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How to become an economics student in the UK in 3 steps

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

Economics degree opens the door to a wide variety of great and well-paid opportunities: for example, six of the top ten jobs held by economics graduates in the UK are related to business, finance and marketing. Economics graduates work for banks, charitable organisations, consultancies, insurance and accountancy firms, government departments and think tanks.

Not many schools offer the option to study economics as a separate subject, and competition for economics degrees can be high, so what do you need to study and learn to become an economics student at one of the UK universities? Let's dive in.

Step 1. Check out the best universities to study economics and their entry requirements

According to the latest annual University Guide by the British newspaper Guardian, the top UK universities to study economics are:

University of St Andrews

University of Oxford

University of Cambridge

London School of Economics and Political Science

University of Warwick

By checking out entry requirements at these competitive universities you'll be able to get a better understanding of how economics is studied, what it involves, what skills you learn as an economics student, and what subjects and grades you need to enter the course.

Step 2. Pick the right A-Level subjects

Universities can have their specific requirements but when it comes to A Levels, economics courses first and foremost require good grades in maths and further maths. Subjects like Business Studies and statistics also can be a huge plus. A Level's entry requirements range from BCC to AAA, with the universities and colleges most commonly asking for AAB.

IGCSE qualifications include good grades in subjects like Maths, English language, English literature, Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science, Geography, Physics, and Psychology.

Step 3. Prepare like a pro

To dive deeper into the subject and prepare for writing a personal statement (or, if it comes to the most competitive universities, to interviews and admissions tests), you can explore the resources available online and the subject-specific events such as lectures and masterclasses.

For example, the University of Oxford offers an amazing resources pack that includes useful recommendations on each subject, including their popular Economics and Management course. The Economics and Management section of the pack lists various competitions for students, a suggested reading list, and several excellent economics podcasts like Freakonomics Radio, Planet Money, Financial Times podcast, and Economist podcast.

Want to know more about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at


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