Economics

Vanessa Ablott
Vanessa Ablott

WHAT IS ECONOMICS?

Economics is the study of human choices and how a society with infinite wants uses scarce resources to maximise welfare. We look at the actions of economic agents including households, firms and governments, how markets work, what happens when markets do not work properly and the management of the national and international economy.

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

In addition to the knowledge to help you understand a complicated world, this challenging subject enables you to develop a wide range of skills highly sought after by universities and employers alike. These include the interpretation and analysis of data, building logical chains of reasoning and developing sound judgement of available evidence

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM ECONOMICS?

The course offers students an opportunity to try and make sense of events that shape our daily lives, from choosing what to have for lunch and how much tax we have to pay, up to the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. It involves important theory from thinkers both historic and contemporary but seeks to apply it to real events from the past, today and the future.

HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?

You will complete three examinations at the end of the two-year course, including multiple choice, data response and essay questions.

WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?

Students who take an interest in current affairs will enjoy economics as it challenges their preconceptions and encourages them to appreciate differing points of view in light of concrete evidence.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN A-LEVEL IN ECONOMICS?

Successful students would be welcomed onto a wide range of degree courses, in both Economics itself and related subject areas, such as accountancy and finance, business and politics. Studies consistently show that Economics graduates are among the highest paid. Career options are varied and include civil service, banking and finance, marketing, business management and education.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

The specification is split into two main sections, the first section introduces you to microeconomic issues and the second section covers mainly macroeconomic issues. Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the behaviour of individuals and small firms in making decisions on the allocation of limited resources. This is in contrast to macroeconomics, which involves the “sum total of economic activity, dealing with the issues of growth, inflation, and unemployment.

MICROECONOMICS

  • Why prices for different goods and services are at different levels and the forces that might make them change.
  • Why some people earn more than others, what causes inequality in different economies and to what extent does this matter?
  • The extent to which all goods and services (such as health and education) should be provided through the market and the case for governments intervening in the supply of some goods and services with taxes, laws or in some cases subsidies and state provision.
  • How firms compete with one another, the consequences of monopoly power and the need for regulation.

MACROECONOMICS

  • The forces influencing the success of the UK and other global economies and models that can be used to analyse these forces.
  • The sets of policies available to the UK government to make the economy stronger, and the limits to those policies apparent in the present economic circumstances.
  • Different schools of economic thought and how different underpinning beliefs will influence policy recommendations.
  • Further, more detailed analysis of the big issues facing countries such as unemployment, inflation, growth, government debt and the Balance of Payments.
  • In-depth analysis of the issues affecting less developed economies, why some poorer countries have succeeded in growing quickly, whereas others are still desperately poor.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THIS SUBJECT

Economics students have the opportunity to participate in competitions such as the Investor Challenge, The Bank of England and The Times 2.0 challenge and the ICAEW BASE competition.

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.
  • In addition, a grade 5 or above is required in Mathematics.