Economics

Why study Economics?

Economics

  • To learn more about the choices that we make and the way we spend our money.
  • To understand how firms decide what to produce and how they market and price their products.
  • To explore the big issues in the news.
  • You are considering a career in accountancy, finance, business, journalism or law.
  • Economics graduates are the second highest earners.
  • Few decisions are taken that are not influenced to some degree by economics. This thought-provoking course offers the opportunity to learn about the latest economic theories and practice in the context of different economic issues both nationally and internationally.
  • This course explores the role of government, producers and consumers and explains many of the issues and debates that feature in today’s news and society in general.
Why study Economics at Solihull Sixth Form College?
  • We have excellent contacts with local universities including Aston University, Birmingham University, Birmingham City University and Coventry University.
  • Our students attend master classes offered by university lecturers, which are a stretch and challenge opportunity and give some experience of what it is like to study the subject at Degree level.
  • You can join our ‘Economics Academy’, which gives you the opportunity to complete the Extended Project Qualification on a topic of genuine interest to you (this qualification is really respected by admissions tutors in universities and may lead to a more generous offer of a place).
  • Three members of the Economics team are experienced examiners and are therefore able to give you excellent support and guidance when preparing for the examinations.
  • You are provided with textbooks and you can make use of our very well stocked library shelves and Moodle pages (our virtual learning area).
  • We will give you the opportunity to complete a full mock examination in all three papers in your second year, with detailed feedback and guidance on how to improve.
  • You will be able to attend a wide range of additional sessions to develop your skills and to tackle any problems that you encounter on the course.
  • We are able to use the Internet, newspapers, magazines and television programmes as Economics focuses on topical issues and events.
  • Lessons will utilise the ICT facilities in the classrooms, discussions, presentations, small group activities and independent research.
Course Outline

This two year A Level course broadly divides into two sections: microeconomics, which studies the various parts of the economy and macroeconomics, which focuses on the national and international economy.

Microeconomics – we study the behaviour of individuals and firms, and we learn about how markets work and how sometimes they fail, requiring government intervention to put things right. We will be answering questions such as:
• What determines the way we spend our money?
• Do firms always try to maximise profits and how are prices determined?
• Why are houses, energy and food so expensive?
• Why are income and wealth so unevenly distributed?
• Why are pop stars and footballers paid so much?
• Should we be worried about the power of big business?
• Do government policies work or just make things worse?

Macroeconomics – we focus on the UK economy in both the European and the global context. We will be answering questions such as:
• How can we make our economy grow to improve our standard of living?
• What are the best ways to bring down unemployment?
• Should we be worried about inflation?
• Do we need to improve our banks to avoid another “credit crunch”?
• Why does the UK export so little and import so much?
• Are we right to be leaving the European Union?
• Why is the rise of China and India such a threat to us?
• What can be done to reduce poverty in developing countries?
• Is the government right to be cutting people’s benefits?
• Will house buyers be able to afford their mortgages when interest rates rise?

Assessment

No Coursework
Examination (100%) – There will be three two-hour papers at the end of the course (each worth 33.3% of the A level), for which we will prepare you thoroughly. Paper 1, will examine the microeconomics and Paper 2 the macroeconomics (see above). Both of these exams require you to select one from two data response exercises in Section A and one from three essays in Section B. The third paper is based on the whole specification and comprises a series of multiple choice questions and a case study.
Examining Board – AQA.

Special Entry Requirements

Students are required to have a minimum grade 5 in either GCSE English Language or Mathematics, in additional to the standard A level entry requirements. There is a need to be genuinely numerate, as we will be analysing and interpreting data and making simple calculations, and you must be able to express yourself well, as you are expected to evaluate arguments.

Prohibited Options

None. Economics goes well with all subjects. A popular combination is to study Economics alongside Business, Accountancy and/or Law..

What do our students go on to do?

A high proportion of our economists go on to study Economics or a closely related course at University. Popular careers include being a professional Economist, Law, Accountancy, Marketing, Journalism, Finance, Investment, Business Management, Politics, aid and charity work and government. Economics is a qualification well-respected by employers.

The Economics department runs a Twitter account, which you can follow by searching @EconomicsSFCS.

This information is correct for September 2020 entry.

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