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A level options

I'm struggling to pick my A-level options and I have to choose 2 out of Politics, Economics and Spanish (I am definitely doing maths and don't want to do 4 a levels but want to keep my options open).
I'm interested in all 3 courses but my decision depends on what I want to do at uni but I am just considering either like economics and finance or politics/ international relations but this isn't 100%.
I have to decide by the end of the week.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by sshahzad
I'm struggling to pick my A-level options and I have to choose 2 out of Politics, Economics and Spanish (I am definitely doing maths and don't want to do 4 a levels but want to keep my options open).
I'm interested in all 3 courses but my decision depends on what I want to do at uni but I am just considering either like economics and finance or politics/ international relations but this isn't 100%.
I have to decide by the end of the week.

Maths, Economics and Politics is a good combination. Economics and Politics have strong overlap. If you choose to study one of those at uni they will work well together. Economics has a lot of Maths so those will also overlap. Politics has a bit of quantitative skills so Maths can come in handy (but it is really not a necessity). Spanish is a good choice in general but I wouldn't say it is directly helpful for either of the degree prospects you have considered.

I study Political Science, and I've taken courses on Political Economy and Statistics. Game Theory (which you study in A-Level Economics) comes up quite frequently in my studies too, I've seen it appear in my International Relations and Public Policy and Governance courses.

I took A-Level Economics when I was at school. Just be prepared that Economics involves a lot of essay writing and the exams are quite tight on timings. You have to learn graphs and equations, but not that much actual numeracy is used. Remember that it is a social science! People often take it thinking it’s all maths or all essays and it is actually both. I can't comment on A-Level Politics because I didn't have the option to take it at my school, but if you have questions about the subject in general (or studying internationally!), then I'm happy to help.
Reply 2
Original post by NotBestPleased
Maths, Economics and Politics is a good combination. Economics and Politics have strong overlap. If you choose to study one of those at uni they will work well together. Economics has a lot of Maths so those will also overlap. Politics has a bit of quantitative skills so Maths can come in handy (but it is really not a necessity). Spanish is a good choice in general but I wouldn't say it is directly helpful for either of the degree prospects you have considered.
I study Political Science, and I've taken courses on Political Economy and Statistics. Game Theory (which you study in A-Level Economics) comes up quite frequently in my studies too, I've seen it appear in my International Relations and Public Policy and Governance courses.
I took A-Level Economics when I was at school. Just be prepared that Economics involves a lot of essay writing and the exams are quite tight on timings. You have to learn graphs and equations, but not that much actual numeracy is used. Remember that it is a social science! People often take it thinking it’s all maths or all essays and it is actually both. I can't comment on A-Level Politics because I didn't have the option to take it at my school, but if you have questions about the subject in general (or studying internationally!), then I'm happy to help.
Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. I'm also interested in studying internationally, do you have any recommendations for unis for politics?
Original post by sshahzad
I'm struggling to pick my A-level options and I have to choose 2 out of Politics, Economics and Spanish (I am definitely doing maths and don't want to do 4 a levels but want to keep my options open).
I'm interested in all 3 courses but my decision depends on what I want to do at uni but I am just considering either like economics and finance or politics/ international relations but this isn't 100%.
I have to decide by the end of the week.
im doing history politics and french and am currently in y13 with 5/5 uni offers for politics and french - I really enjoy doing these subjects, French/languages and politics complement each other very nicely :smile: any questions, please ask!!
I have also heard a lot of positives from people doing politics and economics together!
considering you want to study politics or finance later on, politics, Econ and maths might be the best course of action for you :smile:
Original post by sshahzad
Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. I'm also interested in studying internationally, do you have any recommendations for unis for politics?

I can't speak for everywhere, but I can suggest a few places.

The Netherlands has a lot of English-language programs. I study at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The Political Science department is very good and the campus locations are nice too. City is lovely, there is lots going on and it has quite an international environment so English language speakers are accommodated quite a lot. If you really like British politics, you can still explore that in this study program, as they keep the program accessible for a wide variety of international students with different political backgrounds. You can specialise in 4 subjects within Political Science: International Relations, Public Policy and Governance, Political Theory and Comparative Politics. There is also an interdisciplinary program called PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics) which is tougher to get into but is well-regarded. It even has the crown-princess of the Netherlands attending, if that gives any indication of the quality of the program. Amsterdam University College (AUC) is also linked to my uni and is definitely worth looking at too.

I am told Leiden University is also a good choice. I think their Political Science program is taught in The Hague campus rather than Leiden itself. The Hague is a nice city but mostly has art museums and government buildings, and not all that much else. I am told Leiden as a university has a slightly more insular atmosphere, sometimes compared to that of Oxbridge. Just depends whether that vibe is your cup of tea.

If you plan to study in the Netherlands, make sure you register for student accommodation websites as you can get an advantage in applying for places if you have been on the websites for longer. The application process differs depending on different programs, but one thing I like about the Dutch system is that they don't have atrociously high grade requirements! The attitude is that it is up to you whether you think you are suitable for the program. The lower entry requirements don't reflect the quality of the course like they might do in the UK. This means you can get acceptance to these unis much earlier in the year, so when you take your A-Level exams, you know that you already have a high-quality uni offer, even if you might miss your first or second choice on UCAS. This takes a lot of stress out of exam season.

I have a friend studying IR at University of Toronto, and another studying Political Science at Sciences Po, both of which I think are good choices. I don't know much about how they feel about it, but these universities are highly ranked and it sounds like they're enjoying themselves.

May be worth looking at Swedish universities, as I think tuition fee is free for EU citizens, if I remember correctly. I also think Germany may have some English-language programs.

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