Economics

Head of Social Science Faculty

Mrs J Edge

jedge@lymmhigh.org.uk

Head of Economics

Mrs K Hill

khill@lymmhigh.org.uk

Overview

The economy is the framework within which everything else takes place.

Economics is everywhere – and economic theory can be applied to a surprising number of issues. In macroeconomics you’ll learn about the way in which the UK’s economy works and the rationale behind budgetary decisions. In microeconomics the theory of supply and demand will be developed in relation to individual firms and markets. You’ll discover how every decision that you make has a ‘cost’ associated with it – even the decision regarding which subjects you have chosen to study incurs a cost.

Economics is a really versatile subject and gives you a sophisticated understanding of our country and how the economy works. You could work for a big corporation as an economic analyst, or be the next Evan Davies or Stephanie Flanders on the BBC. Banks need economists as do local and national government, and economics is always valuable in careers like marketing, law, journalism or teaching.

Key Stage 5

The course is split into two main sections, the first section introduces you to microeconomic issues and the second section covers mainly macroeconomic issues. However, you should appreciate that microeconomics and macroeconomics are not entirely distinct areas of study. For example, microeconomic principles often provide fundamental insights into understanding aspects of the macro-economy. Similarly, economic issues and problems often contain both a microeconomic and macroeconomic dimension.

You will be given the opportunity to explore the disagreements that exist between economists and current economic controversies and you will come to appreciate why such disagreements exist and the basis upon which judgements are made.

You will be encouraged to develop a critical approach to economic models and methods of enquiry, and appreciate that value judgements play an important role in economic decision making. You will develop an understanding that the methodology of economics and the role of evidence whilst recognising that economics is a social science and that people’s behaviour is not necessarily rational or predictable.

You will to acquire a good knowledge of trends and developments in the economy which have taken place over the past fifteen years and also have an awareness of earlier events where this helps to give recent developments a longer term perspective.

Over the course of the 2 years micro and macro themes will be explored.

Microeconomic models such as demand and supply, perfect competition, monopoly, the operation of the price mechanism and the causes of market failure. You will need to demonstrate a realistic understanding of the decisions made by firms and how their behaviour can be affected by the structure and characteristics of the industry in which they operate. Other key models relate to the operation of labour markets, wage determination and causes of inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth.

In the second year you will develop an appreciation that traditional economic theory generally assumes that economic agents act rationally but recent models recognise that consumer and firms’ behaviour is often governed by more complex influences.

You should, by the end of the second year, be able to apply your knowledge and skills to a wide variety of situations and to different markets and examples of market failure, including environmental and labour market failures and appreciate and be able to assess the impact that developments in the European Union and in the global economy have upon microeconomic behaviour and performance.

The macroeconomics section of the specification is primarily about macroeconomics. However, you will understand that microeconomic principles underpin the behaviour of the macroeconomy.

Understanding some aspects of macroeconomic behaviour requires that you have a firm grasp of related microeconomic principles, for example, understanding of price elasticity of demand is essential when analysing the impact of changes in the exchange rate on an economy.

You need to develop a good knowledge of developments in the UK economy and government policies over the past fifteen years including world economy, the European Union, and how these have affected the UK. There are a number of models demonstrating how the macroeconomy works and you will develop an appreciation that different economic models provide insights into different aspects of the behaviour of the macroeconomy. The second year will fully develop your critical awareness of the assumptions upon which they are based and their limitations when they are used to make sense of real world phenomena. Furthermore, in the second year of study you should be prepared to propose, analyse and

evaluate possible solutions to macroeconomic problems and assess the impact

and effectiveness of current government policies to deal with these problems, as well as considering alternative policies and approaches.

Topics covered over the two years

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

1. Economic methodology and the economic problem

2. Individual economic decision making

3. Price determination in a competitive market

4. Production, costs and revenue

5. Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly

6. The labour market

7. The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality

8. The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

The national and international economy

9. The measurement of macroeconomic performance

10. How the macro-economy works: the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts

11. Economic performance

12. Financial markets and monetary policy

13. Fiscal policy and supply-side policies

14. The international economy

Homework: A variety of activities are set in economics. Such as, multiple choice questions, extended examination questions, full examination papers (where possible), research and investigations, essays, extended answers, project work and revision.

Assessment: Pupils are assessed each lesson via different learning techniques. Formal assessments are either questions that require short answers or statements that require an essay style answer. Pupils are tested through key skills and are measured on how well they can express knowledge, apply their knowledge to case study information, express understanding, analyse and evaluate.

You will be assessed through three examination papers. The first paper will examine mainly the topics that are outlined in Section 4.1 of the specification but economic principles included in Section 4.2 of the specification may also enrich a student’s response to some questions. Similarly, the second paper will examine mainly the topics that are outlined in Section 4.2 of the specification but may draw on economic principles from Section 4.1. The third paper will include topics from both sections of the specification and students, particularly when answering questions linked to the case study, will be expected to recognise when it is appropriate to use microeconomic and/or macroeconomic models.

Paper 1: Markets and Market Failure Paper 2: National and International Economy Paper 3: Economic principles and issues
What’s assessed

Content 1-8 above

What’s assessed

Content 9-14 above

What’s assessed

All content 1-14 above

Assessed

·       Written exam: 2 hours

·       80 marks

·       33.3% of A-Level

Assessed

·       Written exam: 2 hours

·       80 marks

·       33.3% of A-Level

Assessed

·       Written exam: 2 hours

·       80 marks

·       33.3% of A-Level

Questions

Section A: Data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks

Section B: Essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks

Questions

Section A: Data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks

Section B: Essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks

Questions

Section A: Multiple choice questions worth 30 marks

Section B: Case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks

You will be expected to acquire competence in quantitative skills that are relevant to the subject content and be familiar with the various types of statistical and other data which are commonly used by economists. You should be able to make relevant calculations from economic data and be able to interpret data presented in the form of index numbers. Examples of other relevant quantitative skills include: the construction and use of graphs and the application of statistical measures such as the mean, median and relevant quantiles.

Useful Information: 

Economics at A level is a demanding subject and we ask that students have at least 5 GCSEs at A*-C, including B in Mathematics and C in English.

We also endeavour to give students the opportunity to enter The Times and Bank of England Target 2.0 challenge. Students take on the role of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to decide at what percentage to set the Rate of Interest to try and meet the government’s inflation target of 2.0%.

Each year students have local heats where they present for 15 minutes to BoE representatives and other schools. If successful they then go on to regional and final national heats.

www.aqa.co.uk

General economics news and analysis:

Use the available resources tutor2u economics blog:

 

5 ways I can help my son/daughter
1 Talk to your child about what they have been studying in school. Ask them to explain key concepts to you. Definitions are part of the formal assessment at AS level and an integral part of the full course, therefore discussing key terms develop their knowledge and understanding .
2 Debate topical issues about the wider economy, demonstrating a balanced argument. Macroeconomics demands a sophisticated understanding of wider issues including rates of interest, as parents you probably have first-hand knowledge of this and discussing it with your child really helps with their understanding.
3 Watch the news and read news articles about the economy with your child asking them questions that check they have understood the report and ask them to give their opinions.
4 Encourage them to read around the subject. Newspapers are a great source of information for economics.
5 Talk to them about their progress and attainment.