Head of Department: Mr T J Clark
Why chose Economics at A Level?
Economics offers the opportunity to study a relevant and often controversial subject that has a large impact upon the lives of those who live both in the UK and in the Global Economy.
Economics is not studied at GCSE level at QEGS, so the vast majority of people who do A Level come across Economics for the first time at the start of their Lower Sixth Year.
How will you know whether you are going to enjoy the subject? This is not an easy question to answer. Certainly an interest in current affairs is beneficial. Do you have opinions about how the government is running the country? Are individuals and businesses paying too much tax? Do supermarkets charge too much? Should we pay to drive on the roads? Are we doing enough to tackle pollution? Should more than 80% of what we pay for petrol go to the government in tax? Does the UK have a future in the European Union? Should we join the Euro? How powerful will the economies of China and India become? What has caused the credit-crunch and how will the world’s financial markets recover? What are the costs and benefits of London hosting the 2012 Olympics?
All these are questions, some difficult, into which the study of Economics should give you an insight and understanding of the issues.
The A Level course will also develop your personal skills and your abilities:
- to express your ideas in writing in a logical and analytical fashion
- to hold discussions about controversial issues where you can challenge (and appreciate) the ideas of others.
- to analyse the implications of changes in government policy or the economic environment on individuals and businesses.
What does the course involve?
The AS course is made up of two modules, one about Markets and Market Failure, the other about the UK National Economy. At A2 level there are again two modules, Business Economics and the Distribution of Income along with the UK and the Global Economy.
At AS level the Market module is concerned primarily with microeconomics, the study of small sections of the economy. The UK National Economy concentrates on macroeconomics. At A2 both modules include micro and macroconomic components.
How will I study?
Each Economics set at QEGS is taught by two teachers, myself and Mrs Crabtree. The teaching is a mixture of discussions, note taking, video, DVD and power-point presentations. Emphasis is placed on the exchange of ideas between teachers and students and also students and students. We would hope that after studying Economics for two years all students will be confident of expressing their views and opinions to an audience. Homework will consist of multiple choice, data response and essay questions. Occasionally, longer assignments may be set involving independent research.
How will I be assessed?
There is no coursework at either AS or A2 level. Each module will be assessed by written examination. We follow the AQA A Level specification. The AS exam consists of two 75 minute papers, while the A2 exam will be two 2 hour papers.
What qualifications do I need to start?
Anyone allowed into the Sixth Form to study A Levels is capable of doing Economics, providing they have GCSE passes in Maths and English.
More important than qualifications is a desire to want to tackle a challenging subject and learn about the financial world you will be working in.
With what other subjects does Economics fit?
Economics can fit seamlessly into any combination of AS subjects. There are a number of former students presently studying Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacology at university who successfully completed the two year A Level Economics course, showing Economics can fit in with a range of science subjects. Those studying Further Maths also seem to take a shine to Economics.
What can I do at university with an A Level in Economics?
The obvious answer to this question is Economics. However over the years former students have gone on to study a wide range of different subjects. Many have found A Level Economics extremely useful with Business, Management or Financial courses, and good universities strongly favour A Level Economics over A Level Business Studies.
How will an A Level in Economics help me in my future life and career?
Economics graduates along with Law and Management are the most highly paid on leaving University. It will provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the world in which you are going to make your living. Some of the topics studied will form an invaluable foundation and introduction for you to the workplace. In addition it should also give you an insight into the many issues facing our politicians today.
For those who will go on to take professional exams in areas such as accounting, banking, insurance, stock-broking and other financial services a knowledge of Economics will prove to be valuable.
Those of you who decide to study Economics will find the subject challenging and demanding. High standards are expected at all times. Ultimately however the study of this fascinating subject would be futile unless students gained pleasure, satisfaction and a sense of achievement from their time studying this Noble Prize subject.