Economics and Business Studies
Today, economics and business studies are hot topics. The press, television and radio are full of news features and articles that try to to explain what is going on in the economy and business organisations. However, sometimes they contradict each other and it can be hard to work out the facts.
For many teenagers, the main connection with the world of economics and business is as customers of firms: being generally aware of advertising, interested in the features of products and services on offer but never having really thought about the efforts that have been made to provide them and to persuade them to buy. As they progress through their teenage years, pupils become increasingly aware of the economic and business environment. They may develop an interest in current affairs, perhaps wondering why the world's wealth is so unevenly divided between rich and poor, why they have to pay taxes, why multinationals are setting up in the fast-growing emerging economies and what the impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit may be on the U.K. economy.
Our two A Level courses, in Economics and Business, provide frameworks for the investigation of issues such as these and teach pupils to examine them critically.
In essence, Economics investigates the way in which the scarce resources of the world are distributed to its people and the influences of the choices made by consumers, firms and governments. Business investigates the ways firms may be organised internally and how they may react to their external pressures - social, legal, economic, political and technological.
Our A Level Business pupils take part in an ‘Enterprise into Action’ programme outside of their studies in their Lower Sixth year. Teams develop a product or service for sale, from aesthetics to branding to functionality and production. They create a business plan, raise funds and pitch; the department will match their funds if their plan is good enough. At the end, they produce a company report covering leadership, motivation, finance, mistakes and surprises; all of which are tied to their academic curriculum. Our Business pupils also visit a wide range of companies; from Longleat to £8 billion FTSE-listed D S Smith Packaging to provide further context to apply their learning.
Our A Level economists visit the City to witness the range of careers on offer; recent visits have included trips to Rothschilds, sharia bank Rosette and Bloomberg. They also learn about the real economy by attending the Bristol Festival of Economics; notable recent speakers being former BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders, CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith and Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.