Economics is popular at Hurst and it presents students with an exciting opportunity to branch out into unknown academic territory. Students learn how to think logically and use theories to understand how economies operate. They learn the basic economic problem of how we divide up our scarce resources and how decisions resulting from this affect us. They also learn Macroeconomics (the study of economic growth, inflation, unemployment, international trade and government economic policy) and Microeconomics (the study of firms and different market structures).
Economics is offered in the Sixth Form as an A-level.
The department is located in the brand new Humanities classrooms. These are specifically designed for small Sixth Form classes and are all equipped with interactive whiteboards.
The Economics department runs a successful Share Club once a week which is open to all year groups. Taking part in Share Club generates a deeper interest in finance.
As soon as the Club begins to build a portfolio, the shares change in value due to decisions and market fluctuations. Club members become actively involved in decisions about new investment possibilities. Lively discussions of past investment successes and failures help to develop a good knowledge base. This interaction and enthusiasm creates a wonderful informal environment for learning about finance and having fun in the process.
Participating in Share Club also gives students who choose to study Business, Management or Economics at degree level some valuable and practical experience before they begin a formal course.
Special guests such as Stockbrokers or Financial Planners are invited to club meetings to explain different investment strategies. Club members are also exposed to a number of topics including stocks and bonds, financial markets, exchanges and ratio analysis.
For several years Hurst has competed and been successful in the national Shares 4 Schools competition, run in association with the London Stock Exchange. The competition involves using a fund of £1,500 to purchase a portfolio of shares, with a view to making a greater profit than teams from other schools.
The department regularly enter students into the RES essay competition and this year entered Prep and Senior pupils into the Tenner challenge competition which is run by Young Enterprise.
The department regularly takes students to academic lectures such as the IEA Students Programmes which are offered throughout the year. In addition, some overseas trips are being planned for the future to support the course.
Pupils have previously visited Sri Lanka as part of a programme called Skype Pals, sponsored by RBS. Students experienced first-hand the significance of suitable economic development policies in action.
Economics beyond Hurst
The number of students continuing Economics at university has increased significantly in recent years. The recognition of the value of a degree in this subject has led to many more students choosing various Economics related degrees.
A recent study by LSE has found that Economics graduates to be the highest earning post-graduation.
Career options with an Economics degree are vast and in light of the recent 'Brexit', we predict a rise in interest and student numbers as students want to make sense of 'Brexit' implications.
I was very impressed with the quality of the Hurstpierpoint College students when I met them for mock interviews prior to university application. They had a good understanding of Economics and showed a clear appetite to learn. They also appreciated the need to think analytically about the subjects they are likely to study at university, a vital skill to have. I am confident they would do well in any top quality university.
Mike Barrow, Senior Economics lecturer, Sussex University