Economics and Business Studies
Head of Department: Mr G R Watson MA (Cantab)
Today's news headlines are dominated by the economy and the detailed examination of large businesses and institutions. Our aim is to provide our students with the enthusiasm and inquisitiveness to explore these current affairs, to equip them with the knowledge and independence required in order to ask the right questions and understand the complexities behind the stories.
The Economics and Business Department is the largest Sixth Form department and boasts outstanding results and engagement. In 2017, over 30 students went on to study a course related to accounting, finance, economics or management at undergraduate level.
Housed in the purpose-built Mackinder Building with six members of teaching staff, the Department prides itself on exciting and innovative lessons.
Economics is thriving at the College with 67 students currently studying at AS level and 61 studying at A2 level. Historically, the Department has outstanding and results. On average, over the last three years, approximately 60% of students have achieved A* or A grades, with 90% achieving A*-B grades. Many students go on to read Economics at university and the department has a programme for those interested in making an Oxbridge application.
Currently, over 30 students study Business at AS and A2 level. The value-added results have consistently been amongst the highest in the College and over half of entries received an A8 or A grade in 2017. The majority of students studying A-Level Business go on to read a Business-related degree.
In September 2015, the Department move to the Edexcel specification for both Economics and Business.
Beyond the specification, the Department offers significant opportunities for students to thrive. We have our own Epsom College Economics and Enterprise Society, which arranges talks either at the College or with Eton's Keynes Society. In the last two years, students have arranged for Robert Gardner, Chief Economist at Nationwide, and Andrew Haldane, CHief Economist at the Bank of England, to visit the College and address students.
Those with an appetite for finance are able to study towards the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment's Fundamentals of Financial Services award in their Lower Sixth year. This challenging and innovative course investigates equities, bonds, derivatives and other financial assets. This professionally-recognised qualification is a real opportunity for finance enthusiasts.
Growing in popularity is the Investment Club, which is open to Lower Sixth students. Each team looks to invest £1,500 in the stock market and competes against other schools in a national competition over the period October to June, looking to maximise the value of their portfolio.
Last academic year, the Department required all Lower Sixth students to either write or present in response to one of the Royal Economic Society's 2017 essay competition titles. A huge selection of high-quality responses were produced and five essays highly commended. 2013 saw the launch of our own departmental blog, which now has postings on many of the talks, current affairs and books that our students and teachers have reflected on over the course of the academic year. We hope this year's crop of writers will further develop this site to be a rich source of stimulation for those who are interested.
Follow the links below to learn more about Economics and Business Studies at Epsom College.
Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Economics A
This two year course is assessed in three, two hour end-of-course examinations. The first paper assess micro-economics and macro-economics separately, whilst the third paper is synoptic and challenges students to make links between the two disciplines.
For teaching, the course is structured into 4 themes.
Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure
This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts. It introduces students to how the price mechanism allocates resources through the forces of Supply and Demand. It then delves further into examining how markets often fail to give us the optimal allocation of the goods and services a society needs and the types of government intervention used to correct such failures.
Theme 2 - The UK economy
This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts. Students examine how objectives relating to Economic Growth, Unemployment, Inflation and Trade are measured. They will then start to explore the policies available to the governments in order to manipulate their objectives.
Theme 3 - Business Behaviour and the labour market
This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 1 and focussed on business economics. Students develop an understanding of business growth and objectives. Revenue and costs curves are created from first principles and used to analyse the outcomes of different market structures. Government intervention to promote efficiency is considered.
Theme 4 - A global perspective
This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 2 and applies these concepts in a global context. Within the domestic economy, students consider the role of the state in the macro-economy and the importance of the financial sector. There is also an opportunity for students to investigate poverty and inequality, at home and abroad, and the theories of development economics.
Edexcel GCE in Business
This two year course is assessed in three, two hour end-of-course examinations. Papers one and two assess Marketing, People and Global Business and Business activities, decisions and strategy whilst the third paper is synoptic and challenges students to consider local, national and global issues.
The teaching is divided into four themes:
Theme 1 - Marketing and People
Students will develop an understanding of:
Theme 2 - Managing Business activities
Students will develop an understanding of:
Theme 3 - Business Decisions and Strategy
This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 2. Students will develop an understanding of:
Theme 4 - Global Business
This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 1. Students will develop an understanding of:
Head of Department
Mr G R Watson MA (Cantab)
Department Teaching Staff
Mr J H Bailey BSc (Nottingham)
Mr P J Gillespie BA (Exeter)
Mr S J Head BSc (West of England)
Mr F Pearce BSc (Cardiff)
Mr R C G Young BSc (Bath)
Four classrooms based in the Mackinder building.
The department hosts its own ICT lab with 16 workstations.
Departmental office with small library that lends itself to those looking to study our subjects further at university.
All classrooms are equipped with projectors.
Outside the Classroom
Epsom College Economics and Enterprise Society
The Society has organised to host guest speakers recently including Peter Mather (VP, BP Europe), William Eason (Chairman of the Investment Committee - Cheviot Asset Management), Andrew Haldane (Bank of England) and Jeff Randall (Sky News). The Society also organises regular trips to Eton's Keynes Society for further talks. We also have a weekly slot for reflections on all things subject related.
We have two Young Enterprise teams who operate at the College. The 2012 team were winners of the Surrey YE Best Marketing Strategy Award.
CISI Investment Award
This is a professionally recognised qualification which is popular for those who have a particular interest in the financial world.
The Investment Group
We currently have three teams who have to manage a £1500 portfolio of stocks and shares. The 2013 team ran out as South East Regional Winners and were runners up in the National competition.
Gives an opportunity for all our students to post their musing on all matters of Economic and Business interest. Please visit http://epsombusec.blogspot.co.uk/
Advanced Economics Extension
We have weekly classes in the cultural enrichment slot for those who are looking to explore Economics beyond the confines of the A-Level syllabus.