GCSE Economics provides a foundation in the core principles of economics that will allow students to both interpret the world as economists and progress to further study in the subject. The course examines the economy through three units: microeconomics and how markets work; macroeconomics and the UK economy and finally international economics and globalisation. All units are examined by external exam with units 1&2 worth 25% of the final grade each and unit 3 worth 50%. Unit 3 is examined using a pre-release case study which is released part way through Year 11. Units 1&2 use short, unseen case studies to encourage students to apply economic concepts.
Semester 1 is a broad introduction to the subject. Core concepts around the basic economic problem and resource allocation are covered and students are familiarised with data interpretation. The rest of Year 9 covers Unit 2, The National Economy and allows students to understand the causes and solutions to key macroeconomic problems such as economic growth, unemployment, inflation and inequality.
Year 10 returns to resource allocation decisions at a micro-level looking at how firms and individuals face resource allocation decisions. At the heart of this is a deep understanding of the market mechanism and demand and supply analysis. Students analyse individual markets and demonstrate changes in demand and supply conditions. Business economics is also covered with a reflection on the desirability of competitive markets.
In Year 11 the course becomes global with an examination of international economics. Trade, exchange rates, balance of payments, globalisation and development are all covered. Beyond the theoretical foundations, teaching will be guided the year’s case study pre-release which will allow students to focus in on the main topics that will be covered in the exam. There will also be a substantial amount of revision of Units 1&2 towards the end of Year 11.