Why should I study Economics?

Economics is a social science half way between the arts and the sciences. It has a theoretical component, but is driven by a need to explain the real world. It develops a technique of thinking and essentially asks the question, how can we make the best use of scarce resources?

Issues that economists examine are varied, interesting and exciting. They include: Why do footballers earn so much more than nurses? Why are so many goods made in China? Why can’t everyone find a job? Why are house prices rising so fast? Why the gap between rich and poor? What caused the Financial Crisis in 2008? Why do countries trade with each other? What are the impacts of a single European currency?

A level Economics is highly respected by all universities for a wide range of courses, including Oxford (PPE, Economics and Management, Economics and Management) and Cambridge (Economics, Social and Political Sciences). Economics is also an education for life and employment opportunities where your economics skills will be particularly valued include business management and consultancy, journalism, media, the law, marketing, the civil service, politics and teaching.

What skills will I gain?

Economics is relevant to the world in which you live and your future. It encourages you to discuss current affairs and related issues. Consequently, it is studied through investigation, not just listening and reading. It develops a full range of skills that will be useful in both other subjects you study and in employment. We encourage students to be independent learners and develop critical thinking skills. You will develop your ability to use quantitative techniques and analyse data. You will also develop your ability to critically analyse theories and opinions. You will develop your debating skills and be able to construct deeply analytical and evaluative essays. It is an excellent preparation for the study of any arts, maths or science-based course at university.

What will I learn?

The course is divided into two components:

Component One – Microeconomics: Scarcity and Choice, How Competitive

Markets Work, Competition and Market Power, Labour Market, Market Failure and Government Intervention. In this component you will look at the ways in which markets work to allocate resources and also how they fail. You will consider the role of the government in markets and alternatives to market forces.

Component Two – Macroeconomics: Policy Objectives, Performance Indicators, Aggregate Demand and Supply, Policy Instruments, The Global Context, The Financial Sector. In this component you will learn how the government and other institutions seek to manage the performance of the economy. You will also learn about trade, globalisation, development and financial markets.

Entry requirements

We teach the course with the assumption that you have not studied any economics before.

A good standard of literacy and numeracy are essential and we require a minimum of an 8 grade in GCSE English Language and a 7 in Maths. You need to be able to express yourself well both in discussion and on paper. You should have an open and enquiring mind and be interested in the world around you.

Examination Board: OCR

Mr J. Harley
Head of Department