Economics

Economics studies how scarce resources are allocated in our ever-changing world. The subject looks at how economic agents – such as consumers, firms and the government – make decisions. It is an academically rigorous subject that prepares students for life beyond the classroom. Students learn how to assimilate information, put their thoughts on paper, and structure an argument as well as other essential academic skills. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and to consider arguments from both sides. An awareness of current affairs is essential and is fostered and nurtured within the Economics classroom.

The course is split into Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics considers the behaviour of consumers and firms, whereas Macroeconomics looks at the behaviour of governments and economies as a whole. We study the Edexcel course and student will have one teacher for Microeconomics and another for Macroeconomics.

At MCS, Economics is taught in the Sixth Form only. Younger pupils interested in the subject are invited to join the Middle School Economics Society.

You are highly likely to be employed within the first six months of leaving university with an Economics degree. The top ten universities for Economics all enjoy a score of nearly 90% or more.

The Curriculum

The A-level course considers a wide range of questions and topics, ranging from causes of absolute poverty to polices used in response to the 2008 recession in Macroeconomics and from behavioural economics to the impact of regulation of monopolies in Microeconomics. Economics clinics run every week for those that feel they would benefit from some extra teaching and revision time. These begin in Hilary term and run until after exams for both Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.

Students benefit from small class sizes with a discursive nature. They are encouraged to think on their feet and vocalise their points of view. Most students subscribe to The Economist, through the school, and we look to integrate relevant and up to date articles into our teaching.

A large number of students go on to study Economics and Economics joint honours programmes at university, with students applying to the top universities in both the UK and the US.

Refer to the Sixth Form Curriculum guide for a more detailed breakdown of the A-level Economics programme.

Further Inspiration

If you are thinking about studying Economics in the Sixth Form at MCS, you might want to start reading around the subject before you join. Our Study Preparation guides are a useful tool, detailing further reading around key topics. 

ECONOMICS  Study Preparation Guide

 

“The master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher - in some degree... He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future.”

John Maynard Keynes

Extra-curricular

  • Economics Society: this group is run by a group of committed Sixth Formers, who meet once a week for student-led presentations, questions and debates. Topics have ranged from the economic impact of communism to the economics of pet ownership. As part of Economics Society, we also have regular external speakers coming to speak to the whole cohort. We are lucky enough to have a considerable number of fantastic Economists on our doorstep and look to make the most of this opportunity. This year we have heard from Professor Paul Collier and Professor Tim Harford, amongst others. We try to hear from a range of Academics and those working in industry; hence, we also invited Simon Hope the Head of Global Capital Markets at Savills to speak to us and he was generous enough to offer a two-day internship to a small number of MCS Sixth Formers.
  • Middle School Economics Society: a small number of sixth formers felt it was important to encourage the younger years to learn more about Economics. Hence sixth formers present to a group of middle school students every week on some introductory topics in Economics.
  • Politics and Economics Reading Group: this group looks to stretch and challenge those that are considering studying the subject beyond school. We look at classic and modern texts as well at academic papers. Students are expected to have completed the reading each week and they present and then debate their findings. This is a brilliant opportunity for students to get an introduction to university tutorial-style discussions.

Trips

We were lucky enough to take a group of 27 students to Brussels in October 2018 on a Politics and Economics Trip. We visited the EU Parliament, met with a contact at NATO and met with BBC journalists. In October 2019 we did a joint Politics / Economics Trip to New York and Washington. We visited the United Nations where we were hosted by Boaz Paldi (Director of Global Partnerships at the UNDP), the Department of Commerce where we had a sit-down with Assistant Secretary Jeffrey I Kessler, Charles Seville (OW). At Fitch (the financial ratings agency), we had a meeting with Don Schneider (from Cornerstone Macro’s policy research team and the former chief economist for the House Committee on Ways and Means).

The aim of these trips are always to show students how Economics and Politics interact in real life. Seeing how businesses use Economic theory is invaluable inspiration; furthermore, there is the added benefit of being exposed to possible future career options.

Where Economics could take you

 Economics is an extremely well respected degree and a considerable number of our students go on to study Economics in either single or joint honours. A degree in Economics suggests competency in Mathematics, essay writing and debate; an enviable combination for any graduate entering the work place. We send students to Oxbridge, Russell Group Universities and have had a few applications to US Colleges. Careers beyond university vary hugely, we feel all doors remain open with an Economics degree from a well-respected university.