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Economics AS & A Level at Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Course description

The aim of the course is to offer full-time students the opportunity to gain a national qualification in Economics.

The course includes a wide variety of learning experiences such as lectures, one to one tutorials, ICT based tasks, practical work, group work, discussions/debates, DVDs, and personal research when preparing for assessment. This aspect of the course is particularly important in economics because it is assumed that you are keeping up-to-date with current affairs issues (which you can then utilise to support a particular point of discussion or debate). Also, as part of your course in Economics you will be offered the chance to go on several educational visits including a trip to the Jaguar Land Rover Factory in Solihull. There are also several visits to some prestigious universities which offer exceptionally good Economics courses at a Higher Education Level.

Course content

Markets & Market Failure
Topics include:
The basic economic problem ‘scarcity’ and the classification and allocation of economic resources. Economic decision making and the use of PPF diagrams, positive and normative statements. Price determination in competitive markets, price elasticity of demand, production costs and revenues for firms.

Market structure: In particular perfect competition, oligopoly and monopoly, the labour market and wage determination, the distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality and the market mechanism: market failure and the role of government intervention in markets.

National and International Economy
Topics include:
Macroeconomic performance: Employment, unemployment, inflation, deflation, GDP, the Circular flow of income, aggregate demand and aggregate supply, the economic cycle, financial markets and regulation, the balance of payments and international trade.

Financial markets and monetary policy, fiscal and supply side policies and the international economy, international trade, exchange rates.

Economic Principles and Issues
This final assessment tests your knowledge and understanding of all the concepts listed above i.e. it is synoptic and can be based upon the UK, Europe or global market. You will be presented with a case study and you will be required to utilise the relevant economic concepts and models to illustrate/support your ideas.

Entry requirements

Usually you'll need five or more A*-C (9-4) grades at GCSE including maths and English. A new grade scale is in operation for maths and English which is numerical. The equivalent to a B grade will be a 6 and the equivalent to a C grade will be 5 for entry requirement purposes.

To study Economics you must have GCSE Maths at Grade 6


Assessment is comprised of three examinations at the end of two years of study.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

Financial information

Newcastle Maintenance Allowance (NMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances.

Future opportunities

When you have gained your A Level in Economics you can use it to progress into Higher Education. There are a wide range of undergraduate degrees available in Economics both locally and further afield. Keele University offers various Economics courses. Economics can be combined with many other subjects, for example Business Studies and/or Accounting. The sorts of jobs Economics graduates go on to do are wide ranging including working in the numerous and dynamic financial and money markets, working for huge multinationals like BP, working for the major banking institutions, and of course entering the teaching profession.

Further information

Studying Economics provides an excellent general qualification for many careers. You will be able to use this traditional qualification to progress easily into Higher Education because universities recognise the independence of thought and critical awareness that A Level Economics courses develop. Many employers appreciate the skills and knowledge that Economics students will have gained during their studies. Having an economics qualification will give you ‘the edge’ because you will have very relevant employable and transferable skills which employers are constantly looking for.

On a personal level, students will find that their awareness of economic issues (both in the UK and overseas) will enhance their understanding of the global economy. Students will be able to critically analyse how a problem in the USA, China or the Eurozone could impact in the UK or even global markets and institutions. For example we will need to analyse the possible impact of BREXIT on UK firms. Will the UKs decision to leave the EU encourage other member countries to follow? Will the UK still be able to trade freely with the single market? Can we grow other export markets like China and Canada? Why has the UK government recently agreed the funding of a new nuclear power plant at Hinckley Point using Chinese investment?

How do I find out more?
If you wish to find out more you can contact Sandra Jones, Head of Economics using the following details. Email: Tel: 01782 254318

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newcastle-under-Lyme College directly.

Last updated date: 16 November 2016
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