Why you should study Economics at Warwick
At a time when most of you are making your university decisions, I thought it would be useful to give you my opinion on why you should study economics at Warwick. First, I’m going to talk about why you should study at Warwick (this is for all prospective students!) and then I’ll tell you why economics at Warwick. I hope this helps you make up your mind and for those of you that have decided and are coming to Warwick, welcome! I hope you’ll love it!
As an international student, one of the main considerations I had was location. Location can decide the community and vibe of the university, so it was a very important factor for me. Deciding between a campus university and a city university helped me narrow down my options and here I’m going to explain my thought process. I felt that a campus university was better suited for me because I wanted to have that tight knit student community. To me, although Warwick is a campus university, it kind of gives the best of both worlds due to its perfect location. I like that it is a campus university and has an enclosed university space where every student lives together (at least in first year!). This gave me wonderful opportunities to meet people as you are always around students, be it your flatmates, your course-mates or just anyone you see on campus! It does lead to a bit of a campus bubble and that appealed to me but if that puts you off, let me explain why I said it’s the best of both worlds. Warwick is conveniently placed in between Coventry and Leamington Spa, which both offer a lot. Coventry is bigger and has more shopping, restaurants, nightlife and is generally more bustling while Leamington Spa is the perfect student town (and a very popular choice for second year!) with a good amount of shops, restaurants, a cinema and two of Warwick’s most popular clubs! If that wasn’t enough, Birmingham and London aren’t too far away from Warwick, each only about an hour by public transport. It’s also not too far to go to Oxford, which was great for me as I could go visit my friend there!
Besides this, another consideration as an international student was how international Warwick would be. If you’re thinking about this, fear not! Warwick is very international and multicultural, so I felt comfortable from the get-go. There are the many obvious ways of learning more and getting involved with British culture but there are also many cultural societies that would help you find your own culture at Warwick. For example, I have been a part of Warwick India Forum since the beginning of first year which helped me meet other Indians. I also attended events by the Warwick Hindu Society where I could meet other like-minded people. As I live in Germany, I wanted to also find a way to practise my German, which could’ve happened through a language module or through the German Speaking Society (GSS)! I didn’t end up doing either of these but it’s an option for anyone considering it.
Now, coming to my department and my own degree, I think Warwick’s Economics department is amazing and deserves its great reputation. When I was making my university applications and decision, I chose Warwick Economics because of its reputation and high ranking in the UK but I also did some research into the course and modules offered across the three years. I really liked that economics at Warwick was more mathematical (which can be seen from the fact that it’s a BSc!). This starts from first year, through the EC120 module, which includes EC123 (Mathematics), EC124 (Statistics) and EC125 (Computing and Data Analysis). Second year is definitely mathematics-heavy with the Econometrics module and this was something that appealed to me. I also liked the flexibility offered in third year, because you can choose almost all your modules and you have the opportunity to do some undergraduate research through a dissertation in Applied Economics. Further, the modules offered for optional modules are also varied, allowing you to design your course in whatever way you want.
Once I came to Warwick, the academics here confirmed that I made the right choice. All the lecturers were extremely knowledgeable, and I personally liked that most of the core modules started from the basics. This was true not just for macro and micro but also for maths and stats which helped students from all backgrounds, regardless of whether you did IB or A-levels or any other system. I am an IB student but due to the courses offered at my school, I couldn’t do IB Economics. However, this didn’t disadvantage me in any way as the modules start from the basics and also because, as course-mates told me, university economics is different from A-level economics. For example, microeconomics at Warwick is structured like a 2-year course across first and second year, meaning the syllabus is different from high school anyway. I also really enjoyed my optional modules with my favourite module being Industrial Strategy.
I also want to add that the Economics department provides great academic support for students from all backgrounds. In EC104 (Economic History), our first assignment was a group essay. At first, I was very confused and incredulous – how could we write an essay in a group? But once the rationale was clear, I actually appreciated the learning process. Doing it in a group helped international students and those who hadn’t necessarily written many essays in high school. While I can’t say I would recommend it, I did learn from the experience which helped me do well in the second assignment of an individual essay. I also liked that we had opportunities to work with real world data through our group projects in computing and macroeconomics (although I complained and procrastinated when I actually had to do the assignments, oops!). In general, I appreciate that we have the seminar tutors that we can go to for any help and of course, your personal tutor. There are also drop-in sessions for almost every module, where you can go work on any problem sets and seek help from tutors.
Looks like I’ve almost written an essay here, so I’m going to stop but I hope this gives you a better idea of the economics department and Warwick itself! If any of you have any questions, send me a message and I’ll be happy to help! Also keep an eye out for my next post on how to prepare for your economics degree!