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Thinking about choosing accounting, business and economics for my A levels

Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 1
Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.
I do economics and really enjoy it- also I've heard it's regarded more highly than business.
It's true, there is little point in doing business and economics together. It might be better to diversify your a levels so you can achieve more skills/ have more to write about skills in your personal statement to universities.
If you want to go further with economics (and accounting) the majority of universities will require a maths a level. There are a few universities that don't require maths but I don't know if they are regarded as highly.
At the end of the day it is your choice though- do what you like and what challenges you.
Reply 2
Thanks a lot for your reply and advice. 🙂 Which subject would you personally suggest to study in replace of business? Do you think economics, accounting, maths and IT be better choices and more diversified?
Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.
HIGHLY recommend against this subject combination. With it, you will not be able to study any of the three subjects at university (at least for most top 10-15 universities).

You need to study Maths and this is non-negotiable if you want to pursue most finance/accounting related courses. Would strongly urge you to pick maths and substitute it with either accounting or business.

Make sure you have a look at the course pages of the universities and courses you are targeting and see what their subject requirements are. You also lose a lot of flexibility without mathematics.
For ACCYFIN or Econ you’ll need Maths or your options will be limited.

As a combo, Accounting, Business and Econ isn’t great as potential choices may consider them as overlapping.
Original post by Admit-One
For ACCYFIN or Econ you’ll need Maths or your options will be limited.

As a combo, Accounting, Business and Econ isn’t great as potential choices may consider them as overlapping.
Yes, this is absolutely true. Warwick for example considers Business and Accounting to be overlapping subjects and does not consider them as 2 A levels.

Overall, you need to study mathematics and there is simply no way around it if you want to pursue accounting/finance or economics further.
Reply 6
Couple of points:

taking econ, business and accounting will be a real issue for some universities. There is a lot of overlap between the courses.

for economics degrees you really do need A level maths. For accounting degrees you do not need A level maths (but do need to check for GCSE grade requirements) outside of a very number of universities. It is absolutely not the case that 'most' A+F courses require A level maths.

Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.


As above, not an ideal combination. Some universities see economics and business studies having overlapping content and will consider applicants with that combination as being less competitive; some see the same with business studies and accounting. Also some (e.g. UCL, LSE) have preferred subject lists and accounting is usually on the non-preferred list (although taking one non-preferred subject is usually not a deal breaker, this in combination with overlapping content may be; also note that LSE consider business studies non-preferred as well so you would be completely non-competitive for them).

I would suggest taking either economics or business studies, plus two other subjects. Depending on what you want to study at degree level, you may need to plan to take A-level Maths (e.g. economics at degree level is necessarily mathematical and you would normally need A-level Maths, and more to the point if you don't like maths, you would not enjoy economics at degree level). Accounting and finance courses vary more in this regard, some require it and some don't.

Note that you can go into a career in "business" or "finance" generally from any degree subject. You could do a degree in viking and old norse studies or social anthropology or egyptology or marine biology and go into a career in investment banking, provided you did said degree at a target university. Just for context. If you want to go into investment banking or management consulting your primary goal should be to go to a target uni (LSE, Imperial, UCL, Oxbridge, Warwick), doing a degree in anything. Then get relevant work experience, summer schemes etc while you're on the degree programme.

For any other generalist "business" grad scheme or most other financial services sector roles (e.g. accounting, including at the big 4) neither subject nor university is that important so just pick something you find interesting that you would be happy to do for 3 years for its own sake. For accounting specifically my understanding is that grad schemes tend to have two streams, one for those with an accounting degree and exemptions from the professional exams, and one for those without. Neither is really better than the other as far as I'm aware although it may save you some time and money to do a degree including those of course.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by ajj2000
Couple of points:

taking econ, business and accounting will be a real issue for some universities. There is a lot of overlap between the courses.

for economics degrees you really do need A level maths. For accounting degrees you do not need A level maths (but do need to check for GCSE grade requirements) outside of a very number of universities. It is absolutely not the case that 'most' A+F courses require A level maths.

All top 10-15 A+F courses require A Level Maths. So while you are probably right in saying that "most A+F courses" do not require A Level Maths, almost all of the top ones do if that's what you happen to be gunning for.
Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.
Don't worry about taking ACCA at this point. Get your A-levels and potentially go to university, then you won't have to take as many ACCA exams to become chartered.

(from an accountant)
Original post by Vesti La Giubba
All top 10-15 A+F courses require A Level Maths. So while you are probably right in saying that "most A+F courses" do not require A Level Maths, almost all of the top ones do if that's what you happen to be gunning for.
Could you list the top 10- 15 A+F courses? I'm not aware that there is a reliable list. I could give you my guess (exc Scotland) to prove my point.
Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.

I would personally swap out business, as they are all closely related and universities don’t like this as they are all basically revision for one another. I would do Accounting, Maths and Geography, or Accounting, Economics and Geography, as they all link up and relate, but are different enough that universities will like the combinations.
Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.
We don't allow our students to take Business and Economics - only one of them can be taken.

What grade ar eyou working at in Maths - many schools require a grade 7 to take A level.
Original post by ajj2000
Could you list the top 10- 15 A+F courses? I'm not aware that there is a reliable list. I could give you my guess (exc Scotland) to prove my point.
Don't get me wrong, I agree that there isn't any "objective" list of top courses. But some generally agreed "top" A&F courses that require A Level maths (usually at A) include: LSE, Warwick, KCL, Bristol, and Bath. Not sure about many others but these are probably some of the best A&F courses in the country, and they all require it.
Original post by Vesti La Giubba
Don't get me wrong, I agree that there isn't any "objective" list of top courses. But some generally agreed "top" A&F courses that require A Level maths (usually at A) include: LSE, Warwick, KCL, Bristol, and Bath. Not sure about many others but these are probably some of the best A&F courses in the country, and they all require it.
Ok - I think KCL has a great course but it doesn't look a very traditional A+F course and might not be a good choice for a lot of applicants. Bristol A+F - great course BUT very mathematical/ finance related. In truth it looks closer to a decent finance degree than most A+F courses. Nothing wrong with that at all (but if thats in the mix we should include maths/ accg courses at Exeter, Lancaster and QM). The accounting and management course at Bristol doesn't require maths A level and is more in line with most A+F courses.

So - my for guess at the 'best' A+F courses I'll look at relatively traditional courses which give good professional exemptions. I'll be biased by competitiveness - how hard are they to get into.

Top choices:

All the the (5) PWC linked Flying Start courses and LSE A+F. LSE need A level maths. The others don't. These are way more competitive than the others.

Bath and Warwick for more mathematical choices - great options, require A level maths.

For very good year in industry links - Loughborough. Doesn't need maths A level.

Courses with reputations for being very well run - Leeds and Birmingham. I don't think either require maths at present.

Manchester BA Econ - for people who are more social sciences orientated - doesn't require maths A level.

So - the majority of these don't need A level maths, and 5 of the 6 most competitive ones don't need it either.
Original post by ajj2000
Ok - I think KCL has a great course but it doesn't look a very traditional A+F course and might not be a good choice for a lot of applicants. Bristol A+F - great course BUT very mathematical/ finance related. In truth it looks closer to a decent finance degree than most A+F courses. Nothing wrong with that at all (but if thats in the mix we should include maths/ accg courses at Exeter, Lancaster and QM). The accounting and management course at Bristol doesn't require maths A level and is more in line with most A+F courses.

So - my for guess at the 'best' A+F courses I'll look at relatively traditional courses which give good professional exemptions. I'll be biased by competitiveness - how hard are they to get into.

Top choices:

All the the (5) PWC linked Flying Start courses and LSE A+F. LSE need A level maths. The others don't. These are way more competitive than the others.

Bath and Warwick for more mathematical choices - great options, require A level maths.

For very good year in industry links - Loughborough. Doesn't need maths A level.

Courses with reputations for being very well run - Leeds and Birmingham. I don't think either require maths at present.

Manchester BA Econ - for people who are more social sciences orientated - doesn't require maths A level.

So - the majority of these don't need A level maths, and 5 of the 6 most competitive ones don't need it either.
Yeah look that's a very reasonable assessment. But in terms of graduate prospects for general FO finance roles the universities I listed do perform exceptionally well (especially since the course content itself isn't super important).

I just thought it was worth noting since I'm sure most highly ambitious applicants will be aiming to get into some of the universities I mentioned. Especially LSE/Warwick/Bath which tend to be the absolute top programmes for A+F.

Totally fine if you do not intend to apply to them, and there are several other good options like you mentioned that do not require mathematics.

Thank you for your input. I'm an A+F applicant myself and had applied to the 5 courses I'd mentioned (Received offers from 4, still waiting on LSE).
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by txncla
Hello, everyone.

I’m looking to begin my A level courses with the subjects mentioned in the title. I also already have a background in all three of the subjects, especially accounting.

However, after a bit of research, apparently it’s important to include maths in your A levels? And that business and economics are treated as one subject? I’m not sure what to do after hearing about these because my intended future careers all revolve around business and finance. I have plans to get into professional accountancy qualifications as well, like the ACCA.

I also genuinely enjoy accounting, business and economics but I’m not so much of a big fan of maths. Although, I can add it as my 4th subject since it seems important.

Is there any advice I should take into consideration? Thanks.

Note: I don’t have a specific university in mind to apply to. But I do want to have a ‘good image’ when it comes to my A levels.
Hello, I do a level econ so i may be a little biased. I don't see a level business and econ similar, there are some overlaps sometimes but it's minimal (probably cause of my spec). There is not much maths in a level econ so far ( i thought there would be more) . Honestly, A level econ is enjoyable at times however other times there's just a lot to learn but it is just a product of a-levels being very content heavy. If you think of taking a finance-related course, maths would be a competitive a-level - to clarify i'm in year 12 so i do not know how econ is in year 13!
(edited 1 month ago)

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