Economics

Overview

Economics

Economics, they say, makes the world go round. 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. It 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.

Course Outline

This is a two year A Level course, which 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?
• 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 re 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 and policies.

Prohibited Options

None. Economics goes well with all subjects.

Career and Progression Opportunities

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 and Journalism. Economics is a qualification well-respected by employers.

Teaching Methods

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.

Other Information

Those intending to study Economics in Higher Education can join the Economics Academy, which is organised in co-operation with the Economics departments at Birmingham, Aston and Leicester Universities. You will visit the universities for several lectures and seminars, benefit from trips to other organisations, discuss issues with visiting speakers and complete an Extended Project on a topic of interest to you.

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

This information is correct for September 2019 entry.

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Case Studies

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