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A Level Economics

Head of Department: Mr C Upton BA (Hons) (Durham), PGCE (Sunderland)
Email: cupton@stedmundscollege.org

COURSE SUMMARY

Students at St Edmund’s will follow the Edexcel A Level Economics course (9EC0). This is divided into four themes. There is a natural progression from Themes 1 & 2 which are studied in Year 1 and Themes 3 & 4, which are studied in the final year of the course. Further information can be provided in Edexcel’s course specification.

Theme 1 – Introduction to markets and market failure Theme 2 – The UK Economy: performance and policies
In this theme, students are introduced to microeconomic concepts. In this theme, students are introduced to macroeconomic concepts.
· nature of economics

· how markets work

· market failure

· government intervention

· measures of economic performance

· aggregate demand

· aggregate supply

· national income

· economic growth

· macroeconomic objectives and policy.

Theme 3 – Business behaviour and the Labour market Theme 4 – A Global Perspective
In this theme, students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 1 and focus on business economics. In this theme, students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 2 and applies these to a global context.
  • business growth
  • business objectives
  • revenues, costs and profits
  • market structures
  • labour market
  • government intervention.

 

 

  • international economics
  • poverty and inequality
  • emerging and developing economies
  • the financial sector
  • role of the state in the macroeconomy.

 

Choosing A Level Economics

The A Level Economics course is open to all students. Business Studies GCSE provides a good platform but is in no way essential. However, given the quantitative and qualitative requirements of the course we would strongly recommend students have a 6 in both Maths and English at GCSE.

A Level Economics: Tips For Success:

  • Organisation skills: Use your folder effectively and keep it neat. Ensure that all of your work, handouts and resources are organised by topic and chronologically. You will thank yourself for doing this come revision time.
  • Awareness of business news: Read or listen to the economics news. Being aware of what is going on not only means you are one step ahead but will help you apply what you learn in the classroom to real economics decisions which is a critical skill when it come to assessment.
  • Think critically and consider different perspectives: In business there are few right and wrong answers, often it will depend on your point of view. Recognising other view points is a another key skill to develop.
  • Ask for help: The Business & Economics Department are highly supportive and are always around to provide additional assistance whenever possible.

COURSE ASSESSMENT

All examinations for the Economics A Level course are written papers and are externally assessed. Students are assessed at the end of the first year on Themes 1 & 2 in internal examinations which provide the department with a strong indication of progress when making grade predictions for UCAS applications. The final A Level examination takes place at the end of the second year.

Within the A Level course there is a focus on extended writing and students must be able to analyse case study material and respond to both short answer questions and questions that require longer analytical responses.

YEAR 1 ASSESSMENT

  • Paper 1: Introduction to markets and market failure

Questions will be drawn from Theme 1, assessing Microeconomics.

  • Paper 2: The UK economy – performance and policies

Questions will be drawn from Theme 2, assessing Macroeconomics.

YEAR 2 ASSESSMENT

  • Paper 1 – Markets and business behaviour

Questions are drawn from Themes 1 and 3, and assess Microeconomics. The examination is 2 hours long and represents 35% of the total qualification.

  • Paper 2 – The national and global economy

Questions are drawn from Themes 2 and 4, and assess Macroeconomics. The examination is 2 hours long and represents 35% of the total qualification.

  • Paper 3 – Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

Questions are drawn from all four Themes. The examination is 2 hours long and represents 30% of the total qualification.

Across each of these components, students will be assessed on the following objectives:

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge of terms/concepts and theories/models to show an understanding of the behaviour of economic agents and how they are affected by and respond to economic issues
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding to various economic contexts to show how economic agents are affected by and respond to economic issues
  • AO3: Analyse issues within economics, showing an understanding of their impact on economic agents
  • AO4: Evaluate economic arguments and use qualitative and quantitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues

COURSE BOOKS & RESOURCES

Students are supported in their studies with a comprehensive range of resources designed to support individual needs. Whilst we do not follow a set ‘text book’ as such, every student has Study Guides for each theme and has an Ezyeconomics account which provides online video tutorials and assessments for the whole course.  Further support is provided through the VLE where they can find a wealth of additional resources from worksheets to case studies and practice examination papers.

Student Guides:

Economics A Student Guide Theme 1

Economics A Student Guide Theme 2

Economics A Student Guide Theme 3

Economics A Student Guide Theme 4

(Hodder)

E-Learning:

EzyEconomics (Ezyeducation.co.uk)

Online resources (via the VLE):

Economics Review for A Level students (Hodder)

Tutor2U Youtube channel

Resources from individual lessons and topical stories are shared through the school VLE. However one of the keys to success for this course is for students to do their own reading around the subject and to make their own connections between the course content and daily economics news stories. Students are therefore encouraged to engage with the business media on a weekly basis in whatever format they prefer. Whilst there are obviously many forums available the following is a list of some of those we would recommend as a starting point.

Magazines:

Economics Review for A Level students (Hodder)

The FT for schools

The Economist

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) magazine

Podcasts

Business Daily – BBC World Service

The World of Business – BBC Radio 4

World Business Report – BBC World Service

Daily News Websites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/business/economy

https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics

TV Programmes:

IEA online TV channel (https://iea.org.uk/films)

Blogs:

https://iea.org.uk/blog/

http://www.economonitor.com/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog

http://www.tutor2u.net/economics

FURTHER READING & VIEWING

In addition students are advised to use books and other media to enhance and enrich their understanding of the course’s theoretical concepts. The list below is therefore intended to give a flavour of the course and provide a reference point if any topics prove particularly challenging. There is no expectation that students purchase any of the below books; they are all stocked in the department and in the College library.

Books:

  • Chang, H (2011). 23 things they don’t tell you about Capitalism
  • Cohan, W (2010). House of Cards: How Wall Street’s Gamblers Broke Capitalism
  • Ferguson, N (2008). The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
  • Fischer et al (2017). Re-thinking Economics
  • Frank, R (2009).The return of the Economic Naturalist
  • Gladwell, M (2008). Outliers – The story of success.
  • Harford, T (2014). The Undercover Economist Strikes Back
  • Khanna, T (2011). Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours
  • Levitt, S (2015). Think like a freak
  • Levitt, S & Dubner, S (2006). Freakonomics
  • Mazzucato (2018). The value of everything
  • Moran, E & Ward-Perkins (2017). The Econocracy: On the perils of leaving economics to the experts
  • Muller, J (2018). The Tyranny of Metrics
  • Peters, S (2012). The Chimp Paradox
  • Poundstone, W (2011). Priceless
  • Sen, A (2001). Development as Freedom
  • Smith, D (2012). Free Lunch
  • Stiglitz, J (2010). Freefall: Free markets and the sinking of the Global Economy
  • Stiglitz, J (2003). Globalisation and its discontents
  • Yueh, L (2018). The Great Economists: How their ideas can help us today

Films:

  • A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
  • Capitalism: A lover affair (2009)
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
  • Freakonomics (2010)
  • Inequality for All (2013)
  • Life and Debt (2001)
  • The Company Men (2010)
  • The Economics of Happiness (2011)

TED talks: (www.ted.com/talks)

TED.com provides a huge range of 20 minute talks on different subjects, not just business & economics. It is designed as a platform for presenting and sharing thought provoking ideas and contains many excellent discussions on business and economics related areas for students to explore.

DEVELOPING SKILLS & UNDERSTANDING

The Business & Economics Department places a strong focus on students applying their knowledge to the real world and developing skills that they are likely to use in their future careers both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities.

Within the classroom:

Within the classroom students will for instance participate in role playing exercises developing both leadership and team skills, give presentations using different media developing their public speaking and communication skills and carry out independent and group research.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

In addition to timetabled lessons, students have the opportunity to further enhance their learning through extra-curricular activities run by the department and the students themselves. The Business Hub meets weekly  providing students with the opportunity to set up and run their own business projects, learn about investing on the stock market and review and discuss topical business news stories in detail. The student-led Economics Society also meets weekly to discuss and debate some of the key economic challenges we face.

Competitions:

Inter-school competitions provide an opportunity for students to pit themselves against peers from other schools. Our students have an excellent track record and we are regularly reviewing opportunities that we feel would enhance our student’s learning. Last year these included the national Economic blog competition run by the Financial Times & Bank of England and the Royal Economic Society’s Young Economist of the Year essay competition.

Guest speakers, Field Trips & Conferences:

Opportunities to attend conferences, listen and question subject experts and those working in industry at first hand are invaluable for helping students relate their studies to the real world. We regularly attend Sixth Form Economic conferences and have run field trips to businesses both locally and internationally, including most recently New York.

DEPARTMENT INFORMATION

In the increasingly competitive and challenging work environment of the 21st Century, Business Studies and Economics qualifications provide students with an invaluable stepping stone to their future careers. At St Edmund’s we offer Business Studies at GCSE and A Level and Economics at A Level.  Both are popular subjects, with students achieving strong grades in external exams and enjoying opportunities to participate in a range of enrichment activities. Whilst studying Business Studies at GCSE provides a good platform for both Business Studies and Economics at A Level it is by no means a pre-requisite.

DEPARTMENT AIMS & OBJECTIVES

The Business & Economics Department aims to stimulate interest in how businesses work, at the individual, national and global level providing pupils with a sound knowledge of business and economic principles in order that they can develop the ability to think as young entrepreneurs and enlightened economists.

The Department also seeks to develop and promote the following key skills and attributes in students;

Social responsibility      Questioning              Independent learning

Global awareness           Critical thinking      Communication

Balanced perspective     Decision-making     Reflection

The Department’s objectives are to:

  • Enable students to critically examine the aims, objectives and practices of national and global business organisations from their economic, environmental and social perspectives.
  • Provide opportunities to explore and analyse the implications of complex and changing situations in the global economy on society.
  • Develop an understanding of the methods and language used for decision making in Business Studies and Economics.
  • Enable students to understand and interpret information in verbal, numerical and graphical format, and present their findings through written communication and with the use of ICT.
  • Promote independent learning and support students in identifying and achieving their personal goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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