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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:46 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:17 pm
Posts: 46
Can anyone tell me if this combination of subjects is good.
Government and Politics
Geography or Music Technology (4th subject)

Will these be accepted by a good university such as LSE as my son intends taking a degree in Economics. Another question is are GCSE results important too for University admission or is it mainly on AS/A2.

Any other suggesions or combination on subjects will be appreciated as this is the first time we are going through this process and do not have much of an idea. Son rather confused as made a few mistakes with GCSE subjects therefore want's to get it right for A'Levels.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6840
Location: Herts
Your A levels need to make sense and be moving you towards a specialism so Geography would be an ideal fourth subject not Music Technology. What were the mistakes that your ds felt he had made with his GCSES?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5977
My instant reaction looking at that is that he might want another 'serious' subject as the only definite one there is Maths. You don't need to have done Economics 'A' level to study that subject at university but my gut reaction there is that the others (especially if he goes for Music Tech over Geography) might look a bit 'soft'. Maybe History instead of G&P? What do others think?

I do think though this needs to be his own decision and not yours. My DD has developed a deep loathing of one of her AS subjects and I am so so glad that it was her own choice to do it - the fallout is bad enough without there being any suggestion this had parental input! There is masses of information on TSR and university websites which kids can access for themselves.

Wrt to the AS question, there was genuine shock at a presentation I was at by a university admissions officer recently. AO said that many unis (including AO's own, which I won't name but is prestigious) don't really look at AS results as (this is where the shock came in) unlike state schools, independent school pupils don't have to declare them on applications, whereas everyone has to declare GCSEs. This obviously is hugely unfair, and universities realise this. So acc to this person, predicted A2 grades were the most important thing (and unis quickly learn which schools are prone to inflating these) with GCSEs second. AO added the caveat that while some students peak at GCSE and don't live up to their promise, some others have only just got going by AS so if the A2 predictions were wildly in excess of the GCSEs, they would then look a bit more closely at AS grades to see if the optimism was justified.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 385
Location: Harrow
university expectations seem to vary quite a lot from university to university, not helpful if you don't know where you want to go, but if you do its a good idea to go to their websites and see what they want.
for example imperial are interested in activities you do which aren't related to the degree as they show well rounded character etc, where as Cambridge are only interested in things directly related.
At A level some only care about 2 of the subjects where as some would like the 3rd to be in an appropriate area.
between oxford and Cambridge, Cambridge want to see your actual ums scores, where as Oxford don't.

For As I know of quite a few people who have chosen 3 subjects appropriate for the degree they want to study and some other totally different subject, and some unis like this (well rounded character) and some don't...


PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2374

http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/undergraduat ... omics.aspx

The first link is a guide that we were recommend by school - certainly worth looking at and following up individual courses.

The second is to the LSE web page that shows what their expectations are - you will see that they do take account of GCSEs and As grades and give lots of guidance on subject combinations.

As previously suggested DC really needs to check the web sites of a range of Universities that may be of interest.

LSE is really difficult to get into so don't put all eggs is that basket.

Economics is very competitive so where a Uni states 'preferred' you pretty much want to be able to offer that!

If DC wants to do Economics A level then I would suggest that Govt & Politics is not the best idea as well - maybe History or English or a MFL if any of those would be of interest?
(LSE do address the G&P question but would check other Universities as well).

My advice would be Geography over Music Tech as it is more relevant and not a 'soft subject'.

This is on the basis that DC can manage 4 academic A levels - if not, then taking 3 and 1 'soft' option but getting top grades would be better than attempting 4 and then grades slipping.

Do look at what LSE say about further maths and see if that is the same with any other Universities. Quite a few schools will allow Further Maths AS as an extra subject.

Once departments have dealt with final year students over the next week or so they will be a bit quieter (although staff may be away) so it may be a better time than most for DC to email or call admissions officers in specific departments to get advice.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 133
All schools have to declare exams taken where they have been 'certificated'. Quite a few independent schools take their AS and A2 levels together in the Upper Sixth, so they ave no AS results to declare.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:54 pm
Posts: 47
Further maths (with single maths) is very helpful, particularly for economics at Cambridge, LSE, UCL etc. It's pretty much essential for some of these, the only exceptions tending to be where schools don't offer further maths, and then you might be expected to take part in the further maths support programme. Economics is a very competitive subject, eg Stastically it was the hardest subject to get into at Cambridge last year so good to try to get as strong an application as possible.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:39 pm 

Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 71
I have a son studying Economics at an elite University I would encourage your child to take Maths A'level a large portion of his first year has been Maths and very difficult. He has an A* at A'level in Maths.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 517
Location: bucks
we have just been to lse ucl nottingham manchester durham and oxford to look as economics courses and after endless admission talks the advice would seem be:

maths, economics, gov/pol and geography would meet the criteria for all the above with maths to A2 i think music technology instead of geography would be dodgy but ok instead of gov/pol, after that apart form oxford no interviews so the personal statement is v important.

good luck

also with regard to economics a level although not required a couple of admission tutors expressed the view that if you are interested in doing economics at university it would seem odd/illogical not to study it at A level, however they also said that they usually do extra teaching sessions for those people not having done economics but that by the end of the first year it is not that important.

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