The Nature of the Course
Economics is a current affairs subject that encourages students to think about what makes economies successful and what the role of a company is, and should be, within economies. The world, as we understand it, is constantly changing and at a rapid rate; the Economics student needs to be able to apply theoretical studies to this changing world. The overall aim of the course is to encourage students to develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories and then to learn how to apply them and appreciate their value and limitations in explaining, forecasting and influencing real world phenomena. Economics helps to develop important transferable skills which are highly regarded by both universities and employers.
Economics is a subject not offered below Sixth Form level. For this reason it is suggested that students take advantage of the information available at the websites listed below to gain a more detailed idea of the breadth and scope of the subject:
Students have the opportunity to visit Think Tanks in Westminster in order to learn about contrasting views on how to run the economy and to visit institutions in the City to learn about how the financial system works. The department hosts a dinner in the City of London with The Foundation which is attended by prestigious economists including former students of the Endowed Schools and governors. This provides students with an opportunity to learn about a wide range of career options and to practise their networking skills. Students have the opportunity to enter different competitions: these include the Bank of England’s acclaimed interest rate challenge, ‘Target 2.0’, an interschool competition at Cambridge University’s Faculty of Economics, ‘Run the British Economy’, and the opportunity to try trading in the national competition, ‘Student Investor’. There are also ad hoc trips, e.g. to debates.
Skills Demanded and Developed
The nature of the material and the rigorous, logical approach means that students intending to take Economics A Level need to have a good ability in Mathematics and English with at least a B grade in both at GCSE. Students need to show independence, enquiry and initiative, and enjoy keeping up to date with current affairs. Students will also develop ICT skills such as research, presentation and use of OneNote within the course. Students will be expected to have their own opinion and be able to put it forward in a variety of ways: on paper, in classroom debate, by reference to diagrams and with the use of supporting numerical data and current events. Economics facilitates an understanding of and an ability to talk about the major economic, social and political issues of the day.
Careers and Higher Education Implications
The skills of analysis and critical thinking demanded and developed by A Level Economics are highly sought after and the subject can open up a wide range of opportunities in higher education and rewarding career paths from finance and the City to journalism and law.
Whilst Economics can be combined with almost all other A Level subjects it not recommended that any student in the Endowed Schools takes it in combination with Business Studies because of the perceived overlap between course contents.
Strong A-level Combinations
Possible Further Study and Degree Courses
|Maths and Physics||
Economics and Engineering, Economics
|Politics and Religious Studies||
Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE)
Land Economy, Human or Historical Geography, Development Economics, Environmental/Town Planning
|History, English||Economic History, Law, Journalism (Financial)|
|Modern Languages||International Marketing, Global Finance, European Studies|