Department of Economics

Aims

 

What is Economics?

 

From ‘what are the main challenges facing this country?’ to ‘how much work should I do?’ and, ‘are Bankers
greedy or just responding to incentives and who set the rules in the first place?’ Economics provides the answers; and usually there is more than one answer to the question.

Economics is about how people make decisions as they try to live a ‘better life’. It investigates choices when we have a limited set of options and how we trade them off against each other. Whether we succeed is another question- but that’s part of the attraction of the subject – dealing with uncertainty. Students studying
Students typically enjoy this field as it is a change from previous disciplines they have studied as well as being a subject about current events.

Through the study of economics the aim is to develop student’s awareness of the world we live in.  Identifying the choices people make regarding using resources and the impact those choices have on the economy and everyday life.

Economics cultivates student’s analytical skills, interpretation of data as well as improving writing skills to consider arguments on issues from more than one point of view and provide a reasoned conclusion.

Staff and Resources

 

The economics department is an established team at Townley Grammar with over 20 years’ experience.  

Female StudyingThe Curriculum Leader leads a team who are all knowledgeable teaching practitioners.  This is a popular subject, students take up this topic as they believe it provides a change to their prior learning as well as opening up future academic and career paths.  

 

 

 

Key Stage 5 - AS and A Level

 

AS Level Economics

 

From September 2015, Economics AS level will be offered as a stand-alone qualification as part of the wider A Level reforms.

 Economists Mind

 

Course Requirements:

 

GCSE Math’s Grade B or above is required.

No prior knowledge of this subject is needed.  As a starting point students need to be able to write well to show understanding, and to write to persuade. Students need to be numerate, think clearly and understand ratios, percentages and trends in data.

 

Assessment Structure:

 

AS - Edexcel Exam Board

There are 2 examination papers of equal weight and time - 90 minutes each.

 Paper 1:  is about how individuals & firms make decisions. This covers Basic principles, Demand and Supply, Government intervention in markets, Market Failure and Government Failure.

Paper 2:  is about how macroeconomic changes affect the UK  including Inflation, Unemployment, Growth, Balance of Payments , and what government can do (or not) about them. 

Both papers have Multiple Choice, short answer, and stepped Data Response questions including an essay. 20% of the marks are based on Maths.

  

Skills:

 

Students will develop skills of data interpretation, analytical skills and essay writing to consider issues from more than one viewpoint and reach a reasoned conclusion.  Economist Quote

 Flexibility:

 

The full GCE course (AS plus A2) is excellent preparation for higher education courses, but is equally valuable for non-specialists as a second or third area of study. The AS units alone can offer a broad and satisfying experience for those who want to conclude their economic studies at this point.

 A Level:

 

As part of the A Level reforms there are separate qualifications at AS and at A Level.  All students would sit
the AS examination and receive a qualification at AS Level.  The A Level uses the AS work as a foundation but is then separately examined at the end of Year 13.  Below we give the information for the full A Level.

At A Level, greater depth of analysis is required and there is a much bigger emphasis on essay writing to discuss issues.  There are 3 papers each of 2 hours at the end of year 13.

Course Requirements:

 

Grade B in Math’s GCSE is required.

No prior knowledge of this subject is needed.  As a starting point students need to be able to write well to show understanding, and to write to persuade. Students need to be numerate, think clearly and understand ratios, percentages and trends in data. 

Assessment Structure:

 

 A Level:  Edexcel Exam Board

 Paper 1:   Markets and Business behaviour (Micro) 35% of total.

Paper 2:  National and Global Economy (Macro). 35% of total.

Both papers have Multiple Choice, short answer, and stepped Data Response questions including an essay.

Paper 3:  General economics. 30% of Total. 2 Data response questions & 2 essays. The essays combine micro and macro effects of economic changes.

 20% of the marks are based on Maths. The standard is B grade GCSE.

 Skills:

The skills developed in Economics are transferable, highly valued by employers and make you a good prospect:

  • Flexibility
  • Asking questions
  • Making Judgements
  • Understanding people
  • Problem solving
  • Report writing skills - analysing, selecting, organising and communicating clearly. Critical analysis - of events, people, documents.
  • Your ability to communicate: both spoken and written.
  • Logical thought processes - the ability to work out why things happen, to establish theories and back them with evidence.
  • Reference skills

Since many of the issues studied in Economics do not have clear and easy explanations, while you are Economics Evidencestudying the topic you will have the chance to become more skilled at reasoning, deduction, and at organising and evaluating information.


Finally, as a result of having to defend your opinions and conclusions in class discussion, you will find yourself with many chances to develop your own self-confidence.

 

Flexibility:

 

The full GCE course (AS plus A2) is excellent preparation for higher education courses.

 

Related Courses and Careers:

 

Courses: A Level: Maths, any academic subject including sciences. Good combinations include, History, Geography, Politics and Modern Foreign Languages. Usually not a good fit with performance, but there have been exceptions.

University:  higher universities doing Single Honours Economics needs A Level Maths. Joint Honours need less Maths. Useful for Accountancy and Finance related degrees.

Careers:  As ‘an economist’ – Banks research/analysis functions, Government (national and local) economists, Consultancy.

Entry into – any management/leadership roles, Marketing, Finance, Accountancy in private or public sector.

The value of an economics degree is the ability to think in both numbers and logic, to compare options to make the best/least worst solution to problems

Enrichment

 

 

The department regularly enter the Bank of England Target 2.0 Challenge.  This is where you are the monetary Student Whiteboardpolicy committee and have to recommend and justify what you would do to interest rates and quantitative easing.

Exam revision sessions are offered and where applicable sometimes off-site.

 

 

 

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