Economics as a subject comes from the basic economic problem that we are trying to solve every day: people have unlimited wants (everybody wants lots of things) but resources are scarce (there is not enough of everything to go round). The job of an economy is therefore to decide WHAT resources should be produced, HOW these resources should be produced and WHO the resources should go to. The Pre-U course covers all of the core areas of economics including microeconomics, macroeconomics and international economics. The course is synoptic and encourages deep evaluation and analysis. The three terminal exams at the end of the second year reward essay writing skills that demonstrate accuracy and depth of analysis and evaluation. Data interpretation and quantitative analysis also makes up a large section of the exams. Paper 1 is a combination of multiple choice questions, short answers and a data response section based on unseen data. Paper 2 asks candidates to select three essays from a selection of six across micro, macro and international economics. Paper three is an independent investigation where students select a research topic (The Post 2015 Development Agenda) and research the area ready for an unseen single essay question.
Year 12 Outline:
In Year 12 the course covers the main elements of microeconomics and the national economy. In microeconomics, students look at resource allocation and the market mechanism and spend a large amount of time on demand and supply analysis. Towards the end of the year market failure is covered followed by government intervention and its success in solving this failure. In national economy students use AD and AS analysis to examine the problems of unemployment, inflation, inequality and budget deficits using fiscal, monetary and supply side policies to do this.
Year 13 Outline:
The microeconomics course is completed with a look at the labour market and theory of the firm. Theory of firm looks into different competitive market structure and asks what is better for both consumers and firms. Labour economics examines the impact of a minimum wage and the reasons for wage differentials. The course finishes with international economics, covering trade, exchange rates, globalisation and development economics. This international economics understanding links directly into preparation for Paper 3 where students pursue an independent investigation into the Millennium Development Goals.
Year 13 students participated in Target 2.0 at the Bank of England in November 2015.