Economics is a study of how we can try to meet the (unlimited) needs and wants of society with only limited resources (e.g. oil, money, workers etc). As a course, Economics helps students to develop an understanding of how different economic factors (such as inflation, taxes and interest rates), groups (such as households) and institutions (such as businesses, banks and the government) can affect everyday life. In essence, Economics helps you understand developments in business, society and the world economy. Economics is becoming increasingly popular as students seek to gain an understanding of the ever changing economic and political landscape (for example the potential impacts of Brexit).
Economics - Education and experience
In Economics, we consider questions such as:
- Is university worth getting into debt for?
- Why are some countries rich and some countries poor?
- How will changes in taxes, inflation and interest rates affect individuals, businesses and the wider economy?
- How does an economy enter a recession (such as the 2008/09 financial crisis) and how does an economy recover from a recession?
- How does the financial system work?
Economics in the news:
Economics website for theory notes, revision videos, exam guidance and current economics and business issues in the news:
Useful websites for current economic statistics and information:
Exam board website (further information regarding the qualification and exam materials):
Key Stage 5
Students begin by studying how markets work, how markets fail and how the government intervenes to try and correct market failures. Students then go on to learn how different economic factors and issues impact the UK economy as a whole and the policies that are available to the government when seeking to influence economic objectives (e.g. unemployment, economic growth, inflation and trade balance). Students therefore gain a good understanding of recent economic issues, performance and government policy. The course then progresses by explaining how businesses behave in different market structures (such as perfect competition and monopoly) by looking at real-life industries and businesses. The last portion of the course develops students’ understanding of the global economy, international trade and the financial sector.
Three 2-hour written exams at the end of Year 13.
Each exam includes a mixture of short answer questions, calculations, data response and longer essays based on a case study.
Paper 3 is synoptic (covers all of the content learnt in Year 12 and 13).
What makes a successful Economics student?
Students of A-level Economics should have a keen interest in how the economy and the world works. Students are therefore expected to take an interest in economic issues within the news. Students should have a questioning and analytical mind as well as a willingness to think and work hard. Students also need to be self-motivated because the examinations require thorough preparation and students are required to undertake significant independent study.
To study this course, what qualifications will I need and in which subjects?
Economics students do NOT need to have studied GCSE Economics or any previous Economics or Business course. However, ideally students should have a grade 5/6 in Maths and English in either combination. This is to make sure students will be able to deal with the quantitative and qualitative/essay based elements of the course.
Universities regard Economics as a rigorous and challenging subject. Employers value Economics as it balances both numeracy and literacy skills and shows an ability to analyse real world problems logically. It is an excellent route into higher education, finance, accountancy, industry and government.
Mr S Barnes – Head of Business and Economics