Economics and Business Studies

The department teaches both Economics and Business Studies. Both subjects are taught to A level.


Economics is the social science that studies the processes that govern the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in our society. Economics provides a fascinating insight into some of the most important forces that shape the modern world. It is an intellectually demanding subject that requires and develops a wide range of skills. The global financial crisis from 2008 onwards has seen a large increase in the number of candidates choosing to study economics throughout the country. Economics is a lively subject full of debate, opinion and conjecture. Not a day goes by without several major articles being published in the press on the subject. As recent events have certainly shown, economics is not a subject where all the answers are already known. The subject is continuously evolving, making it an intriguing prospect for the intellectually curious. It is not surprising that a large proportion of leading corporate executives have studied economics, together with many leading politicians. Economics is also a crucial field of study for those wishing to pursue careers in banking and finance.

Understanding economics requires a good level of numeracy..  A good economist needs to be able to analyse economic data, to interpret graphs and tables, to identify trends, and to explain these using economic theory. This requires a clear mind and an ability both to think logically and to write good quality English.

Business Studies

Business Studies is in many ways complementary to the study of economics but tends to focus on the more detailed processes of what actual businesses do in terms of the four functions of accounting and finance, human resource management, marketing, and operations management. The business environment is also studied in detail. Marlborough College pioneered the teaching of Business Studies in the late 1960s, and that innovative approach has witnessed the growth of Business Studies to one of the most popular A levels nationally. The skills required for success are very similar to those required in Economics. The research theme undertaken during the Upper Sixth is particularly designed to develop in-depth appreciation of businesses from a certain type of industry and requires considerable emphasis on independent learning skills.

Department Aims

The Economics and Business Studies department aims to develop a spirit of enquiry that gives pupils the capacity to make critical judgments, as well as develop analytical and evaluative skills. Through in-depth debating of current issues, recent case studies and high profile visiting speakers, pupils are encouraged to be more confident and capable of critical thinking. It is important that pupils go beyond the confines of the specification and understand the subtleties and complexities of business issues. Recent speakers have included Sir Stuart Rose and Sir Terry Leahy as well as local business people.

Teaching within the department concentrates on developing the higher orders of Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy, evaluation and analysis. It is fully expected that students in the department will read widely from a range of recommended texts. Prior reading is absolutely critical to the development of the spirit of inquiry vital for academic success. It also allows lesson time to be devoted to exploring contemporary issues in an environment of active and independent learning.

Marlburians are encouraged to:

1.    Develop an understanding and appreciation of economic and business concepts and theories through a critical evaluation of current issues, problems and the institutions that affect everyday life.
2.    Apply economic and business concepts and theories in a range of real life and abstract contexts and to appreciate their value and limitations in explaining real world phenomena.
3.    Analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy, the modern business world, and the role of government within it.
4.    Above all, to participate effectively in society as a citizen, producer and consumer.
5.    Develop their skills in written communication and analysis using diagrams and statistics.