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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 Level: 

  • Theme 1 (50%) Introduction to markets and market failure (Mixture of multiple-choice, short answer, data response, and an essay on markets, market failure, and government intervention)
  • Theme 2 (50%) The UK economy - performance and policies (Mixture of multiple-choice, short answer, data response on the UK economy, macroeconomic objectives, and policies)


  • Unit 1 - Paper 1: Market and business behaviour (35%) (Mixture of multiple-choice, short answer, data response, and an essay on markets, market failure, government intervention, and business economics)
  • Paper 2: The national and global economy (35%) (Mixture of multiple-choice, short answer, data response, and an essay on the UK economy, macroeconomic policies, the global economy, and financial sector)
  • Paper 3: Microeconomics and macroeconomics (30%) (Data response and essays on all content covered in the course)

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.