Economics is a highly topical, dynamic subject that analyses and explains the issues that grab the headlines.
Should we worry about oil prices? What will be the impact of BREXIT? Will the Bank of England reduce interest rates further? What impact will the slowdown in China’s growth have on the world economy? What will be the impact of the Living Wage?
At the centre of the subject is the question of how we divide up our scarce resources and how those decisions affect us all – who gets what and why?
Looking to the future, studying economics is beneficial for a range of degree courses. Skills such as analysis, data interpretation and critical judgement can be applied to just about any university subject.
Overall the course focuses on helping you to understand the world. It emphasises internationalism by promoting awareness of the key role of Economics in international affairs.
Economics can both improve cooperation and understanding between countries and, sadly, also cause antagonism between countries. You will be asked to evaluate economic theories and events from the point of view of different individuals, nations and cultures in the world economy in order to understand better their full impact.
Both the subject and the international background of our students allow plenty of international case studies, discussion and approaches.
Different cultures and values can also be brought easily into our discussion of topics such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and trade flows or the rapid growth of India and China. Materials are balanced to ensure an international mix of sources, analysis and economic opinion.
Economics at Higher and Standard Level gives you the opportunity to have an understanding of economic concepts and theories; apply economic theory to a range of issues and situations; analyse data and assess policy options through the use of economic concepts; evaluate ideas and theories from different economic perspectives.
Having followed the course, you should be able to think critically about Economics; promote an awareness and understanding of internationalism in Economics; develop as independent learners and recognise your own tendencies for bias; distinguish between positive and normative Economics.
The course is underpinned by 9 key concepts:
- Economic wellbeing
These concepts run throughout the programme and link the sections together.
Section 1: Introduction to Economics
Understanding the nature of economics as a social science, the central problem faced by economists and the changing nature of economics.
Section 2: Microeconomics
Applying economic ideas such as the laws of supply and demand to analyse markets, and evaluating why markets and governments may fail. In order to ultimately answer the following questions:
How do consumers and producers make choices in trying to meet their economic objectives? When are markets unable to satisfy important economic objectives - and does government intervention help?
Section 3: Macroeconomics
Analysing issues relevant to the whole economy, such as growth, unemployment, inflation and equality in order to decide:
Why does economic activity vary over time and why does this matter? How do governments manage their economy and how effective are their policies?
Section 4: The global economy
Learning why countries trade, exchange rates, balance of payments and trade protection as well as exploring reasons why countries may be less developed than others and strategies to overcome this. Therefore being able to evaluate:
Who are the winners and losers of the integration of the world's economies? Why is economic development uneven?
Assessment takes place through a combination of internal and external assessment. Internal assessment involves writing a response to a current affairs issue. External examinations include a variety of different approaches such as essays and data interpretation.