Maxwellst
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I have been accepted to Economics at Uni of Nottingham with Econ, Government and politics, and Biology A-Levels.
But I honestly do not know if it's what I want to pursue.
I love sciences and maths. Mostly biology and physics for the sciences, which I regrettably didn't choose the latter for my A Levels (same for maths. Biggest regret I've ever had was not doing A Level maths).
I seriously don't know what to do after my A-Levels. I could study physics with a foundation year at Manchester, but having not done it in 2 years I don't know if I'll like it at university level (I got an A* in all 3 sciences and enjoyed all 3 at GCSE).
The only thing still pulling me into economics degree is the emphasis on maths it has. But even still, I don't know if the overall concept is enough to keep me interested. I LIKE it at A-Level, but I think Bio is much more interesting. I hate government and politics.
Any advice to what I could do to make a decision? None of my family has ever been to university and none care about academics at all, so I really have no one to talk to about it.
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MindMax2000
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(Original post by Maxwellst)
I have been accepted to Economics at Uni of Nottingham with Econ, Government and politics, and Biology A-Levels.
But I honestly do not know if it's what I want to pursue.
I love sciences and maths. Mostly biology and physics for the sciences, which I regrettably didn't choose the latter for my A Levels (same for maths. Biggest regret I've ever had was not doing A Level maths).
I seriously don't know what to do after my A-Levels. I could study physics with a foundation year at Manchester, but having not done it in 2 years I don't know if I'll like it at university level (I got an A* in all 3 sciences and enjoyed all 3 at GCSE).
The only thing still pulling me into economics degree is the emphasis on maths it has. But even still, I don't know if the overall concept is enough to keep me interested. I LIKE it at A-Level, but I think Bio is much more interesting. I hate government and politics.
Any advice to what I could do to make a decision? None of my family has ever been to university and none care about academics at all, so I really have no one to talk to about it.
Since the degree at Nottingham isn't particularly quantitative per se, you're looking at AS level maths at best. You can get by as you are, but it won't require you to rattle your brain in it.
Your GCSE marks for science and maths don't matter that much at A Level, as you have probably gathered with Biology. Science and maths at A Level is like a different animal.

The sort of maths you will need in your economics degree would involve a lot of models and demonstrating theories and ideas. (This will involve a lot of reasoning and logic.) They're great fun as exercise, and if you liked GCSE physics, that sort of maths might be great for an economics degree. The most math intensive modules in economic degrees tend to be mathematical economics (AS further maths) and microeconomics (logs, differentiation, indicies i.e. AS Level Maths). You will get the econometrics module which is essentially stats in AS Level Maths. Most of the maths will be covered in your first year according to the syllabus, which can be challenging if you haven't at least done A Level Maths.
See the following for the reading lists: https://notts.rl.talis.com/divisions/116.html. The books they have for the following modules seem really challenging even for students with A Level Maths, but the books they use are really good for their type:
https://rl.talis.com/3/notts/lists/6...tml?lang=en-US
https://rl.talis.com/3/notts/lists/A...tml?lang=en-US

Physics at degree level is different to how it is at GCSE and A Level. I haven't done it at degree level yet, but if you look up the uni level textbooks on their recommended reading lists for the modules, you can see the level of complexity of the maths involved.

If you're considering Biology and Physics as subjects at uni, consider Biophysics (essentially physics of the body), biomechanical engineering (engineering on the body, useful for prosthetics), or medical sciences and engineering.

Should you wish to do a master's in economics, you will need to do a conversion course after your bachelor's to do the MSc and MRes. A number of the MA degrees won't require an undergrad in economics. You are not likely able to do a conversion course in medicine, biology, physics, or engineering should you do an undergrad in economics.

An economics degree will allow you to become an economist, where the entry requirements tend to be a good (i.e. 2:1+) bachelors or higher in economics.
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Bigdookie
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(Original post by Maxwellst)I have been accepted to Economics at Uni of Nottingham with Econ, Government and politics, and Biology A-Levels.
But I honestly do not know if it's what I want to pursue.
I love sciences and maths. Mostly biology and physics for the sciences, which I regrettably didn't choose the latter for my A Levels (same for maths. Biggest regret I've ever had was not doing A Level maths).
I seriously don't know what to do after my A-Levels. I could study physics with a foundation year at Manchester, but having not done it in 2 years I don't know if I'll like it at university level (I got an A* in all 3 sciences and enjoyed all 3 at GCSE).
The only thing still pulling me into economics degree is the emphasis on maths it has. But even still, I don't know if the overall concept is enough to keep me interested. I LIKE it at A-Level, but I think Bio is much more interesting. I hate government and politics.
Any advice to what I could do to make a decision? None of my family has ever been to university and none care about academics at all, so I really have no one to talk to about it.

Do a foundation for physics at Manchester. Best uni in the uk for it and from what you said you will love it and not regret it!
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
Since the degree at Nottingham isn't particularly quantitative per se, you're looking at AS level maths at best. You can get by as you are, but it won't require you to rattle your brain in it.
Your GCSE marks for science and maths don't matter that much at A Level, as you have probably gathered with Biology. Science and maths at A Level is like a different animal.

The sort of maths you will need in your economics degree would involve a lot of models and demonstrating theories and ideas. (This will involve a lot of reasoning and logic.) They're great fun as exercise, and if you liked GCSE physics, that sort of maths might be great for an economics degree. The most math intensive modules in economic degrees tend to be mathematical economics (AS further maths) and microeconomics (logs, differentiation, indicies i.e. AS Level Maths). You will get the econometrics module which is essentially stats in AS Level Maths. Most of the maths will be covered in your first year according to the syllabus, which can be challenging if you haven't at least done A Level Maths.
See the following for the reading lists: https://notts.rl.talis.com/divisions/116.html. The books they have for the following modules seem really challenging even for students with A Level Maths, but the books they use are really good for their type:
https://rl.talis.com/3/notts/lists/6...tml?lang=en-US
https://rl.talis.com/3/notts/lists/A...tml?lang=en-US

Physics at degree level is different to how it is at GCSE and A Level. I haven't done it at degree level yet, but if you look up the uni level textbooks on their recommended reading lists for the modules, you can see the level of complexity of the maths involved.

If you're considering Biology and Physics as subjects at uni, consider Biophysics (essentially physics of the body), biomechanical engineering (engineering on the body, useful for prosthetics), or medical sciences and engineering.

Should you wish to do a master's in economics, you will need to do a conversion course after your bachelor's to do the MSc and MRes. A number of the MA degrees won't require an undergrad in economics. You are not likely able to do a conversion course in medicine, biology, physics, or engineering should you do an undergrad in economics.

An economics degree will allow you to become an economist, where the entry requirements tend to be a good (i.e. 2:1+) bachelors or higher in economics.
This person is underplaying the amount of maths in an economics degree, I'm in my 3rd year currently and there is so much maths haha.

You basically cover the whole of A-level maths and economics in your first semester of first year then build from there. There is also a lot of statistics. This poster said econometrics is basically a-level stats, this is definitely not the case. You'll cover a-level stats in first year then Econometrics in your 2nd and 3rd years will be much more advanced, you'll study things like ordinary least squares, instrumental variables, maximum likelihood estimation. You'll also do more complex time-series and panel models like fixed and random effects, AR, ARDL, ARMA, VAR and VECM models which can be really interesting and useful for economic research.

You'll also be able to study your core macro and micro topics at a high level. So this can include micro stuff like game theory, general equilibrium, industrial organisation and mechanism design which are very different to a-level economics. In macro you study models of the economy that are far more nuanced than your simple AD-AS ones, you'll probably start with IS-LM, the mundell-fleming model, far more complex monetary policy than you've done at a-level, you'll also do fiscal topics like government debt dynamics which are more interesting than they sound, I promise

In terms of advice, think about what kind of job could you see yourself having? Economics is quite versatile so you can do anything from actually being an economist, working in the civil service as an economic adviser, in banking, in consulting, real estate, insurance, data science, Actuarial analyst, etc. I'm sure I don't need to mention the financial compensation these firms pay. One thing to note is that it would be very hard to switch from econ to a science, but it's much easier to switch from a science to economics.
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Maxwellst
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
This person is underplaying the amount of maths in an economics degree, I'm in my 3rd year currently and there is so much maths haha.

You basically cover the whole of A-level maths and economics in your first semester of first year then build from there. There is also a lot of statistics. This poster said econometrics is basically a-level stats, this is definitely not the case. You'll cover a-level stats in first year then Econometrics in your 2nd and 3rd years will be much more advanced, you'll study things like ordinary least squares, instrumental variables, maximum likelihood estimation. You'll also do more complex time-series and panel models like fixed and random effects, AR, ARDL, ARMA, VAR and VECM models which can be really interesting and useful for economic research.

You'll also be able to study your core macro and micro topics at a high level. So this can include micro stuff like game theory, general equilibrium, industrial organisation and mechanism design which are very different to a-level economics. In macro you study models of the economy that are far more nuanced than your simple AD-AS ones, you'll probably start with IS-LM, the mundell-fleming model, far more complex monetary policy than you've done at a-level, you'll also do fiscal topics like government debt dynamics which are more interesting than they sound, I promise

In terms of advice, think about what kind of job could you see yourself having? Economics is quite versatile so you can do anything from actually being an economist, working in the civil service as an economic adviser, in banking, in consulting, real estate, insurance, data science, Actuarial analyst, etc. I'm sure I don't need to mention the financial compensation these firms pay. One thing to note is that it would be very hard to switch from econ to a science, but it's much easier to switch from a science to economics.
First of all, thank you for your response.

I know it's typical to say but I'm one of those people who really don't know what to do after university. Right now, I don't see myself entering something like data analysis or the corporate world, which I know is what economics projects you for. I would love to do something substantial, as personally I'm not satisfied with the benefit to society I would bring if I was simply an accountant or something (not to say their work isn't important, id just love to contribute to something bigger). I can't really see myself in a day-to-day lab either, which is why I'm swayed away from a bio major, plus its lacklustre prospects.
I am very new to the physics field so their prospects are quite a blur to me, but I know their quantitative skills are highly valued in both Econ fields (Econ classes are offered in some physics degrees) and in many others such as programming and engineering.

If I were to narrow it down I could see myself becoming an economist (I know it goes against what I previously said but it'll be in a specialised field such as environment), or a research field in a science which would obviously be when I'm older. Maybe in corporate, but right now it's a bit sticky.
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by Maxwellst)
First of all, thank you for your response.

I know it's typical to say but I'm one of those people who really don't know what to do after university. Right now, I don't see myself entering something like data analysis or the corporate world, which I know is what economics projects you for. I would love to do something substantial, as personally I'm not satisfied with the benefit to society I would bring if I was simply an accountant or something (not to say their work isn't important, id just love to contribute to something bigger). I can't really see myself in a day-to-day lab either, which is why I'm swayed away from a bio major, plus its lacklustre prospects.
I am very new to the physics field so their prospects are quite a blur to me, but I know their quantitative skills are highly valued in both Econ fields (Econ classes are offered in some physics degrees) and in many others such as programming and engineering.

If I were to narrow it down I could see myself becoming an economist (I know it goes against what I previously said but it'll be in a specialised field such as environment), or a research field in a science which would obviously be when I'm older. Maybe in corporate, but right now it's a bit sticky.
Yeah that's completely fair enough. You've got to remember that most people who study economics go onto work in finance and accounting for two reasons, firstly the money tends to be better, secondly there aren't an absolute tonne of pure economics jobs whereas there's tens of thousands of finance jobs so they're easier to get.

There are a lot of economics jobs that aren't very corporate focused though. For example, the largest employer of graduate economists in the UK is the Government Economic Service. They hire economists into lots of different departments, you could be providing analysis for the NHS or the department for the environment or on sugar taxes just to name a few. So you can definitely be an economist without being very corporate whilst also getting to work on projects that benefit society.

For example, this summer I'm interning at an economic consulting firm (so quite corporate) but it specialises in environmental economic advice to developing countries so does some good in the world. There are quite a lot of jobs like this, especially for research organisations and think tanks.

I'm sure from your a-level studies you've been able to realise that actual economics isn't very focused on things like banking or the stock market. It's more about correcting externalities, providing the optimal amount of public goods, balancing the conflicts in macro policy, etc. There are definitely jobs that allow you to do these things rather than just finance ones.
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