Economics at Prince William School encourages students to develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
They are able to develop an appreciation of the contribution of economics to the understanding of the wider economic and social environment both in the UK and worldwide. They are expected to develop an understanding of a range of concepts and an ability to use those concepts in a variety of different contexts, use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and develop an ability to think as an economist. Students will develop analytical and quantitative skills, together with qualities and attitudes which will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life.
The course has a coherent combination of microeconomic and macroeconomic content that will develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life.
Students will have the opportunity to apply economic concepts and theories using a wide range of contexts and to appreciate their value and limitations in explaining real world phenomena. They will develop an appreciation of the complex and interrelated nature of economics and analytical and quantitative skills in selecting, interpreting and using appropriate data from a range of sources.
The subject content for A level Economics will be assessed across three examination papers. Component 1: Economic Principles Written examination; component 2: Exploring Economic Behaviour; component 3: Evaluating Economic Models and Policies. The subject content has been grouped into three broad areas of study: Microeconomics; Macroeconomics; and Trade and development.
In microeconomics, students are required to learn that economics is a study of scarce resources and how those resources are allocated to various uses in a market economy. Students are required to understand the economic behaviour of consumers, producers and governments in competitive and non-competitive markets. They will need an awareness of assumptions of the model of demand and supply and be able to explain the way it works using a range of techniques. Students will develop an understanding of the benefits of markets and how they work and why they may fail. They should understand the way prices and outputs are set in a variety of competitive and non-competitive situations and should be able to model this using cost and revenue models. They will need to appreciate that the objectives of different economic agents may not always be simple maximisation and these objectives may change according to time and circumstance. Finally, they will be able to explore the ways in which, and the extent to which, governments need to act to control the behaviour of firms.
In macroeconomics students are required to understand the use of economic models to develop a critical understanding of macroeconomic issues. They must develop an awareness of the historical context of economic ideas and theories and understand government objectives and policies as they relate to stability and growth in local, national and global terms. Students will need to understand that there is significant theoretical debate over the extent to which an economy can achieve full employment equilibrium – specifically, the belief among Keynesians that economies can reach an equilibrium below full employment compared to Neo-Classical economists who believe that an economy will automatically adjust to full employment equilibrium. Students will need to understand and evaluate the different policy options used by governments as a result of this difference of opinion. They should develop an awareness of major economic issues that have taken place since 1990 to the present day.
In global economics, students should understand macroeconomic performance in a global context and deeper economic integration between countries. They will be expected to understand why countries trade and the importance of globalisation to trade and development. Students should be able to explain the obstacles to and solutions for sustainable economic development among less economically developed countries, and how globalisation has resulted in increased world specialisation, trade and increasing capital transfers and foreign direct investment between countries, and an enhanced international labour mobility.