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Business Studies and Economics

The Business Studies Department aims to provide a quality Business Education in a happy and positive learning environment. Pupils will gain a valuable insight into the business and economic environment and be aware of the ideas of corporate and social responsibility.

Business Studies and Economics

About Our Business Studies and Economics Department

The department’s curricular provision is mostly in the Senior School where we offer Advanced Higher Business Management, Advanced Higher Economics, Higher Business Management, Higher Economics and National 5 Economics. Despite falling numbers nationally, Economics has always been a very popular option at The High School with over 30% of the S3 year group choosing it and upwards of twelve studying the subject at Advanced level. We are currently developing a course in Finance and Economics for Transitus pupils.

The department is housed in two classrooms, both of which have fifteen computers. We actively encourage pupils to partake in independent research and regularly design lessons that require them to present their findings to their peers. Developing presentation and communication skills is not only useful for writing up dissertations in Sixth Year but essential for the world of work.

We have consistently been involved in Scottish and UK-wide competitions such as The Bank of England’s Interest Rate Challenge, Make Your Mark Challenge and Young Enterprise. We also regularly run trips for all our year groups, in recent years visiting New Lanark Mills, Summerlee Industrial Museum and a very successful trip to Beijing and Shanghai in 2013.

Staff

Mr Tony Jensen (Head of Department)
Mrs Lin Milne (Young Enterprise Coordinator)

Curriculum Information

This course is studied over two years through S3 and S4. Pupils study three main units:

  • Economics of the Market
    • This unit covers the basic economic problem of scarcity, the laws of demand and supply, as well as personal income.
  • UK Economic Activity
    • In this unit, pupils study the macroeconomic issues of inflation, unemployment and taxation. There is also more emphasis given to the Scottish economy.
  • Global Economic Activity
    • This unit addresses the UK’s place in the global market, with pupils investigating many areas including our role in the EU. Much of this unit looks at the UK’s balance of payments and our interdependence on developing and emerging economies.

Over the past few years we have been able to study issues that are very much 'in vogue'. These have included the obesity problem, rising levels of poverty and use of food banks in the UK.

As part of the course award, pupils undertake an assessment, carried out in S4. They are given six and a half hours to research their chosen topic and one hour in class to write up their assessment. This counts as 30% of their overall mark.

Pupils study three main units during the Higher course:

  • Economics of the Market
    • In this unit, pupils study the basic economic problem of scarcity and how it affects all types of economic systems. The laws of marginal utility and diminishing returns are studied, as is price elasticity of demand.
  • UK Economic Activity
    • In this unit, pupils study the macroeconomic issues of inflation, unemployment and taxation. In the 'National Income' section, pupils study the effect of the multiplier on the economy. There is also more emphasis given to the Scottish economy.
  • Global Economic Activity
    • International trade is the main focus of pupils' attention in this unit as they study how the UK’s balance of payments is made up and look at ways that the government can try to correct the deficit. They also look at exchange rates and their effect on exports and imports.

As part of the course award, pupils undertake an assessment, carried out in the second term of the course. Pupils are given six and a half hours to research their chosen topic and one and a half hours in class to write up their assessment. This counts as 30% of their overall mark.

This course was introduced in 2015. Though very similar in style to the old Advanced Higher, this course takes more cognisance of what is going on in economies around the world. The three units studied are:

  • Economic Markets: Structure and Intervention
    • Pupils will study the different market structures such as perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly. Negative externalities and positive externalities are also studied in this unit. A mandatory question in the exam is taken from this unit.
  • National and Global Economic Issues
    • There was a tendency in old Advanced Higher papers to constrain ourselves to UK issues, although the BRICs and developing countries were often investigated. This has been addressed in this unit, with a much more focussed approach on global issues including the EU, US debt, oil exploration and fracking.
  • Researching an Economic Issue
    • This project is worth 40 marks overall and is similar in style to the old Advanced Higher dissertation.

There are three units that will be assessed in the question paper, worth 80 marks overall. Additionally, pupils complete a project that will be worth a further 40 marks.