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HELP: A Level Options

Hi everyone, I'm struggling a bit with my options for A-Levels, I'm currently set to take Maths FM Physics an Econ . However, I'm thinking of switching to History instead of Econ but I'm not sure so any advice is much appreciated :smile:

Also I think I want to become an investment banker or a corporate lawyer but I'm not sure yet.
Original post by 2000amber1
Hi everyone, I'm struggling a bit with my options for A-Levels, I'm currently set to take Maths FM Physics an Econ . However, I'm thinking of switching to History instead of Econ but I'm not sure so any advice is much appreciated :smile:

Also I think I want to become an investment banker or a corporate lawyer but I'm not sure yet.


For investment banking and coporate law, you don't need any specific degree in order to get into them, so the A Level options is kind of up to you.

For investment banking, it's more about connections/networking than anything else. If you want to do a qualification for this, it's generally recommended to do the CFA, which only requires a bachelor's completed within a certain time period (they keep changing their entry requirements all the time).
You can also go into corporate finance with a law degree, but you would be specialising on the legal side of things.

For corporate law, you can do the SQE without needing to do an LLB. The SQE would accept a degree in any subject. Whether you end up in corporate law or not will depend on the law firm that you work at (you might want a second opinion on this though).
Should you wish to do an LLB, the degrees generally accept A Levels in any subject but with a preference for essay based subjects (minor point). An A Level in Econ or History would more than suffice.

I am not entirely sure which degree you intend to do, but in terms of required subjects, Econ is the only odd one out of the list.
Maths, Physics, and History are required subjects for a range of degrees. FM is a borderline required subjects for some quantiative degrees at top end universities. Econ is not required for any degree (except for possibly one university in the country for specific courses), not even economics degrees.

So, I think it's really down to preference and whether you can get a higher grade in History than you could in Econ.
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
For investment banking and coporate law, you don't need any specific degree in order to get into them, so the A Level options is kind of up to you.

For investment banking, it's more about connections/networking than anything else. If you want to do a qualification for this, it's generally recommended to do the CFA, which only requires a bachelor's completed within a certain time period (they keep changing their entry requirements all the time).
You can also go into corporate finance with a law degree, but you would be specialising on the legal side of things.

For corporate law, you can do the SQE without needing to do an LLB. The SQE would accept a degree in any subject. Whether you end up in corporate law or not will depend on the law firm that you work at (you might want a second opinion on this though).
Should you wish to do an LLB, the degrees generally accept A Levels in any subject but with a preference for essay based subjects (minor point). An A Level in Econ or History would more than suffice.

I am not entirely sure which degree you intend to do, but in terms of required subjects, Econ is the only odd one out of the list.
Maths, Physics, and History are required subjects for a range of degrees. FM is a borderline required subjects for some quantiative degrees at top end universities. Econ is not required for any degree (except for possibly one university in the country for specific courses), not even economics degrees.

So, I think it's really down to preference and whether you can get a higher grade in History than you could in Econ.

Hi thank you so much! :smile: Regarding Econ being the odd one out, I was considering taking it just because I want to have an in depth knowledge of the field before actually making my choice as I'm stressed on if I would actually enjoy most of the content at degree level without any prior knowledge at a level.

Sorry about this btw I'm just stressed because I think I might want to keep both ends open so sorry about this.
Original post by 2000amber1
Hi thank you so much! :smile: Regarding Econ being the odd one out, I was considering taking it just because I want to have an in depth knowledge of the field before actually making my choice as I'm stressed on if I would actually enjoy most of the content at degree level without any prior knowledge at a level.

Sorry about this btw I'm just stressed because I think I might want to keep both ends open so sorry about this.


Then the following might make things easier: History is only a required subject for history degrees; it's usually not required for anything else. Subjects like maths is required for a range of subjects (engineering, physics, financial mathematics, economics, CS, maths, actuarial science), much like physics (engineering, physics).

If you want to be open to doing either an LLB or economics (although you don't need these degrees to go into investment banking or corporate law), then you can swap out physics or history for economics (as much as I hate to say you should swap physics for something else). Maths is the only subject you should keep if you intend to do a degree in economics (further maths being ideal/mandatory if you intend to do it at a top end university).

As you would quickly find out, you don't need to know that much about economics to work in finance (you definitely don't need to know any for law). Most of the economics that you would need to cover (this should be roughly A Level Economics or some of the content in the first year of an eonomics degree) would be covered in the relevant professional qualification for the role.

I don't know what degree subjects you intend to do. If you want specific advice on what's necessary let me know which subjects you want to do.
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
Then the following might make things easier: History is only a required subject for history degrees; it's usually not required for anything else. Subjects like maths is required for a range of subjects (engineering, physics, financial mathematics, economics, CS, maths, actuarial science), much like physics (engineering, physics).

If you want to be open to doing either an LLB or economics (although you don't need these degrees to go into investment banking or corporate law), then you can swap out physics or history for economics (as much as I hate to say you should swap physics for something else). Maths is the only subject you should keep if you intend to do a degree in economics (further maths being ideal/mandatory if you intend to do it at a top end university).

As you would quickly find out, you don't need to know that much about economics to work in finance (you definitely don't need to know any for law). Most of the economics that you would need to cover (this should be roughly A Level Economics or some of the content in the first year of an eonomics degree) would be covered in the relevant professional qualification for the role.

I don't know what degree subjects you intend to do. If you want specific advice on what's necessary let me know which subjects you want to do.


Hi :smile: in terms of degrees I chose Physics, FM and Maths because that keeps me open for anything tech/ engineering wise if I change my mind and I could consider a degree in Econ or Law. Although there aren't any requirements for Econ but Maths, I looked on a Cambridge Guide and it said that I should state why I didn't take Econ if I wanted to study Econ (https://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/ba/guide.pdf) even though I don't actually need it as an A Level which is weird. Also do you know what Econ is considered as a subject because I was told it's a social science but that doesn't rlly clarify for me if its essay or more Maths based?

I think the reason why I'm having such trouble choosing is because I've never experienced what it's like day to day working in any of the industries with the degrees I've chosen.
Original post by 2000amber1
Hi :smile: in terms of degrees I chose Physics, FM and Maths because that keeps me open for anything tech/ engineering wise if I change my mind and I could consider a degree in Econ or Law. Although there aren't any requirements for Econ but Maths, I looked on a Cambridge Guide and it said that I should state why I didn't take Econ if I wanted to study Econ (https://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/ba/guide.pdf) even though I don't actually need it as an A Level which is weird. Also do you know what Econ is considered as a subject because I was told it's a social science but that doesn't rlly clarify for me if its essay or more Maths based?

I think the reason why I'm having such trouble choosing is because I've never experienced what it's like day to day working in any of the industries with the degrees I've chosen.


Also do you know what Econ is considered as a subject because I was told it's a social science but that doesn't rlly clarify for me if its essay or more Maths based?
Not entirely sure what you mean there. Are you asking whether Econ has more essays or maths?

I think the reason why I'm having such trouble choosing is because I've never experienced what it's like day to day working in any of the industries with the degrees I've chosen.
Oh believe me, what you study at uni and in lessons bear very little resemblance to how you would work.
Most of the maths you do in engineering would already be done via computers. So you almost always end up doing routine tasks or doing work where there is little scope for innovation unless you're working on software.
Economics is mostly looking at stats, writing reports, and giving talks.
Finance is mostly about selling to clients. Only actuary and quants use any difficult maths from what I have seen.
Law is either paperwork or talking to clients. You don't really "argue" in British courts like they they do in American dramas.
Tech is probably the subject that bears the most resemblance to how it is taught, although you don't need to know most things about data structures, counting systems, or how the maths is done in practice. It's mostly about programming or problem solving tech issues.

I'm not in a position to do the above justice, so I think you're better off asking people who are already working in the industries for a better idea. Having said that, from my research it's not going to be that far off.
Reply 6
Original post by MindMax2000
Also do you know what Econ is considered as a subject because I was told it's a social science but that doesn't rlly clarify for me if its essay or more Maths based?
Not entirely sure what you mean there. Are you asking whether Econ has more essays or maths?

I think the reason why I'm having such trouble choosing is because I've never experienced what it's like day to day working in any of the industries with the degrees I've chosen.
Oh believe me, what you study at uni and in lessons bear very little resemblance to how you would work.
Most of the maths you do in engineering would already be done via computers. So you almost always end up doing routine tasks or doing work where there is little scope for innovation unless you're working on software.
Economics is mostly looking at stats, writing reports, and giving talks.
Finance is mostly about selling to clients. Only actuary and quants use any difficult maths from what I have seen.
Law is either paperwork or talking to clients. You don't really "argue" in British courts like they they do in American dramas.
Tech is probably the subject that bears the most resemblance to how it is taught, although you don't need to know most things about data structures, counting systems, or how the maths is done in practice. It's mostly about programming or problem solving tech issues.

I'm not in a position to do the above justice, so I think you're better off asking people who are already working in the industries for a better idea. Having said that, from my research it's not going to be that far off.

For the social science bit I was just wondering what it actually was because english is my third langiage so sometimes I struggle with definitions of words but I've searched it up :smile:

I think for my A-Level options I might take FM Maths Phys and History because that leaves me open to both Law and Econ but I'll see on results day and also further look into the work environment of jobs with the degrees I want to pursue.


Thank you sm btw!!
Original post by 2000amber1
For the social science bit I was just wondering what it actually was because english is my third langiage so sometimes I struggle with definitions of words but I've searched it up :smile:

I think for my A-Level options I might take FM Maths Phys and History because that leaves me open to both Law and Econ but I'll see on results day and also further look into the work environment of jobs with the degrees I want to pursue.


Thank you sm btw!!


"Social science is the study of how people interact with one another. The branches of social science include anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Social scientists study how societies work, exploring everything from the triggers of economic growth and the causes of unemployment to what makes people happy. Their findings inform public policies, education programs, urban design, marketing strategies, and many other endeavors."
See: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-science.asp

As far as I can tell most social sciences would require you to study statistics - because you need evidence for your arguments.

With economics, it entails the most mathematical modelling out of the social sciences (as far as I know), so you would need to know quite a bit on maths. However, it doesn't mean that all of your assignments and exams are maths based; most of them would require you to write essays.
The borderline exception would be mathematical economics, which is essentially maths for economic subjects.

If you study FM, then you should be fine studying for even the more quantitative economics degrees (e.g. mathematical economics). There is no maths in law as far as I know.

Which subjects you choose is still your choice, but if you're only looking into law and economics as options for your degrees then you can still go into them with Maths, FM, Physics, and Econ. Whether you choose history or econ to go into law or economis is inconsequential (for most universities except for possibly 2 or 3).
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by MindMax2000
"Social science is the study of how people interact with one another. The branches of social science include anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Social scientists study how societies work, exploring everything from the triggers of economic growth and the causes of unemployment to what makes people happy. Their findings inform public policies, education programs, urban design, marketing strategies, and many other endeavors."
See: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-science.asp

As far as I can tell most social sciences would require you to study statistics - because you need evidence for your arguments.

With economics, it entails the most mathematical modelling out of the social sciences (as far as I know), so you would need to know quite a bit on maths. However, it doesn't mean that all of your assignments and exams are maths based; most of them would require you to write essays.
The borderline exception would be mathematical economics, which is essentially maths for economic subjects.

If you study FM, then you should be fine studying for even the more quantitative economics degrees (e.g. mathematical economics). There is no maths in law as far as I know.

Which subjects you choose is still your choice, but if you're only looking into law and economics as options for your degrees then you can still go into them with Maths, FM, Physics, and Econ. Whether you choose history or econ to go into law or economis is inconsequential (for most universities except for possibly 2 or 3).


Oh I see, thank you sm for your explanation on social sciences!!! I was jw which unis I might not be able to study my degrees in so I can know where to apply :smile:. So far I've checked UCL and Oxbridge and I think I'm fine there

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