GCSE Economics

 MG 0637a

 Welcome to GCSE Economics

It is unlikely that you will have formally studied economics or business before taking this course, but you will have gained some practical understanding of the business world, or the functions of the economy from PSHCE module, in maths, geography or history courses, from enterprise activities held in school, or from extra-curricular activities such as the Tenner challenge. You might also have an interest in business and want to start your own one day, or from following real-world events in the news, and want to develop your knowledge to better understand what is happening around you.

Economics is a dynamic, real-world subject, with something happening almost every hour which affects markets and the global economy.  This course is both active and enjoyable. You need to be good at communicating and explaining your ideas, articulating and defending your position, and not be afraid of learning new things and working with numerical, graphical and written data to analyse economic issues. You will learn how to be a creative and critical thinker, and learn how to make justified decisions.

In Year 10, you will learn about how markets work, how and why markets fail, and how government can both alleviate and exacerbate market failures.  You will then develop an understanding of how an economy functions, what objectives a government may look to achieve, and the policy options which are available to it to meet these objectives, while analysing the ways in which these objectives and policies can work in concert with each other, or how they may conflict.

In Year 11, you will build upon what you learnt in your first year economist and learn how our increasingly globalised economy operates, while looking at a range of issues, for example why resources are distributed unevenly, and the challenges and support available to developing economies.

Curriculum Overview

Year 10

Unit A591: How the Market Works:  This unit covers issues within microeconomics. Students consider the basic economic problem and how it affects the allocation of resources in competitive markets, including how price is determined through the forces of demand and supply and how a firm competes in the market, gaining an appreciation of how interdependent the economic behaviour of individuals, groups, organisations and governments are, within a local and national context.

2.1.1 What is the economic problem?

2.1.2 What are competitive markets?

2.1.3 How do firms operate in competitive markets?

Assessment is in the form of an 1 hour written paper, worth 60 marks and makes up 25% of the total GCSE.  The exam is taken at the end of Year 11.

Unit A592: How the Economy Works: This unit covers issues within macroeconomics. Candidates will consider three of the main variables in the economy and how these are influenced by government policy. It covers the expenditure and revenue of government, including taxes, and the effects that these have on the economy.

2.2.1 What are the economic objectives of a government?

2.2.2 How does the UK government raise and spend its money?

2.2.3 Which policies can the UK government use?

Assessment is in the form of an 1 hour written paper, worth 60 marks and makes up 25% of the total GCSE.  The exam is taken at the end of Year 11.

Year 11

Unit A593: The UK Economy and Globalisation: This covers the UK economy and globalisation and builds on the knowledge and skills gained in units A591 and A592. Candidates look at trade and its implications, at a local, national and global level.

2.3.1 Why do countries trade?

2.3.2 Why is the UK in the European Union?

2.3.3 How is the UK's international trade recorded?

2.3.4 How important is the value of currency?

2.3.5 How does a country become more competitive?

2.3.6 Why do some less developed countries struggle to achieve growth and benefit from international trade?

2.3.7 What measures may be used to support growth for less developed countries?

Assessment is in the form of an 1 hour 30 mins written paper, worth  80 marks and makes up 50% of the total GCSE.  The exam is based on a pre-release case study worked on in class, and is taken at the end of Year 11.

For a better idea of what you will study on the course, you should look at the OCR GCSE Economics specification, which can be found here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/82577-specification.pdf