Subject Information - Economics

National 5

Department Head: Mr Colin Duncan

Course Progression: Economics

The Economic and Business Studies Department aims to enable pupils to become better economic decision-makers, both at a personal level and within society as a whole.

Business Education encompasses a number of subject areas: Economics, Business Management, Accounting and Administration. We aim not only to develop the pupil's insight into the economic world in which they live, but also to equip them with the analytical and practical skills to give them a stake in the economic system. This involves developing a spirit of enterprise, challenging the pupils to think, develop and communicate their ideas effectively and put them into practice.

S3 and S4

Pupils begin a two year enriched National 5 course in Economics. It appeals to those pupils who want to develop a good understanding of how our economic system works both from a theoretical and descriptive perspective, and it forms a good foundation to all Business Education courses. 

Economics (S3/S4) National 5

Besides being an excellent beginning to the study of Economics itself, the National 5 Economics course is probably the best foundation for most Business Education courses at Higher level.

Economics is about choice and its impact. It relates to every aspect of our lives, from the decisions we make as individuals or families, to the structures created by governments and businesses. An economic way of thinking can help students make better choices relating to their life and work.

The S3 National 5 course is designed to interest you by providing the analytical tools with which you can understand the issues confronting the UK economy and the rest of the World. The recent recession, the problems in the Eurozone, the behaviour of the energy companies, housing market bubbles, the UK trade problems, and economic migration are just some of the issues tackled.

The main purpose of the Course is to highlight how important economic concepts and government policies are to our everyday lives. The Course will build on the students’ own experiences as consumers and, in addition, will help them to interpret economic situations through the application of these concepts.

A main feature of this Course is the development of thinking skills. The students will be able to understand and make use of economic information to analyse, interpret, predict and explain the actions of individuals, businesses and governments in a range of economic circumstances.

The Course will develop the students’ ability to think logically and to consider the reasons for, and the effects of, economic situations.

There are three mandatory units:

Economics of the Market (National 5) 
This unit will focus on exploring personal economic decisions and how supply and demand can drive resource allocation in a market economy. Consequently students will gain an in-depth understanding of markets and how they operate. 

UK Economic Activity (National 5) 
"This Unit shifts the focus to UK government policy objectives, including inflation, employment and economic growth, and about the role of Scotland in the UK economy. This Unit allows students to consider the impact of government action on economic issues and problems. 

Global Economic Activity (National 5) 
In this Unit the analysis of the global nature of economics becomes the focus of study. Students will explore the nature and purpose of global trade between the UK, the EU and other countries, including the effect of currency fluctuations. Also the role of aid to developing economies will be explored. This Unit will provide students with a growing knowledge and understanding of global economics and its social impact.

We do recommend National 5 Economics for those pupils who want a deeper understanding of the business environment in which individuals, firms and governments operate.

Assessment

Assessment throughout the course is by end of topic tests. External assessment is in two parts: a question paper (worth 75%) and an assignment (worth 25%).

Progression

The S3/S4 National 5 course leads onto the Higher (which can be taken in S5 or S6) and Economics at Standard or Higher Level within the IB Diploma programme. Pupils obtaining Higher Grade in S5 can proceed to Advanced Higher in S6. S3/S4 National 5 Economics is an excellent preparation for Higher Business Management or Business and Management within the IB Diploma Programme, and is useful preparation for the Accounting Higher course.

 

Higher

Head of Department: Mr Colin Duncan

Course Progression: Economics

The Economic and Business Studies Department aims to enable pupils to become better economic decision-makers, both at a personal level and within society as a whole.

Business Education encompasses a number of subject areas: Economics, Business Management, Accounting and Administration. We aim not only to develop the pupil's insight into the economic world in which they live, but also to equip them with the analytical and practical skills to give them a stake in the economic system. This involves developing a spirit of enterprise, challenging the pupils to think, develop and communicate their ideas effectively and put them into practice.

S5

Most S4 Economics pupils will continue on to the Higher Course. Pupils with good results in Mathematics and English can pick up Higher Economics in S5. This subject is also offered within the IB Diploma Programme, please refer to the IBDP Subject Choice Booklet for further details on course content and assessment.

S6

Those with a good Higher pass in Economics can continue on to the excellent Advanced Higher course. Successful Higher pupils in Economics can also take Business Management at AH level (no previous experience in Business Management is necessary).

Those who want to pick up Economics for the first time would in most cases take the Higher Course. It would be expected these pupils would have had success in other Higher subjects in S5. it is also possible to take the AH course if the pupil achieved highly at National 5 (but did not go on to Higher) or if the pupil has in some other way gained a sufficient background to Economics to warrant entry to the AH course.

Economics Higher

This course provides an opportunity for pupils to enhance their knowledge and understanding of economic principles. This is achieved using a problem solving approach in which the economic principles are applied to the workings of the UK economy and the ways in which resources are allocated.

Recommended Entry

Pupils would normally be expected to have attained one of the following:

  • A/B pass at National 5 Economics
  • A/B passes at National 5 Mathematics and National 5 English

Those who have not studied the subject before must consult Mr Duncan.

Course Details

Higher Economics encompasses the main areas of economic analysis and theory – the market system, theories of production, the national economy, European and global issues, the government's role in maintaining low inflation and full employment (to mention the chief areas of concern). In addition, current UK economic issues and problems are studied alongside the relevant theoretical models. Pupils who have not previously studied Economics will find this one year Higher course very rewarding.

There are three mandatory Units:

Economics of the Market (H)
In this Unit, the focus will be on analysing the economic problem of unlimited wants in relation to limited resources and how this impacts on the daily choices made by us all. This will lead on to examining and analysing how supply and demand drives resource allocation and economic production. Consequently students will gain an in-depth understanding of markets and how they operate.

UK Economic Activity (H)
In this Unit, the focus shifts to analysing government income and expenditure, leading to students evaluating the role of the public and the private sectors in the economy. They will also develop the ability to assess the policies and other methods used by the government to achieve its economic aims and to assess the effects of the Scottish economy on the UK economy. The Unit also allows students to consider the implications of government actions and suggest solutions to relatively complex economic problems.

Global Economic Activity (H)
In this Unit, the analysis of the global nature of economics becomes the focus of study. Students will explore global trade and the balance of payments and their importance in the UK economy. They will also examine exchange rates. Lastly, they will consider economic features of the European Union, developing countries and emerging economies and their social impact.

Homework requirements

About two hours per week involving, set exercises and revision for tests. It is very important for pupils to following current events (reading the newspaper, television news and documentaries).

Assessment

Internal assessment takes the form of regular tests and homework exercises.

External assessment is in two parts. A question paper (70%) and an assignment (30%).

Progression

• Advanced Higher Economics
• Advanced Higher Business Management
• Degree courses eg BA Economics

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Advanced Higher

Head of Department: Mr Colin Duncan

Course Progression: Economics

The Economic and Business Studies Department aims to enable pupils to become better economic decision-makers, both at a personal level and within society as a whole.

Business Education encompasses a number of subject areas: Economics, Business Management, Accounting and Administration. We aim not only to develop the pupil's insight into the economic world in which they live, but also to equip them with the analytical and practical skills to give them a stake in the economic system. This involves developing a spirit of enterprise, challenging the pupils to think, develop and communicate their ideas effectively and put them into practice.

S6

Those with a good Higher pass in Economics can continue on to the excellent Advanced Higher course. Successful Higher pupils in Economics can also take Business Management at AH level (no previous experience in Business Management is necessary).

Those who want to pick up Economics for the first time would in most cases take the Higher Course. It would be expected these pupils would have had success in other Higher subjects in S5. It is also possible to take the AH course if the pupil achieved highly atNational 5 (but did not go on to Higher) or if the pupil has in some other way gained a sufficient background to Economics to warrant entry to the AH course.

Economics (S6) Advanced Higher

Purpose

The purpose of this course is to develop specialist knowledge and understanding in the explanation and evaluation of current national and international, micro and macro economic issues. Pupils will adopt an issue-based approach in which a range of theoretical principles are used to explore topical economic issues such as the recovery of the UK economy, the debates concerning the role and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policies, the impact of the collapse of the oil price, the climate change debate, the ongoing Euro Crisis, the growth of China, competitiveness in UK markets, globalization and economic development issues etc. In this way the course promotes the development of problem solving skills and encourages pupils to relate their study to the wider social context.

Recommended Entry

Pupils would normally be expected to have attained the following:
• pass at Higher Grade Economics (with an 'A' or 'B')
• have obtained Mr Duncan's approval.

Course Details

Throughout this course pupils will develop an ability to analyse critically the many public and private decisions which affect the working of markets and influence the living conditions in Scotland, the UK, the European Union and the wider world today.

There are three mandatory units:

Economic Markets: Structures and Intervention (AH)
In this Unit, students will develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to critically analyse and evaluate market structures and to analyse market failures and governments’ responses to them.

National and Global Economic Issues (AH)
In this Unit, students will develop and enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding of current economic issues. They will develop the ability to critically evaluate and discuss the effects of current economic policies, economic reports and economic thinking on the Scottish, UK and global economies.

Researching an Economic Issue (AH)
In this Unit, students will plan their research of a current economic issue in order to develop their economic research skills. They will work independently to gather economic evidence from a wide range of sources. They will use the results of their research and apply their knowledge and understanding of economic theory to assist them in drawing conclusions. They will evaluate the learning gained during the research and writing process.

Assessment

Internal assessment takes the form of passing all of the learning outcomes through a series of tests.

External assessment is in two parts: a question paper (70%) and a 4000 word project (30%).

Progression

• Degree courses, eg BA Economics

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