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Economics at Gunnersbury Catholic School

Course description

  • Do you have an interest in learning how businesses and the government create benefits and economic wealth and, how they may create costs which society has to pay, such as s those associated with pollution or new house building projects?
  • Do you enjoy assessing and presenting the merits of alternative courses of action?
  • Are you interested in playing a full part in society: understanding why government pursues certain actions and how it may use the tax system to influence peoples' actions
  • Do you want to learn how to analyse data and economic models in order to suggest solutions to real-world problems or forecast future trends?

Some students may have studied a GCSE in Economics, GCSE in Business and Economics or GCSE in Business before studying this course, although this is not an essential requirement for studying Economics A level. What is likely to be much more important is your attitude to Maths, as you will be required to interpret data and make assumptions from it.

Course content

AS Units:

Unit 1: Markets and Market Failure provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines how the price mechanism allocates resources in markets. It analyses the nature of market failure, its causes and possible policy remedies. At the end of this unit, you should be able to apply supply and demand analysis to real world situations; to understand why markets might not allocate resources efficiently and the methods of dealing with market failure, together with an evaluation of their effectiveness.

Unit 2: The National Economy provides an introduction to the key measures of economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of economic policy. You should be able to use a basic Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply model to understand why demand and/or supply side policies may be seen as appropriate ways of managing an economy; predict the possible impact of such policies and to recognise the assumptions involved; argue for different approaches and identify criteria for success.

A2 Units:

Unit 3: Business Economics and the distribution of Income develops the content of Unit 1 and examines how the pricing of and nature of competition between firms is affected by the number and size of market participants. At the end of this unit, you should be able to analyse the pricing and output decisions of firms in different contexts. You should also be capable of making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets. Where appropriate, you should be able to relate the theoretical framework to real world examples in written, numerical and graphical forms.

You will also be required to understand the operations of the labour market and the factors which influence wage rates, poverty and the distribution of income and wealth.

Unit 4: The National and International Economy develops the knowledge and skills gained in Unit 2 so that they can be applied in a global context. The application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as an ability to assess policies which might be used to deal with economic problems. An awareness of trends and developments in the global economy over the last 10 years is required. Throughout the course you are expected to interpret data presented in different forms, for example tables, graphs and index numbers; carry out simple calculations, for example involving percentages and percentage change and distinguish between real and nominal data. You will also be required to interpret diagrams and construct simple graphs.

Entry requirements

Applicants will be required at least 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better PLUS grade B in GCSE Maths PLUS Grade B in GCSE English Language.

Assessment

AS UNits:

Unit 1: Markets and Market Failure - Examination length: 1 hour and 15 minutes
(25% of final grade)

Unit 2: The National Economy - Examination length: 1 hour and 15 minutes
(25% of final grade)

A2 Units:

Unit 3: Business Economics and the Distribution of Income - Examination length: 2 hours (25% of final grade)

Unit 4: The National and International Economy - Examination length: 2 hours (25% of final grade)

Future opportunities

This qualification should enable you to progress on to a straight economics degree with a focus on theory, or a degree in applied economics such as environmental economics, labour economics, public sector economics or monetary economics. Alternatively you may like to study a business economics or mathematical economics degree. Economics can also be combined with another subject as a joint degree or with other subjects, such as politics, philosophy or history as a combined degree. Post university employment rates of economists are among the highest for graduates. An economics degree enables students to gain transferable skills in problem solving, quantitative analysis and communication. You are likely to find employment in finance, banking, insurance, accountancy, management and consultancy. Some become professional economists.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gunnersbury Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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