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Economics Personal Statement

Uploaded by downyflake | Oct 23, 2004 | UCAS Personal Statements
downyflake asks:

I am currently writing my personal statement for economics and can't seem to write coherently about anything. What kind of things should I write about, how do I make them see I can handle the course and does the phrase 'unyielding curiosity' seem pretentious to you?

etutor answers:
Much depends on whether Economics is currently one of your A Level subjects. If it is, you should very definitely identify a number of topic areas that particularly interest you. Good idea to go for theoretical principles that have topical applications - so issues such as the congestion charge (externalities theory), student top-up fees (merit goods theory), the effect of the national minimum wage (price control theory) and the war in Iraq (opportunity cost; priorities in government spending). Nice macro areas might include the record of the independent Bank of England, the Chacellor's 'golden rule', the impact of globalisation and whether the UK should join the single currency. Wherever possible, go for areas that are controversial. If you don't study Economics, you can still adopt this approach, but you will then have to put the empasis upon your research and n what you have read in the newspapers. You ought also to make it clear that you are very much at home with numerical work, particularly the analysis of data. If you study A Level Maths, all the better - you can then stress how much it helps you to enjoy economic theory. In any event, it is important to stress some key skills - in particular, logical argument, ability to deal with abstract formulations, ability to reach an independent and viable conclusion in the light of the evidence. A good idea also is to get over the fact that you recognise how much economic decisions are influence by, and constrained by political realities - such as manifesto promises, the willingness of governments to finance spending by raising taxes, the lobbying of powerful groups (such as producers' organisations and the City).

You should certainly say something about your ICT skills - the more the merrier, and especially if they include using (or even creating) databases and the internet for research. Relevant work experience should go in to - so pick out anything remotely economic that was involved in it (or which relates to business) such as marketing strategies, or raising finance, or changes in production techniques.

About two thirds of your PS should be about interests in Economics and examples of related skills you are developing. The remainder should be on interests and hobbies, any community service, and career and (if relevant) gap year plans.

As for 'unyielding curiosity', very pretentious. Avoid!

I hope this is helpful. I am happy to review a draft once you have completed it.

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