dafyddhedd
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I’m doing this course ^^ in Bristol this year, and I’ve got no experience with Economics at school. I’ve done Maths A Level and English so I have ability with essay based and maths based subjects but I just don’t have the sort of knowledge and I’m concerned it’ll be a lot of terminology and concepts I’m unfamiliar with thrown around and I’d be expected to learn everything all at once.

Is it all that difficult? I did Crash Course Economics over the summer so I know a little bit and it seems really interesting. It seems really challenging and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.
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artful_lounger
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I don't know of any economics degrees that require or even expect any prior knowledge of the subject. A strong background in maths is probably the most important thing to do well in an economics degree - they aren't really essay based degrees and are usually mainly mathematical in nature.
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dafyddhedd
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Ahh that’s good at least. Yeah the econometrics aspect of it seems really interesting. Stats was the most enjoyable thing I found in maths really
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McGinger
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Applying for Economics : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/economics_degree
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by dafyddhedd)
Ahh that’s good at least. Yeah the econometrics aspect of it seems really interesting. Stats was the most enjoyable thing I found in maths really
There's a lot more than stats in an economics degree - expect a lot of calculus and also linear algebra (matrices from FM, if you've not done FM then it's related to vectors although used in fairly different ways), both by themselves and as part of the stats work done as you'll be doing "proper" mathematical statistics and not the simple descriptive and basic inferential statistics you've done in A-level. I gather the stats work done in an economics degree might be closer to work might've done on probability than the stats content of an A-level course but I'm not 100% certain.
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dafyddhedd
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
There's a lot more than stats in an economics degree - expect a lot of calculus and also linear algebra (matrices from FM, if you've not done FM then it's related to vectors although used in fairly different ways), both by themselves and as part of the stats work done as you'll be doing "proper" mathematical statistics and not the simple descriptive and basic inferential statistics you've done in A-level. I gather the stats work done in an economics degree might be closer to work might've done on probability than the stats content of an A-level course but I'm not 100% certain.
Ahh nah definitely, but maths is really something I enjoy so that’s completely fine, I did a little further maths and did Physics as well. I know the maths will be very difficult, especially in Bristol because it’s very centred on that, but it’s an exciting challenge
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McGinger
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Useful Summer Reading List from Warwick - https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/econom...-reading-list/
And you can find A level Economics study guides in WH Smiths - just for background.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by dafyddhedd)
Ahh nah definitely, but maths is really something I enjoy so that’s completely fine, I did a little further maths and did Physics as well. I know the maths will be very difficult, especially in Bristol because it’s very centred on that, but it’s an exciting challenge
I'm not saying it will necessarily be difficult (I gather the calculus is in some respects simpler than you might find in e.g. physics or engineering courses because they don't use the trickier integration methods in economics much for example), just that it might be different from what you seem to be expecting i.e. incorporating those named topics and that the stats stuff may be dissimilar from what you've done in the area before.
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dafyddhedd
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I'm not saying it will necessarily be difficult (I gather the calculus is in some respects simpler than you might find in e.g. physics or engineering courses because they don't use the trickier integration methods in economics much for example), just that it might be different from what you seem to be expecting i.e. incorporating those named topics and that the stats stuff may be dissimilar from what you've done in the area before.
Most likely, thanks anyways, that’s really interesting. If it’s just more about applying skills or needing to adjust them towards a different context that’s fine then. Cheers 😀
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mrlittlebigman
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Just out of interest, Is it possible to do an Economics degree without having done A level maths, (and a B at GCSE.)
But A level Economics grade A ?
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dafyddhedd
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(Original post by mrlittlebigman)
Just out of interest, Is it possible to do an Economics degree without having done A level maths, (and a B at GCSE.)
But A level Economics grade A ?
Most unis require a level maths but there’s two I think that don’t. It’s definitely possible. There’s two types of degree, the BA in Economics is probably the way to go if you haven’t done maths. That’s my sort of experience when applying anyways
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by mrlittlebigman)
Just out of interest, Is it possible to do an Economics degree without having done A level maths, (and a B at GCSE.)
But A level Economics grade A ?
You will have very limited options because most economics degrees require A-level Maths. Some do not, although bear in mind you will study that material in those degrees in first year usually. There is no way to study economics at university level without using A-level (and beyond) maths, so if there is a specific reason you chose not to take A-level Maths then that might be a strong indication an economics degree would be something you wouldn't enjoy (and/or be good at). I gather degree level economics is very dissimilar to A-level Economics, as the latter is largely essay based while the former is much more focused on mathematical problem solving usually I gather?
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mrlittlebigman
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You will have very limited options because most economics degrees require A-level Maths. Some do not, although bear in mind you will study that material in those degrees in first year usually. There is no way to study economics at university level without using A-level (and beyond) maths, so if there is a specific reason you chose not to take A-level Maths then that might be a strong indication an economics degree would be something you wouldn't enjoy (and/or be good at). I gather degree level economics is very dissimilar to A-level Economics, as the latter is largely essay based while the former is much more focused on mathematical problem solving usually I gather?
I really enjoyed A level Economics, and did it in one academic year and got an A, so was really happy with that.
I didn't do A level maths because I only got a B at GCSE, and my maths teacher saidd he thought I might struggle at A level maths, unfortunately.
So if there is loads of maths, and calculus, equations, etc, are you saying I was right not to do it. My economics teacher said I might be able to do a foundation year at some Unis and learn all the A level maths stuff then before starting the 3 year degree. I was good at the content and essay stuff, but there's hardly any maths in A level economics.
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by mrlittlebigman)
I really enjoyed A level Economics, and did it in one academic year and got an A, so was really happy with that.
I didn't do A level maths because I only got a B at GCSE, and my maths teacher saidd he thought I might struggle at A level maths, unfortunately.
So if there is loads of maths, and calculus, equations, etc, are you saying I was right not to do it. My economics teacher said I might be able to do a foundation year at some Unis and learn all the A level maths stuff then before starting the 3 year degree. I was good at the content and essay stuff, but there's hardly any maths in A level economics.
As others have said, it sounds like a BA Economics course might be the best fit for you. It'll still contain a fair amount of maths but you'll get taught all the maths you'll need to know in your first year and they don't require a-level maths, they're a bit more content based like a-level.

It's worth noting though that the essays are very different at university level to what's done at a-level. Academic essays are completely different and something you'll just have to get used to, reviewing journal articles, referencing, using proper academic sources, etc. You might use the same type of essays used in a-level in a short exam setting but uni essays are very different to school essays.

The only issue is I've heard that even a lot of the BA Economics courses that don't require a-level maths, they still require an A at GCSE level.
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