Economics

Economics is the study of how people make the best use of the resources available to them at an individual, commercial, governmental and international level.

The aims of the course are to enable students to develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life. The course provides opportunities for students’ to develop skills in the application of economic concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to appreciate their value and limitations in explaining real-world phenomena, and to analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it.

Everyone is affected by their local, national and international economy during their lives, either as consumer, producer or citizen. Governments are elected to, and from, power largely on their ability to manage the economy effectively. Economic issues such as the NHS, employment, pensions, global warming etc. are constantly being debated. The study of economics enables students to better understand, rationalise and critique these issues.

Some aspects of economics studied include:

 

Economic methodology and the economic problem

  • How does the study of Economics differ from the study of natural sciences?
  • What are the differences between positive and normative statements?
  • How do value judgements influence economic decision making and policy?

Price determination in a competitive market

  • How are prices determined?
  • How can a monopoly take advantage of the consumer?
  • How may monopolies benefit consumers?

The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

  • What is ‘market failure?
  • How can market failure be corrected?
  • How does the distribution of income and wealth in an economy affect how a market
    works?

How the macro-economy works:

  • the circular flow of income
  • AD/AS analysis

The National Economy

  • How can unemployment be reduced?
  • What causes inflation?
  • Should more resources be given to the NHS?

 

Assessment

Students will study the AQA Examination Board specification 7135 (AS) and 7136 (A2)

AS Examination

Unit 1 (1.5 hours)
Markets and market failure
Twenty compulsory multi-choice questions and one data response question chosen from two.

Unit 2 (1.5 hours)
The National Economy
Twenty compulsory multi-choice questions and one data response question chosen from two.

A2 Examination

Unit 3
One data response question chosen from two and one (two-part) essay question chosen from three.

Unit 4
One data response question chosen from two and one (two-part) essay question chosen from three.

General Comments

This course is suitable for students who aspire to a management position in their future career, but who also have a genuine interest in business and society. This course combines very well with a range of Science and Humanities subjects and combines exceptionally well with Maths and another science or a foreign language. Students should be interested in current affairs maintaining a wide knowledge of the economy and economic issues through watching TV programmes, news bulletins and documentaries and reading the financial sections of newspapers and relevant magazines.

 

Future Prospects

This course is suitable for students who aspire to a management position in their future career or who have a genuine interest in the issues surrounding society’s use of the resources available to it. The course provides the basis for future progression to a variety of economics and business/management degrees and also provides breadth and develops evaluative skills for students aspiring to a degree course in a different subject discipline. The qualification is well regarded by employers at post-18 with economics students typically acquiring employment in banking, accountancy, tax advisory work, insurance and trading, economic analysis and research, business administration, information work, retail management, IT and the media.