Economics

Economics

Head of Department: Mrs M O’Fril

Why study Economics?

Anyone who is interested in knowing more about human behaviour will find economics fascinating. Economists study how individuals and groups of people make choices about what to do with their limited resources. Economics is, therefore, not just about money, business and the stock market. Though these are important aspects of the subject, economics also deals with wider social and environmental issues including climate change, globalisation, sustainable development and the distribution of income and wealth. Students of economics develop a host of practical and transferable skills that benefit them in education and in the world of work. These include critical investigation, analytical thinking, oral and written communication, numeracy, research, ICT and handling of data. What’s more, the potential earnings for students with a degree in Economics is among the highest for all graduates, and there are currently shortages of qualified economists.  

GCE Economics AS & A2

The CCEA GCE Economics specification (teaching from September 2016) helps students gain an insight into some of the major issues facing society today. It encourages students to:

  • develop an interest and enthusiasm for the study of economics;
  • appreciate the subject’s contribution to the understanding of the wider economic and social environment;
  • develop an understanding of a range of concepts and an ability to use these concepts in a variety of different contexts;
  • use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and an ability to think as an economist; and
  • develop skills, qualities and attitudes that will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life.

 AS/A2 Content

The GCE Economics specification is available at two levels: AS and A Level. Students can take the AS course as a final qualification or as the first half of the A Level qualification. Students who wish to obtain a full A level qualification must also complete the second half of the course, which is referred to as A2.The course comprises four units: two at AS level and two at A2 level. These are outlined in the table below:

Areas of study

Unit

Areas of Study

 AS 1:

Markets and Market Failure

In this unit, you will study the   way markets work. You will examine market forces and how supply and demand   work together to provide resources for local, national and international   markets. You will also examine why markets fail and possible ways of correcting   this failure.

 AS 2:

Managing the National Economy

You will examine changes in the   economy, and the effectiveness of government policies. You will look at   issues such as unemployment, inflation and economic growth.

 A2 1:

Business Economics

This unit builds on the AS   content, and will help you to understand the economic behaviour in   competitive and non-competitive markets. It will investigate how firms grow   by examining organic growth, mergers and takeovers.

 A2 2:

Managing the Economy in a Global   World

In this unit you will study the   significance of globalisation, international trade, the balance of payments   and exchange rates. You will also develop an understanding of the factors   that influence growth and development of developing countries.

Assessment 

Unit

 Assessment Description

 Weighting

 AS 1:

Markets and Market Failure

1 hour 30 minute examination paper which includes   short answer questions, one data response and a choice of essay questions

Worth 50% of AS

20% of A level

 AS 2:

Managing the National Economy

1 hour 30 minute examination paper which includes   short answer questions, one data response and a choice of essay questions

Worth 50% of AS

20% of A level

 A2 1:

Business Economics

2 hour examination paper which includes short answer   questions, case study questions and a choice of essay questions

Worth 30% of A level

 A2 2: Managing   the Economy in a Global World

2 hour examination paper which includes short answer   questions, case study questions and a choice of essay questions

Worth 30% of A level

Assessment for each of the two AS units consists of a three part written examination. Part A, which accounts for 25 of the 80 marks, requires students to answer a number of short questions. In part B students complete a structured data response question worth 35 marks. In part C, which is worth 20 marks, students complete one open response question from a choice of two.

Assessment for each of the A2 units consists of a three part written examination. Part A, which accounts for 20 of the 90 marks, requires students to answer a number of short questions. In part B students complete a structured case study question worth 40 marks. In part C, which is worth 30 marks, students complete one open response question from a choice of two.

There is no coursework.

GCE Exam Results_Summer 2015
  Number of students Grades achieved % A – E grades
  A B C D Other  
AS 16 3 2 6 2 3 94%
  A* A B C D Other  
A2 10 2 1 6 1 - - 100%

 Useful resources: Websites

www.tutor2u.net

www.bizedf.co.uk

www.ccea.org.uk

www.bbc.co.uk

www.statistics.gov.uk

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

www.bankofengland.co.uk

www.oecd.org

www.ifs.org.uk

READING 

Recommended Reading for Economics

Here is Geoff Riley’s [co-founder of tutor2u] revised and updated selection of books designed to enhance and enrich students’ understanding and enjoyment of Economics perhaps as part of an application process for university.

Source: Applying for Economics Courses at University – 2016 Guide www.tutor2u.net/economics

Recommended Reading for Economics / Management / PPE

1. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang)

2. Art of Strategy (Dixit and Nalebuff) – especially good for Game Theory examples and analysis

3. Consolations of Economics: How We Will All Benefit from the New World Order (Gerard Lyons)

4. Drunkard’s Walk (Leonard Mlodinow) – brilliant history of Maths and lots of relevant applications

5. GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History (Professor Diane Coyle)

6. Inequality – a superb book on one of the defining issues of the age (AB Atkinson)

7. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics (Richard Thaler)

8. Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception (George Akerlof and Robert Shiller)

9. Poor Economics: Rethinking Ways to Fight Global Poverty (Banerjee & Duflo)

10. Positive Linking – Networks and Nudges (Paul Ormerod) – good intro to network economics

11. Risk Savvy - How to make good decisions (Gerd Gigerenzer) – the world of heuristics

12. Ten Great Economists (Philip Thornton) – biographical background, well worth a read

13. The Box - How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, (Levinson)

14. The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe (Joseph Stiglitz)

15. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Brad Stone)

16. The Great Divide (Professor Joseph Stiglitz)

17. The Great Escape (Professor Angus Deaton)

18. The Idea of Justice (Amartya Sen)

19. The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature: (Professor Paul Collier)

20. Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow: (Professor Daniel Kahneman)

21. What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (Professor Michael Sandel)

22. Who Gets What - And Why: Understand the Choices You Have, Improve the Choices You Make (Al Roth)

23. Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Cesar Hidalgo)

24. Why Nations Fail: Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson)

25. Worldly Philosophers: Lives, Times, and Ideas of Great Economic Thinkers (Robert Heilbroner)

 Other Suggested Resources:

The Enlightenment Economics blog written by Diane Coyle is excellent for keeping up to speed with the flow of new economics books that are being published at the moment: www.enlightenmenteconomics.com/blog/

Superb regular articles available from the Project Syndicate website: www.project-syndicate.org/

Geoff Riley posts regular university and economics subject advice on his Twitter feed: @tutor2ugeoff

 Higher Education

Economics opens up a wide range of opportunities for further and higher education and interesting and rewarding careers. It also combines well with other social sciences and the humanities, with foreign languages, with mathematics and sciences and with vocational subjects such as engineering, manufacturing and business.  It is also very useful for those thinking of careers such as accountancy, business management, banking, finance, government services and professions such as teaching and law.

 Guardian University Guide 2016: League table for Economics

1 Oxford 11 Portsmouth
2 Warwick 12 UEA
3 Cambridge 13 London   School of Economics
4 Surrey 14 Bristol
5 Herriot   - Watt 15 Aston
6 Leeds 16 Strathclyde
7 Coventry 17 Oxford   Brookes
8 UCL 18 Nottingham
9 Kent 19 Lancaster
10 Durham 20 Queen   Mary

 

 

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