Economics requires a unique combination of skills, not only the analytical element of a science, but also an ability to explain concepts critically in written prose. It is a social science that combines well with both Arts and Science subjects.
The basis of Economics is the allocation of resources amongst individuals in order to satisfy their wants and needs. In microeconomics, the decisions of individuals about how to spend their money are studied, along with the decisions of firms about what products to produce. Macroeconomics is the study of the economy as a whole and how it is affected by such things as changes in interest rates or levels of government spending. Macroeconomics also looks at a country's economy in an international context with regard to such things as trade flows and exchange rates.
Through studying Economics pupils will develop an understanding of current economic issues which will help with investment and borrowing decisions later in life. They will learn to explain a variety of real-world phenomena from an economic perspective and learn to analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it.
The subject helps pupils to develop clear logical thinking and an analytical approach to problem solving and how to apply this to real and theoretical events. The course requires an ability to write clear and concise English.
Economics is available to A-level students. At AS and A2 levels it requires a reasonable level of numeracy, but is not overtly mathematical. A grade B or better in Mathematics at GCSE is highly desirable.
Economics A-level is not a requirement for entry to read Economics at university but about 70% of Economics undergraduates have taken A-level in the subject. Many universities require an A-level in Mathematics for their Economics courses.
Economics graduates are employed in all walks of life, but Finance, Business and Commerce, Management and Accountancy are common professions.