Economics

economics

Economics is an exciting and dynamic social science which examines how individuals, governments and societies make choices, and is used to analyse a wide range of global and topical problems.

Economics teaches you to critically analyse arguments, data, and diagrams so it is suited to pupils who possess very good diagrammatic and written skills. An interest in current affairs and the everyday world is very important for students doing this course.

We follow the OCR specification.


Staff and facilities

The department is based in the new Woodsmoor building and enjoys two well-equipped, spacious teaching rooms.

One of our teaching rooms has a suite of networked computers, enabling pupils to explore the considerable IT potential within the subject. Both classrooms have interactive whiteboards and multimedia facilities. We are a lead department in the development of the school’s online learning environment SGS Online.

There are two full-time teachers in the department and we also train and develop associate teachers in the department from a range of universities.


The course

AS-level

At AS-level in markets in action we will discover how firms set prices and learn about the workings of free markets. Then we learn how markets fail covering topics such as pollution, healthcare and education, together with an examination of how governments intervene in markets to correct market failure.

In national and international economy we learn about the recent performance of the UK economy with respect to topical issues such as the credit crunch, the great recession of 2008 to 2009, the public debt crisis and Brexit while also considering how the UK economy fits into the wider global economy.

A2

In Economics we ask questions such as:

  • Should the government be cutting its spending?
  • Should the government tax unhealthy foods?
  • Should university students pay tuition fees of £9,000 per year?
  • What should economists do about traffic congestion?
  • Should commercial banks ever be allowed to go bankrupt?

Economics teaches you how to analyse and think logically. So, while it has obvious applications to business and working in the public sector, it is also a natural complement to maths and science subjects. It requires students to analyse data and manipulate diagrams so it is suited to students who can think in a logical and scientific manner. We encourage students to develop as independent learners and critical thinkers, skills essential for university and the world of work. Hence we make significant use of IT, group work, discussion, debate and research based activities in our lessons.

There are three two hour exams sat at the end of the second year of the course. The first exam focuses upon Microeconomics and the second upon Macroeconomics. The third is an unseen synoptic paper focusing on both Micro and Macroeconomic themes. 

Please consult the Sixth Form Handbook (pdf) for further information.


How useful will economics be to me?

Economics is very useful for those considering a career in government, business, finance, and a wide range of professions in the public and private sector. Economics teaches you to analyse so the skills you will learn are widely respected and valued.

It is well-regarded by the most competitive universities, including Oxbridge.


Who should study economics?

As a social science, economics can be studied by students who favour either humanities, science subjects, or a combination of both. It offers maths and science students a broader academic portfolio with the same level of academic rigour. It also combines well with related humanities subjects such as geography and history. You should have good extended writing skills and be comfortable with diagrams, numeric data and logical thinking.


What will I study in Economics?

In Microeconomics we will discover how firms set prices and learn about the workings of free markets. Then, we will learn how markets fail, covering topics such as pollution, healthcare and education, together with an examination of how governments intervene in markets to correct market failure. We apply microeconomic principles to specific markets such as transport, leisure and media. In Macroeconomics we learn about the recent performance of the UK economy with respect to topical issues such as the great recession of 2008-09, the financial crisis and the budget deficit, together with a strong underpinning in macroeconomic theory. We also consider the international dimensions to economics by studying international trade, globalisation, the Eurozone and the economics of developing


Co-curricular activities

Target Two Point Zero

Target Two Point Zero – the Bank of England and the Times interest rate challenge gives teams of students aged 16 to 18 the chance to take on the role of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, assess economic conditions and the outlook for inflation and tell panels of judges what monetary policy they would set to achieve the government’s inflation target of 2.0%. This competition is open to the upper sixth.

Chance to be Chancellor

Chance to be Chancellor is a unique digital challenge enabling 14 to 18 year olds to create their own budget for the nation and learn about the country’s economy.

Extra classes

The department also runs extra classes either during lunchtime or after school on advanced, interesting topics that we would not normally cover on the A-level course.

We also provide support for those applying to do related courses at university, including those applying to Oxbridge.