The Student Room Group

Economics BSC with offers- Soton, Surrey, Sussex, Reading and Kent.

Hello, I have the above offers and have preference currently for Soton and Surrey- both AAB, then maybe Sussex ABB. Offer holder days coming up. For context, I'm predicted ABB and am keen to do a placement year (*which Surrey seem to be good for). I may want to pursue a career as an economist / GES / further study possibly. I've really enjoyed A level economics a lot. Can anyone advise on the econ schools/depts and courses specifically. Which are most rigorous and strongest? Soton -Econometrics? Surrey -Macro? BenRyan99 and .ACS. possibly please? Anyone on those courses? Which would you choose for firm / ins? Thanks.
Reply 1
Original post by wilby63
Hello, I have the above offers and have preference currently for Soton and Surrey- both AAB, then maybe Sussex ABB. Offer holder days coming up. For context, I'm predicted ABB and am keen to do a placement year (*which Surrey seem to be good for). I may want to pursue a career as an economist / GES / further study possibly. I've really enjoyed A level economics a lot. Can anyone advise on the econ schools/depts and courses specifically. Which are most rigorous and strongest? Soton -Econometrics? Surrey -Macro? BenRyan99 and .ACS. possibly please? Anyone on those courses? Which would you choose for firm / ins? Thanks.

How long did sussex take to reply?
Reply 2
Original post by 231Joeee
How long did sussex take to reply?

Only took about 10 days. It was pre Christmas when I applied.
Hi wilby63,
Congratulations on all 5 of your offers. It’s great to hear that you are considering your options carefully, especially considering you will be studying 3-4 years at your chosen university. Have you had a chance to visit any of the universities in person? It may be worth doing so to see if the environment suits you. We are currently holding a number of offer holder days; should you have any questions about these events, please feel free to contact our offer holder day team at [email protected]

I’m glad to hear you mentioned placements at Surrey. We’re proud to offer all Economics students the opportunity to undertake a work placement year as part of their degree. Speaking as someone who has secured a placement for a top 5 global accounting firm, I can confidently say that at Surrey you aren’t in the process alone. Throughout Year 1 and Year 2 of your course, you will have a compulsory year-long Employability module, which aims to support you in developing your employability skills and gets you exploring different paths to employment. To find out more about these modules, please visit: https://catalogue.surrey.ac.uk/2024-5/module/ECO1021 and https://catalogue.surrey.ac.uk/2024-5/module/ECO2063
For more information on course content, please visit: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/undergraduate/economics

For more tailored support, you can book 1-1 sessions with a careers advisor from our award-winning Employability and Careers team. They can offer support for everything from writing CVs, Cover letters, mock interviews, organising your LinkedIn profile and much more. Not to mention, this support is available for all sorts of roles whether it be for part-time work, internship, placement or even graduate schemes. You can even continue to receive this support up to 3 years after graduation.

In addition, we also have a platform called SurreyPathfinder where we advertise roles on behalf of 2300+ partnered businesses. Beyond placements, our platform provides access to insight weeks, summer internships and graduate job opportunities. The Employability and Careers team hosts career fairs throughout the year, offering the chance to network with potential employers.

Our campus is conveniently located within a 10-minute walk from Guildford Station and a 30-40 minute train ride to London, because of this, you will have access to an ever-growing job market.

As a result, it’s no secret that our graduates are highly employable- with over 95% of all graduates in work or further study!

As an added bonus for studying post graduation at Surrey, we offer a bonus 20% discount for Surrey graduates who choose to continue studying for a postgraduate degree. For more information visit: Discounts for Surrey graduates: 2023 entry | University of Surrey

Here are some blogs from some of our economics undergraduate students: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/student-life/what-our-students-say?field_subjects_target_id[366]=366&field_study_level_value[ug]=ug

I also came across a blog from Joao, an Economics graduate from Surrey. It may be of interest as he covers some of the course content and what you may expect should you join us. https://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/student-experience/2020/12/09/all-you-need-to-know-about-studying-economics-in-surrey/

I hope that answers some of your questions. Please do let me know if you have any further questions.

All the best,
Daniel
BSc Accounting and Finance
University of Surrey
Reply 4
I would definitely visit all of the Universities you are interested in. Was originally interested in Southampton for Economics as red brick uni but after visiting Southampton, Reading and Surrey, Surrey was by far the most impressive.

Southampton were very poor when we visited no interaction with tutors, very, very poor presentations it was like they couldn't be bothered. Maybe they feel they don't have to try as hard but it gave a terrible impression.

Reading was even worse not a nice experienceat all.

Surrey was outstanding. Excellent presentations, lots of interactions with tutors and got a good vibe from the place.

Visiting can really help with your decision making.
Reply 5
Original post by Snowwh
I would definitely visit all of the Universities you are interested in. Was originally interested in Southampton for Economics as red brick uni but after visiting Southampton, Reading and Surrey, Surrey was by far the most impressive.

Southampton were very poor when we visited no interaction with tutors, very, very poor presentations it was like they couldn't be bothered. Maybe they feel they don't have to try as hard but it gave a terrible impression.

Reading was even worse not a nice experienceat all.

Surrey was outstanding. Excellent presentations, lots of interactions with tutors and got a good vibe from the place.

Visiting can really help with your decision making.

Thanks so much for these comments. I am going to the Soton offer day on Saturday, so will see first hand what impression they give. I'm also going to Surrey in March for the offer day there (and the other 3 uni's). I will keep my options open for now. You see things, like the Maths grade requirement is higher for Soton, which makes you feel their course is better possibly, and obviously reputation is higher generally, but there are other factors that are more personal preferences that would might favour Surrey, such as location.
Reply 6
Original post by University of Surrey Student Rep
Hi wilby63,
Congratulations on all 5 of your offers. It’s great to hear that you are considering your options carefully, especially considering you will be studying 3-4 years at your chosen university. Have you had a chance to visit any of the universities in person? It may be worth doing so to see if the environment suits you. We are currently holding a number of offer holder days; should you have any questions about these events, please feel free to contact our offer holder day team at [email protected]

I’m glad to hear you mentioned placements at Surrey. We’re proud to offer all Economics students the opportunity to undertake a work placement year as part of their degree. Speaking as someone who has secured a placement for a top 5 global accounting firm, I can confidently say that at Surrey you aren’t in the process alone. Throughout Year 1 and Year 2 of your course, you will have a compulsory year-long Employability module, which aims to support you in developing your employability skills and gets you exploring different paths to employment. To find out more about these modules, please visit: https://catalogue.surrey.ac.uk/2024-5/module/ECO1021 and https://catalogue.surrey.ac.uk/2024-5/module/ECO2063
For more information on course content, please visit: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/undergraduate/economics

For more tailored support, you can book 1-1 sessions with a careers advisor from our award-winning Employability and Careers team. They can offer support for everything from writing CVs, Cover letters, mock interviews, organising your LinkedIn profile and much more. Not to mention, this support is available for all sorts of roles whether it be for part-time work, internship, placement or even graduate schemes. You can even continue to receive this support up to 3 years after graduation.

In addition, we also have a platform called SurreyPathfinder where we advertise roles on behalf of 2300+ partnered businesses. Beyond placements, our platform provides access to insight weeks, summer internships and graduate job opportunities. The Employability and Careers team hosts career fairs throughout the year, offering the chance to network with potential employers.

Our campus is conveniently located within a 10-minute walk from Guildford Station and a 30-40 minute train ride to London, because of this, you will have access to an ever-growing job market.

As a result, it’s no secret that our graduates are highly employable- with over 95% of all graduates in work or further study!

As an added bonus for studying post graduation at Surrey, we offer a bonus 20% discount for Surrey graduates who choose to continue studying for a postgraduate degree. For more information visit: Discounts for Surrey graduates: 2023 entry | University of Surrey

Here are some blogs from some of our economics undergraduate students: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/student-life/what-our-students-say?field_subjects_target_id[366]=366&field_study_level_value[ug]=ug

I also came across a blog from Joao, an Economics graduate from Surrey. It may be of interest as he covers some of the course content and what you may expect should you join us. https://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/student-experience/2020/12/09/all-you-need-to-know-about-studying-economics-in-surrey/

I hope that answers some of your questions. Please do let me know if you have any further questions.

All the best,
Daniel
BSc Accounting and Finance
University of Surrey

Thanks Daniel, I will check this info out.
Regards
Chris
Original post by wilby63
Thanks Daniel, I will check this info out.
Regards
Chris

You're always welcome Chris. Again, please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

All the best,
Daniel
BSc Accounting and Finance
University of Surrey
Original post by wilby63
Thanks so much for these comments. I am going to the Soton offer day on Saturday, so will see first hand what impression they give. I'm also going to Surrey in March for the offer day there (and the other 3 uni's). I will keep my options open for now. You see things, like the Maths grade requirement is higher for Soton, which makes you feel their course is better possibly, and obviously reputation is higher generally, but there are other factors that are more personal preferences that would might favour Surrey, such as location.

Despite what the other poster suggested, I probably wouldn't recommend placing too large of a weight on the quality of presentations at open days. The performance on one day from one lecturer is a poor indicator of a departments quality. This is especially true given they're not really teaching like they would be if you were to be an actual student.

Sure, take factors like open day presentations and how nice a couple of the tutors are on board in your decision making. But generally I'd recommend placing a much larger weight on factors like whether the course modules and options roughly suit what you're interested in, the career prospects, the campus, etc.
Reply 9
Original post by BenRyan99
Despite what the other poster suggested, I probably wouldn't recommend placing too large of a weight on the quality of presentations at open days. The performance on one day from one lecturer is a poor indicator of a departments quality. This is especially true given they're not really teaching like they would be if you were to be an actual student.

Sure, take factors like open day presentations and how nice a couple of the tutors are on board in your decision making. But generally I'd recommend placing a much larger weight on factors like whether the course modules and options roughly suit what you're interested in, the career prospects, the campus, etc.
Hi BenRyan99

Thanks for your reply, I was hoping you would give some feedback for this post. ( I've seen some of your other posts which were insightful).

Can I ask you, in terms of general career prospects, would you say that Southampton for Economics is the better option, especially in terms of how general employers view someone compared to a Surrey / Sussex economics degree holder. I think they'd be more impressed by Southampton (RG), but that there is not much difference between the other uni's reputations. I am interested in pursuing a GES career path possibly, but it is early days, I definitely have interest in governmental economics and like macro. So the course itself is very important to me and I will go back and look over the modules carefully and the options available.

I liked Surrey in terms of location and being nearer to home, (could commute later on at a push, if finances required it say, maybe in the post placement year perhaps), but this is not the main consideration.

Would you say the course at Southampton will be better in terms of it having an A level Maths requirement? Would Surrey/Sussex with just Maths GCSE indicate an easier / less in depth course? (Obviously I do study Maths... with Economics plus History!)
Lastly, would Southampton give better prospects for studying Economics beyond undergraduate level, say at a more prestigious uni and would you advise certain modules to facilitate that possibility? (econometrics?)
Which uni would you choose from these offers, and what would be the main reason for this?
Many thanks for any insight you could share? I'm a first generation applicant and would appreciate your informed comment!
Original post by wilby63
Hi BenRyan99

Thanks for your reply, I was hoping you would give some feedback for this post. ( I've seen some of your other posts which were insightful).

Can I ask you, in terms of general career prospects, would you say that Southampton for Economics is the better option, especially in terms of how general employers view someone compared to a Surrey / Sussex economics degree holder. I think they'd be more impressed by Southampton (RG), but that there is not much difference between the other uni's reputations. I am interested in pursuing a GES career path possibly, but it is early days, I definitely have interest in governmental economics and like macro. So the course itself is very important to me and I will go back and look over the modules carefully and the options available.

I liked Surrey in terms of location and being nearer to home, (could commute later on at a push, if finances required it say, maybe in the post placement year perhaps), but this is not the main consideration.

Would you say the course at Southampton will be better in terms of it having an A level Maths requirement? Would Surrey/Sussex with just Maths GCSE indicate an easier / less in depth course? (Obviously I do study Maths... with Economics plus History!)
Lastly, would Southampton give better prospects for studying Economics beyond undergraduate level, say at a more prestigious uni and would you advise certain modules to facilitate that possibility? (econometrics?)
Which uni would you choose from these offers, and what would be the main reason for this?
Many thanks for any insight you could share? I'm a first generation applicant and would appreciate your informed comment!
I appreciate this might not be the most helpful reply, but honestly I don't think economists in industry or academia will see any difference between people from Southampton, Surrey, Sussex. I mean this in the sense that the the variance in student quality within each of these courses is much larger than the variance of students between the courses.

With respect to the difference in maths requirements, this sort of depends whether you're asking for signalling purposes or for the actual content. For the former, realistically again, no employer will think "oh this candidate went to a course which required maths a-level, whereas this one didn't", nor will an academic on a MSc admissions committee even think like this. Employers will essentially just want to know whether you're competent at economics, do you have any relevant experience/skills for the role, and did you do well in all the recruitment tests, they won't care about whether the course required maths. Academics are more likely to, but still they care more about the overall rep of the econ department, whether you've got decent grades in the quant subjects of your degree, and whether you've got any research experience/skills - rather than x course requires maths or not.

None will care about whether a course is RG or not - some RG economics courses are incredibly mediocre, some non-RG courses (e.g. Bath and St Andrews, etc) are much better than the average RG economics course, and ultimately I doubt most employers could even name all the RG unis anyway. So I would focus on the rep of the uni in the degree subject you want to study rather than whether it is in the RG or not. RG unis are allegedly more research-intensive (I've seen no evidence of that in reality), but this will have little to no baring on undergraduate students.

In terms of the actual maths content in the degrees themselves, they don't seem to be massively different. I went through the modules and from what I can tell from the module outlines & syllabuses (difficult to actually judge how rigorously these topics are taught tho), it seems as though Southampton has slightly more advanced maths & stats classes in the first year or two (no econometrics in final year seems a bit odd), whereas Surrey seems less advanced at the start but has more quantitative modules throughout the degree. So I wouldn't say there's a big difference in aggregate.

One thing to consider is that Surrey has a pretty good and well-established placement scheme, which I would consider a bonus on my books. Placement years can be a really good way to start an economics career especially if you're not going to be attending one of the very very top elite economics courses. It's pretty common to see Surrey students on placement year at institutions like the Bank of England & the GES. I would say that, alongside or maybe slightly behind Bath, Surrey has the best placement year scheme. This is not to say you can't get a good placement from Southampton though, I actually know someone personally from there who did a placement in the GES and still works there after graduation. But I think it's probably fair to say that Surrey place a bigger emphasis on placements than most unis.

On what modules to study to have a better shot at getting onto a good MSc course, this naturally depends on what and where you'd actually want to potentially study after your undergrad. I'm saying this because my answer would differ significantly if you wanted to study something like development economics at one uni vs studying a MSc course with heavy macro/econometrics content at another for example. Also, economics at uni is very different to at a-level, so I wouldn't be overthinking MSc prep before even starting your undergrad haha, that's a bit overkill. But generally my advice is that the more maths the better, MSc courses can be very quantitative, particularly at the top unis - and quant skills will help across micro, macro, and econometrics.

Sussex is good if you're interested in development economics and/or vote for the Green Party 😅. Outside of that, though I don't view it as noticeably weaker than the other two, I'd probably pick one of the other two if I happened to be in your shoes.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 11
Original post by BenRyan99
I appreciate this might not be the most helpful reply, but honestly I don't think economists in industry or academia will see any difference between people from Southampton, Surrey, Sussex. I mean this in the sense that the the variance in student quality within each of these courses is much larger than the variance of students between the courses.

With respect to the difference in maths requirements, this sort of depends whether you're asking for signalling purposes or for the actual content. For the former, realistically again, no employer will think "oh this candidate went to a course which required maths a-level, whereas this one didn't", nor will an academic on a MSc admissions committee even think like this. Employers will essentially just want to know whether you're competent at economics, do you have any relevant experience/skills for the role, and did you do well in all the recruitment tests, they won't care about whether the course required maths. Academics are more likely to, but still they care more about the overall rep of the econ department, whether you've got decent grades in the quant subjects of your degree, and whether you've got any research experience/skills - rather than x course requires maths or not.

None will care about whether a course is RG or not - some RG economics courses are incredibly mediocre, some non-RG courses (e.g. Bath and St Andrews, etc) are much better than the average RG economics course, and ultimately I doubt most employers could even name all the RG unis anyway. So I would focus on the rep of the uni in the degree subject you want to study rather than whether it is in the RG or not. RG unis are allegedly more research-intensive (I've seen no evidence of that in reality), but this will have little to no baring on undergraduate students.

In terms of the actual maths content in the degrees themselves, they don't seem to be massively different. I went through the modules and from what I can tell from the module outlines & syllabuses (difficult to actually judge how rigorously these topics are taught tho), it seems as though Southampton has slightly more advanced maths & stats classes in the first year or two (no econometrics in final year seems a bit odd), whereas Surrey seems less advanced at the start but has more quantitative modules throughout the degree. So I wouldn't say there's a big difference in aggregate.

One thing to consider is that Surrey has a pretty good and well-established placement scheme, which I would consider a bonus on my books. Placement years can be a really good way to start an economics career especially if you're not going to be attending one of the very very top elite economics courses. It's pretty common to see Surrey students on placement year at institutions like the Bank of England & the GES. I would say that, alongside or maybe slightly behind Bath, Surrey has the best placement year scheme. This is not to say you can't get a good placement from Southampton though, I actually know someone personally from there who did a placement in the GES and still works there after graduation. But I think it's probably fair to say that Surrey place a bigger emphasis on placements than most unis.

On what modules to study to have a better shot at getting onto a good MSc course, this naturally depends on what and where you'd actually want to potentially study after your undergrad. I'm saying this because my answer would differ significantly if you wanted to study something like development economics at one uni vs studying a MSc course with heavy macro/econometrics content at another for example. Also, economics at uni is very different to at a-level, so I wouldn't be overthinking MSc prep before even starting your undergrad haha, that's a bit overkill. But generally my advice is that the more maths the better, MSc courses can be very quantitative, particularly at the top unis - and quant skills will help across micro, macro, and econometrics.

Sussex is good if you're interested in development economics and/or vote for the Green Party 😅. Outside of that, though I don't view it as noticeably weaker than the other two, I'd probably pick one of the other two if I happened to be in your shoes.
Hi BenRyan99
Thanks for the time you have taken to answer my questions.
Reply 12
Original post by BenRyan99
I appreciate this might not be the most helpful reply, but honestly I don't think economists in industry or academia will see any difference between people from Southampton, Surrey, Sussex. I mean this in the sense that the the variance in student quality within each of these courses is much larger than the variance of students between the courses.

With respect to the difference in maths requirements, this sort of depends whether you're asking for signalling purposes or for the actual content. For the former, realistically again, no employer will think "oh this candidate went to a course which required maths a-level, whereas this one didn't", nor will an academic on a MSc admissions committee even think like this. Employers will essentially just want to know whether you're competent at economics, do you have any relevant experience/skills for the role, and did you do well in all the recruitment tests, they won't care about whether the course required maths. Academics are more likely to, but still they care more about the overall rep of the econ department, whether you've got decent grades in the quant subjects of your degree, and whether you've got any research experience/skills - rather than x course requires maths or not.

None will care about whether a course is RG or not - some RG economics courses are incredibly mediocre, some non-RG courses (e.g. Bath and St Andrews, etc) are much better than the average RG economics course, and ultimately I doubt most employers could even name all the RG unis anyway. So I would focus on the rep of the uni in the degree subject you want to study rather than whether it is in the RG or not. RG unis are allegedly more research-intensive (I've seen no evidence of that in reality), but this will have little to no baring on undergraduate students.

In terms of the actual maths content in the degrees themselves, they don't seem to be massively different. I went through the modules and from what I can tell from the module outlines & syllabuses (difficult to actually judge how rigorously these topics are taught tho), it seems as though Southampton has slightly more advanced maths & stats classes in the first year or two (no econometrics in final year seems a bit odd), whereas Surrey seems less advanced at the start but has more quantitative modules throughout the degree. So I wouldn't say there's a big difference in aggregate.

One thing to consider is that Surrey has a pretty good and well-established placement scheme, which I would consider a bonus on my books. Placement years can be a really good way to start an economics career especially if you're not going to be attending one of the very very top elite economics courses. It's pretty common to see Surrey students on placement year at institutions like the Bank of England & the GES. I would say that, alongside or maybe slightly behind Bath, Surrey has the best placement year scheme. This is not to say you can't get a good placement from Southampton though, I actually know someone personally from there who did a placement in the GES and still works there after graduation. But I think it's probably fair to say that Surrey place a bigger emphasis on placements than most unis.

On what modules to study to have a better shot at getting onto a good MSc course, this naturally depends on what and where you'd actually want to potentially study after your undergrad. I'm saying this because my answer would differ significantly if you wanted to study something like development economics at one uni vs studying a MSc course with heavy macro/econometrics content at another for example. Also, economics at uni is very different to at a-level, so I wouldn't be overthinking MSc prep before even starting your undergrad haha, that's a bit overkill. But generally my advice is that the more maths the better, MSc courses can be very quantitative, particularly at the top unis - and quant skills will help across micro, macro, and econometrics.

Sussex is good if you're interested in development economics and/or vote for the Green Party 😅. Outside of that, though I don't view it as noticeably weaker than the other two, I'd probably pick one of the other two if I happened to be in your shoes.
BenRyan99 The answers you gave were more helpful than you think! The offer days are imminent and maybe this has given me a more broad/balanced perspective to think about. You've also confirmed some inklings on things that I had researched myself, but that I was not 100% sure about. I think I need to go with my gut and that maybe there is not so much gap between Surrey and Soton in terms of courses, which I was concerned about. You start looking at comparisons with a magnifying lens and I guess it's not like I am comparing UCL with Southampton, where there is a bigger gap and a very top level course at stake. Also, I don't like judging on the ranking tables, (as you have commented on before I think), as the views are very subjective and criteria too simplistic / even misleading.
I do feel strongly, I want to do the placement year, so those comments have reassured me this is a good option looking beyond uni. Thanks once again, your posts do help a lot!

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