Economics (A Level)


What Will I Study?

How Will I be Assessed?

What Next?

Why Study Economics (A Level)?

Suggested Reading

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A Level

Examination Board



What Do I Need To Study This Course?

6 or above Mathematics and 6 or above English Language.

Please note – Quantitative techniques are worth 20% of your overall grade. This involves calculations such as percentages and ratios. If you are opting to study Economics and not opting to study A Level Mathematics it could be useful to take Level 3 Core Maths as your 4th option, rather than an EPQ or directed study.

What Will I Study?

Students will investigate both the broader macro economy including government objectives and policies and the micro behaviour of economic agents such as consumers and firms. They will develop an understanding of how the UK and global economy works in terms of theory and real world application.

Year 12

Theme 1 – Introduction to markets and market failure

In this theme students will consider how markets work, looking at how supply and demand interact to allocate resources in local, national and international markets. They will learn how to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations and be able to offer explanations of consumer behaviour. Having investigated how markets work, students will look at the nature and causes of market failure before considering the strengths and weaknesses of possible government intervention to remedy market failures.

Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies

Students will be introduced to the aggregate demand/aggregate supply model so that they can use it to analyse changes in real output and the price level affecting problems such as inflation and unemployment. They will: examine the use of different government policies that may be used to improve an economy’s performance. Students will consider the different approaches that may be used by policymakers to address macroeconomic issues and be able to identify the criteria for success. Students will gain knowledge of the UK economy in the last 10 years.

Year 13

 Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market

This theme examines how the number and size of market participants, and the level of contestability, affect the pricing and nature of competition among firms. Students will consider the size and growth of firms through exploring organic growth, mergers and takeovers. Students will look at the rational

assumption that firms are profit maximisers and then challenge this by looking at alternative business objectives. Revenues, costs and profits are explored before linking these ideas to different market structures such as monopolies.

Theme 4: A global perspective

Students will be expected to understand the significance of globalisation, international trade, the balance of payments and exchange rates. They will examine public finance, macroeconomic policies and the role of the financial sector in a global context. Students will consider the factors influencing the growth and development of emerging and developing countries and develop an awareness of trends in the global economy over the last 25 years.

How Will I Be Assessed?

3 x 2 hour exam.

Suggested Reading List

  • Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth-a great critique of standard economic thinking
  • The Great Divide by Professor Joseph Stiglitz
  • GDP: A brief but affectionate history by Professor Diane Coyle-on the GDP/well-being debate
  • Growth Delusion by David Pilling-measuring living standards and well-being in a different way
  • A World of Three Zeroes” by Muhhamad Yunus – the ways in which micro-finance can shape social entrepreneurship in tackling poverty and climate change.
  • Almighty dollar by Dharshini David-follows the journey of a single $ to show how the global economy works
  • Great Economists: How their ideas can help us today by Linda Yueh-perspectives on contemporary issues
  • Choice Factory by Richard Shotton-a story of 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy
  • Capitalism without capital: The rise of the intangible economy by Haskel and Westlake-the growth to prominence of the intangible economy
  • Upstarts: How Uber and Airbnb are changing the world by Brad Stone
  • Poor Economics: Rethinking ways to fight global poverty by Banerjee and Dufflo-development economics
  • Misbehaving: The making of behavioural economics by Richard Thaler-an excellent biography
  • Economics for the common good by Jean Tirole (noble prize winner) -applied micro
  • Plundering planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature by Professor Paul Collier-a development classic
  • Inequality by Anthony Atkinson-an excellent book on one of the defining issues of the day
Why Study Economics (A Level)?