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Hear from Rob Lightfoot

Economics is the study of the ways in which people, businesses and industries use resources. It covers a variety of topics, for example production, efficiency, macroeconomic policy, international economy, and market failure; each of these will teach you a lot about the society we live in today.

The subject traditionally it attracts a large number of strong Mathematicians who can employ their strengths in analysing economic data. However, it is not meant to be a purely mathematical discipline and the interdisciplinary nature of the subject means that students from all backgrounds whether Science or Arts would be very capable of studying it at A Level.

The first year covers the basic principles of the subject. On the Micro side they will be introduced to the basic tools of Supply and Demand and then apply them to various market situations such as the property market or the labour market. Pupils will face essay titles in the first term such as ‘How can the government use taxes to solve problems of pollution?’ In addition, pupils will consider why the free market fails at times and consider the wider role of the government in the economy. On the Macro side a study of the UK economy will consider key topics such as Unemployment, Inflation, Balance of Payments and Economic Growth from a government policy point of view.

In the second year the course encourages the pupils to ‘think as economists’ and develop the appropriate range of analytical, questioning and reasoning skills to achieve this objective. In addition, the qualification will enable them to further develop their grounding in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, drawing on local, national and global contexts, using ‘real world’ issues wherever possible. There will be in depth study of Industry, Finance and the Workplace that will partner a detailed look at the Global Economy.

Students are examined by demonstrating their understanding of economic principles and applying what they have learnt. Analytical and evaluative ability will be the main focus of the testing.

For subject enrichment there is a vibrant student led Economics Society that meets every week to discuss a range of interesting and sometimes controversial topics. This year there has been a trip to London to an Economics conference attended by prominent figures in the world of Economics and a trip to the Deutsche Bank to see where the subject might lead in terms of employment. There is the option to try out for the Target 2.0 team who compete in a national competition that advises on interest setting to the Bank of England and the Student Investor competition that is open to all budding stock brokers to pit their investment wits against the best schools in the country. The RES essay competition is also a hotly contested option for extracurricular interest.

The Exam Board is OCR Economics and there are three, two hour papers.

Possible careers for Economic students include Financial Services, Banking, Stock Broker, Data Analyst, Chartered Accountant and Actuary.

"Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses"

Lionel Charles Robbins