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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study Economics?

Studying Economics is about having a greater understanding of the world we live in and being able to appreciate the interdependence of consumers, firms and governments at a local, national and international level.

2019/20 was a year where controversial economic issues made the headlines. In the field of Microeconomics (the study of the behavior of individuals or groups such as consumers, firms or workers) the growth of technological firms like Amazon, Google, Uber and Spotify dominated the headlines. In the field of Macroeconomics (the study of the economy as a whole) the UK, Europe and the rest of the world (ROW) were faced with a combination of issues such as; Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the demise of Venezuela and Covid 19!

Economics will help you to explain and analyse such issues using economic data, models and indicators. You will be able to use key theories to explain changes in the economic environment and learn how to organise, present and communicate ideas. You will also develop the confidence to make economic judgements on economic policy prescriptions in a structured and convincing manner.

What can it lead to?

As one of the fastest growing and increasingly relevant A Levels, Economics is highly valued by both employers and higher education institutions.  Many of our Economics students’ progress onto University after leaving St Charles; around 75% go onto study an Economics related degree.

The analytical approach required of the subject means that students will have a good foundation for opportunities in a number of areas including:

Degrees: Economics, Economics and History or Politics or Economics and Computing. Students could also apply to study coding via providers such as; General Assembly, Code Bar or Founders and Coders.

Employment opportunities: Stock Broking and Merchant Banking, Law, Accountancy, Journalism, Politics, Management, Civil Service, Insurance, and the City.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency's Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) examines first degree graduate destinations six months after they graduated. According to their research 81.45 of graduates were in employment six months after graduation. They also found that 57.2% worked in Business, HR & finance where job roles included Financial Analyst, Auditing and Investment Banking

How is the course organised?

Edexcel GCE in Economics A is structured into four themes.

In the first year Students are introduced to Economics in Themes 1 and 2 through building knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts

In the second year students build on this and apply their knowledge to more complex concepts and models in Themes 3 and 4. 

Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessments and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies. 

Further Information available in the link below to the Specification

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/economics-a-2015.html

How is the course assessed?

Students study the full A level and at the end of the two years the course will be assessed with three external examinations:

Paper 1: Markets and business behaviour

This is a 2-hour paper which is worth 35% of the total qualification and draws on themes 1&3.

Paper 2: The national and global economy

This is a 2-hour paper which is worth 35% of the total qualification and draws on themes 2&4.

Paper 3: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

The final paper is again 2- hour paper but is worth 30% of the total qualification. This paper is synoptic and draws on all four of the themes studied over the two years.

Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) - Advanced GCE – 601/4105/0 (QN) Subject codes - GCE – 9EC  Paper code: Paper 1: 9EC0/01 Paper 2: 9EC0/02 Paper 3: 9EC0/03

What do I need to qualify for this course?

Candidates must have at least a grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics and English Language, in addition to our normal A level college entry requirement. There is a strong focus on numeracy in A Level Business therefore candidates are expected to have high standards of numerical reasoning. Essay writing also forms an important part of the assessment, therefore quality of language is also assessed as an integral part of the course. 

Students need to demonstrate an ability to carry out calculations, interpret and analyse data, apply knowledge to unfamiliar situations, develop arguments and make judgments and decisions.

A strong interest in business news both on a national and international level is crucial. Students are expected to keep up to date on a weekly basis with current news, reading newspapers, books and journals and have to demonstrate a desire to conduct independent study.

Who are the teachers?

There are currently two teachers in the department who will deliver the new A level curriculum; Mrs. Coyle (Head of Department) and Richard Smith. 

Mrs. Coyle has a degree in Economics from University College Galway in Ireland and has experience teaching Business and Economics for the past 30 years. Mr. Smith has a degree in Economics from Newcastle University and has also taught Economics and Business for 6 years. Both teachers obtained a 2:1 grade at their respective universities and have gone on to gain experience as examiners for different examination boards to equip them to help their students achieve the best possible grade in economics.  

The economics department shares a vision in creating a department that is engaging, skills driven and exam focused. Both teachers within the department have taught different examination specifications ranging from AQA to OCR and are well equipped and settled on delivering the Edexcel A linear specification. 

For more information contact Mrs. Coyle, Head of Department (jco@stcharles.ac.uk) or Mr. Smith A level Y12 Economics Course Leader (rsm@stcharles.ac.uk)

 

What do students say about the course?

"Economics is a wonderful subject which has given me a better understanding of the world we live in. I have also been able to develop my evaluation skills with the help of supportive teachers who have exceptional subject knowledge and the relevant expertise to boost your grade."

"I find the lessons beneficial as we are constantly going over examination techniques and developing skills so that I can improve my grades."

"What I have really enjoyed about Economics is the ability I have gained to apply theory to real life events. For example, I learnt about the long term effectiveness of supply side policies in helping to combat the UK’s persistent current account deficit."
 


"Economics is an interesting topic which I wish to continue to study at university. In particular, I have really enjoyed learning about the UK economy as I feel I can analyse  government policies a lot better as a result."
 

Extra Curricular

The Business & Economics department has close links with numerous employers and academic institutions. Students get the opportunity to attend both internal and external revision workshops and conferences.

In addition, there is the opportunity to enhance learning with enrichment activities such as The department works closely with several leading universities so that students can see the breadth of job opportunities and roles that are available in these fields. Students have attended presentations and workshops to encourage higher order skills and application of economic theories to real world events. Phillip Coggan, the Editor of the Economist Magazine visited Economics students to discuss his views on topics issues such as Brexit and give advice to students wishing to study Economics at university.

The Department has built close links with a series of finance and technological firms such as Deutsche Bank, Google & General Assembly, Bank of England, The institute of Economic Affairs, Innocent and Barclays.