Economics

It is the study of how and why a Government might intervene through regulation, taxation or the provision of resources in order to create a more desirable outcome for the benefit of society.

It is the study of how and why a Government might intervene through regulation, taxation or the provision of resources in order to create a more desirable outcome for the benefit of society.
Micro-economics is the study of how individuals, organisations, and countries have to allocate their resources and make choices about whether to supply consumer goods and services or put more emphasis on the provision of capital investment - buildings, machines, infrastructure and resources such as schools, hospitals and transport services.

Macro-economics investigates Government economic policy objectives and indicators of national economic performance such as the benefits and costs of economic growth and the influence, significance and management of the economy using monetary, fiscal and supply-side policy instruments. Domestic and international influences on the overseas trade sector such as the exchange rate are analysed and topics such as inflation and unemployment are also studied.

Head of Department - Mr Jeremy Robinson

Mr Jeremy Robinson, BA, PGCE
Mr Peter Golden, MA, BSocSc, PGCE

Jeremy Robinson is an experienced Head of Department having taught at independent boarding schools in Bristol; at Canford School in Dorset and The King’s School, Parramatta, Sydney, Australia, before being appointed to Glenalmond.

Mr Golden moved from Felsted School, Essex when appointed to be the Housemaster of Goodacre’s. A textbook author and I.B. Assessor, Peter provides a wealth of Business Studies and Economics teaching experience within the Department.

The AQA 4132 / Unit 11 Short Course in Economics is currently offered as an option to those pupils who attend the College during the Fifth Form. It is not a full GCSE as it is only taught throughout one academic year.

The AQA Short Course in Economics focuses on Personal Economics: There are three components – i] Money; ii] Work; and iii] the National and Global Economy.

Money

This section focuses on how money is handled and how decisions are made with limited incomes. Emphasis is placed on how people’s needs for spending, saving and borrowing change at key points in their personal life cycle. How interest rates reflect the type of loan and why financial planning is necessary allied to how budgeting helps in managing money are investigated using case study material.

 

Work

This section looks at the purpose, nature and rewards of work, and what it means to be unemployed. How the Government supports those on low incomes and how it tackles unemployment are considered.

 

The National and Global Economy

This section looks at the impact of trading goods and services internationally and their importance to the UK economy. How changes in the exchange rate impact upon the economy and affect personal decisions is investigated. The syllabus concludes by considering how labour markets are affected by globalisation and both the positive and negative aspects of large flows of migrant workers, particularly within the EU.

Assessment in the Personal Economics Short Course is in the form of one written examination paper that lasts 75 minutes.

News headlines and widespread media coverage provide tangible evidence of how our everyday lives are affected by a diverse range of economic factors. The A Level Economics syllabus covers significant amounts of rigorous theory but also integrates many of these contemporary economic issues into the course. In addition to detailed analysis of monetary policy options that are broadly overseen by the Bank of England, there is considerable scope for analysis of how Government fiscal and supply-side policy options are applied across UK product and labour markets whilst complying with European Union regulations and directives.

A combination of discussion and multi-media resources will be used to introduce the main principles of economic theory and their application to pupils starting the AQA Economics specification in September 2017.

The micro-economic syllabus will be studied in Term 1. Analysis will be undertaken of:

  1. The economic problem and economic methodology;
  2. Price determination in a competitive market;
  3. Production, costs and revenue;
  4. Competitive and concentrated markets;
  5. The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets e.g.: indirect tax, regulations, subsidies, public sector provision of health care, education and transport.

 

The macro-economic component will be studied in Term 2. Using the context of a national economy, the course will investigate:

  1. The measurement of macroeconomic performance;
  2. How the macro-economy works: the circular flow of income, Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply analysis, and related concepts;
  3. Economic performance – e.g.: GDP growth, inflation, employment;
  4. Macro-economic policies – e.g.:  Monetary Policy; Government Fiscal Policy - taxation, spending and borrowing; Supply-side Policies.

 

The AQA A Level  Economics coursein the Upper Sixth will require pupils to be examined in all of the topics listed 1-5 plus the following micro-economic material:

  1.  Individual economic decision making;
  2.  Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly;
  3.  The labour market;
  4.  The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality.

 

The syllabus will also include all of the macro-economic topics:

  1.  Financial markets and monetary policy;
  2.  Fiscal and supply-side policies;
  3.  The international economy.

 

Pupils will be expected to develop a variety of skills, such as the ability to analyse, evaluate and interpret data. Many hours of extra reading and note taking from textbooks, newspapers, journal articles and e-information sources will be necessary to supplement the classroom work and deepen the pupils’ understanding of the subject.

 

Assessment at A Level [AQA 7136] is through three examination papers. All three papers will last two hours. Papers 1 and 2 will comprise of Section A: data response questions requiring written answers and Section B essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three. Paper 3 will comprise Section A: 30 multiple choice questions and Section B: case study questions requiring written answers.

 

Four key assessment objectives [AO] are sought by examiners in A Level Economics. These are:

 

  1. AO1 – Demonstrate knowledge of terms and concepts, theories and models and show an understanding of the economic syllabus;
  2. AO2 – Ability to apply this knowledge and understanding in an economic context;
  3. AO3 – Analysis of issues within Economics;
  4. AO4 – Evaluation of economic arguments and use of qualitative and quantitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues

 

Recommended Entry Requirements

Economics is presently offered as a GCSE “short course” for one-year International pupils in the Fifth Form. It is anticipated that every pupil commencing the Economics course in September will be starting a brand new subject. There is a lot of challenging theoretical material to cover and so the lessons will move quickly.

 

In order to attain high marks in Economics, pupils need to write with clarity and fluency and are expected to submit coherent, well-structured answers. These skills will be developed throughout the course but pupils are recommended to have attained a high grade at GCSE English if they aspire to top grades at A Level Economics. The inclusion of quantitative skills, which comprise 20% of the marks available, means numerical calculations are undertaken during the course. A strong grade in GCSE Mathematics is highly recommended because pupils will need to be confident in handling a considerable amount of economic data which has to be understood, explained and analysed.

 

Careers and Higher Education

Economics combines well with a range of other A Level options. The most successful combinations have seen Economics being studied alongside Mathematics and English. Popular combinations are with Geography or History and alongside a Modern Language. 

 

At University, Pure Economics can be studied as a Single Honours subject. However, it is frequently combined with Politics, Law or other Social Sciences.

 

University Admissions Officers (and future Employers) consider Economics A Level to be a very high-powered, rigorous and widely recognised “hard currency” foundation for all Accountancy, Business, Economics, Financial, Legal, Management and Professional Service degree courses.

Pupils who have studied Economics at Glenalmond have found the subject to be extremely worthwhile when entering a University degree course that includes an element of Economics; it provides them with a very solid platform on which to build.