Economics and Business are always in the headlines. In recent years much attention has been directed at issues such as fair trade, business ethics, global warming and the recent recession and recovery. The study of how markets work and knowledge of the national economy is essential to understanding the world in which students will eventually live and work. The relevance of these subjects makes them a fascinating addition to any choice of A Levels.
“It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong” Jeremy Bentham.
Students develop a greater understanding of financial markets and will be quicker to realise how much the taxman (or woman) is taking from their salary. Economics will equip students with the skills to participate successfully in the increasingly knowledge-based and interdependent global economy of the twenty-first century. Business success and failure is continually evolving in a fascinating way and the department is dynamic in making these ideas come alive in the classroom.
The study of how markets work and knowledge of the national economy is essential to understanding the world in which students will eventually live and work. Not a day passes where economic issues are absent from newspapers. From discussions on road pricing, the fees charged for university study, or the Bank of England’s interest rate decision – it’s not difficult to see why nationally, Economics was the fastest growing A Level in 2013. Economics is an intellectually challenging but rewarding subject where students will be expected to develop logical thought and their skill of reasoned problem solving. The relevance of Economics makes it a fascinating addition to any choice of A Levels.
Economics A Level is split into two areas. The first focusses on ‘microeconomic’ aspects where students investigate such topics as to why petrol prices rise and how governments respond to problems in areas such as education and the NHS. The world of business economics is also addressed in which students examine issues such as cost, revenue and profit within a range of practical industries. Discussion of ‘hot topics’ such as London’s congestion charge or HS2, or the power wielded by the big companies in industries such as energy supply or brewing ensure a high level of student interest and involvement. Students will also cover ‘macroeconomic’ aspects including learning key measures of national economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of UK economic policy. We look at the importance of the Eurozone, the UK tax system and the implications of government spending plans and ‘austerity’ amongst much more.
International trade, globalisation, global poverty and economic growth across the world – as well as the ramifications of Brexit – are some of the exciting and thought provoking issues covered. Through the A Level course, students will have the opportunity to invest a virtual £100,000 in the stock market, enter the Royal Economics Society’s ‘Young Economist of the Year’ and enter other economics competitions. The department organises an Economics Conference open to other schools. In recent years we have heard a variety of economists and economics arguments, including speakers such as former MPC member Andrew Sentence and LSE professor Iain Begg. Economics graduates earn comparatively high salaries compared to other disciplines, as well as developing skills and the ability to solve real world problems which can make a difference to many peoples’ lives. Economics is so much more than ‘just’ an A Level grade.
The average of the results in Economics A Level over the most recent three year period is:
A* – 27%, A*-A – 64%, A*-B – 97%, A*-C – 100%
Newspaper and television headlines offer continual reminders of how important the business world is to us all. In recent years much attention has been directed at issues such as fair trade, business ethics, global warming and the Credit Crunch.
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” Henry Ford
Business success and failure is continually evolving in a fascinating way and the department is dynamic in making these ideas come alive in the classroom.
A Level Business gives you a clear view of how a business operates. You will learn about the challenges of starting a business, enterprise, management of people, communication and motivation, operations management, marketing and competition as well as finance management.
In the second year the strategic decisions of large businesses are studied and a good A Level Business student will be able to make strong decisions and back them up with real life examples and good analysis of the likely outcomes. You will analyse information provided about a business in order to solve problems by justifying a course of action for that business. During the course students build up their knowledge of business terminology and strategies and become confident in recognising good and bad strategies for a variety of scenarios.
They analyse closely the four major business functions and examine the process of consultation and design. During the year we would expect to have visits from local business people and trips to local businesses. Ultimately this subject equips students to understand and be confident in the dynamic business world.
The average of the results in Business A Level over the most recent three year period is:
A* – 7%, A*-A – 31%, A*-B – 72%, A*-C – 94%
“I chose to study economics at A level to try something I had never done before but had been interested in. The lessons were engaging and thought-provoking, regularly discussing relevant real-world issues. These discussions and the wider base of knowledge from the course propelled my interest for the subject, and it’s no wonder why economics graduates are a top choice for employers everywhere. With an economic point of view, you will think about all walks of life from a different, much more interesting angle.” Current Economics student at Durham University