ECONOMICS (A LEVEL)
You do not need to have studied GCSE Economics or Business Studies to take this course. It is more important that you have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in business and economic affairs and a desire to explore new ideas and communicate them effectively.
The first year course is made up of two units. Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure introduces students to the microeconomic nature of economics, the examination of economic problems and the way in which economists think and work. In particular, we will look at how markets operate, why they sometimes fail to operate efficiently, why government intervention may be needed and why this may not be effective. Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and polices examines the major issues faced by the economy, the tools available to tackle these issues and conflicts between, and the effectiveness of, different policies. This requires the analysis of real data and students will develop a range of skills that are necessary to do this work.
The second year course continues with two further units: Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market builds upon the material fromTheme 1 and examines business decision making and the significance of competition and how government seeks to regulate this. The labour market is specifically examined to see how wage levels are determined in competitive and non-competitive markets. Theme 4: A global perspective examines many of the issues associated with globalisation, international trade, exchange rates and the balance of payments. The growth and development of emerging economies is also studied.
At A level there will be three examinations comprising a range of multiple choice and short answer questions, a data response question broken down into a number of parts, and a choice of one of two open-response questions. Paper 1 covers themes 1 and 3 (35% of total mark), Paper 2 covers themes 2 and 4 (35% of total mark). In addition, Paper 3 (30% of the total) is synoptic, covering all four themes, and has two sections. Each comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including a choice of one extended open-response question from two options.
This course is regarded highly by universities and does ultimately lead to a wide variety of career options. Students should be aware that Economics is an increasingly popular course at university and that the entry requirements require A level Mathematics in almost all cases. They should also be aware that if the numbers applying to study this course is limited then it may be replaced in its option block by a second Business Studies group.
Economics combines well with a range of social science and humanities subjects and can lead to university courses in areas such as law, accounting, politics, geography and of course economics and business. The subject also provides a good background for those students considering setting up their own business.
In order to study A level Economics, you should have obtained at least a grade B in GCSE Economics or Business Studies. If you have not been examined in this subject at GCSE you should have obtained at least a grade B (grade 6) in GCSE Maths or two science based GCSEs.
If you have any questions regarding this course please see Mr Cherry or Mr Forster.