The Student Room Group

How 'necessary' is Further Maths at A-Level for the top 5/6 UK unis for economics?

Do you need further maths at A-level, or can you get in without further maths?

This is for economics.
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by nooneknowsmyname
Do you need further maths at A-level, or can you get in without further maths?

This is for economics.


What do the "top 5/6" universities (whoever they are) say on their websites about the need for FM?
Original post by ageshallnot
What do the "top 5/6" universities (whoever they are) say on their websites about the need for FM?


None of them have any needs for FM (it's not required), but given that a lot of applicants will be doing FM at A-Level, would it be harmful if you were not to do it?
Original post by nooneknowsmyname
None of them have any needs for FM (it's not required), but given that a lot of applicants will be doing FM at A-Level, would it be harmful if you were not to do it?


Again, what do they say about it, for example LSE and Cambridge? (And whoever else is top 5/6?)
Original post by nooneknowsmyname
Do you need further maths at A-level, or can you get in without further maths?

This is for economics.


LSE specifically state that if your school offers FM and you are not taking it, you will be at a disadvantage. Given that usually about 90%+ of successful applicants to single honours economics at LSE have FM, it's fairly clear through their messaging and the data that if FM is available to you, they expect you to take it.

For Cambridge, I believe past FOIA requests have shown a majority (albeit smaller than LSE) of successful applicants take FM, however I'm not sure how this compares to the proportions applying with or without it. So the jury is out on that. Oxford doesn't seem to have any special preference for it for PPE/History & Economics. For E&M I think there are a higher proportion of successful applicants with FM, but as with Cambridge I don't know how this compares to the proportions applying with/without it.

Warwick specifically states FM and economics are not essential and are treated as any other "strong" A-level subject. UCL does not mention FM at all. However worth noting both of those are known to be quite mathematical economics courses so even outside of the admissions picture, you will be better prepared for the course once you are on it if you have taken it.

Remember that getting into the course is just step 1 - you then need to actually do well in it. For most of the "top" economics courses, they are especially mathematical (even compared with economics being a generally mathematical course to start with). May as well take the subjects that prepare you best for the degree in that case.
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
LSE specifically state that if your school offers FM and you are not taking it, you will be at a disadvantage. Given that usually about 90%+ of successful applicants to single honours economics at LSE have FM, it's fairly clear through their messaging and the data that if FM is available to you, they expect you to take it.

For Cambridge, I believe past FOIA requests have shown a majority (albeit smaller than LSE) of successful applicants take FM, however I'm not sure how this compares to the proportions applying with or without it. So the jury is out on that. Oxford doesn't seem to have any special preference for it for PPE/History & Economics. For E&M I think there are a higher proportion of successful applicants with FM, but as with Cambridge I don't know how this compares to the proportions applying with/without it.

Warwick specifically states FM and economics are not essential and are treated as any other "strong" A-level subject. UCL does not mention FM at all. However worth noting both of those are known to be quite mathematical economics courses so even outside of the admissions picture, you will be better prepared for the course once you are on it if you have taken it.

Remember that getting into the course is just step 1 - you then need to actually do well in it. For most of the "top" economics courses, they are especially mathematical (even compared with economics being a generally mathematical course to start with). May as well take the subjects that prepare you best for the degree in that case.

What would be a good economics related course to take then, if the a-level subject combinations are Maths, Economics, Chemistry and Spanish, where the course is not heavily maths oriented
Original post by nooneknowsmyname
What would be a good economics related course to take then, if the a-level subject combinations are Maths, Economics, Chemistry and Spanish, where the course is not heavily maths oriented


I mean your subjects are fine, I would just recommend avoiding LSE for single subject economics and probably Cambridge, possibly UCL, just to be on the safe side. Warwick are relatively clear that it's not preferred over other subjects, and for PPE at Oxford maths is perfectly sufficient. Note that for joint honours courses in economics at LSE where the other half is a non-mathematical subject (e.g. politics & economics, philosophy & economics, conomics and economic history, possibly PPE) FM is not essential. There are also plenty of good economics courses elsewhere e.g. Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham etc.

If you really want to apply to LSE for single subject economics then you could look at doing FM in a gap year. However if your reservation is that you are not that keen on maths then you definitely have more things to consider as economics is necessarily mathematical at degree level. So if you don't like maths then that might be a sign economics is not the right degree for you.

Of course if you're interested in economic phenomena and concepts as they apply in various situations, there are other courses that will incorporate elements of that; economic policy will be considered in politics/IR courses in various ways I imagine for example, economic history perspectives will come up in most history courses (and especially in specialist economic history degrees like the one at LSE), some aspects of microeconomics are relevant to and come up in courses in e.g. finance/business/management, etc. Anthropologists and archaeologists may be interested in how economies developed in both historical cultures and in modern cultures which may not align with Western capitalism and associated values (e.g. hunter-gatherer societies, gift economies, and communist/postcommunist societies).
Reply 7
If you don’t want a heavily mathematical course but have a language look for economics plus language degrees at Warwick.
Original post by artful_lounger
I mean your subjects are fine, I would just recommend avoiding LSE for single subject economics and probably Cambridge, possibly UCL, just to be on the safe side. Warwick are relatively clear that it's not preferred over other subjects, and for PPE at Oxford maths is perfectly sufficient. Note that for joint honours courses in economics at LSE where the other half is a non-mathematical subject (e.g. politics & economics, philosophy & economics, conomics and economic history, possibly PPE) FM is not essential. There are also plenty of good economics courses elsewhere e.g. Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham etc.

If you really want to apply to LSE for single subject economics then you could look at doing FM in a gap year. However if your reservation is that you are not that keen on maths then you definitely have more things to consider as economics is necessarily mathematical at degree level. So if you don't like maths then that might be a sign economics is not the right degree for you.

Of course if you're interested in economic phenomena and concepts as they apply in various situations, there are other courses that will incorporate elements of that; economic policy will be considered in politics/IR courses in various ways I imagine for example, economic history perspectives will come up in most history courses (and especially in specialist economic history degrees like the one at LSE), some aspects of microeconomics are relevant to and come up in courses in e.g. finance/business/management, etc. Anthropologists and archaeologists may be interested in how economies developed in both historical cultures and in modern cultures which may not align with Western capitalism and associated values (e.g. hunter-gatherer societies, gift economies, and communist/postcommunist societies).

Cheers for the reply, we're looking to switch Spanish for Geography (currently will be doing maths, economics, chemistry and Spanish) and apply to degrees with geography and economics combined!

Quick Reply

Latest