Curriculum - Economics

Welcome to the Economics Department.

 

 

 

 

The Department

Mr Barr

Ms Farmer

A-Level Economics

Economics is a social science which involves the study of human behaviour. In particular it looks at how individuals allocate scarce resources to satisfy infinite human wants. The course will cover how consumers make decisions. The increased importance of behavioural economics in the ‘A’ level course offers students the chance to study whether consumers act rationally as economic theory assumes or whether individuals are open to other influences.

Economics lies at the heart of the key issues of our time.  The primary aim of an economic system is to improve the standard of living of the citizens of a country. Economics is an engaging, dynamic subject that is continually changing and evolving with a wide array of ‘real world' applications. Studying Economics will help you access, analyse and evaluate a whole range of current affairs; prompting you to argue, make informed decisions and provide a deeper understanding of the world around you.

 

Ever wondered what a budget deficit and austerity really mean? What are the impacts of Brexit for the UK and the Rest of the World? What caused the 2008 Financial Crisis? How would the expansion of Heathrow Airport impact the UK economy? How does the UK housing market affect the UK economy? How can we solve the problem of global poverty? How can we protect the environment at the same time as achieving economic growth and development? Should public sector workers have a pay rise? Should Uber have its license withdrawn by the Department of Transport for London? These questions and others are just a few of the possible issues that studying A-Level Economics will tackle.

 

During Year 1 students will examine how individuals allocate scarce resources to satisfy infinite human wants. Resources are either allocated through the price mechanism or by the government through taxation. Students will be asked to consider the role of the government in an economy and answer the question whether the government should provide more services but set higher tax rates or will welfare be increased if the government has a smaller role and resources are allocated through the market.

 

Markets are fallible and we will discuss the issues we call market failure. These include the increasing prevalence of inequality in the UK economy, the issue of pollution and the damage to our environment. Students will also consider the issues facing the National Health Service as it seeks to contend with ever growing demand.

 

In addition, the course introduces key measures of macroeconomic performance such as inflation, unemployment and economic growth plus how fiscal and monetary policy are used to influence the economy.

 

In Year 2 we study the pricing and output decisions of monopolies, oligopolies and other market structures. In addition we explore the UK labour market and consider whether there is too big a gap between executive pay and others. We will also analyse the impact of Living and Minimum Wage. We will also consider the merits of privatisation and whether there is a real argument to re nationalize the UK rail industry. Additionally students will cover topics such as international poverty and inequality, emerging and developing economies and the financial sector.

 

To give our students a more rigorous education, students will have the opportunity to enrich and apply their learning with super-curricular activities outside of the classroom. To provide students with opportunities for extended learning, we promote the Student Investor Challenge, in which students enter a competition to purchase commodities and shares with the aim of making profit.

 

We also enter a team into the Bank of England’s prestigious Target Two Point Zero competition, whereby students use real-word data to make monetary policy decisions and present their findings to judges from the Bank of England itself. Furthermore, support and advice is provided for students to enter various essay competitions, a highly respected and essential competition for any aspiring Economics undergraduate! We are also planning to invite speakers into school to present on contemporary economic issues.as well as taking students to lectures at Nottingham University and elsewhere.

 

Mr DJ Barr

Subject Leader

 

 

 

Topics covered

 

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

 

• 1 Economic methodology and the economic problem

• 2 Individual economic decision making

• 3 Price determination in a competitive market

• 4 Production, costs and revenue

• 5 Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly

• 6 The labour market

• 7 The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality

• 8 The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

 

The national and international economy

 

• 9 The measurement of macroeconomic performance

• 10 How the macroeconomy works : the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts

• 11 Economic performance

• 12 Financial markets and monetary policy

• 13 Fiscal policy and supply-side policies

• 14 The international economy

 

Assessments

 

We follow the AQA specification, which you can view in detail via this link: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/economics/as-and-a-level/economics-7135-7136

 

In summary:

 

Paper 1: Markets and market failure

 

What's assessed

 

Content 1–8 above

 

Assessed

• written exam: 2 hours

• 80 marks

• 33.3% of A-level

 

 

Questions

• Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks

• Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks

 

Paper 2: National and international economy

 

What's assessed

 

Content 9–14 above

 

Assessed

• written exam 2 hours

• 80 marks

• 33.3% of A-level

 

Questions

• Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks

• Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks

 

Paper 3: Economic principles and issues

 

What's assessed

 

All content 1–14 above

 

Assessed

• written exam: 2 hours

• 80 marks

• 33.3% of A-level

 

Questions

• Section A: multiple choice questions worth 30 marks

• Section B: case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks

 

All the question papers are compulsory

 

 

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