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Economics AS/A2 Level at The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

Course description

In A Level Economics you’ll look at the fundamental forces which affect our everyday lives, such as employment, prices, international trade and poverty. Economists are often in lively debate with each other over these issues. It is this controversy which makes Economics dynamic and interesting and which allows you the opportunity to make your own judgements and form your own opinions.

What skills will I develop?
  • an interest and enthusiasm for economics and its contribution to the wider economic and social environment
  • an enquiring, critical and thoughtful 'economist's mind'
  • practise skills, qualities and attitudes which will equip you for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life.
  • an understanding of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life
  • analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it.

Students will need to be able to manipulate data in a variety of forms, undertake a range of calculations and interpret their results, present arguments and make judgements and justify recommendations on the basis of the available evidence. Students will also need to conduct research into a specific theme in preparation for one or more tasks

Students will need to be able to manipulate data in a variety of forms and to interpret their results, present arguments and make judgements and justify recommendations on the basis of the available evidence. Students will also need to conduct research into a specific theme in preparation for one or more tasks

Course content

Unit 1: Markets and market failure
This unit focuses on microeconomics, covering topics such as demand and supply, the operation of the price mechanism, competition and the causes of market failure e.g. pollution. You will consider the decisions made by firms and how their behaviour can be affected by the structure and characteristics of the industry in which they operate e.g. a monopoly.

Other key models relate to the operation of labour markets, wage determination and causes of inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth. You will also learn about the impact that developments in the European Union and in the global economy have upon microeconomic behaviour and performance. You will use microeconomic models to analyse current problems and issues in the UK and world economy. Microeconomics addresses questions such as “why are house prices so high?”, “can pollution effectively be controlled?” and “should governments interfere with markets?”

 

Unit 2: National and international economy
This unit focuses on macroeconomics,  covering topics such as aggregate demand and supply, unemployment, inflation, the interest rate, trade, exchange rates, government policies, developing countries, globalisation and the impact of the European and world economy on the UK, over the past 15 years. There is also a module on financial markets, banking and financial regulation. You will study recent economic events and consider their causes and consequences. 

You will be encouraged to evaluate government policies and their impact on, for example, economic growth. Macroeconomics addresses questions such as “Why does the government have an inflation rate target and how does it affect us?”, “What happens to the economy if people decide to spend more?” and “How are we affected by the Chinese and Indian economies?”

Entry requirements

6 GCSE A* - C passes, including English and a grade B in Maths.

Assessment

Paper 1: Markets and market failure
 

Written paper: 2 hours (80 marks)
33.3% of total A Level marks
Section A: data response questions, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks
Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks
 
Paper 2: National and international economy
 

Written paper: 2 hours (80 marks)
33.3% of total A Level marks
Section A: data response questions, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks
Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks

 

Paper 3: Economic principles and issues

Written paper: 2 hours (80 marks)
33.3% of total A Level marks
Section A: multiple choice questions worth 30 marks
Section B: case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks

The final exam assesses topics from both sections of the specification (Paper 1 and Paper 2). You will answer questions linked to a case study and will be expected to recognise when it is appropriate to use microeconomic and/or macroeconomic models

 

Future opportunities

The course lays an appropriate foundation for further study of economics or related subjects in higher education, for example Economics, Politics, Business Management and Finance. In addition it offers a worthwhile academic challenge for candidates in terms of general education, life-skills and career opportunities. 

Economics students often go on to work in industries such as banking, communications, insurance, investment and retailing industries, as well as in government agencies, consulting and charitable organisations.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 01 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years

Venues

  • More information
    • Travel to school by public transport is strongly recommended as there is very limited parking on site and in the local area.

      For those travelling by bicycle we also have secure bicycle racks on site.

      Nearest Tube Stations 

      Greenford and Ealing Broadway 

      Nearest British Rail Station 

      Greenford 

      Nearest Bus Routes

      92 Ealing Hospital - Greenford - Wembley - Neasden

      95 Southall - Greenford - Park Royal - Shepherd’s Bush

      105 Heathrow - Greenford - Park Royal - Shepherd’s Bush

      282 Ealing Hospital - Greenford - Eastcote - Mount Vernon

      E1 Ealing Broadway - Drayton Green - Greenford

      E2 Brentford - Greenford - Ruislip

      E3 Greenford - Acton - Chiswick

      E5 Greenford - Southall - Havelock Estate

      E6 Greenford - Willowtree Lane - Hayes

      E7 Ealing - Greenford - Ruislip

      E9 Ealing Broadway - Greenford - Yeading

      Access for Disabled Visitors

      We have a limited number of parking spaces available for disabled visitors. The school reception can be accessed via a ramp and automatic doors. In addition to this, the majority of buildings have lifts and ramp access. If you are visually or hearing impaired, or have other needs, you would be welcome to contact the school prior to coming to the school so that we can endeavour to meet your needs during your visit.