Economics A-Level

"Economics is everywhere, and understanding economics can help you make better decisions and lead a happier life." - Tyler Cowen

Why are banks 'too big to fail'? What's inflation, and does it affect me? I hear a lot about interest rates and payday loans, but I want to know what it means... Economics is where you find this out, and a lot more.

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of the allocation of resources. For example, three people have a cake - how do you share the cake? Most people would say to the split the cake into three equal pieces - but maybe one person made the cake, so they should get more. Maybe one person skipped breakfast so they should get more cake...

This is Economics - "the study of sharing"!

What do I study in Economics?

How to make better choices in life, breaking down complicated real-life problems into easy decisions
What governments do to improve society by fixing problems, and how this can sometimes go badly wrong
Why we trade with distant countries like Kenya rather than neighbouring EU countries - is this good for Kenya?
Why petrol prices are so high despite oil prices falling, and how we stop this.

What skills will I learn in Economics?

  • Working as a team, as well as independently
  • Problem-solving and finding solutions
  • Analytical thinking
  • Use mathematics in context of real-life problems

The course

This is a two-year linear course in A Level Economics. After two years of study, candidates can choose to undertake either the AS Level or A-Level Economics.

Economics is in two parts - Microeconomics (the study of consumers, firms, and the government) and Macroeconomics (the study of a country's economy and how it interacts with other countries)

AS - 

  • Unit 1 - Microeconomics - Microeconomic theory; How competitive markets work; Market failures and government intervention (Examination, 50%)
  • Unit 2 - Macroeconomics - Macroeconomy functions on a domestic and global level; Policy approaches; Macroeconomic equilibrium (Examination, 50%)

The exams are a mixture of multiple choice, as well as short and long answer questions.

A-Level -

  • Unit 1 - Microeconomics - Microeconomic theory; Theoretical workings of the free market; Imperfections and market failures (Examination, 33.3%)
  • Unit 2 - Macroeconomics - Macroeconomy functions on a domestic and global level; Policy approaches; Changes in macroeconomics over time (Examination, 33.3%)
  • Unit 3 - Themes in Economics [Applied Economics] (Examination, 33.3%)

The exams are a mixture of short and long answer questions.

Entry Requirements/Co-Requisites

  • Candidates should have a keen interest in current affairs and world events, as they will be expected to write about recent affairs in their examination.
  • A minimum of a grade B/5 in GCSE Mathematics is required because of the data interpretation part of the course. A grade C/4 in GCSE Mathematics can be accepted with a passing grade in the Economics Baseline Test, completed in the 1st week of Year 12.
  • Studying A-Level Mathematics alongside A-Level Economics is encouraged for studying Economics at a higher level.

Further information

If you would like further information about this subject please click here to view the course leaflet.