Sixth Form: Economics
Updated: Thu 10 Nov 2016
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: GRADE 5 IN GCSE MATHEMATICS AND, IF STUDIED, B GRADE IN BUSINESS STUDIES
Subject Leader: Mr M. F. Beran
Examination Board: Edexcel
A2 Syllabus: 9ECO1 (Micro and Macro plus Business and Labour Economics and Global Economy:)
Examinations: 100% (3 papers)
“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he or she predicted yesterday didn't happen today.”
Laurence J Peter
What is A-Level Economics?
Economics describes, analyses and explains how and why resources are used to promote, and sometimes undermine welfare, and what might be done to address such problems. It is traditionally divided into looking at how individual markets work (Microeconomics) and how the economy operates as a system (Macroeconomics). In Year 12, students can join us for a trip to the City, visiting HSBC headquarters at Canary Wharf, Lloyds of London and The Bank of England. Year 13 students participate in the EBEA’s annual lecture. Students are also invited to invest in an Economic Review (four quarterly magazines) over the academic year.
What makes a good Economics student?
A good Economics student needs to be able to cope with logic, complexity and contradictions in theory as well as the challenge of reality not always quite fitting what the theory says about it! There are a series of theories which require the representation of complex systems in abstract terms using graphs and statistics. The best economists are also seriously interested in the real world and want to understand how things work and why people, business, government and other institutions behave in the way they do. Having this interest means you are more likely to invest time in reading about what is going on in the news including reading the quality press.
What can I expect to learn in Economics?
We initially look at the Microeconomics of markets and market failure which you will be examined on at the end of the two years by a paper which is a mixture of multiple choice and data responses. We also look at Macroeconomics and the role of the State in managing overall economic growth and welfare. These units are assessed by a paper requiring extended written answers.
We also look at how businesses behave and the role of the State in managing such behaviour to maximise productive and allocative efficiency as well as managing equity or fairness. We also look at the global economy. The final paper is a synoptic paper.
Where could Economics take me?
Economics fits well with Mathematics, Physics, Politics, Philosophy, History and Geography but there is no reason why you cannot combine it with any other subject. Please note, however, that there are very few universities that will allow you to study Economics at degree level without A-Level Mathematics. Business Studies is not recommended as another A-Level if you are studying Economics, as the top universities are not keen on what they consider to be too similar a focus. Participating in Social Enterprise and charity activities via school projects is a valuable experience that relates to the business topics we cover in Economics. Organising appropriate work experience is also vital if you are going to work out which sector or profession is the one for you. Career paths include City jobs such as banking, stock-broking, insurance and pension fund management as well as research, consultancy, Civil Service jobs in local and central Government and a range of other institutions including charities and teaching. There are also international organisations keen to employ economists including the European Union, the World Bank, World Trade Organisation and International Monetary Fund.