finn (3rd Year Economics & Politics Student)
Thankfully already I read the news from my phone most mornings and usually watch the 6’clock news as well. Thank you for the tip! right I see.

Thank you, will do.
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beckslas
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hi there, as someone who was in the same boat three years ago i second the undercover economist - it's a quick read and gives you a gist of the subject before they go into the "sub-topics" of econ like behavioural economics and so on i did biology, chem and mathematics at a-level but honestly they teach you everything from scratch so don't worry. My lecturers also mentioned a trend that students without an econ background tended to do better bc of the motivation to study to compensate for it lmaoo

best of luck!!
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CameronWS
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(Original post by beckslas)
hi there, as someone who was in the same boat three years ago i second the undercover economist - it's a quick read and gives you a gist of the subject before they go into the "sub-topics" of econ like behavioural economics and so on i did biology, chem and mathematics at a-level but honestly they teach you everything from scratch so don't worry. My lecturers also mentioned a trend that students without an econ background tended to do better bc of the motivation to study to compensate for it lmaoo

best of luck!!
Looks like I'll be buying that book then. Thank you! Oh lmao good to hear I guess. I'd say I'm naturally motivated anyway.

Thank you!
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someenglishguy
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I would also second The Undercover Economist as someone also about to start an Economics degree.

I would also recommend 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang; the former is written as a counter to many arguments of the classical and neoclassical schools of economic thought and thus reading it can help introduce you to debated issues within the subject and the disputes between different schools, while the latter intends to give a broad description of economics while also exploring some slightly more unorthodox approaches to economics.
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CameronWS
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(Original post by someenglishguy)
I would also second The Undercover Economist as someone also about to start an Economics degree.

I would also recommend 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism and Economics: The User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang; the former is written as a counter to many arguments of the classical and neoclassical schools of economic thought and thus reading it can help introduce you to debated issues within the subject and the disputes between different schools, while the latter intends to give a broad description of economics while also exploring some slightly more unorthodox approaches to economics.
Awesome sounds like a good read.

Yeah, I saw a review on that, it sounds like a good read for debates on economic thought/politics.
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zjeh29
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Hi, I'm also going to study Economics this year, but I have only studied sociology, English literature and health and social care. I'm quite nervous because I haven't studied economics or maths at a level.

I don't have a course or career in mind to pursue and economics was the only course that I thought might be interesting to study. I think I will be fine with essays as literature and Sociology are essay based, but I shouldn't worry about maths as I did get a B for my GCSE'S.
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