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Guidance Notes on UCAS

Information on applying for economics degrees and on building a strong platform for applications to the UK and overseas

Geoff Riley FRSA
Eton College and Co-Founder of tutor2u

Easter 2012 Edition
Section 1: Introduction to UCAS – Building Blocks to Choosing a Degree

ac.edu/ www.ac.econ.ac.uk/ and www.brown.uk/econ-dev/ www.warwick.aspx (BSc): www.uk/admissions/undergraduate_courses/index.princeton.ex.uk/study/meetLSE/studyAtLSEvideos.ac.uk/courses/ppec.ac.ac.ncl.html www.economics.bath.uk/academic/economics/ www.uk/home/StudyatQueens/UndergraduateStudents/ www.ac.ac.uk/undergraduate/index.uk/prospect/ba/index.uk/fac/soc/Economics/ www.ac.uk/depts/econ/ www.economics.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/courses_e. A Selection of Economics Faculties: Click on the links to access the economics faculty web sites Bath Birmingham Bristol Cambridge Durham Edinburgh Exeter Lancaster Leeds Liverpool London School of Economics Manchester Newcastle Nottingham www.2 First.st-and.cam.aspx www.bham.uk/economics.uk/economics/undergraduate/prospective www.ox.html Oxford (General) Oxford (PPE) Queen’s (Belfast) Royal Holloway (London) Southampton St Andrews UCL Warwick York Trinity College Dublin Columbia (New York) Brown (Economics) Harvard (Economics) Princeton (Economics) Yale (Economics) Stanford (Economics) www.lancs.bristol.shtml www.ac.edu/cu/economics/ www.aspx www.ucl.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy/courses/economics/ba-economics.yale. Here are some links to economics departments of many of the leading UK and overseas universities.ac.dur.ac.ac.html and www2.nottingham.ac.econ.southampton.rhul.ac.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 .uk/study/ugpr.ac. have a look at the UCAS web site www.uk/departments/economics/ http://lubswww.lse.edu/Departments/Economics/ www.finance/ www.uk/economics/prospectivestudents/home.ac.admissions.uk/index.economics.tcd.ed.uk/economics/undergraduate/ www.edu/ www.uk/ and http://econ.ac.php?id=55 www.lums.htm http://econ.uk www.uk/undergraduate/course/L100/economics (BA): www.econ.stanford.edu/ http://economics.uk/undergraduate/ www.ac.ac.ac.lse.ac.lse.ac.york.cam.aspx Oxford (Econ & Management) www. send off for your own copy of a favoured university prospectus that can be browsed at leisure.ox.columbia.edu/site-map Geoff Riley (tutor2u) .econ.ac.shtml www.socialsciences.uk/economics/ www. New editions can be ordered online from each of the universities.liv.qub.harvard.uk Second.uk/disciplines/economics/ www.uk/schools-departments/economics/ www.ac.sobe.ox.ac.ac.ie/Economics/ www.leeds.uk/ugstudy/courses/economics/bsc-economics.ucas.ac.manchester.

prospects.containing lots of updated resources for students during the current UCAS round Complete university guide – information on economics and related subjects available here: www.3 Links to Alternative University Information and Careers Advice: Guardian Univ Guide: Independent: Open Days Prospects: www.uk/higher/ www.com/ www.php/economics/C561/ .guardian.thecompleteuniversityguide.this is a good site for background on university courses and there are some well made videos from current economics undergraduates.uk/single. Tutor2u UCAS Blog: http://tutor2u.uk/ .htm?ipg=8823 Thinking Skills Assessment: www.ac.co.net/blog/index.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 .independent.co.uk/adt/ Guardian university rankings for 2012 Take these league tables with a pinch of salt – but they can be a useful starting point – here is the most recent Guardian assessment of the top university faculties for Economics Geoff Riley (tutor2u) .org.uk/education/universityguide http://education.uk More useful links     Why Study Economics: http://whystudyeconomics.opendays.admissionstests.ac.cambridgeassessment.co.

and a wide–ranging interest in the evolution of the global economy.1% across their top 3 AS subjects Cambridge is looking for students with the intellectual curiosity to investigate contemporary and historical patterns of economic behaviour.   Conditional Offers and Recent Advice (updated: February 2012) For competitive courses in 2012 – single Honours economics will require at least one A*at A2 – probably Maths. you might study Law or Management Studies in 3rd year o o o Durham: Typical offer A2: A*AA.g. Philosophy. one 15 minute general). Warwick. C2. AAA offer Business Administration (Sandwich) Birmingham: Typical offer: A2: AAA. Further Maths and Economics.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . Geography. For Economics and Management: AAA including AAAA in C1. LSE and Oxford Econ & Management o o o Bath: Typical offer: A2: A*AA. St John's College made offer in Economics of A*A*A (in Maths. Economics and Politics AAA including A in C3 and C4 Maths o Bristol is more likely to make you an offer if you are studying Further Mathematics within the context of four recognized A-level subjects. Durham’s PPE admissions advisor wants students to be taking four A2 subjects Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . Likewise . The vast majority of offers for economics at Cambridge require A2 grades of A*AA but for 2012. You should also have good quantitative skills and an interest in applying mathematical and statistical tools to the analysis of economic issues Their Tripos system is flexible – e. History. Some pure mathematics (mainly calculus) is needed for econ theory which is compulsory in the first year (1/6th of the first year course). You are strongly advised to take Further Maths for Cambridge.Economics with Study in Continental Europe (4 years) A*AA. a Modern Language and also Politics. In December 2011. Maths or a comprehension/ submitted work. Further details are likely to be given out at the official university / faculty open days For many of the top courses. Cambridge require you to submit AS module scores and as a rule of thumb you should be scoring at lest 93% in each of your AS module units. at Selwyn College 8 successful applicants (out of 89) averaged 97. AAB for Business Management Bristol: Typical offer A2: A*AA including AAAA in C1.4 Section 2: Studying Economics – Courses and Conditional Offers  Economics can be studied either as a single honours subject or in combination with other subjects (these are known as joint honours courses). Check carefully to see what options are available. Economics BA (Honours) and for Business Economics. Clare College made offer of A*AA (with A* in Maths or Economics) o o Each college adopts a different entry procedure: all have interviews (one 25-30 minute subject specific. C3 and C4. For Econ and Finance A*AA offers made for 2012. Mathematics and Economics A2 is required at grade A or above. GCSE Mathematics grade A if not offered at AS or A2 level. For single honours Economics it is rare to apply without an A grade in single Maths. C2. For Combined Social Sciences (Econ + Geography) typical offer is A*AA o You will need an A* in Maths for Economics but don’t bother applying for PPE if you are doing Double Maths as they think this shows too narrow a focus. Course requirements vary by institution and these can change from year to year – you are advised to contact the university department concerned for precise information before applying. Engineering and Management. UCL. Thousands of students each year combine Economics with Maths. Most of the mathematics will not be harder than you would find in Further Maths A-level o o City University: Typical A2 offer: Economics: AAB Cambridge: A-level Maths is essential for those applying for entry. Law. some have tests: TSA. a top grade in Further Maths is recommended to give your application a stronger chance. C3 and C4.

and by using "regression analysis" they produce an "algorithm". plus a pass in a further subject at AS level.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 .they read the Personal Statement excruciatingly carefully TSA exam is crucially important for Oxford E&M and also for PPE (read below):  They look at your public exam grades and your TSA score and your school reference. They also prefer to see subject combinations which demonstrate both analytical and writing abilities. They make 2. They then rank all the candidates.htm Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . from which they give each candidate a score. You can study the same modules as the PPE Edinburgh: Typical A2 offer: AAB: Single Honours Economics: Maths: Maths AS or A-level desirable. The TSA is the major component here When final decisions are being made about marginal candidates.5 o o o If you aren’t taking four subjects to A2. You must have A/A* in GCSE Maths. Development and Economics AAB. Business and Management offer: AAA Leeds: Typical A2 offer is AAA for most Economics options including Management. Management Studies: AAA o o o o o o Oxford (Economics and Management): o Typical A level offer: AAA. 4 A level subjects: AABB including A level Mathematics at grade B or above St Andrew’s: Typical A2 offer for single honours Economics is AAA UCL: Typical A2 offer for Economics: A*AA in the first sitting. LSE put a HUGE emphasis on the UCAS statement.uk/courses/undergradstudy/introduction. but it is not necessary to have studied even single Maths to apply for Economics and Government. An A in Maths at GCSE is required.cam. to include grade A* in Mathematics (and grade A in Economics if taking this subject). For Oxford. consider applying for the Combined Social Sciences degree which has more places and is fine with 3 A2 subjects. Students with interests in economic geography. Candidates are required to have Mathematics to A-level. Economics and Politics offer: AAB. www. the economics of real estate and in environmental and property law will be attracted to Land Economy. Economics and Finance AAB Newcastle: Typical A2 offer: AAB excluding General Studies. GCSE Maths grade A and English grade B Nottingham: o o o For the BA and BSC Honours Economics: Typical A2 offer is A*AA and for those taking four full A2 subjects (not including general studies) A*ABB. Warwick: Typical A2 offer: A*AAB .5 offers for every place they actually have Manchester: Typical A2: Economics AAB. environmental economics. Exeter: Typical A2 offer: Economics A*AA: Selectors prefer applicants to be offering grade A at GCE A level Mathematics.ac. Reading)  Its two primary disciplines are law and economics.For applications to 'L100 Economics' or 'L112 Economics and Industrial Organization' you must obtain a minimum grade A in A2 level Maths. For Economics and Econometrics an A in A2 Maths or equivalent is required Economics with Hispanic Studies (4 years) A*AA. it is all about the interviews and the personal statement o  o o o o o o o Oxford (PPE): Typical A2 offer: AAA (Maths and History are helpful but not essential) Queen Mary London: Typical A2 offer: Economics AAA Royal Holloway: Typical A2 offer: Economics: AAB. AAB for Economics and Maths London School of Economics (LSE): Further Maths is a must for Economics L100.landecon. candidates' work experience and "extended projects" almost irrelevant . Economics with Politics: ABB Southampton: Typical A2 offer: 3 A level subjects: AAA including A level Mathematics. A*AAa for those taking 3 A2 subjects Land Economy (Cambridge.

their main concern is your intellectual / academic potential. show awareness of the big changes happening in the world! Focusing your UCAS statement Your UCAS personal statement should be at least 80% about commitment to a subject and must demonstrate evidence of having gone well beyond the syllabus.e. This will give you breadth of awareness and it will undoubtedly improve your written work in your final papers Your UCAS form is stronger if you include evidence of diverse reading with personal thoughts and reflections on how this reading has enriched your understanding of a subject. The normal requirement for undergraduate applicants to Land Economy is A*AA at A level. take issue with your teachers and explore different arguments – don’t take a back seat.org/ Watch TED talks and talks from the Royal Society of Arts and the London School of Economics Read up on critical thinking / thinking skills Get involved in school societies and make contact with visiting speakers – follow them on Twitter or draw on some of their most recent articles and books – this is a great way to immerse yourself in a subject Enter essay competitions such as the one organized by the Royal Economic Society o RES Essay competition for 2012 – details here: http://tutor2u. curiosity and passion for your chosen subject disciplines compared with other students applying for a course. don’t be a passive student – it will help you in interviews and later on in university seminars and improve your self-confidence Explore areas of the subject beyond the syllabus such as game theory and behavioural economics Explore opportunities for work experiences with different organizations and people . Develop your own personal learning network using blogs and twitter – for example by following and engaging in discussions with subject experts Websites such as Project Syndicate are superb: http://www.” Good advice. not just focused on the UK. with a local newspaper or new business start-up is more valuable than a week sat with boring people in an investment banking office or a firm of accountants! Travel and seek to understand more about the social – economic – political and historical background of the countries that you are visiting. with a commitment to independent study.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 o o o .net/blog/index.the more diverse the experience – the better. Blog about your experiences and your views. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . Working for a charity. Check to see which UK and US universities are organizing summer schools and apply early! Challenge the conventional wisdom in the classroom – try to question what is being taught.6  The University of Cambridge Land Economy faculty admits around 60 undergraduates per year. The Department does not require applicants to have taken any particular subjects prior to joining Section 3: Tips on Strengthening a University Application   For the majority of university admissions tutors. commitment.project-syndicate. perhaps contributing to school-based magazines or other student publications.php/economics/C572 o o Get involved with summer schools that give you fresh insights into subjects you want to take further. i. One admissions tutor said: “we look for intellectual curiosity and a wide-ranging view of the subject. Enrichment and Extension Activities in your Subjects Here is some advice on improving the quality of your application – assuming that you have the grades o Independent enrichment reading o o o o o o o o Try to read articles from a quality newspaper every day. Read up about them.

7 o Attend outside lectures and other events – look for lectures made available to the general public at your local universities or academic organizations: In London for example: o o LSE Public Lectures: www2.lse.thersa.org/events Geoff Riley (tutor2u) .uk/publicEvents/eventsHome.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 .aspx RSA Events: www.ac.

What it was about that work experience or voluntary work that (specifically) interested you? Any academic competitions you've entered.Your Academic and Intellectual Curiosity     Books that you have read. and seminars have you attended? Who gave them? What impressed you? What did you take from them? Paragraph 4 . every course at every university has an Entry Profile.Has taking it to A2 level confirmed you want to take it even further? Be specific .Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . what did you write about? What did you learn? What extra courses.talk about how you reached your decision to study this subject How has it been sustained? . Entry profiles will give a clear statement of the essential and preferred subjects at A2 and AS. Your positions of responsibility or occasions when you've led teams. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . Try to think about your independent reading. summer schools.give an example of something in the course that's really fired your interest Paragraph Two . bands.Extra Curricular . skills. a chance to show critical thought The recent developments in your subject that has caught your eye. Entry Profiles On the UCAS website. A Target for the 2012 AS Exams In AS papers this year. and which articles in particular have interested you? How have you carried this interest forward? If you refer to something you have read. certain courses may specify required additional tests. aim for an average of at least 93% in each module and 100% in as many papers as you can. accessible when you either search for a course or search for a university.8 Section 4: Writing a Personal Statement for Economics   They are a crucial piece of evidence alongside projected grades and reference They must be personal. they must convey genuine enthusiasm for the subject! First paragraph    What sparked your interest? . a brief synopsis and explain what it was about that book that you liked/seemed relevant to you and your course. For example. If you can. to deadlines.Related interest in your subject     The work experience or voluntary work has you done. as well as the grades and other requirements universities are looking for from applicants. choirs. Your orchestras. say what you think of it. Have you studied developments in behavioural economics? Or read different books on globalisation and the financial crisis? Paragraph Three . Give the title. the author. and why do you give it so much space in your life? Why you think these qualities will make you a good undergraduate? Some areas of your life that show you can work under pressure. and how you have continued to excel in that area.the subliminal messages        The sports you do and the level. Why do you like that particular journal. recommended evidence of relevant work experience and so on. Any scholarships you have. try to get to the heart of what the book was about. lectures. societies and say why you like them. or take issue with it The journals or magazines or blogs you've read or follow. What did you learn from it? What takes up your free time. as well as specifying what grades are required.

“History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time. and not entirely due to British incompetence. I am interested in a broad range of historical topics including the Anglo-Zulu war. and the innate differences between the North and South. South Africa. From here I will have the opportunity to visit both the Boer and AngloZulu War battlefields. but tries to give an accurate account based on limited sources.” This is because the breadth of the subject means that the historian can never be certain of what happened. I have enjoyed reading Gary Sheffield’s controversial book. I would relish the opportunity to study a history course that is Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . Forgotten Victory. to see how people behaved in the past presents us an opportunity to think how we behave. which was a rewarding and useful experience. My interest in history stemmed from its capacity to develop awareness of differing political. I was also able to research Parliamentary debates from 1775 at the House of Lords Record Office. For three months I plan to do voluntary work in a Game Reserve in Natal Province. I have attended two talks by David Rattray. In this essay I drew on examples from history as a means to explore what may be justified in the future. a book which gave great significance to the political philosophy of the revolution. social and economic structures. I was particularly interested by Bernard Bailyn’s book ‘The ideological origins of the American Revolution’. To me the most appropriate definition is that offered by Cicero. Though more of a synopsis of American history up to the early twentieth century it offers an interesting overview and a good description of the Civil War. Since coming to the school I have gained an internal scholarship based on exam results. I have been appointed Secretary of the History Society of my school. Both the editor of The Guardian and The Telegraph has come offering their views of the role of the media in society. is particularly appealing. I was interested by the notion offered that the war represented the greatest military victory in British history and that the First World War was as war that Britain had to fight. who spoke about the Western Front in World War One. Looking at key events in history. These talks on the Anglo-Zulu war interested me because of their focus on the battle of Isandlwana being a great victory for the Zulus. I undertook the reading of The Great Republic –A History of America by Sir Winston Churchill. such as the Industrial Revolution. Recently I have entered the Birley prize for an historical essay written and researched entirely independently. The opportunity to gain some understanding of other cultures should enhance my ability as an historian. cultural. Following this talk I visited the battlefield’s of the Somme to gain a better understanding of the war. When studying the Causes of the American Civil War. This was particularly evident when studying the causes of the American Civil War.9 Section 5: Sample Personal Statements Statement 1: History (Oxford) History is an enormously difficult subject to define. I chose the topic of The Olive Branch Petition and the American War of Independence. The Oxford history course’s broad chronological sweep and geographical range. A particularly memorable speaker was Professor Richard Holmes. In this position I am able meet a number of significant political figures. the First World War and the American Revolution. Last year I won the lower-sixth Divinity prize. As I am young for the year I probably need to take a Gap year. I concluded that to hold back human development for the sake of future generations would be a mistake. History is something with which to think with.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . My interest in Politics led to my appointment as Vice-President of the schools Political Society. I have also won three History prizes in exams as well as in several other subjects. one at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and the other at the Royal Geographical Society. My inquisitive nature is a main factor in my desire to study history. including topics such as Spain and America in the 16th Century.

I am scheduled to talk at the College society on how the two can be compatible yet contradictory depending on their conception. I volunteered as a primary classroom assistant and had work experience at Freshfields law firm.10 not focussed merely on British and European histories. College Politics prize) discussed how conservatism is a positional attitude driven by fear of change rather than an ideology. Then. While reading Harford it dawned on me that there is an economist in each of us. Philosophy enables us to think critically about some of life's deepest questions and provides the economist and the politician with a moral compass. visited the Houses of Parliament and witnessed proceedings of the Newham Council. In my paper 'It's the Economy.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . I enjoy running the College Economics Society. School Council Chair and jazz band member. In a lecture on the Arab Spring I attended at the LSE. I have been selected as a London 2012 Young Leader and host community events associated with the Olympic Games. However. which I taught in a Socratic style. I explored the idea in my article 'sKOOLonomics' by examining how students use economic thinking to make rational decisions in school situations. The Economist. politics and philosophy. Stupid' I argued that politicians must address the economic aspirations of a society to get elected. My other involvements and responsibilities included positions as Deputy Head Boy. in my essay 'Tragedy behind the School Gates' I investigated the paradox in the Prisoner's Dilemma of how reason can be self-destructive and discussed measures to promote cooperative behaviour. I complemented my experiences and studies by reading Woolf's Introduction to Political Philosophy. senior politicians and media. I attended his exhibition 'Picturing Philosophers' which inspired me to design 'Walk with Philosophers'. I am a Committee Member of the College Political Society. a new course for the Newham Summer School. Statement 2: PPE (Oxford) When I was fifteen years old. I echoed Mervyn King's fear of a repeat of the financial crisis and considered how government response has not fully addressed issues such as banks being too important to fail and deep-rooted global imbalances. Dr Lisa Anderson cautioned against placing too much emphasis on the causal relationship between poverty of the masses and political unrest: ideologies play a role. having read Liberty and Equality edited by Machan. This initiative helped me do well at school: youngest Chief Editor of the school magazine. Having read Warburton's Introduction to Philosophy. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . debating and writing an online blog. I experienced some of the links between economics. I have met leading politicians. Debate Chamber's Philosophy Summer School and a Harvard online course on Justice enhanced my thinking. economic reforms are being undermined by politics. Having had a small sample of the tutorial system at my school. However. interacting with the experts and learning from them. I had the privilege of being elected Deputy Young Mayor of the London Borough of Newham. I agree with Rajan's analysis that serious 'Fault Lines' lay not in economics but in politics. Outside College I have taught debating at an Oxbridge Summer School. highest achieving GCSE student in the borough and a Sixth Form Scholarship for state school pupils to Eton College. These experiences have strengthened my organisational skills and ability to work to tight schedules. in the context of the sovereign debt crisis. At College I revived the Debating Society. In 'King's Speech' (highly commended in the 2011 RES essay competition). I feel that I would benefit enormously and gain much enjoyment from such a system. This encouraged me to think and engage in discussion. reading The Times. energising my decision to pursue the subjects academically. GCSE History lessons and other workshops. I enhanced my abilities through self-study. My essay 'Fear is the Key' (winner. hosted Berkshire Schools debating competition and was ranked in the top twelve at England Schools 2012 Debating Team Trials. Engaging with the electorate.

you will get a true sense of his commitment to academic excellence all of which is balanced and blended with a delightful lightness of touch and integrity in his day-to-day work within the school community. It was no surprise that he emerged from his AS exams (taken at the age of 17) with a clean sweep of top grades and we have no doubt that Student A will reach the highest standards in his 2010 papers.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . When time allows you can find Student A attending society meetings – from Politics and Philosophy to Science . He carries this pursuit of interesting ideas into the schoolroom where he does not seek to dominate discussion for its own sake. We have a long-standing tradition of encouraging students to stretch their academic wings by entering an eclectic mix of essay competitions in different subject domains. He has a natural gift for absorbing complex issues with the minimum of fuss and in developing a narrative and sustaining an argument with a telling phrase or supporting evidence.and as a leader in the development of a new school group – the International Forum. He is without doubt an outstanding academic leader in a fine school. At GCSE.11 Statement 3: Teacher Reference for Harvard (Economics) Note: Applications to the US differ from the UK system – seek special advice from your school / college on SATs exams and other aspects of the process. Academic results Since arriving at Eton Student A has occupied a lofty place in our internal academic rankings. full of genuine insight and beautifully easy to follow. Beyond the classroom Student A has managed to achieve all of this without compromising for a second his outstanding contributions to the broader life of the school. His written work for me is accomplished. My hope is that. Deputy-Governor of the Bank of England and one of the judges had commented that Student A’s essay was the most well written answer he had seen from over five hundred submitted. instead he chooses his moment to capture the essence of an issue. This student-run body invites external speakers and Student A and his team has already arranged a program of meetings that is unparalleled in my ten years at the school. Student A is an exceptional young man with a breath-taking range of academic and whole school talents and interests. Student A will receive his award from Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University at a special lecture this coming November. This is an example of a reference written for a student seeking an early-application place at a top US university and key is the range and depth of the activities and achievements that a referee can point to within the body of the application. In the last year alone he has won school prizes in Economics. I was delighted to appoint Student A as Secretary of the school’s Keynes (Economics) Society. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . contributing articles as well as editing the contributions of his peers. He has been awarded straight Distinctions in our end-of-term exams winning a scholarship along the way. Student A has also been editor of Etonomics – our in-house economics magazine. Earlier this year Student A entered for the Newcastle Scholarship – a grueling three-day exam that tested his understanding of the writings of Kant. Student A appreciates the value of these meetings and he builds a first-rate rapport with our guests during their time at Eton. At the same time he was researching an essay for the Royal Economic Society’s annual competition on the intriguing title “Are economic recessions inevitable?” A few weeks later we learned that his essay had been awarded third place nationally and that Charles Bean. French and Physics. as my reference pans out. I recommend him to you in the strongest possible terms and I do so without reservation. Student A was a natural choice to be included in Sixth Form Select – an elite group of our most academic students that meets regularly to read and dissect essays written by members of the group. Student A secured the highest possible set of results and he was also placed in the top ten in the United Kingdom for his performance in Biology and Chemistry.

12 We are proud of the range of activities that students at Eton can get involved with and Student A has entered into the spirit of these opportunities with gusto and relish. He devotes one afternoon a week to our Social Service program helping to care for elderly stroke victims at a local Concern Centre. shooting and school tennis. In twenty years as a Head of Faculty at two of the top academic schools in the United Kingdom. his talents at the latter gave him the opportunity to attend a school tennis training camp in Florida last Easter. Geoff Riley FRSA Eton College Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . dance and film events.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . Our school has provided Student A with a wonderful and eclectic balance of life opportunities that are difficult to find elsewhere and he has set a terrifically high standard in the schoolroom whilst savoring and contributing richly across a broad canvas of other activities. the axiom to which I supposed we are all subscribed’. I have no doubt that Student A will do the same at university for his sense of collegiality is embedded deeply in everything he does. he has written that the experience ‘devastated my perception of equality. beyond Eton’s doors. Embracing the triumph of the city From where does Student A draw the energy to do all of these things? He clearly has exceptional organizational skills because. This summer Student A spent several weeks in Tanzania. He has read Candide in French and is currently enjoying the works of Philip Pullman and the writings of the renowned development economist Jeffrey Sachs. This was truly a life-changing period for Student A. He has played violin in our Concert Orchestra. Outward Bound events and he has found time to complete his Drivers License in quick order! You will relieved to know that Student A still has time at the end of the day to dive into a good book. Expressed simply Student A is absolutely outstanding and I am delighted to offer this reference to you in support of his application. His inter-personal skills are of the highest order and his intellectual curiosity and drive to understanding more about an ever changing and turbulent world order will lead him into even more areas of academic debate and discourse. He can be found playing soccer for his house on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and he has also tried his hand at rowing. He has also completed a summer sculpture course in the capital and he has enjoyed completing sailing training in Norway. I have rarely come across someone with such a range of interests and talents. first working at Mvumi School where he taught English and Accounting and then a week at the Tanzanian central bank in Dar El Salam. joined the chorus in a house production of the Threepenny Opera and he had helped form a team for the house close harmony competition. he makes frequent trips to London’s South Bank to attend theatre. He is now deeply interested in the complex inter-relationships between politics and economic and social policy-making and it will be fascinating to see where this new focus takes him in the months and years to come.

Leonard Mlodinow's "The Drunkards Walk" gave me an insight into how ineffective the human brain is at understanding probability and statistics which can explain why many of the irrational choices we make are governed by the view that these instincts are in fact rational. I enjoy the responsibility of organising house games. For me. on the committee of the Model United Nations. I worked for African Access Holdings (Pty) Ltd for 3 weeks. which is so relevant to every choice I make. I researched and wrote an essay for the school's Economics prize on the importance of urbanisation to provide the high density living that is required to spark innovation. At school. captaining my house football and cricket teams while also representing the school in both sports. examined by Professor Paul Collier. I ended up winning 1st prize for this competition. Since taking up Economics at AS level. "The Art of Strategy" by Dixit and Nalebuff was one of the most useful books I read in relation to this subject as use the of extensive case studies practically demonstrates the principles of Game Theory to everyday human decision making. it is becoming increasingly important from an environmental stand point in order to reduce the future carbon footprint of developing countries such as China and India. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . one cannot ignore the impact of economic policies on all our lives.13 Statement 4: Economics and Management (Oxford) It is difficult to think of a more important and interesting time to study and understand Economics. I am Secretary of the Advertising Society. Furthermore.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . I concluded from this research that urbanisation is one of the most important factors for continued growth due to the increased creativity and enterprise experienced in high density locations. what makes the subject so fascinating is its dynamic nature due to the irrational actions and decisions of the global populace. I found the work rewarding as an experience which gave me an insight into how complicated the workings of the market are. I am looking forward to the challenging nature of an Economics and Management course as it will allow me to study the theory which fascinates me in tandem with the practical side of economics. I was fascinated to find that even this irrationality can be modelled and calculated through the application of Game Theory which has become something in which I'm especially interested. To develop my understanding of this subject. and ultimately fuel growth. Over the summer I spent 2 weeks working for Ceres Fund Ltd. I also managed a shop on Portobello High Street which was interesting to experience first-hand the role of economic theory in practical situations. Furthermore. boost productivity. the Psychology Society and the Entrepreneurship Society as well as being Secretary of the more informal Meditation Society. This is what draws me to the subject. As the coalition government embarks on the biggest spending cuts since the time of Thatcher and the world looks set to plunge back into recession through the instability within the Euro Zone. reinforcing all that I have learnt of the irrationality of most consumer choices. being seconded to a group company specialising in travel and event managing. As a mathematician. Furthermore. my main interest has lain with the evolution of innovation which is especially apparent in the past century. This was a particularly enlightening experience as it made me aware of the importance of such demanding managerial structures in larger companies. "The Rational Optimist" by Matt Ridley is a book that addresses the adaptability of the human race to overcome the obstacles of the past and argues for optimism when looking to the future as human ingenuity and innovation will provide a basis for continued growth despite issues like food shortages and strained resource supply. In this book Mlodinow shows through the manipulation of statistics that the chaos of randomness can be understood through awareness of the chance affecting our decisions.

I will be teaching in Tanzania for three months from next April. which introduced me to the intriguing manner in which psychology affects the performance of the macro economy. I have extended my knowledge of different areas of Economics by reading the Financial Times and The Economist.14 Statement 5: Economics – Cambridge I first became aware of the importance of Economics when I represented Iraq at a Model United Nations conference in Edinburgh. I debated issues ranging from the problem of aid dependence to the economic impact of terrorism. My belief that it is necessary to adopt a bottom-up approach to improving living standards of citizens in developing countries was reinforced by reading ‘The White Man’s Burden’ by William Easterly. I am keen to make the most of the opportunities that a university education can offer. cultural and moral influences promoting altruism. Since then. leading us to question how rational we are and how useful the assumption of self-interest is. In my gap year. Monetarist and Austrian ideas. with the exciting possibility of undertaking fieldwork in India. as they have done in the developed world. I am eager to develop my Mathematical skills and their application to Economics at University. As the secretary of my school’s Economics Society. I am working as an economic research assistant for the International Growth Centre (at the invitation of Professor Tim Besley) in a team planning to measure private returns to education. I found that much debate surrounding development is concerned with the time frame in which transitions towards market-based economies occur. education is the best remedy available to improve global living standards. given the strong social. In my view. In my essay for the RES Young Economist of the Year Competition.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . Recent turmoil in the global economy led me to read 'Animal Spirits' by Akerlof and Shiller. I have raised $12 000 to help educate orphan girls from the Masaai tribe in Tanzania. My interest in microfinance came from reconciling this approach to development with the improvement of economic freedoms and my entry for my school’s Economics prize focused on the recent boom in microfinance to fund small Indian businesses. burst and cause havoc. Through mountaineering expeditions to the Himalayas and the Andes. entitled "Are Economic Recessions Inevitable?” I argued that there was convincing evidence to suggest that underlying psychological factors. and won the “Best Delegate” award in the Economics Committee. including Keynesian. cause the business cycle. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . I concluded that regulation of microfinance lending should be increased to ensure that credit bubbles do not grow. via the market mechanism. My interest in Game Theory as a method for understanding strategic decision-making encouraged me to read ‘The Art of Strategy’ by Dixit and Nalebuff. and have enjoyed applying calculus to problems such as those encountered in constrained optimization. and by attending open lectures at the LSE and RSA. I have begun to explore rival theories of business cycles. I sought out inspiring speakers from varied academic and business backgrounds to enthuse budding economists from several local schools. This experience has helped to develop my organisational and time management skills. I am working through ‘Mathematics for Economics and Business’ by Ian Jacques. Since then. However. and hope one day to pursue a career in academia. rather than simply evaluating the benefits of free markets. The development of social capital appears to be a challenging but essential part of this process. rather than policy failures. Game Theory also appeals to me because it provides an opportunity to use my aptitude for Mathematics to analyse economic problems. I am intrigued by how empirical evidence seems to refute the assumptions of Rational Choice Theory. Amartya Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’ sparked my interest in the role of economic and social liberties to increase the advancement of poor countries.

it presented me with a new and more stimulating challenge. the culture. I have read short stories by Babel. one key to the progression of the Russian economy.000 for the Oxford Children’s hospital. Falstaff Catering. speak on the Russian economy. its politics and its economy. Tolstoy and Zoshenka. I am on the committee of the schools Keynes society and have seen successful entrepreneurs in Russia. I have been lucky enough to have the chance to work at the world’s largest oil broker. I was truly shocked by the conditions in which they had to live. PVM Oil Associates. I started a company last year. which is currently in its 3rd year of existence. and I hope to have the chance to study this period in greater detail.15 Statement 6: Russian at Oxford My original reason for studying Russian was because it made a change from my other subjects and although I had studied other languages. I have done volunteer work at both Comic and Sport relief. I am a keen sportsman. a story that provided an insight into Stalin’s infamous gulags. However. This summer I studied at the Moscow State University for 2 weeks. I have read Solzhenitsyn’s ‘One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich’. which provided catering for school run theatre productions.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . I have won the school Russian prize. I am also the editor of the school’s economics magazine. I used to compete in national skiing competitions. The more I studied Russian. and together we raised over £26. and have represented the school at Tennis. and entered the ALL Russian competition in 2007. which was great experience in working in all different areas of a very large company. as opposed to just reading about it in books. all of which have provided me with a taste of the literature which I hope to have the chance to study in the next few years. a period that I had previously studied in History. and I was able to gain an insight into the market for oil. Since taking up the subject at AS level I have grown interested in economics. but my own limited experience of Russian literature is what draws me to studying the course at university. my interest in the Russian language does not lie solely in the literature. Last year a friend and I climbed Mont Blanc. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . The AS course does not entail any literature unfortunately. and more recently the literature. my enthusiasm for which has inspired me to create a school ski team. I played in the 2nd XI football team in my second last year. which led to an in depth study of the Russian economy and its huge potential for growth in the next 50 years. I am very keen to improve both the fluency and accuracy of my Russian language skills. I have done a presentation on the rise of the BRIC countries. I have recently started reading ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I have taken an intensive Berlitz language course to improve the fluency of my spoken Russian. the more I became fascinated with the language. such as Shev Khemka. I have been appointed secretary of the school’s Slavonic society for 2007/8 and I am hoping to invite some intriguing speakers to enhance the awareness and popularity of both Russian language and culture within the school. which gave me the chance to experience Russian culture first hand. indeed it seems as though there has never been such an interesting time to study Russia.

I attended an internship programme at the TDP. The experience not only enabled me to realize what is required to enter the Thai Parliament – my definite ambition – but it also exposed the undeniable connections between the three disciplines. I am fascinated by the extent to which the simple price mechanism unconsciously affects numerous facets of our everyday lives and have extended my understanding of the subject through reading Sandelin’s A Short History of Economic Thought. Hodges’ Logic introduced me to formal logic. Bertrand Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy has given me a taste of the style and framework of original works of philosophy. Shadowing the current Thai Prime Minister also expanded my understanding of how leading a coalition government with a small majority forced him to resort to a cabinet government. Oxford Participating in an election campaign for the Thai Democrat Party (TDP) this summer has cemented my decision to apply for PPE. My enthusiasm and aptitude for philosophy are also reflected in me winning a school philosophy prize on the importance of doubt towards philosophy. I believe that I have demonstrated the all-round academic capabilities needed to cope with the broad nature of PPE. Outside the classroom. Taking part in the Mathematical Olympiad and my school Maths team that came 4th in the UK will also help me with the numerical skills required. Studying UK politics has allowed me to investigate the ideologies behind the UK parties’ policies in the general election. I also explored how ethics can enhance several areas of economics through Amartya Sen’s On Ethics and Economics and another prize essay. Not only was I often asked to defend the government’s handling of the recent demonstrations on ethical grounds during my encounters with the electorate. it is not exclusive owing to the universal ability to think. including the tableaux test for inconsistency. as well as to examine how far Parliament serves its purpose in the Westminster model. defending the PM’s refusal to give in to the protestors in order to avoid setting a precedent for ochlocracy over parliamentary democracy. such as Rousseau’s Social Contract. While Warburton’s Philosophy: The Basics provides an overview of major philosophical issues.16 Statement 7: Politics. Dixit and Nalebuff’s The Art of Strategy provide an intriguing insight into game theory and behavioural economics. including the possible trade-off between a quick economic recovery and a sustainable budget deficit – the topic of a recent school prize that I won. Philosophy and Economics. the pursuit of income equality was the subject of my essay for the Royal Economic Society’s competition. especially on aspects of epistemology. Geoff Riley (tutor2u) . having finished top of my year academically over the past 3 years. my organizational skills and responsibility are reflected in my appointments as an Academic Prefect and Head of the Scholar’s House.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . As for politics. My participation in the Dicey Conference at Oxford further expanded my knowledge of civil liberties. but the process of campaigning in deprived areas one day and in nearby up-market shopping complexes the next made me aware of how far inequality had helped to cause political instability in Thailand. Studying economics in the midst of the current financial crisis has led to me following many topical issues. Political philosophy appeals to me no less than contemporary politics: Woolf’s Introduction to Political Philosophy spurred me to explore various original texts. My main attraction towards PPE thus lies in the synergetic links between the three branches. Political newspapers and magazines have interviewed me. I am captain of my House’s football team and editor of my school’s academic yearbook. In addition to running Community Services. In addition to running the school’s Economics Society. Although there is not enough time to study philosophy at school. In economics. Indeed. which was Highly Commended.

Positive Linking – Networks and Nudges (Paul Ormerod) ISBN: 0571279201 (forthcoming in 2012) 20. Made in Britain: How the nation earns its living: (Evan Davis) ISBN: 0349123780 17. ISBN: 1846143284 2. The Economics of Enough: (Diane Coyle) ISBN: 0691145180 24. Art of Strategy (Dixit and Nalebuff) ISBN: 978-0-393-06243-4 – especially good for Game Theory 6. Evolution. Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter & Creative Destruction (TK McCraw) ISBN: 0674025237 21. Capital (John Lanchester) ISBN: 0571234607 7.17 Section 6: Recommended Reading for Economics Here is my selection of books for students keen to show a commitment to independent thought and active learning. Poor Economics: Rethinking Ways to Fight Global Poverty (Banerjee & Duflo) ISBN: 9781586487980 19. Keynes – the Return of the Master (Skidelsky) ISBN: 184614258X 16. Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future: (Ian Goldin et al) ISBN: 0691145725 13. Debt and the New World Order (Philip Coggan) ISBN: 1846145104 18. Triumph of the City (Edward Glaeser) ISBN: 0230709389 29. ISBN: 184614051X 30. Economics after the Crisis (Adair Turner): ISBN: 026201744X (forthcoming in 2012) 12. 1. 2012 The Enlightenment Economics blog written by Diane Coyle is excellent for keeping up to speed with the flow of new economics books that are being published at the moment: http://www. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure (Tim Harford) ISBN: 1408701529 3. Animal Spirits (Akerlof and Shiller) ISBN: 978-0-691-14233-3 5. How Creativity Works (Jonah Lehrer) ISBN: 184767786X 15. Paper Promises: Money. Drunkard’s Walk (Leonard Mlodinow) ISBN: 0713999225 11. Civilization: The West and the Rest (Niall Ferguson) ISBN: 1846142733 8. How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities (John Cassidy) ISBN: 1846143004 14. An Optimist's Tour of the Future (Mark Stevenson) ISBN: 1846683564 4. The Idea of Justice (Amartya Sen): ISBN: 0141037857 25. Worldly Philosophers: Lives.enlightenmenteconomics. Super Co-operators. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang). The Upside of Irrationality (Dan Ariely) ISBN: 978-0-00-735476-4 27. The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature (Paul Collier) ISBN: 1846142237 26. Imagine. Development as Freedom: (Amartya Sen): ISBN: 0192893300 10. Where Good Ideas Come From: Natural History of Innovation (Steven Johnson). Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow (Daniel Kahneman) ISBN: 1846140552 28. Crisis Economics (Nouriel Roubini) ISBN: 978-1-846-14287-1 9. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Michael Lewis) ISBN: 1846142571 23. and Ideas of Great Economic Thinkers (Heilbroner) ISBN: 0140290060 Reading list last updated Tuesday.Introduction To UCAS – Easter 2012 . Altruism and Human Behaviour (Nowak) ISBN: 9781847673367 22. Times. April 03.com/blog/ Geoff Riley (tutor2u) .