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Economics or law degree?

Hey,
I’m currently in year 12 and I’m really stuck on what degree to pick. I’m currently doing Business, Law and Economics and predicted A*AA, although my GCSE’s where awful (pretty much straight 5’s) due to me stupidly thinking I wouldn’t need anything but a pass!!
I was set on law to start with as it really interested me, I also wouldn’t necessarily be limited on unis (obviously other than the top few) as all they are interested in are A levels. But the amount of graduates who can’t get a tc or any work in the legal sector has put me off. I’m also aware of how competitive it is, Unis are definitely going to pick the person with the higher GCSE’s if it comes down to it.
Economics also really interests me, I wanted to do that before but thought I wouldn’t be able to because of my grades. I’ve found some unis that would take them (Kcl,Leicester, Cardiff etc) and I feel as if I’d have better chances of getting a job after. Would I also be more likely to get offered a place doing econ?
Has anyone been in a similar position as me or have any advice?? I’ve been looking into the courses pretty much all day and Ngl I’m even more confused on what to pick now than before!!
If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it:smile:

*Edit: I’m capable of the maths, it was a mixture of events that resulted in my predicted grade being so low*
(edited 1 year ago)
You make a valid point about training contracts if you follow the law route. Better to stick with economics at a decent uni; will open up more doors in the future.
Go to some Open Days at different Unis in June and September and listen to the subject presentations for both subjects.
These will include descriptions of the course details, careers info and talks from existing students.

Many grads in both Law and Economics go into different career areas - they always have.
Both subjects 'train your brain' so there are a thousands different possible careers with these degrees.
At this stage, you need to pick a subject that will hold your interest for the 3 or 4 years of a degree.
Your ideas about career/jobs will change during your degree so try not to focus too heavily on the career angle.
Reply 3
Original post by mike23mike
You make a valid point about training contracts if you follow the law route. Better to stick with economics at a decent uni; will open up more doors in the future.


Thankyou, I think I’m going to but I’m just worried I will make the wrong decision and regret it. Although economics has always been what I’ve wanted to do, law only came into the picture as I thought I would be too limited on unis I could apply to.
Do you think it matters if I go to a less prestigious uni? For law I was looking at Russell group unis, but for econ I would be applying to places like Nottingham Trent, Leicester, Brighton etc
Reply 4
Hey! i do law and business and a level too:smile: I started year 12 wanting to do law but once i got further into the year I preferred business and then I applied to do economics and management at uni of cardiff. I got an offer of ABB. If you’re worried about jobs/ experience then apply for a course with a placement year, thats what I have done (ik its an extra year in uni but hopefully worth it). I think econ opens up many more opportunities as law is just stuck to one route, but you dont have to decide just yet so don’t worry:smile:
Reply 5
Original post by Rmm04
Hey! i do law and business and a level too:smile: I started year 12 wanting to do law but once i got further into the year I preferred business and then I applied to do economics and management at uni of cardiff. I got an offer of ABB. If you’re worried about jobs/ experience then apply for a course with a placement year, thats what I have done (ik its an extra year in uni but hopefully worth it). I think econ opens up many more opportunities as law is just stuck to one route, but you dont have to decide just yet so don’t worry:smile:


thank you! If you don’t mind me asking, what GCSE’s did you get?
I’m trying to decide before applications open as if I do law my top choice requires the lnat so wanting enough time to prepare:smile:
Original post by evaaa.1
Econ I would be applying to places like Nottingham Trent, Leicester, Brighton etc


You wont be open to Fast Stream Civil Service or oth grad schemes etc - relatively few people get those anyway - but any grad with anayltical/statistical skills from an Econ degree will not be short of job offers. Look at Liverpool, Sussex etc as well - you need 5 choices and 1 or 2 of those should be just above your precicted grades as you may still get offers from those Unis.
Lack of A-level Maths will heavily limit your options for economics degrees, and you should be aware you will need to study that content and more and use it on a daily basis in an economics degree. Economics is not an essay based subject at degree level, unlike the A-level. Several of your suggested options for economics (like KCL and Cardiff) are not options for economics because you don't have A-level Maths.

GCSEs are not really that important as long as you meet any required grades for English and Maths typically. The combination of A-level Economics and A-level Business Studies will likely be more limiting for your options (for either/any course) so you will need to check carefully if the unis you want to apply to accept the combination.
Reply 8
Original post by evaaa.1
thank you! If you don’t mind me asking, what GCSE’s did you get?
I’m trying to decide before applications open as if I do law my top choice requires the lnat so wanting enough time to prepare:smile:


I got one A* in photgraphy and then 4 As, 3 Bs and 2 Cs if that helps:smile: i also do sociology a level so the course i applied for doesnt need maths
Reply 9
Original post by artful_lounger
Lack of A-level Maths will heavily limit your options for economics degrees, and you should be aware you will need to study that content and more and use it on a daily basis in an economics degree. Economics is not an essay based subject at degree level, unlike the A-level. Several of your suggested options for economics (like KCL and Cardiff) are not options for economics because you don't have A-level Maths.

GCSEs are not really that important as long as you meet any required grades for English and Maths typically. The combination of A-level Economics and A-level Business Studies will likely be more limiting for your options (for either/any course) so you will need to check carefully if the unis you want to apply to accept the combination.

Yeah I was worried about it limiting my options, although I have found quite a few that I’d be able to do. Sorry I should have said at the start but Kcl was political economy and some of the other unis were Econ and politics combined.
Oh really? I wasn’t aware that business and economics together would limit me further, thank you I will definitely look into that more.
Original post by evaaa.1
Thankyou, I think I’m going to but I’m just worried I will make the wrong decision and regret it. Although economics has always been what I’ve wanted to do, law only came into the picture as I thought I would be too limited on unis I could apply to.
Do you think it matters if I go to a less prestigious uni? For law I was looking at Russell group unis, but for econ I would be applying to places like Nottingham Trent, Leicester, Brighton etc


I would advise you to go to the best university possible. Econ and Law will be sufficient for all the same jobs (corporate law/finance), but the best jobs in those fields care quite a bit about your university pedigree. If Law = much better university, go with law.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 11
Original post by Bk4753
I would advise you to go to the best university possible. Econ and Law will be sufficient for all the same jobs (corporate law/finance), but the best jobs in those fields care quite a bit about your university pedigree. If Law = much better university, go with law.

Thank you!
Do you think id be more likely to be accepted into an economics though as my GCSEs aren’t very high for law when it’s such a competitive course?
Original post by evaaa.1
Thank you!
Do you think id be more likely to be accepted into an economics though as my GCSEs aren’t very high for law when it’s such a competitive course?


Honestly, I think both economics and law would be a stretch at the very top universities (Oxbridge, LSE, UCL etc.). But for a decent russel like manchester, i think it'd be possible if you can get high predictions in maths off your teachers. Alternatively, you could achieve the grades and apply in a gap year.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by evaaa.1
Thank you!
Do you think id be more likely to be accepted into an economics though as my GCSEs aren’t very high for law when it’s such a competitive course?

The first thing to say is several top universities will class you as only having 2 A levels as they wont accept Economics and Business together. Look into that now as it is critical to where you can apply.

Without A level Maths you will rule out most top universities for Economics based subjects due to Economics being very Mathematical. This wont apply to Law or other courses such as Politics or Sociology..

There are a number of slighty lower graded universities who accept students without A level Maths but require set grades in GCSE Maths. You need to check your GCSE Maths grade as you might need to resit it

I list below some universities available without A level Maths and the GCSE grade required.

Economics without A level Maths

Aberystwyth grade 4
Aston grade 5
Bangor grade 4
East Anglia grade 5
Essex grade 5
Hull grade 4
Kent grade 6
Lancaster grade 6
Leicester grade 5
Loughborough grade 6/7
Nottingham grade 7
Queens Belfast grade A
Reading grade 6
Royal Holloway grade 7
Stirling grade 4
Srathclyde grade 6
Surrey grade 7
Sussex grade 6
Swansea grade 5
Reply 14
Original post by swanseajack1
The first thing to say is several top universities will class you as only having 2 A levels as they wont accept Economics and Business together. Look into that now as it is critical to where you can apply.

Without A level Maths you will rule out most top universities for Economics based subjects due to Economics being very Mathematical. This wont apply to Law or other courses such as Politics or Sociology..

There are a number of slighty lower graded universities who accept students without A level Maths but require set grades in GCSE Maths. You need to check your GCSE Maths grade as you might need to resit it

I list below some universities available without A level Maths and the GCSE grade required.

Economics without A level Maths

Aberystwyth grade 4
Aston grade 5
Bangor grade 4
East Anglia grade 5
Essex grade 5
Hull grade 4
Kent grade 6
Lancaster grade 6
Leicester grade 5
Loughborough grade 6/7
Nottingham grade 7
Queens Belfast grade A
Reading grade 6
Royal Holloway grade 7
Stirling grade 4
Srathclyde grade 6
Surrey grade 7
Sussex grade 6
Swansea grade 5


I do BTEC business which is the equivalent of an A level and the majority of unis I’ve looked at will accept it, would they accept this with A level economics?
thank you for the list of uni’s, I will have a look at them. Although I think I’m going to go with Law now as I will have a wider range of unis to pick from and can pick a course I’d enjoy more.
Original post by evaaa.1
I do BTEC business which is the equivalent of an A level and the majority of unis I’ve looked at will accept it, would they accept this with A level economics?
thank you for the list of uni’s, I will have a look at them. Although I think I’m going to go with Law now as I will have a wider range of unis to pick from and can pick a course I’d enjoy more.


I dont honestly know whether this will be accepted. You need to ask this question of the universities that you are interested in. Try giving them a telephone call and ask. Most uiversities will accept BTEC Business. The problem is Business and Economics overlap and the real question is whether a particular university will accept the combination. Only the universities themselves can tell you. I know there have been cases in the past where students have applied with Economics and Business and been rejected as they will only accept 1 or other but not both.

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