AS and A level
We follow the EdExcel course, from which students learn how to:
- develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life
- apply economic concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to appreciate their value and limitations in explaining real world phenomena
- analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it
- participate effectively in society as a citizen, producer and consumer
- develop their skills in written communication and analysis using statistics and diagrams
The A-Level course looks at a range of questions and concepts, and will leave students with a broad understanding of the key issues in economics today. In microeconomics students will start with simple analyses of markets, before advancing to externalities and public goods, and then on to studying the organisation of firms and the structure of markets. Students will also study the key subjects in contemporary macroeconomics, starting with aggregate supply and demand, and moving on from this to explore monetary and fiscal policy in the context of the UK today. In the Upper Eighth, students will also study globalisation, international trade, and the economics of developing economies.
All boys are welcome to Polecon, the joint economics and politics society. This is a fantastic opportunity for boys to see a range of fascinating speakers –including several members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee and executives of leading UK firms – talk on a wide range of subjects, and discuss current events with them. It is also a platform for boys to talk and chair discussions on current affairs. This provides an excellent extra-curricular opportunity to explore current issues in economics and politics, and former members include several current European finance ministers.
Boys at St Paul’s have an impressive track record in the Bank of England’s Target2.0 competition. Target 2.0 is an opportunity for economics students to put into practice the economics they learn in class and tell the Bank of England how to set monetary policy. The school has an unmatched record in the Bank of England competition (twice national champions, once runner-up) but also participates in a range of additional competitions against other schools.
Ifs Student Investor Challenge
This is the most popular extra-curricular activity in terms of boys’ participation and it is open to any year group. Teams of four are given a virtual £100,000 to invest in a set of stocks and other investment instruments and the top prize is a trip to New York. The school has won the competition once and has also reached the national finals on three other occasions.
ICAEW BASE National Business and Accounting competition
L8th boys in teams of six take on the role of ICAEW Chartered Accountants for the day and are presented with a variety of business issues they need to provide innovative recommendations for. With support from a professional mentor, they have to prepare and present their recommendations to a panel of judges. Boys entered this competition for the first time in 2015-16 and reached the national finals.
The Young Enterprise Scheme is run by the Economics Department for boys in the L8. The school runs three teams. Each team will have to launch and run their own business, and so raise their own finances, develop their own product and service, market and trade their product to the public and compete against other schools and colleges nationally. The school has won the national and European finals, been national finalists one other time, reached the London finals twice, and regularly excels in the Area and South London finals.
The department organises an annual economics trip for boys in the U8th each October remedy. The trip has visited the US and institutions such as the New York Federal Reserve, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, NYSE and SEC, as well as companies, such as McKinsey, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Moody’s. The trip has visited Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai the past three years, visiting HKEX, Peking University, Li and Fung, the FT, Bloomberg and China State Construction. The aim of each trip has always been to help the boys understand the operation of economic and political theory and also meet business leaders, and be exposed to future career options.
In addition, there are smaller trips during the school year to lectures, such as at the LSE, Royal Economics Society, and Cambridge’s Marshall Society. There are also trips to investment banks and the opportunity to participate in trading simulations and learn about possible careers in finance.
High Master’s Prize Essay
Students have a number of opportunities to earn essay prizes in economics. Typically, a number of strong contenders for the High Master’s Prize are submitted by economists – recent essays have included If Markets Are Efficient, Why Do Crises Occur? and A Macroeconomic Study of the Early French Revolution 1788-1792. Students will also submit an essay on financial crises for which the best essays will be rewarded with the Barnett Prize.
After St Paul’s
Many Paulines have studied Economics at university. This can be an excellent platform for a number of careers. Many OPs have entered the world of banking, starting with Thomas Gresham (founder of The Royal Exchange in 1565). Others have entered the academic world:
Economics Staff Members