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Economics A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Ashbourne Independent School

Course description

One of the great things about studying Economics at Ashbourne is that students examine real life situations to discover how people and organisations make decisions based on scarce resources like time and money. This helps them develop a theoretical understanding of how better decisions can be made by themselves, society and government.

Keeping up-to-date with current affairs is essential for Economics and we expect students to regularly read newspapers and magazines, and watch programmes like Newsnight and Question Time.

We also teach students to articulate their ideas and to distinguish between facts, bias and opinion allowing them to put forward persuasive arguments and view issues from all sides.

From very early on students receive plenty of exam practice to improve their technique and enable them to get the best results.

Possibly without realising it you are already an active part of the global economic system: whether you are buying clothes that cost 50 percent more than their manufacturing cost, lamenting the price of petrol, paying more for flights at the weekends, not getting paid enough for your weekend job, employing someone else to do your homework, avoiding your taxes or wondering just why some people are far richer than you. Well, what better way to stay afloat, get ahead or help others than by studying economics?

Studying Economics will help you understand why prices fluctuate, where your taxes go, how government legislation can push people to change their spending habits (or not), why some companies dominate their market, how global or societal changes like climate change and ageing can have an impact on a country’s economy, why people fight for resources and why certain economies grow faster than others.

You will also learn how to analyse complex issues, create strategies, monitor the political climate, understand commercial incentives, problem solve, interpret statistics and data, explain your ideas clearly and be ready for any eventuality – all highly desirable and transferable skills.

Economics is an intellectually challenging subject that universities hold in high regard.

Course content

This course covers micro-economics (how individual people and businesses behave and make decisions in relation to resource allocation and the price of goods and services) and macro-economics (the bigger picture: large economies, entire industries and global factors).
A level students will cover themes 1–4: two are micro- and two macro-economics; students will sit three final examinations at the end of the course.
AS level students cover themes 1 and 2: one is micro- and one macro-economics; students sit two final examinations at the end of the course.

Theme 1:

Introduction to markets and market failure
This micro-economics theme introduces you to the reality that people do not always behave as predicted which can affect the demand and supply of goods, services and labour.

You will also discover how the vagaries and anomalies of markets can make societies better or worse off: certain businesses may hog the marketplace keeping the price of your software high; you may be unable to buy locally grown fruit because it is all being exported; your local hospital may not have the provision to do the operation you need, but you can buy cheap booze and cigarettes; and the fumes from the car you bought are creating pollution and affecting others’ health.

Then you can examine how local organisations and governments try to correct these market ‘failures’ and question why their actions do not always succeed.

Theme  2:

The UK economy – performance and policies

This macro-economics theme takes all of the individual markets put together and investigates how they affect households, businesses and government within the UK. You will need to keep up to date with current affairs issues – like unemployment, government legislation and trade relations with other countries – and examine how specific government policies aim to achieve sustainable economic growth, low and stable inflation rates and full employment.

Theme 3:

Business behavior and the labour market

This is where you really scrutinise how businesses work (micro-economics) in different markets by applying theory and crunching numbers: you will analyse the revenue, cost and profit schedules of firms and how these may or may not equate to an efficient allocation of resources. You will also take a look at ways governments attempt to protect consumers’ rights and how they encourage firms to be more efficient.

Theme 4:

A global perspective

What if companies could sue governments for decisions they believe jeopardise their profits? How would this affect governments’ ability to protect people, the environment or services? Who makes international trade rules? In this macro-economic theme you will examine international trade patterns and relations, and the governing role of institutions like the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. You will also consider the (human and economic) impact of global issues like poverty, inequality and environment and what policies governments might use to tackle these problems.



Entry requirements

Ashbourne aims to attract students with good character and solid academic achievements. The college takes great care with admissions and interviews each applicant. The interview is friendly, informal and without obligation.

Future opportunities

With your excellent understanding of how economics affects your own finances, influences business success, shapes government policy and collapses global markets you should be well-suited for a degree in Economics-related courses like International Relations, Law, Business, Economics or Maths. Then you could go for high flying jobs in the government forging economic policy, working at the World Bank, making predictions for economic think tanks, shaking up the stock market or attempting to regulate the finance industry. Alternatively, you may plan to set up your own business, get involved in the law, become a journalist, offer advice to non-profit organisations or become a crusader for global trade justice.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ashbourne Independent School directly.

Last updated date: 10 November 2016

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