Economics

Economics

Economics

We are living in uncertain, but interesting economic times, and society needs explanations. Economics will allow you to understand the complex arguments that surround contemporary issues in society.

Economics

Course Summary

We are living in uncertain, but interesting economic times, and society needs explanations. Economics will allow you to understand the complex arguments that surround contemporary issues in society. The key idea in the study of Economics is the scarcity of the world’s resources. These resources are used to produce the goods and services we consume.

Economics is a social science, which studies the choices that we, as individuals and as a society, have to make because of the scarcity of these resources. The outcomes of these decisions have enormous impact on us, our society and the environment. The course is designed to give you a better understanding of the world and most of material will deal with contemporary issues (the short run and long run impact of ‘Brexit’; housing; how the Covid-19 pandemic may change the economy; austerity; the environment; lesson learned from the financial crisis; income and wealth inequality; and, the productivity gap).

During the first year some of the content of Economics will contain issues which you will have studied in GCSE subjects like Geography (trade and development), Business Studies (demand and markets), Science (the environment) and History (empires and the causes of wars).

Economics may be combined with many other subjects. Although the level of mathematics required for A Level Economics is of GCSE standard, if students are considering studying Economics at University, then studying A Level Mathematics is advisable for most students and essential for those considering studying Economics at Oxbridge or Russell Group Universities.

As Economics is a social science, Economics may complement the study of other social science/humanity subjects: many students benefit from combining Economics with Politics, Geography, Sociology and History.

Specific Entry Requirements

You do not need to have any prior knowledge of the subject nor have taken it at GCSE Level but the equivalent to a grade 6 in Maths is essential.

Much of the assessment will be in the form of extended writing, so you will require a good standard of written English at GCSE grade 5. You will also be required to draw and interpret graphs.

Those who study Economics will develop the following skill sets:

  • Develop their extended writing skills to present evaluative arguments
  • Develop their research, judging and evaluation skills
  • Be able to make reasoned arguments
  • Develop their skills of processing, understanding and presenting information to back arguments
  • Develop opinions and new ideas on economic issues
  • Relate economic knowledge to economic policy

Progression Skills and Opportunities

In completing the Economics course you will possess many skills prized by both universities and employers.  By the end of the course you will be able to construct logical arguments, interpret and critically analyse data, and be able to make judgements on the basis of the evidence and arguments presented.  Probably more importantly, you will be better able to understand problems in society and the possible solutions to those problems.

Economics will allow you to follow a wide range of professional and academic interests after college.  Some former Queen Mary’s have gone on to work in the Economics profession (Bank of England and Treasury), while other students have used it as a vehicle to gain access to other academic and professional fields: some former students have gone on to do science degrees and the skills picked up in economics allows students to successfully enter apprenticeships.

How is the course assessed?

AQA Examination board. Three two hour exams, largely based on extended writing.

What topics will I be studying?

  • How individual firms and consumers make decisions (the psychology of decision making)
  • How markets work (including demand and supply) applied to individual product markets
  • Why markets fail (the positive and negative impact of economic activity on society)
  • How the economy works (issues include: growth, inflation, unemployment, the balance of payments, Government economic policy, financial markets)
  • Britain in the global economy (issues include: trade, ‘Brexit’, international development)

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

Much of the teaching and learning material will be provided in the course. A basic calculator will be required. You are strongly advised to purchase the two course text books.

Importance of Economics

The vast majority of students who choose to study Economics at Queen Mary’s College have not had the opportunity to study the subject before. Economics is a social science concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. It studies how individuals, businesses, governments and nations make choices on allocating resources to satisfy their wants and needs, and tries to determine how these groups should organize and coordinate efforts to achieve maximum output.

Economic analysis often uses mathematical logic (not the same as mathematics), where the implications of specific human activities are considered in a methodical framework from cause to effect.

Economics can generally be broken down into macroeconomics, which concentrates on the behaviour of the aggregate economy, and microeconomics, which focuses on individual consumers and producers.

Our team of Economics teachers have industry experience and specialist knowledge of employment to bring to the classroom.This will enhance your understanding of major topical issues and the ways in which businesses respond. QMC has links with several businesses in the local area and organises useful visits and trips to help you understand the world of work.

Any questions?

Our Head of Department, Ruma Rouf will be happy to help.

Send an email