Economics

Head of Department: Jonathan Cohen
 

Staff

Julian Alliott, Robin Bishop, Charles Monk, John Whitwort.

Economics is a notoriously difficult subject to define. A rather dry definition is “the study of the way in which we can best use our limited resources”. A more helpful definition is “the study of humans in their everyday activities”. Rather than worry about defining it, perhaps it's more helpful to mention some of the questions that Sixth Form pupils attempt to answer in their study of Economics:

As you can see, the subject is extremely wide ranging! So, is Economics the subject for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

If your answer to these questions is yes, then Economics might well be the subject for you!

By the end of a course in Economics, pupils should be able to:

Economics is often studied alongside humanities subjects such as Politics, Philosophy, Geography and History as well as Science subjects such as Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. It is a fairly abstract subject, often dealing with theories and concepts as well as facts and figures. This abstract nature sometimes causes Economics to be classified as a “difficult” subject, but those pupils who are curious to find out why particular events occur and how we can solve some of society's most challenging problems should find it particularly appealing.

Economics is a topical Sixth Form subject which means that quite a lot of reading of quality newspaper articles and accessing news items via the Internet has to be done. Those who have little interest in the world around them struggle to do well.

There are no specific requirements for Economics (nor is there the assumption of any prior knowledge) but, to do well, pupils need to be literate and numerate. Contrary to popular opinion, Economics is not a particularly mathematical subject at Sixth Form level. Great mathematical ability is not a prerequisite; anyone who has passed GCSE ought to be able to cope with the numerical aspects of the subject. It should be noted, however, that most UK universities either require, or strongly prefer, Economics applicants to have studied A Level Maths.

Many Sixth Form economists go on to take a degree in the subject but many more will find that they have to study some Economics at university in courses such as Finance, Business Studies, Surveying and so on. Above all, Economics provides pupils with analytical skills that are useful in many other subjects and many other careers, including financial services, business management and consultancy, marketing, law, civil service and engineering. It is worth noting that Economics graduates earn a premium over their peers with no economics qualification of up to 27% (men) and 39% (women)!

Facilities

The Department has the exclusive use of five teaching classrooms in the Memorial Building, with easy access to the Dining Hall and the Grubber! All classrooms are equipped with a white board, intranet access and LCD projectors for video and PowerPoint use. The Department has an extensive collection of books, DVDs and other resources, both within the Department and in the School library.

"those pupils who are curious to find out why particular events occur and how we can solve some of society's most challenging problems should find (Economics) particularly appealing."

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