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What A-levels do you need to study economics?

Find out what courses you may need or may help you when it comes to studying an economics degree.

Some degrees require you take specific subjects at A-level, whereas others are more flexible.

For an economics course at university, you don't need to have stuided the subject before – although it could be an advantage.

Take a look at individual economics courses on The Uni Guide to find out the most popular subjects students studied before attending.

A-level subjects for economics

What A-levels are essential if you want to study economics?

There aren't any A-levels subjects that are a must-have to study economics at university, but maths is sometimes essential for certain courses.

What A-levels are useful to have for studying economics?

You don't need to have studied economics before, but taking it at A-level could give you an edge over applicants who haven't taken it before.

Generally – if you just want to do an undergraduate degree in economics, you don't have to be a maths genius to follow standard undergraduate level micro and macro courses. If you are serious about wanting to do an MSc, then it will help you down the line to do a more mathematical programme at undergrad.
  Magicnmedicine, The Student Room

Other typical A-levels taken by current economics students

To help you decide what subjects could be useful for an economics degree, it can be useful to look at what current university students took at A-level. 

Further maths, history and statistics were all popular A-levels with current economics students. This doesn't mean you have to take these subjects, but it gives you a good idea of what areas of study could be relevant. 

Search for a course to see its full entry requirements, modules and topics you’ll cover – and more.

Examples of economics degree requirements

Below is a range of economics courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 13 December 2023):

University of Cambridge: A*A*A, including maths and must also pass an admissions test.

University of Sheffield: AAB. Must have minimum grade 6 in maths at GCSE. Other typical offers include: ABB plus B in a relevant EPQ (relevant research topics include economics, statistics, maths or business) or ABB with A in core maths.

University of East Anglia: ABB, excluding general studies. If you are taking an EPQ and three A-levels, you may be offered a one grade reduction on the typical offer with an A in the EPQ.

What subjects can I study that are similar to economics?

Not sure you want to study economics, but know you’re on the right track? Here are some potential alternatives you could consider. 

  • maths: studying maths could open up other accountancy-related subjects and careers
  • business studies: broaden your understanding of business organisations
  • management science: problem-solving and decision making in organisations

Bear in mind that similar subjects may still have slightly different A-level requirements to economics.

To keep your degree options open, do some homework on what different subjects ask for in their entry requirements across a few different universities.

Where could your A-levels take you?

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