All individuals, firms and governments face resource constraints whether it is a finite supply of time, money or clean air. Economics is the study of how to make the most of the resources we have. As John Maynard Keynes wrote, “Economics is a science of thinking.” A knowledge of this social science can help in many ways, from making better decisions in daily life to critiquing those made by firms and governments.
An understanding of economics can inform students’ understanding of current affairs, business, finance, history, politics and international relations. Economics also lends itself to the development of a wide range of highly transferable skills and is a gateway to a number of varied and fascinating careers which are both rewarding and influential.
Economics can be studied through either the IB or A-level pathway in the Sixth Form. Regardless of curriculum choice, the essentials of the subject are covered including microeconomics, macroeconomics, international trade and development. Economics is a popular subject at NLCS with many of our students taking it at university and going to on work in the field. Students move on to study Economics at universities such as Cambridge, LSE and UCL or study one of the many joint courses such as PPE, Economics & Management, Economics and History and Economics & Spanish. Students are supported through the university application process and prepared for independent study including wider reading, enrichment lessons, support with entrance examinations, and mock interviews.
The department offers many enrichment and extracurricular activities. Weekly enrichment sessions are run by the department, taking students well beyond the confines of the syllabus and teaching them to critique traditional economic models, to discuss economics in the news and to extend their subject knowledge deeper into areas such as Game Theory, the causes of financial crises and the work of different economists. The NLCS Economics Society runs regular discussion groups and student debates as well as hosting a number of high-profile speakers each year from institutions such as the World Bank, the Bank of England, the Financial Times, Merril Lynch, Oxford University, the IEA and the IPPR. Students also produce an outstanding online economics magazine ‘Capital’, which explores current economic issues and is written and edited entirely by students in years 11-13. Recent issues have included "Covid Economics", “The Beauty Industry” and “Big Data”.
Our students also compete in a number of national competitions. In 2016-17, one of our Investor Challenge teams finished 13th out of over 10,000 teams nationally. In 2019 our team came second nationally in the finals of the Institute of Economics Affairs Budget Challenge. NLCS were also overall winners of the BASE competition in 2017. We frequently have student essays highly commended in the Royal Economics Society Young Economist of the Year competition and in 2019 one of our IB students won £200 for writing the ‘Best Essay’ in her category in this highly prestigious competition.