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 actually had the exact question- I just began doing Business Studies this term and have only had three lessons, which I actually quite enjoyed. Though, last lesson I was set homework to look for a recent article related to Business that I was interested in. My family is pushing me to change to Economics. The thing is that I quite enjoy learning about the ways in which Businesses fail or succeed and why. Is this part of what overlaps in Economics? Also, I have been told that there is not much difference between the Business Studies A level and GCSE. Is this true? I have not done it for GCSE, as it was not offered however, I am slightly worried as it seems the material is slightly limited. Is Economics a better idea for me? Also, what exactly does Economics entail? Is it quite historical, with many numbers involved, or about how changes in society affect the economy?
    Please get back to me soon, I am honestly quite worried!

  2. why should i choose economics over business?
    i have studied business at GCSE level and thoroughly enjoyed it
    however i recently was sent an article from the bbc saying that business alevel would be regarded as a “soft subject”.
    what am i to choose?
    if you could get back to me a.s.a.p with any help it would be much apperciated.

  3. If i can’t get into the sixth form that does economics on its own as an A level i’ll will have to stay on at the school i am already at, only there only business and economics is offered. I am wondering whether to both at all because i am doing business at a level and i have heard the two are similar. I am also worried that it won’t be considered as a good a level by univerisites. What do you think the universities will think of business and economics?

  4. i am doing both economics as well as business studies althuogh they are smiler i do not have an interest in other options being offered! will this turn out to be a disadvantage when it comes to being accepted by a university? please reply soon

  5. Some universities don’t mind if you do both economics and business studies A Level. They treat them as separate A Level. However, I believe there are a few who don’t like students to do both. The best thing is to check with the universities you are thinking of applying to.

  6. i am reely confused about wat to take in my A level… I am confused among Business Studies and Economics…. People told me that economics is preferred more to business studies at universities….. i am extremely worried abt this matter coz my AS level exam is on june nd still i cant decide which subject to take…..
    So i will be really grateful if u give me a solution to my problem….. plz do it as soon as possible….

  7. i myself am choosing A level subjects to take next year and after doing quanities of research especially on the internet and recent articles on the ‘Times’ I have heard Economics is a stronger subject. The difference between Economics and Business Studies does exist, but Economics is acemically stronger and harder from what I have been told. Depending on which University you may wish to go to depends largely on which subject is going to be most appropriate to study but if you are looking at the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, and other top universities I would acknowledge that if you wish to progress to anything business related as a degree, Economics would be highly useful.

  8. To what tejvan said, does this only apply to the A-levels? For example, I have studied GCSE Business Studies then Economics A-level, how would this be looked at?

  9. In my research into top university courses (top 15 in England) I’ve found that two of these unis are explicitly clear about business studies being a soft subject. Therefore, choose according to the university you want to go to …e.g don’t take business studies if you want half a chance of getting into LSE!

  10. hi im in yr 10 and my current chosen subjects for next year are:

    maths extension
    english extension

    I’m worried that my subjects will be to hard for me but i was recommended to do all of them. I’m pretty good with essay writing so do you think economics is right for me or should i change from economics and physics to modern history and business?

  11. I personally think that Business Studies is a more useful subject. Economics is about saving the world. And many of us cannot do that. Yes, there is a slight overlap between business and economics, but students learn far more in Buisness Studies than in Economics.

  12. Dreamers. No true academic thinks that business studies is hardere than economics. B.S is a black and white subject, no discussion, no theory, no real analysis.

  13. I think that studying economics is the same of studyind business. if Im wrong please tell me what is the right.
    thank you very much.

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