A Level Economics | NSCG - Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group
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Course overview

The study of economics will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of the world around us and the impact it has on our everyday lives and provides a general qualification for a wide range of careers.

Our approach to Economics is to apply rigorous economic theory to support analysis of current economic problems and issues, and encourage you to appreciate the interrelationships between microeconomics and macroeconomics.

The Operation of Markets and Market Failure is primarily about microeconomics. You will acquire knowledge and understanding of a selection of microeconomic models such as demand and supply, the operation of the price mechanism and causes of market failure will be used to explore current economic behaviour. When applying and evaluating these to current problems such as supply and demand theory and production possibility curves and different market structures, you will need to be critically aware of the assumptions upon which these models are based and their limitations when they are used to make sense of real world phenomena. You will then apply your knowledge and skills to a wide variety of situations and to different markets and examples of market failure, including environmental market failures. You will study some crucial markets in detail including financial markets and the labour market.

The National and International Economy section of the specification is primarily about macroeconomics. You will understand that microeconomic principles underpin the behaviour of the macroeconomy. You will learn about developments in the UK economy and government policies over the past fifteen years and should also be aware of developments in the world economy, including the European Union, and how these have affected the UK. You will use a number of models demonstrating how the macroeconomy works and should appreciate that different economic models provide insights into different aspects of the behaviour of the macroeconomy. When using these models you should be critically aware of the assumptions upon which they are based and their limitations when they are used to make sense of real world phenomena. Furthermore, you should be prepared to propose, analyse and evaluate possible solutions to macroeconomic problems. You will assess the impact and effectiveness of current government policies to deal with these problems, as well as considering alternative policies and approaches.
The Economic Principles and Issues paper will combine the understanding and skill developed in the previous two papers to solve a real wold problem.

What else do I need to know?

Whilst attempting to answer questions like:

How will Donald Trump affect international trade?
Should some drugs be legalised?
How does immigration benefit the economy?
Could carbon trading permits reduce global warming?

Economics A Level will help you to:

Learn to think like an Economist
Develop an understanding of Economic theories that affect everyday life, equipping you to understand real issues in politics, the media and when voting.
Broaden your knowledge and understanding of real world issues.
Develop decision-making and problem solving skills.
Provides excellent preparation for many careers and if continued offers the highest earning potential.
Obtain expertise in a real, relevant, valuable, respected and traditional subject.
Obtain outstanding examination results.

Find yourself reaching higher on our Honours Programme.
Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.
The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.
Find out more here

What are the entry requirements?

A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including Maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices.

How is it assessed?

Assessment is comprised of three two hour examinations at the end of two years of study.

Paper 1 - Markets and Market Failure
Paper 2 - National and International Economy
Paper 3 - Economic principles and issues

Progression on to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account: Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the fist year.

What financial support is on offer?

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group please contact 01782 254188.
College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £23,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit www.nscg.ac.uk/finance

What can I do next?

Economics is a robust, challenging and highly regarded A Level that can lead on to a place at university, an apprenticeship course or directly to employment. It allows entry to a wide range of undergraduate degrees from those in Economics, Business, Finance and Management type courses or to an array of more broad subjects. You may choose to pursue a career in a directly related field such as an Economist, International Banking or Corporate Finance. Here the A Level course in Economics will stand you in good stead by giving you an insight and understanding of the economic forces that impact your day to day activities. Alternatively, you may decide to follow a career path which isn't directly related to your course of study which, with the correct combination of other subjects, could lead to careers in Architecture, Veterinary Science, Surveying and Engineering. The analytical and evaluation skills that you will have developed will be useful whatever path you choose in the future.

How do I find out more?

If you wish to find out more you can contact Fiona Shakesheave, Head of Economics, by emailing: fiona.shakesheave@nscg.ac.uk

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