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Economics Choices

Hi, my A levels are Maths, Further Maths and Economics.

I am currently contemplating whether to choose pure/straight economics or a joint honours with maths i.e. economics and maths.

I've been told to do a joint honours because it would open my options more. However, I am not fully aware of the different career options if I chose straight econ vs maths and econ.

Does a BSc Economics make me more employable?
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by Zeus64
Hi, my A levels are Maths, Further Maths and Economics and I am considering to apply to LSE, Warwick, Manchester and Bath.

I am currently contemplating whether to choose pure/straight economics or a joint honours with maths i.e. economics and maths.

I've been told to do a joint honours because it would open my options more. However, I am not fully aware of the different career options if I chose straight econ vs maths and econ.

Does a BSc Economics make me more employable?

Hey there, I did IB and not A-Level, but was choosing between the same choices some time ago. I also applied to LSE and Warwick for courses other than straight econ, and did not apply to Manchester nor Bath, so don't know much about these two. LSE is a great choice for either straight econ or econ combined with something else, but count on it being highly competitive. I applied for Maths and Economics at LSE with 45/45 predicted IB points and a solid TMUA score and wasn't given an offer because my personal statement "didn't convince them that I was equally interested in both parts of the course", which surprised me because I put in a lot of effort into trying to make my ps suitable for both straight economics (because that was the only option for Cambridge) and Econ with Maths/Stats in my other options.

As for pure econ vs econ and maths, if you're a highly technical person who enjoys maths a lot (like me) and imagine yourself working in a quantitative field/position at some point, I'd probably go for Econ and Maths. It will be a better fit for many positions, from being an analyst or actuary, to nearby fields like statistics or data science. In my experience maths is valued a lot for being rigorous and demanding, so might have a bit more value than pure economics. Also keep in mind that the maths you will do in a Econ and Maths degree will likely be closely related to social sciences and economics, at least that's what LSE writes on their pages. So it's not like you're doing both a pure econ degree and pure maths simultaneously, more like doing econ but the more quantitative side of it (as I understand it). That being said, if you mostly enjoy writing essays, reasoning and exploring different sides of an argument, then pure econ might be a better fit. It will still include a lot of mathematics (no getting around that in most courses), but will be a little more versatile than Econ and Maths. I.e. choosing Econ and Maths narrows down your scope compared to just econ, it's more specialised. This means pure econ it keeps your options open a bit more, but might also make it harder to access the more quantitative positions like the ones I mentioned.

In the end I recommend looking at the breakdowns of the course components/modules for each of your options and seeing which one you'd enjoy more. I'd prioritise that above your career opportunities etc, as those will be very good with both degrees. I do recommend choosing one though and applying for the same (or very similar) courses in all your unis, since as I said I tried to balance my ps between close but non-identical courses and it didn't turn out the best.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
Reply 2
Original post by DmitryC
Hey there, I did IB and not A-Level, but was choosing between the same choices some time ago. I also applied to LSE and Warwick for courses other than straight econ, and did not apply to Manchester nor Bath, so don't know much about these two. LSE is a great choice for either straight econ or econ combined with something else, but count on it being highly competitive. I applied for Maths and Economics at LSE with 45/45 predicted IB points and a solid TMUA score and wasn't given an offer because my personal statement "didn't convince them that I was equally interested in both parts of the course", which surprised me because I put in a lot of effort into trying to make my ps suitable for both straight economics (because that was the only option for Cambridge) and Econ with Maths/Stats in my other options.

As for pure econ vs econ and maths, if you're a highly technical person who enjoys maths a lot (like me) and imagine yourself working in a quantitative field/position at some point, I'd probably go for Econ and Maths. It will be a better fit for many positions, from being an analyst or actuary, to nearby fields like statistics or data science. In my experience maths is valued a lot for being rigorous and demanding, so might have a bit more value than pure economics. Also keep in mind that the maths you will do in a Econ and Maths degree will likely be closely related to social sciences and economics, at least that's what LSE writes on their pages. So it's not like you're doing both a pure econ degree and pure maths simultaneously, more like doing econ but the more quantitative side of it (as I understand it). That being said, if you mostly enjoy writing essays, reasoning and exploring different sides of an argument, then pure econ might be a better fit. It will still include a lot of mathematics (no getting around that in most courses), but will be a little more versatile than Econ and Maths. I.e. choosing Econ and Maths narrows down your scope compared to just econ, it's more specialised. This means pure econ it keeps your options open a bit more, but might also make it harder to access the more quantitative positions like the ones I mentioned.

In the end I recommend looking at the breakdowns of the course components/modules for each of your options and seeing which one you'd enjoy more. I'd prioritise that above your career opportunities etc, as those will be very good with both degrees. I do recommend choosing one though and applying for the same (or very similar) courses in all your unis, since as I said I tried to balance my ps between close but non-identical courses and it didn't turn out the best.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Ahh okay thank you so much.

I am now definitely more inclined to choosing an economics and maths degree.

On the topic of the TMUA, I am in fact also considering Cambridge so I can do the test. I understand doing well would enhance my application for other Unis too and if I didn't perform so well, I wouldn't have to share it with them. Although, would you recommend I take the risk and apply with a personal statement that is less tailored to the pure econ course they have and just rely on the SAQ?
Reply 3
When I was applying the LSE page for Econ and Maths recommended doing the TMUA and said it could be the decisive factor in you securing an offer, so if you’re considering applying for that course and especially Cambridge then I’d definitely take the TMUA. And I do recommend applying to Cambridge if you’ve got the grades for it and would enjoy the course (and uni too, since Cambridge isn’t everyone’s style), but it is true that this will make it harder for you to write a PS to suit all your courses simultaneously. Probably then I would recommend deciding right away whether LSE or Cambridge is more important to you, and structuring your ps accordingly.

And yes you can indeed choose after writing the TMUA which unis you would like to see your results. This is true for all universities but Cambridge (since the TMUA is compulsory for Econ).
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by DmitryC
When I was applying the LSE page for Econ and Maths recommended doing the TMUA and said it could be the decisive factor in you securing an offer, so if you’re considering applying for that course and especially Cambridge then I’d definitely take the TMUA. And I do recommend applying to Cambridge if you’ve got the grades for it and would enjoy the course (and uni too, since Cambridge isn’t everyone’s style), but it is true that this will make it harder for you to write a PS to suit all your courses simultaneously. Probably then I would recommend deciding right away whether LSE or Cambridge is more important to you, and structuring your ps accordingly.

And yes you can indeed choose after writing the TMUA which unis you would like to see your results. This is true for all universities but Cambridge (since the TMUA is compulsory for Econ).

Ahh I understand, thank you!
Reply 5
Original post by DmitryC
Hey there, I did IB and not A-Level, but was choosing between the same choices some time ago. I also applied to LSE and Warwick for courses other than straight econ, and did not apply to Manchester nor Bath, so don't know much about these two. LSE is a great choice for either straight econ or econ combined with something else, but count on it being highly competitive. I applied for Maths and Economics at LSE with 45/45 predicted IB points and a solid TMUA score and wasn't given an offer because my personal statement "didn't convince them that I was equally interested in both parts of the course", which surprised me because I put in a lot of effort into trying to make my ps suitable for both straight economics (because that was the only option for Cambridge) and Econ with Maths/Stats in my other options.

As for pure econ vs econ and maths, if you're a highly technical person who enjoys maths a lot (like me) and imagine yourself working in a quantitative field/position at some point, I'd probably go for Econ and Maths. It will be a better fit for many positions, from being an analyst or actuary, to nearby fields like statistics or data science. In my experience maths is valued a lot for being rigorous and demanding, so might have a bit more value than pure economics. Also keep in mind that the maths you will do in a Econ and Maths degree will likely be closely related to social sciences and economics, at least that's what LSE writes on their pages. So it's not like you're doing both a pure econ degree and pure maths simultaneously, more like doing econ but the more quantitative side of it (as I understand it). That being said, if you mostly enjoy writing essays, reasoning and exploring different sides of an argument, then pure econ might be a better fit. It will still include a lot of mathematics (no getting around that in most courses), but will be a little more versatile than Econ and Maths. I.e. choosing Econ and Maths narrows down your scope compared to just econ, it's more specialised. This means pure econ it keeps your options open a bit more, but might also make it harder to access the more quantitative positions like the ones I mentioned.

In the end I recommend looking at the breakdowns of the course components/modules for each of your options and seeing which one you'd enjoy more. I'd prioritise that above your career opportunities etc, as those will be very good with both degrees. I do recommend choosing one though and applying for the same (or very similar) courses in all your unis, since as I said I tried to balance my ps between close but non-identical courses and it didn't turn out the best.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Hiya, I am currently applying for maths and econ at LSE this year - would you be able to elaborate on why LSE felt your personal statement didn't convince them enough for both subjects and maybe some tips as I am currently writing mine on how I might avoid this?
Reply 6
Here is the reasoning I was given in an email from LSE explaining why I wasn’t given an offer.

“The feedback we have received from the Admissions Selector indicates that your application was unsuccessful as a consequence of the qualities of your personal statement. As competition for places at LSE is intense, the Personal Statement is considered carefully when deciding whether to make an offer. Your personal statement did not do enough to convince the Admissions Selector of your interest in all of the subjects offered on the combined programme to which you have applied when compared to the Personal Statements of similar applicants.”

As for my personal statement, it was more heavily skewed towards Econ than maths since Cambridge only offers pure economics. The way I tried to go about it was to talk about my strong foundation in maths (my passion for it, UKMT Olympiad results, etc), and mentioned multiple times “quantitative and statistical methods” used in economics. I also mentioned my IB extended essay, which I wrote for maths on game theory.

Frankly I don’t really see how I could have leaned into maths anymore without diverting from economics and hurting my chances for pure maths. I guess what LSE wanted to see was more of an interest in pure maths and maths not so closely related to economics or social sciences. E.g. all the books I mentioned were about economics, not maths. You could mention a maths focused book you read, some extra maths course you did, etc.

That being said, LSE was the only uni from my choices to not give me an offer. E.g. Warwick was happy to take me for MORSE (very maths heavy), and both UCL and Edinburg gave me offers for Economics and Statistics. So either my grades etc we’re just very strong, or the personal statement was balanced well enough for those unis to give me an offer.
Reply 7
Original post by DmitryC
Here is the reasoning I was given in an email from LSE explaining why I wasn’t given an offer.

“The feedback we have received from the Admissions Selector indicates that your application was unsuccessful as a consequence of the qualities of your personal statement. As competition for places at LSE is intense, the Personal Statement is considered carefully when deciding whether to make an offer. Your personal statement did not do enough to convince the Admissions Selector of your interest in all of the subjects offered on the combined programme to which you have applied when compared to the Personal Statements of similar applicants.”

As for my personal statement, it was more heavily skewed towards Econ than maths since Cambridge only offers pure economics. The way I tried to go about it was to talk about my strong foundation in maths (my passion for it, UKMT Olympiad results, etc), and mentioned multiple times “quantitative and statistical methods” used in economics. I also mentioned my IB extended essay, which I wrote for maths on game theory.

Frankly I don’t really see how I could have leaned into maths anymore without diverting from economics and hurting my chances for pure maths. I guess what LSE wanted to see was more of an interest in pure maths and maths not so closely related to economics or social sciences. E.g. all the books I mentioned were about economics, not maths. You could mention a maths focused book you read, some extra maths course you did, etc.

That being said, LSE was the only uni from my choices to not give me an offer. E.g. Warwick was happy to take me for MORSE (very maths heavy), and both UCL and Edinburg gave me offers for Economics and Statistics. So either my grades etc we’re just very strong, or the personal statement was balanced well enough for those unis to give me an offer.

I see, from what I've heard LSE seem to be very personal statement heavy, it's good to know there's a chance at me getting into MORSE with an econ PS as I was thinking of applying for that course. Well done regardless!

Which university did you end up going to?
Reply 8
Original post by alishayas
I see, from what I've heard LSE seem to be very personal statement heavy, it's good to know there's a chance at me getting into MORSE with an econ PS as I was thinking of applying for that course. Well done regardless!

Which university did you end up going to?

I'm starting my economics course at Cambridge in a few days. Glad I could help, and best of luck in your applications. Don't hesitate to reach out if you'll have any more questions regarding applying to either uni/course.
Reply 9
Original post by DmitryC
I'm starting my economics course at Cambridge in a few days. Glad I could help, and best of luck in your applications. Don't hesitate to reach out if you'll have any more questions regarding applying to either uni/course.


I am also applying for MORSE at Warwick, However my Personal statement is very econ heavy with only a little bit of math's. Do you think this will hurt my chances of getting an offer?

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