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Economics at top Universities

Uploaded by mary26 | Aug 27, 2008 | UCAS Personal Statements
mary26 asks:

I recieved very disappointing AS results:
I want to apply to top unis such as Warwick, UCL for economics. I am planning to decline my grades for Physics (not certificated yet) and do some retakes. Will unis see this and think the worst automatically? Also, what are my chances?

etutor answers:

The relevant issues are:

1. Your GCSE results. Given that all the top universities tend to expect a minimum of six A or A star grades; if you have these, then you may still be in with a chance. If not, rejection in a subject as competitive as Economics is virtually automatic.

2. The type of school you attend. If it is an independent school, the odds are stacked against you.

3. What your referee wrires. He/she will need to be able to predict A grades in ALL subjects.

There might be something to be said for ducking the issue this year and applying after A level. If all goes to plan, you would then have three A grades, and the AS results would become irrelevant.

If you are going to apply this autumn for 2009, bear in mind that many of the top universities are nowadays insisting on being told your scores on individual modules. You would be very sensible to confine your choices of top universities to no more than two, and then to go for less illustrious universities with your other choices - essentially those offering BBB or equivalent. The alternative is to combine Economics with another subject, and look for courses with lower grade offers. Some Business Studies/Management courses also fit into this category. If you do go down the pure Economics route, you will certainly need a brilliant Personal Statement, focusing largely upon your interest in and aptitude for the more mathematical aspects of Economics. I can look at a draft in due course. Wanting a Gap Year would place you at a disadvantage - so if this is your plan, very definitely wait to apply next year.

I hope this is helpful. You need to be realistic and review carefully the various options.

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