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economics or economics & maths?

I take economics, maths, further maths, and physics as my a-levels and although I enjoy further maths, it does bring my overall grades down quite a bit because I'm scoring B's and I'm starting to think it might not be for me - especially if I'm thinking of going to unis such as lse, ucl or warwick.

Rn I was thinking of taking only economics but are people who take only economics employable? I've heard of people not getting jobs because they take only econ and not something like stats/maths which companies are looking out for so is it worth keeping and getting my further maths grade up or quitting? I enjoy doing further maths but I wouldn't say I'm very good at it. Will I be able to get into these unis without further maths?
Original post by moonflower321
I take economics, maths, further maths, and physics as my a-levels and although I enjoy further maths, it does bring my overall grades down quite a bit because I'm scoring B's and I'm starting to think it might not be for me - especially if I'm thinking of going to unis such as lse, ucl or warwick.

Rn I was thinking of taking only economics but are people who take only economics employable? I've heard of people not getting jobs because they take only econ and not something like stats/maths which companies are looking out for so is it worth keeping and getting my further maths grade up or quitting? I enjoy doing further maths but I wouldn't say I'm very good at it. Will I be able to get into these unis without further maths?

I'm afraid LSE requires further maths for its BSc Economics course. UCL and Warwick don't explicitly require it, but I think it's fair to say that applicants without it are less competitive.

Whether obtaining a higher average grade outweighs the cost of not having FM for Warwick and UCL, I'm afraid nobody here will be able to give you completely robust answer. So it might be worth asking the admissions teams at these institutions.

Although it's worth also considering that beyond making a candidate's application more competitive for economics, FM A-level will also help actually undertaking an economics degree given the overlap in some of the content.

In terms of how employable graduates from straight economics degrees are, obviously this varies hugely. But given, on average, economics grads earn the second most of any degree subject, and that places like LSE/UCL/Warwick would be right at the top of this earnings distribution, I wouldn't say you have much to worry about on this front. In terms of companies looking for maths/stats skills rather than knowledge of economics, I think this largely depends on what jobs you're thinking of pursuing after university. If you're thinking about being a quant/data scientist/some trading roles/actuary/etc then perhaps economics isn't the degree that best prepares you for these pursuits. But straight economics degrees do largely set graduates up well for fairly desirable careers like investment banking, equity research, strategy consulting, economic consulting, macro research, private equity, asset management, civil service, etc.
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by BenRyan99
I'm afraid LSE requires further maths for its BSc Economics course. UCL and Warwick don't explicitly require it, but I think it's fair to say that applicants without it are less competitive.

Whether obtaining a higher average grade outweighs the cost of not having FM for Warwick and UCL, I'm afraid nobody here will be able to give you completely robust answer. So it might be worth asking the admissions teams at these institutions.

Although it's worth also considering that beyond making a candidate's application more competitive for economics, FM A-level will also help actually undertaking an economics degree given the overlap in some of the content.

In terms of how employable graduates from straight economics degrees are, obviously this varies hugely. But given, on average, economics grads earn the second most of any degree subject, and that places like LSE/UCL/Warwick would be right at the top of this earnings distribution, I wouldn't say you have much to worry about on this front. In terms of companies looking for maths/stats skills rather than knowledge of economics, I think this largely depends on what jobs you're thinking of pursuing after university. If you're thinking about being a quant/data scientist/some trading roles/actuary/etc then perhaps economics isn't the degree that best prepares you for these pursuits. But straight economics degrees do largely set graduates up well for fairly desirable careers like investment banking, equity research, strategy consulting, economic consulting, macro research, private equity, asset management, civil service, etc.


thanks for the answer! What would you recommend taking for roles such as quant? would economics and maths be helpful in that matter?
At Lancaster University, the Economics course requires AAB with a B in Mathematics, the Economics and Mathematics course requires AAB with an A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics, and the Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics course requires AAA if you don't take further maths or AAB if you take further maths.
The career paths from the courses don't seem directly comparable, so it depends which type of career you want. None of the three courses are directly useful for quant.

-Kao (Lancaster Maths & Stats Student Ambassador)
Original post by moonflower321
thanks for the answer! What would you recommend taking for roles such as quant? would economics and maths be helpful in that matter?

In my experience, most quants come from applied maths, statistics, physics, engineering and computer science backgrounds.

With respect to Maths and Economics joint degrees, I think it's possible, but it depends on the modules covered (i.e. whether you actually cover enough maths). There would also be greater emphasis on doing it at top uni, whereas that's slightly less important for hard STEM degrees.

Though I'm not 100% sure you should be basing your university course/institution choice on being a quant. Firstly, I doubt many school students even understand what a quant is, let alone the what the day-to-day work is like.
Reply 5
I do the exact same subjects as you, plus computer science (I dropped physics at AS though). For LSE, you can get away with doing just an AS in Further Maths as they desire FM either as an A-Level OR an additional AS (source: https://digital.ucas.com/coursedisplay/courses/c8f2b8e9-b288-929f-3acb-38a03b0402d4?academicYearId=2024).

You could always take other exams too such as the TMUA, which is a requirement at places such as Cambridge. It may support your application, plus the advantage is that Cambridge won't automatically share your result with LSE unless you tell them to do so.

However, if you consider other careers or degrees besides Econ e.g. Econ + Maths (where FM is a requirement), or heck even something such as Mechanical Engineering, you may be better off dropping Physics. You can get away at some universities, such as Manchester, by doing Further Maths instead of Physics (or so I was told by the admissions officer there at open day).

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