22 November 2014
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Economics degree

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This has always been the degree of choice for many top business leaders, people who want to become economists and those who simply enjoy the subject. It’s also a good selection for anyone who is still not entirely not sure what career they want to pursue yet, as it can open up doors in a wide range of related and unrelated fields.

Economics is at the heart of the contemporary world and at the core of the production and distribution of wealth in the societies that we live in. Good degree courses will provide students with insights that are necessary to comprehend recessions, the housing markets and developments in business. They can also show undergraduates how to use and apply economic principles to a wide range of business, employment and domestic issues.

Economics degree overview
The first year aims to build a firm and broad foundation for further study, while in the following years students will be allowed to specialise in areas of their own choice in greater depth. Programmes tend to focus on the main economic subjects in combination with other commerce related subjects all aimed at optimising a student's career opportunities.
 
A economics degree will teach students important business skills that can prepare them for a variety of occupations.

Towards the latter part of the course there will be more focus on obtaining practical work experience placements that are vital to complimenting and adding value to any academic achievements.


These degrees will help students to obtain an in-depth knowledge of the core economic principles that are relevant to the economy, business and finance. Students will also obtain transferable and marketable skills like problem solving and critical thinking which are vital to a successful career in any industry. They should give graduates a clear understanding and knowledge of all the subject areas that affect public, social and economic finances.

Economics degree assessment
Coursework is assessed throughout the year and students will also have to undertake examinations and may have to give a presentation.

A typical economics degree structure and course content

Year 1 modules

Introductory  economics
Economics is more than the study of charts, numbers, statistics and tables, it is a social science dedicated to the study of how individuals and organisations fulfil their wants and needs. On this module apart from a introduction to basic economic concepts, students will also learn the basics about how economies are organised and  topics like:

  • Supply and demand.
  • The choices consumers make and why they make them.
  • Look at the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
  • How businesses respond to material constraints.
  • How countries fulfil their economic self interests.
  • How a lack of resources can constrain a countries or companies wealth.
  • The ways in which societies provide for their needs.
  • How products and services are valued and the role that markets, buyers, currencies and time play in their valuation.
  • The essence of money and also the basics of bartering.

Micro economics: Consumers and Producers
The word ‘micro’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Mikros’ which means small. In this module you will learn about how the decisions and behaviour of individuals affects can affect a countries economic activity, including its supply and demand of goods and services. It is a bottom up approach to looking at how an economy is managed and sustained. Other areas of study will include:

  • Looking at how a governments economic policies like taxation and interest rates can affect unemployment and consumer behaviour.
  • Analyse why people make purchasing decisions and also how these can affect households and commercial firms.
  • Why market fail.
  • Study individual consumers and also groups of consumers.
  • Price theory.
  • Labour economics.
  • How supply and demand drives prices.
  • The link between wage increases and overtime.
  • Income distribution.
  • How whole households spend money.

Macro economics: Behaviour and Systems
This is the opposite of micro economics and is the study of national economies. In particular it focuses on the workings, performance and structure of an entire economy. Because of it’s importance macroeconomic issues appear widely in the national press on a daily basis. Apart from studying the behaviour of the economy as a whole, students will also look at:

  • Areas of study will include:
  • The causes of economic growth.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total amount of goods and services a country produces.
  • National Income.
  • International Trade.
  • Keynesian economics.
  • A governments Fiscal & Monetary Policy.
  • Changes in the unemployment rate.
  • The link between interest rates and GDP.
  • National Income, consumption and investment.
  • Inflation and the rate at which prices rise.
  • Price determination.
  • A countries balance of payments.
  • Why decisions by national banks (i.e. The Bank of England) are important.
  • Scrutinizing the governments overall economic strategy and record.
  • The factors required for sustainable economic growth.
  • Demand and disposable income, the amount of net money a consumer has left after their spending commitments, taxes and savings.
  • Monetary policies.

Statistics
Study techniques on how to collect, organise and also analyse economic data from reliable and accurate sources. The information gained by statisticians from this form of research is vital to economists and managers in helping them to plan for the future and measure performance. Other areas of study will include:

  • Presenting your findings in a professional and informative format.
  • The collection of data.
  • Observational study.
  • Advanced mathematical methods.
  • Analysing survey results.
  • Developing sampling plans.

Mathematics
Sample a wide range of topics from numerical analysis right through to learning about the foundations of Algebra and Geometry. Other areas of study will include:

  • Applied mathematics.
  • History of mathematics.
  • Functional analysis.
  • Introduction to Topology.
  • Mathematical modelling.
  • Probability.

Economic Methods
Study the specific research and analysis methods that are used by economists when looking at economic principles and reasoning. Other areas of study are:

  • The scientific status of economic reasoning.
  • The role of experiments in economics.
  • Theory and observation in contemporary economics.

Introduction to Financial Management
Find about how successful companies manage their finances in order to achieve the objectives.
Good financial and money management is important because it can lead to health cash flow and also help plan for the future to ensure that there is enough funding available for the business when it requires it. Areas of study will include:

  • Financial planning.
  • Financial control.
  • Financial decision making.
  • Return on investments.
  • Ways to generate cash revenue.
  • How to ensure business assets are used effectively.
  • Understanding investments and dividends.
  • Corporate finance.
  • How to interpret and analyse Profit & Loss accounts, balance sheet statements and other financial reports.
  • Managerial finance.
  • Theory of finance.
  • Corporate governance.
  • Multinational finance.
  • The administration and maintenance of financial assets.
  • Identifying and managing risks.
  • How to judge the financial performance of an enterprise.
  • Improving the allocation of working capital.
  • Cost forecasting.
  • Financial budgeting.

Year 2 modules

Applied economics
This subject is focused on economic theory and analysis, where students will learn how to use established theories to address practical issues in various real world economic scenarios. If applied correctly to contemporary situation then they can help managers to try to predict what is likely to happen in any given economic situation. This in turn can help in the decision making process. Applied economic techniques will help students to predict, view and review the potential outcome of various scenarios.

  • Elements of Economics
  • The British Economy
  • Industrial organization
  • Business Communications
  • Economic history
  • Trade and international business

Year 3 modules

  • Global economies
  • Economics forecasting
  • Corporate finance
  • Development economics
  • Monetary economics
  • Information Technology
  • Dissertation

Other optional areas of study

  • Statistical techniques
  • Accounting
  • Further microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • International politics
  • Labor Economics
  • Create and Interpret Charts
  • Strategic Planning
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Forecasting
  • Business start up
  • Money and banking
  • Econometrics

A economics degree will teach students

  • Writing reports and presenting findings.
  • How to handle complex numerical data.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • How to use the latest financial software.
  • An understanding of the evolution of the world economy and its financial systems.
  • Knowledge of the empirical techniques commonly used in economic research.
  • About the key economic factors which influence management decisions and policy making.
  • Knowledge of emerging and current issues in the world economy and the financial systems.

Career prospects and degree relevancy
Studies have regularly shown that these are some of the most highly sought after academic qualifications. Economics graduates are in great demand and are typically employed in areas such as banking, investment, insurance, government and the public sector. 
 

ECONOMICS PERSONAL STATEMENT 

Below is a professionally written economics personal statement. You are advised not to copy it word for word, but to instead use it as a guide.

Economics personal statement example 1

"Introduction
A great aspiration of mine is to have a career in the field of economics. This desire has motivated me to carry on into further education to gain the qualifications, knowledge and additional understanding that will help me to achieve my goal. I love learning and am very passionate about economics, and am driven by a desire to make a real difference to the world around me.

My reasons for studying economics
I have always been curious about how the way money, businesses and the economy affects peoples lives. I feel that studying economics can help me to satisfy that curiosity. As a dynamic subject in a constantly growing field, it is continuously expanding its scope. To me it is an exciting and intellectually stimulating subject that deals with the important issues of the day.

I believe that one of the great things about having an economics degree is just how flexible it is when looking for jobs. It provides excellent preparation for careers in business, government, and the law, as well as for specific areas in education, journalism, foreign service, consulting and politics.

Personal skills
Upon contemplation, I would consider myself to be highly motivated and thoughtful person, who through recent experiences has learnt a great deal about commerce, the economy and individual finances. I believe myself to be a confident person, particularly in new and potentially stressful situations, and I feel I am able to use my initiative and my problem solving skills in order to deal with a range of business and social situations.  When set a goal, I will always strive to achieve it, irrespective of difficulty. Through both my work experience and during my course I have gained a high level of competence in working as part of a team and additionally independently, while also obtaining good communication skills, both written and verbal.

College experience
At college where I studied economics at A level, I completed assignments on time with minimal supervision. I learnt about, money, income, wealth and discovered just how important mathematics and statistics were to the subject. I became familiar with tables and graphs and learnt how economic affairs impact on politics, education, the environment, health care and everyday living costs. Classes introduced me to the core areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics and the economic application of basic mathematical and statistical techniques to the solution of economic problems. I left the course with a clear understanding of economic theory, concepts and principles, and how to apply quantitative methods and computing techniques across a range of scenarios or problems.

I have great inter-personal skills, and strive to help others. In college classes I contributed to the learning environment with a positive and professional manner to help fellow students reach their full potential. I strived to build strong relationships and rapport with my students from the outset. Having last year successfully completed my A levels at college, I am now very enthusiastic about continuing my education at university.

Work experience
Currently I am working part time as a assistant co-ordinator for a events management company. This position requires strong organisational skills, good levels of written and spoken communication and the ability to handle a large workload while the phone is constantly ringing. My role is to ensure that jobs are accurately recorded on the system and that requests are dealt with. The position requires me to work on my own initiative whilst also being a part of a small team within a large company. For me the job allows me to combine valuable commercial experience with my academic studies.

Hobbies
In my spare time I enjoy attempting new activities and throwing myself into situations that I am unfamiliar with. I believe that as a person it has helped to increase my personal confidence as along the way I have can developed effective ways of controlling that initial anxiety you experience with the unfamiliar. When I find spare time I am an avid reader and enjoy going to live music performances whenever possible.

Why I chose your university
I am attracted to your university because it has a reputation for teaching and research excellence that few other economics departments can match. It offers a degree programme which includes all the core components that will provide students with a thorough grounding in the ideas, techniques and principles of modern economic analysis. I am looking for a course that will teach me those transferable skills in critical analysis, problem-solving, group working, written and oral presentations. I feel that your university will provide me with these and much more."


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User Comments

Economics Personal Statement said:
06/08/2014 Writing a personal statement takes a lot of effort and time. A personal statement should really stand out by showing your passion to economics. It's great that this and other useful points are present in this article. Thank you!
Jonathon said:
05/11/2012 YOLO , yes i'm about that life

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