The Economics and Business Department offers a comprehensive range of related courses which as well as Economics and Business also includes Accounting and Financial Studies. There is a balance of skills and experience within the teaching teams with some tutors also having a vocational background working in industry and others having involvement working with exam boards.

Most courses offered are exam based but there are some programmes which are based on coursework and controlled assessments. Courses have different entry criteria but in general students will need to be able to demonstrate both numeracy and communication skills. Most course are offered at level 3 or A level standard or equivalent although there is a small provision at level 2 as part of a college wide advanced foundation programme.

Most courses are now linear and so there will not be any AS exams at the end of the lower sixth year. Teaching and learning is varied and is designed to both stretch and challenge but also provide appropriate support.

Results and outcomes on courses are generally very strong and are at least comparable and in some cases clearly exceed national benchmarks. All tutors are able to build a strong rapport with groups of students which not only means that they maximise their potential but are also well prepared for progression to either Higher Education of directly in to employment.

Courses Offered by the Department

Economics

This course delivers the Eduqas specification and is assessed by three examinations at the end of year 2. The exams are a combination of multiple choice, short answer, data response and essay style questions. The course covers micro economics (including scarcity and choice), macro economics (including government objectives) and global economics (including international trade and development). The course theory and concepts are applied to many contemporary issues including, for example, Brexit.

Some students will have the opportunity to also study Business alongside the course as a double option in the second year. This will be delivered in less time but will enable students to gain another A level which can enhance progression opportunities.

Business

This course delivers the Eduqas specification and is assessed by three examinations at the end of year 2. The exams require students to demonstrate a range of different skills including being able to analyse and evaluate different situations.

The course covers business opportunities (business start-ups), functional areas (marketing, finance. People and operations management), decision making and strategy, and change management in a dynamic external environment.

Students will have the opportunity to study real business situations and are encouraged to contextualise the theory by keeping up to date with current business news stories.

This can also be studied as a one year course in the second year of study in college where, for example, students may need another qualification for progression purposes.

Applied Business

This course is offered by AQA and fundamentally has similar Business content and theories covered to the A level Business course. The main difference is that this course is mainly assessed by portfolio, although there are also some external assessments.

The course is initially studied at Certificate and then later at Extended Certificate level. Unlike the new reformed linear courses, the assessment is done throughout the course and not at the end of the programme. Some themes covered can include financial planning and analysis, business dynamics and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Accounting

This course is offered by AQA and is assessed by 2 examinations at the end of the programme. Questions are a combination of multiple choice, short and extended answer style.

The course covers the main themes of financial accounting (including the preparation of financial statement for different businesses ranging from sole traders to partnerships and limited companies) and management accounting (including costing methods and budgeting). The course has a theoretical framework but is also very practical and requires students to work on problem solving activities to demonstrate knowledge and understanding.

Many students have Accounting as a possible vocational career option.

BTEC First Award in Business

This course is part of a college wide Advanced Foundation Programme and would be done, for example, alongside GCSE Maths and or English. It covers many important business elements including enterprise, finance, promotion and recruitment/selection. There is a small tested component but most of the course is assessed via continuous coursework.

Students will be given the opportunity to also develop inter personal skills relevant to employment. Students can progress on to a level 3 course on completion and this could include the Certificate Business course.

Financial Studies

This qualification is offered by the London Institute of Banking and Finance. It is assessed by exams which contain multiple choice questions and written questions based on either unseen or pre-release case study materials.

The course is offered at Certificate and then Diploma level and enables students to develop an understanding of the importance of financial planning and financial capability in the short and long term. The courses are A level equivalent and are very useful to both supplement and complement other courses in the portfolio.

Additional Studies

Lessons in Financial Education (LIFE)

This course if offered at level 2 and allows students to develop a good understanding of money and finance which can be directly relevant for seeking employment in the financial services sector. The course is primarily taught using on line resources provided by LIBF and is also assessed by 3 online unit tests.

Extra-curricular Activities and Contacts

Courses seek to provide an experience beyond just achieving a qualification for students and therefore enhancing engagement in college. These are numerous and varied but include the following as examples to illustrate: The Certificate Business groups visit Colchester Zoo in September as part of the research for a project that they complete. The Economics and Business students have entered a national online virtual share competition.

The college has developed many links with employers, and especially for Accounting students. Former students visit the college each year to give talks on training opportunities and apprenticeship schemes in Accounting and as a result many students each year manage to secure training contracts either locally or on London as a viable alternative to entering Higher Education.

Please see our Courses page for full details of all the courses offered by the college.