Economics

In 1924 John Maynard Keynes, one of the world’s most famous economists, used a biographical essay about his mentor, Alfred Marshall, to muse on the qualities of a good economist, a sentiment which we try and echo in the Economics department.

“He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher—in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought…No part of man’s nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician.”

Aims and objectives

These aims and objectives have as their starting point those of Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys.

We aim to achieve the following:

  • promote student enjoyment and student pride in their achievements.
  • seek to encourage students to take an active part in their own learning and assessment.
  • develop the student’s ability to think critically and make judgements.
  • equip the students with the skills necessary for them to become ‘life-long learners’.
  • develop the literacy, numeracy, communication and study skills of each student.

Philosophy

  • To provide a broad and balanced Economics and Business curriculum for all pupils, which incorporates the aims of the school.·
  • To enable students to experience a smooth transition between school and higher education or employment.
  • To promote high expectations in terms of examination results at GCSE and A level.
  • To promote an understanding of the world we live in. Economics is truly all around us, present in almost every aspect of our lives.
  • Economics and Business students devote a lot of their learning time to independent study. This equips them for life in the real-world, where people are expected to take responsibility for their own development and conversely, contribution.
  • To enable Economics and Business students to take a full and active role in running their own extracurricular societies for Economics and Business.

Economics at KS5

What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t studied Economics before. You might have an interest in Economics and want to know more about the impact Economics has on the world around you. You might want to investigate some of the stories you hear in the news – Why do some economies grow and others don’t? Will the Eurozone survive? Why didn’t economists predict the Global Financial Crisis? This course will help you to understand all this and more. 

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Economics (A) is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers. Students develop knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts in Themes 1 and 2, and then build on this and apply their knowledge to more complex concepts and models in Themes 3 and 4. Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessments and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure. This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts.

Students will develop an understanding of:

  • nature of economics
  • how markets work
  • market failure
  • government intervention

Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies. This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts.

Students will develop an understanding of:

  • measures of economic performance
  • aggregate demand
  • aggregate supply
  • national income
  • economic growth
  • macroeconomic objectives and policy.

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market. This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 1 and focuses on business economics.

Students will develop an understanding of:

  • business growth
  • business objectives
  • revenues, costs and profits
  • market structures
  • labour market
  • government intervention

Theme 4: A global perspective. This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 2 and applies these concepts in a global context. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • international economics
  • poverty and inequality
  • emerging and developing economies
  • the financial sector
  • role of the state in the macro economy.

How will I be assessed at A Level?

Paper 1 (2 hours, 35% of A level) Short-answer, data response and essay questions on markets and business behaviour – this is the content you study in Theme 1 and Theme 3.

Paper 2 (2 hours, 35% of A level) Short-answer, data response and essay questions on the national and global economy – this is the content you study in Theme 2 and Theme 4.

Paper 3 (2 hours, 30% of A level) The questions in the exam – data response and essay questions – cover concepts and theory from the whole course.

Possible Future Careers

What do graduate economists do?

Work undertaken by economics graduates include the following:-

  • Business and finance
  • Commercial, industrial and public sector management
  • Retail
  • Marketing and sales

Some current Year 13 students have said:

“I have found the study of Economics at A level to be fascinating, helping us to understand how the world we live in today operates. It has made me want to explore the subject further.”

“The things I learn have real bearing on world events. I can look at the news and my economic training allows me better to interpret it.”

“Economics is an interesting and relevant subject which really helps and develops your understanding of the world, past events and present workings.”