The study of Economics will help you develop a critical, analytical approach which will challenge any preconceived notions held about how the economy works. Whether it is your own welfare you are aiming to improve, or the welfare of others, Economics gives us an insight into the levers of wealth and well-being. Consider these profoundly important questions: how is it that when you want something, it is often available conveniently for you to buy? Why is it that the papers are full of derision regarding the NHS? Is it fair to tax the wealthy? Is it right to compensate the unemployed? Is Tesco too powerful? Will India’s style of growth reduce poverty quickly enough? Is the discovery of oil a good thing? Does the World Bank and the WTO represent the global community? If these questions intrigue you, then Economics will provide you with a way of analysing them. You will be introduced to a number of formal, theoretical models in order to analyse the world. You will be expected to think independently about particular economic issues, local, national and international, and be encouraged to discuss your views to develop your critical distance – the ability to step back from the discussion and analyse the assumptions it may be resting on.
No specific prior knowledge is assumed, but an appetite for current affairs is essential as the examinations are based on the economic phenomena reported every day in the media. The subject also requires numerical aptitude and the ability to consider an argument carefully and clearly, so pupils ought to have attained at least a 7 grade in both GCSE Mathematics and English.
Paper 1: Markets and business behaviour (35% of the A-level)
Paper 2: The national and global economy (35% of the A-level)
Paper 3: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (30% of the A-level)
Economics provides an excellent grounding in how the national and international economy works. The intellectual skills of analysing complex data and presenting coherent arguments are of life-long value. Economics is therefore highly valued by universities and is a first-rate foundation for an array of careers including in business, government, law, journalism and engineering.
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