BenjaminSibson
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I don't think I am but some people are telling me I am. I applied and received offers for Warwick, Durham, Leeds in accounting and finance. Leeds is AAA, Durham and Warwick are AAB, but I'm only focused on those two because they're more suited for the type of job I want in the future.

GCSEs
5 A*
4 A
2 B

I just got 3 A*s in economics, business and maths in my recent mock exams, and I think that's what I'll be getting (if I'm lucky!) at the end of the year.

Should I take a gap year and apply for unis like UCL, LSE which I'd want to go to (really want to study in London) and maybe take a physics A level in my gap year, or should I just take the courses I've been offered now?
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MindMax2000
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My question is why would you want to take physics in your gap year when the sort of courses you are going for don't really need it. Frankly, if you're looking to demonstrate your quantiative ability, you should look at further maths as opposed to physics. Having said that, physics and further maths is way overboard for accounting and finance.

Unless you're focusing purely on finance and/or quantiative aspects of economics, then I could see how further maths be of some relevance. Otherwise, I think you may be overdoing it.

If you're focusing on working in the finance sector, then I think it's appropriate to focus on networking and looking at professional financial qualifications.
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artful_lounger
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I assume the physics idea is on the basis that you're taking economics and business simultaneously, which I think both LSE and UCL indicate they won't consider together as two separate A-levels? As above FM might be more relevant for some programmes (e.g. economics), otherwise in general physics just seems a bit arbitrary. However, you should check with those unis whether they would consider you even if you did take an extra A-level in a gap year.

The issue they may have is that at no point did you sit 3 A-level exams in wholly discrete and separate subjects without overlap, and therefore have no indication of your ability to cope with that kind of workload (which they believe to be indicative of the workload for their degree programmes). There seems little point in making such plans if it may turn out they won't accept the extra A-level to ameliorate taking two overlapping subjects in the first instance.

Outside of that, whether to reapply or not is up to you. Do you want to go to the universities you applied to? Would you rather go to the other universities if you were made an offer by them? Do you think it's realistically going to make a difference long term which you go to, if you don't really have a preference between them practically other than some sense of perceived prestige?
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BenjaminSibson
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I assume the physics idea is on the basis that you're taking economics and business simultaneously, which I think both LSE and UCL indicate they won't consider together as two separate A-levels? As above FM might be more relevant for some programmes (e.g. economics), otherwise in general physics just seems a bit arbitrary. However, you should check with those unis whether they would consider you even if you did take an extra A-level in a gap year.

The issue they may have is that at no point did you sit 3 A-level exams in wholly discrete and separate subjects without overlap, and therefore have no indication of your ability to cope with that kind of workload (which they believe to be indicative of the workload for their degree programmes). There seems little point in making such plans if it may turn out they won't accept the extra A-level to ameliorate taking two overlapping subjects in the first instance.

Outside of that, whether to reapply or not is up to you. Do you want to go to the universities you applied to? Would you rather go to the other universities if you were made an offer by them? Do you think it's realistically going to make a difference long term which you go to, if you don't really have a preference between them practically other than some sense of perceived prestige?
That's true and it's a worry of mine, I think in terms of demonstrating my ability to cope with workload I did an EPQ and several finance + programming qualifications alongside A levels (though I get it's really not the same as a full A level).

I'm applying to the London unis because I really want to live in London for personal and family reasons, but I only want to go to LSE or UCL because I feel the more logistically feasible uni (Durham) is about equal to Kings so there'd be no point moving all that way.

The school I went to didn't allow me to take maths, economics and physics together which was my initial plan. I had to choose between business and psychology. Could this maybe offer an explanation or will they not consider things like this do you reckon? Thank you.
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BenRyan99
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Yes you are selling yourself short because A&F is such a soft subject 😉
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BenjaminSibson
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
Yes you are selling yourself short because A&F is such a soft subject 😉
That's what I've heard, was considering asking to switch to economics at Durham. I genuinely enjoy the subject and have for a couple years but I know people view it as 'easy'.
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MindMax2000
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(Original post by BenjaminSibson)
That's what I've heard, was considering asking to switch to economics at Durham. I genuinely enjoy the subject and have for a couple years but I know people view it as 'easy'.
As someone who did an accounting degree, I hardly consider it easy.
Most accounting degrees are accredited by professional bodies, so it's the appropriate level of difficulty if you want to go into the accounting profession.

Is accounting harder than economics? That depends. Economics is more quantitative, but accounting (despite involving relatively simple maths) is hard because you need to get your head around it and reason in a certain way. Accounting requires you to think in a way that's different to the way you need in economics. Oftentimes, it's the economics students who asked the accounting students for help in the accounting modules, as opposed to the other way round.

If you have done a number of finance related programming languages, do you intend to work as an analyst or quant? It sounds more like you have an idea of the sort of career you want to go into, but I don't think your choice of degrees might be appropriate. To my knowledge, an accounting degree is only really applicable if you want to go into management or accounting. Whilst accounting is useful for a wide range of roles in the financial sector (as well as being a useful life skill), it's not that commonly used by most professions there.
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BenjaminSibson
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
As someone who did an accounting degree, I hardly consider it easy.
Most accounting degrees are accredited by professional bodies, so it's the appropriate level of difficulty if you want to go into the accounting profession.

Is accounting harder than economics? That depends. Economics is more quantitative, but accounting (despite involving relatively simple maths) is hard because you need to get your head around it and reason in a certain way. Accounting requires you to think in a way that's different to the way you need in economics. Oftentimes, it's the economics students who asked the accounting students for help in the accounting modules, as opposed to the other way round.

If you have done a number of finance related programming languages, do you intend to work as an analyst or quant? It sounds more like you have an idea of the sort of career you want to go into, but I don't think your choice of degrees might be appropriate. To my knowledge, an accounting degree is only really applicable if you want to go into management or accounting. Whilst accounting is useful for a wide range of roles in the financial sector (as well as being a useful life skill), it's not that commonly used by most professions there.
I took programming because I think it will be important in most walks of life in the future, but I took a few courses on corporate finance because I've always found it interesting. I'm probably too young and inexperienced to know, but I think I want to go into corporate development or transactions early on, then move towards a role in industry, maybe as a management accountant. I think in that sense accounting and finance is relevant.

I can switch my course at Durham to finance bsc which is more quantitative and centred around corporate finance. I have the options to take accounting modules alongside it which I think is ideal because it means I can specialise. This is a bit unrelated, but do you think a pure finance degree with accounting modules would be viewed better than a mixed BA accounting and finance? I'm sure the difference is minimal.

I want to do the ACA though I know that for sure, and the A&F has 9 exemptions whereas the finance one has 6 or 7.
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
Yes you are selling yourself short because A&F is such a soft subject 😉
What does that mean?
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tsimonoce
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(Original post by BenjaminSibson)
I took programming because I think it will be important in most walks of life in the future, but I took a few courses on corporate finance because I've always found it interesting. I'm probably too young and inexperienced to know, but I think I want to go into corporate development or transactions early on, then move towards a role in industry, maybe as a management accountant. I think in that sense accounting and finance is relevant.

I can switch my course at Durham to finance bsc which is more quantitative and centred around corporate finance. I have the options to take accounting modules alongside it which I think is ideal because it means I can specialise. This is a bit unrelated, but do you think a pure finance degree with accounting modules would be viewed better than a mixed BA accounting and finance? I'm sure the difference is minimal.

I want to do the ACA though I know that for sure, and the A&F has 9 exemptions whereas the finance one has 6 or 7.
Just one tip; I wouldn't worry at all about ACA exemptions. All it will do is save you the hassle of doing a few exams down the line, but it's not gonna make it any easier to get a job or anything. If you want to work in Corporate Finance then economics is definitely the best option.
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MindMax2000
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Not agruing regarding the programming. I'm learning it for my own endeavours. However, I wouldn't advise putting it on your CV if you're aiming to go into those particular roles though.

Thing is, I think you're looking at too many jobs that aren't particularly related or make a lot of senses progressing from one to the other.

The degree of choice in this sense would be of minimal importance in my opinion. As far as I know, corporate development or transactions don't require you to have a specific degree in order to do the job. If anything, the professional qualifications at Level 3 would be more relevant.
Should you wish to go into accounting, I don't think many employers would see accounting or finance degrees would be favoured on top of any other degree. Other than your grades, I think they would be more focused on your aptitude and personality. Sure, the exemptions you will help save on their training and your interest in the area is recognised, but they would value practical experience and being passionate about the job and company you work for more, since any company you will be working for is more interested in making money than training graduates. Of course, you should check this with the professionals in the field as well.

So yeah, if you want to go into accounting, the A&F degree would probably be more relevant. A pure finance degree on the other hand is nice to do, but if you want to go into corporate finance, then I'd rather stick to the professional qualifications as opposed to the degree.
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blueamaraxx
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I mean tbf warwick and durham are prestigious and competitive to get into, so its rly up to u. I thought warwick was known for finance (as well as business)
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BenjaminSibson
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(Original post by tsimonoce)
Just one tip; I wouldn't worry at all about ACA exemptions. All it will do is save you the hassle of doing a few exams down the line, but it's not gonna make it any easier to get a job or anything. If you want to work in Corporate Finance then economics is definitely the best option.
(Original post by MindMax2000)
Not agruing regarding the programming. I'm learning it for my own endeavours. However, I wouldn't advise putting it on your CV if you're aiming to go into those particular roles though.

Thing is, I think you're looking at too many jobs that aren't particularly related or make a lot of senses progressing from one to the other.

The degree of choice in this sense would be of minimal importance in my opinion. As far as I know, corporate development or transactions don't require you to have a specific degree in order to do the job. If anything, the professional qualifications at Level 3 would be more relevant.
Should you wish to go into accounting, I don't think many employers would see accounting or finance degrees would be favoured on top of any other degree. Other than your grades, I think they would be more focused on your aptitude and personality. Sure, the exemptions you will help save on their training and your interest in the area is recognised, but they would value practical experience and being passionate about the job and company you work for more, since any company you will be working for is more interested in making money than training graduates. Of course, you should check this with the professionals in the field as well.

So yeah, if you want to go into accounting, the A&F degree would probably be more relevant. A pure finance degree on the other hand is nice to do, but if you want to go into corporate finance, then I'd rather stick to the professional qualifications as opposed to the degree.
Thank you, I've spoke to guys at the big 4 who say they really don't care which degree you take. They train you, the degree just gets you through the door apparently, which makes perfect sense to me.

Feel reassured now and in all fairness if I get the degree choice wrong I still have a year to switch because they're so similar.
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BenjaminSibson
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(Original post by blueamaraxx)
I mean tbf warwick and durham are prestigious and competitive to get into, so its rly up to u. I thought warwick was known for finance (as well as business)
Yeah I think Warwick is especially, but it's so awkward to get to and for personal reasons London unis would work better for me.

Though I agree risking taking a gap year and getting rejected from London unis is a high risk when they're not poor unis to begin with
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ajj2000
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(Original post by BenjaminSibson)
Should I take a gap year and apply for unis like UCL, LSE which I'd want to go to (really want to study in London) and maybe take a physics A level in my gap year, or should I just take the courses I've been offered now?
I'm pretty sure UCL don't do A+F degrees. Kings do but the course is new and may have some significant issues for accountancy related careers. Would you be applying for A+F or something else? If you want to do another A level further maths is a more convenient thing to study outside of school than physics.
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BenjaminSibson
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(Original post by ajj2000)
I'm pretty sure UCL don't do A+F degrees. Kings do but the course is new and may have some significant issues for accountancy related careers. Would you be applying for A+F or something else? If you want to do another A level further maths is a more convenient thing to study outside of school than physics.
Probably economics and stats for UCL. I chose A+F because I underestimated my grades a little bit I think, but I'd probably apply for economics. I'm aware how competitive the UCL economics course is though. I was considering further maths as it would link nicely with econometrics in the finance bsc at Durham anyway.
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tsimonoce
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(Original post by BenjaminSibson)
Probably economics and stats for UCL. I chose A+F because I underestimated my grades a little bit I think, but I'd probably apply for economics. I'm aware how competitive the UCL economics course is though. I was considering further maths as it would link nicely with econometrics in the finance bsc at Durham anyway.
yeah if you think you could get an A or above then Further maths is an ideal choice for a strong Econ course, some even state a preference for it I think. A better option than Physics for sure
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Khadija Mohideen
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(Original post by BenjaminSibson)
That's what I've heard, was considering asking to switch to economics at Durham. I genuinely enjoy the subject and have for a couple years but I know people view it as 'easy'.
I suppose what you need to decide on is if you want your degree to be more theoretical or something that you can finish and get a job right after. You might wanna think a bit and reflect over what it is you want from you life and where you would like to see yourself after the three/four years of uni. Personally, I'd say do what you are passionate about and interested in but I know that finding the finances to do a degree itself is hard and mostly its convenient when your labour doesn't take long to come to fruition. Think on it.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by BenjaminSibson)
Probably economics and stats for UCL. I chose A+F because I underestimated my grades a little bit I think, but I'd probably apply for economics. I'm aware how competitive the UCL economics course is though. I was considering further maths as it would link nicely with econometrics in the finance bsc at Durham anyway.
UCL economic and stats, maths and economics etc at LSE open way more door than an A+F finance degree, including in accounting careers. I think its one of the rare areas where university choice can make a big difference.
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