Belfast Royal Academy - founded 1785





Markets and Prices
Every day you make choices about the goods and services you could buy. If you decide to buy an extra can of Coke, for example, you may not be able to afford a chocolate bar. Society faces a similar choice; the wants of its members are unlimited, but the resources available to satisfy those wants are limited. This module examines how prices are used to signal to producers what they should produce. An increase in demand for a product by consumers, for example, will be reflected in a willingness to pay more for it, making it attractive for suppliers to increase production.

This module also examines situations where leaving production of a good or service to the forces of demand and supply produces an unsatisfactory outcome. If, for example, everyone had to pay the full cost of their education directly, rather than through taxation, some would decide to have less of it. It is, however, in society’s interest to have a well educated workforce. This explains government intervention to ensure that individuals have the opportunity to, and are required to, attend school until the age of sixteen.

The National Economy
Why should the government be concerned about inflation, imports and exports, unemployment and economic growth (the rate at which a country’s income grows)? The module explores these issues and examines the government’s policy options to achieve its goals with respect to each.


Business Economics
In some industries, such as farming, there are many small firms while in others such as electricity supply in Northern Ireland, there is only one. This module explains why this is so and why, in some industries, the government would wish to encourage competition. It also examines the impact of other influences on firms, such as globalisation (connections between economies at a global level), the environment and the internet.

The Global Economy
Why is trade between countries a good idea? Should a government be concerned when imports exceed exports? What are the advantages of membership of the European Union? Why does the vast majority of the world’s population face a daily struggle for survival? How can they escape from poverty in a way that is sustainable for the environment? These and other issues are examined in this module.