Economics vs Business Studies at A Level

Readers Question: could you please help me. should i take business or ecomomics at A level? i have got an A in business at gcse but im not sure which one to take.

I often get asked, which is the better subject – Economics or Business Studies.

I have taught a little business studies (though never studied it), but my main preference is for Economics.

Many have a feeling that Economics is more of an ‘academic subject’ and therefore more valued by Universities. It is one of those things that have slipped into popular belief, and it is hard to evaluate whether Universities really do value Economics more than Buiness Studies. My feeling is that, if they do prefer Economics it will be marginal at best.

There is some overlap between Economics and Business Studies. – some macroeconomics (called external influences in business) and concepts like economies of scale. But, generally they are stand alone subjects. Business studies examines management techniques and accounting practises such as profit and loss / cash flow e.t.c.

Economics deals with macro economics in more detail. Micro economics is concerned with things like Monopoly and externalities (e.g. pollution)

Which is Easier?

Some students swear Economics is easier. Some swear Business Studies is easier. Often, it depends on how it is taught.

Note: Only limited Maths is required for A Level Economics. (e.g. how to calculate a % – something most A Level maths students can never do)

My Advice

– Choose the subject you think will be most interesting and motivated to study. Don’t worry too much about your degree. You can start an economics degree usually without having done Economics A Level – though maths A level is often needed.

32 thoughts on “Economics vs Business Studies at A Level”

  1. hi. i was told that certain universities do not recognize business studies as a subject at all. is this true? thank you.

  2. joey…universities should recognize business studies as a subject, otherwise there would be no point of doing it at a level. i am thinking of doing both…im currently studying Business at GCSE. Many of my mates have been doing business and economics at GCSE and to be honest they are coping with it well. However they were said to be hard at first.

  3. I was in the same position of Economics vs Business – I just began doing Business degree and in fact it doesn’t matter what you studied at a level, they’ll cover evrything you learned in a year in the first 2 weeks so don’t worry and study what you enjoy…

  4. im doing my a levels…
    im studying both economics and buisness studies seperately…
    do i get full credit for both?or not?
    some say i will get half half for each,some say ill get full for both…
    plz tell me what is right,a.s.a.p
    im worried…….

  5. while studying both a level buisness studies and economics,do we gain full full credit seperately for both?

  6. hey i am yet at gcse and will soon in some time go to a-levels and i quickly have to choose between business studies, economics, or should i take both please answer me quickly with advantages and disadvantages of both and 1 LAST QUESTION is that if some one had an A in economics and someone had an A in business how would be prefered??

  7. I am currently studying business studies a level and many of my friends are also studying economics in addition to business. I don’t know who has been telling you that you get half credit for each subject but that is utter rubbish! Universities regard business studies and economics as separate subjects and you get full credit and qualifications for studying separately. The difference between subjects can be compared to maths and physics, or maybe physics and chemistry. some overlap in what material is taught. You may find that when you are taught business and economics some units from one subject come up in the other. The same is true for maths and physics and they are clearly regarded as separate A levels.

    The difference between the subjects can be mainly derived from their names. Business studies looks at how a business is run and set up, some people see it as a more hands on approach to economics, less academic. Economics can be divided into two areas; microeconomics and macroeconomics, this studies consumer habits and how factors influence the economy as a whole. For more information do some research.

    Now some people (and possibly some universities) regard business studies as a ‘soft subject’ and economics has been described as ‘the dull science’. However if you enjoy the subject then this should not influence your decision because I believe they are both strong, dependable subjects and many good universities prize them.

    As for the lasts question, it depends entirely on which university you are applying to and what degree you want to take. If you are applying for a degree in business studies then the A in business A level will be more prized.

    I strongly recommend a lot of research before making any decision.

  8. Hello there!!! I am about to start my a-levels and I am stuck in between two subjects. Business and economics as I never studied any of the two subjects in my high school year as I was in the science stream so which would be better for me to take as I am unsure about the difficulty level of the subject. So, which subject would be better for me as I am not keen on taking a subject with maths required? Please reply asap. Thanks.

    • hey there now i have the same problem plx help me out i have never studeid business studies economics before as i was a science student but dont want to carry on with sciences so which is the best choice for me plx rply

  9. sarah, economics is a more respected subject by unis, i previously done business for GCSE and i have glanced at business a level and it is nearly symmetrical to gcse but the only difference is business a level goes in to a bit more detail. So yeah business is a much easier subject than Economics

  10. I’m currently in Business -management, but I was hanging on string to pass both Microeconomic and Macroeconomic. My question: Is this mean I might not do bad in business -over all? or this mean I shouldn’t open up my own business? However, I received good grades for all business courses. I just dont get myself sometimes. please kindly advice….

  11. Hi the both subject are going hand to hand in trying to learn about material life economic are more concerned about and little on business becos of other field are associated office and office activities which are concern in economics but choose any as profession but the are little.

  12. Hi, I’m hoping to be a lawyer when I am older and was wondering whether economics is better for me to choose at a level instead of business or is business at a level more beneficial for someone looking to becoming a lawyer? I’d like to do corporate law preferably so either I believe would be useful yet I’m still not sure which one will be better for me, please send some advice 🙂

  13. I’ve got the choice of choosing Business and Economics but i am told that Universities dont like that as they both very similar. My first option is Economics but i still would like to know if it is okay for me to take business + economics.

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