Aim of the course
Economics is a serious, intellectually challenging subject combining analytical reasoning and an evaluative approach to issues with the study of important developments in current affairs in the UK and abroad.
While facts play an important part, there is often no ‘right answer’ to economic questions, making it a subject characterised by informed discussion.
We make the subject highly relevant and topical, enthusing students through making clear links to what is happening in economies right now. An understanding of the issues in the news today provides a great framework for getting to grips with complex ideas, giving students interesting examples that illustrate the theory in action.
It is not essential to study maths A level alongside economics, but please note that many straight economics courses at university require maths A level. University courses that are economics-related or dual honours are open to non-mathematicians. A small number of university courses strongly prefer candidates with further maths A level.
Through studying economics, students:
- Learn how to form well-structured opinions backed up by evidence and analysis, and put across arguments for and against theories and practices
- Develop a sound understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life
- Learn how to apply economic concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to appreciate their value and limitations in explaining real-world phenomena
- Analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it
- Work effectively with data, assessing its validity, conducting analysis using Excel and visualising data effectively through charts and graphics
Students cover micro and macro-economics.
Micro: the study of how individuals, households and firms make choices, including what to buy, how wages are set, the objectives of firms and market failures.
Macro: the study of how individual micro decisions aggregate to the national level, leading to topics such as inflation, unemployment, trade, and monetary and fiscal policy.
Increasingly, our students are enjoying great success in various economics essay competitions, such as the University of Cambridge Marshall Society essay competition. We take part in the annual Running the British Economy event at the University of Cambridge, deciding on various policy instruments to steer the British economy from interest rates to tax levels.
We run a joint trip with the history and politics departments to Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York. Sixth Formers tour Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, Congress and the Capitol Building. Closer to home, we attend lectures such as the Royal Economics Society Annual Lecture and other public lectures such as those organised by the University of Cambridge’s economics faculty.
Three papers at the end of the Upper Sixth in microeconomics, macroeconomics (data response and essay questions) and economics principles and issues (multiple choice and case study analysis).
Please note that Covid may have implications on the way exam boards award grades at this current time.