A-level Economics is a study of how society allocates resources to try to achieve its desired outcomes. It is a way of assessing how the world works from the viewpoint of how decisions are made by individuals, firms and governments, to use the resources available to them to improve social well-being.
The course is divided between the study of Micro and Macro Economics:
- Micro Economics considers the markets for specific industries and deals with how individuals and firms make decisions about levels of consumption and production. Income and wealth distribution, the labour market and behavioural economics are all considered, with emphasis on the structure of markets and whether or not governments should intervene when markets do not function efficiently
- Macro Economics considers national and international economics and deals with how governments seek to achieve objectives for society through various policy decisions, in order to maintain a stable economic environment. The role of globalisation, trade and financial markets are all considered with emphasis on benefits and drawbacks of recent international and geo-political developments.
A-level Economics students will be assessed on the ability to:
- demonstrate knowledge and application of core economic concepts and terminology to both hypothetical and real-world contexts
- analyse evidence in order to show understanding of short and long-term effects of economic decision-making by individuals, firms and governments
- evaluate quantitative and qualitative data, in order to make informed judgements weighing up potential risks and benefits of potential solutions to economic problems facing society
Real-world case studies will be used wherever possible, in order to increase opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge and skills gained throughout the delivery of the course.
Three examinations, each counting as a third of the final grade:
Paper 1 – Markets and Market Failure. A 2 hour written examination requiring data and essay responses, focusing on the Micro units in the course.
Paper 2 – The National and International Economy. A 2 hour written examination requiring data and essay responses, focusing on the Macro units in the course.
Paper 3 – Economic Principles and Issues. A 2 hour written examination requiring multiple-choice responses and a case study requiring essay responses, with a synoptic coverage of the entire course.
The minimum requirement is 7 GCSE or equivalent passes at grades 9-4 in an appropriate range of subjects, including Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above.
The college will accept one BTEC at Merit level as one GCSE equivalent.
For Economics we would normally expect students to have achieved a GCSE grade 5 or above in Maths.
A-level Economics is considered a highly academic course and is, therefore, applicable to a future academic pathway into Higher Education. Combining Economics with studies in areas such as Business, Geography, Sociology, Maths, Government and Politics and/or Philosophy and Ethics (amongst others), can equip students for future careers in International Business and Finance, Politics, and management of Societal Development Programmes.