A Level Economics

Head of Economics: Mrs S Murphy
The heart of the A Level Economics course is to encourage students to develop an ability to think as an economist and engage students to appreciate the contribution of economics to understanding the wider economic and social environment. The fundamental economic problem is one of scarce resources facing infinite demand. Students will be encouraged to develop an understanding of a range of economics concepts and an ability to apply these concepts in a variety of different contexts, using an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach in their responses. The subject requires students to understand that economic behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives and in doing so, students need to develop analytical and quantitative skills.

Course content
Examination board: Edexcel

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure
One of two in this qualification that focuses on microeconomics. This theme introduces students to the microeconomic nature of economics, looking at economic problems and the ways economists think and work.

Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies
One of two in this qualification that focuses on macroeconomics. This theme introduces the key measures of economic performance and the main instruments of economic policy, primarily in a UK context.

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market
Building on the content of Theme 1, Theme 3 examines how the number and size of market participants, and the level of contestability affect the pricing and nature of competition among firms. In addition, students will look at the rational assumption that firms are profit maximisers and then challenge this by looking at alternative business objectives. Finally, students study the labour market to analyse how wages are determined in competitive and non-competitive markets.

Theme 4: A global perspective
This theme builds on the knowledge and skills gained in Theme 2. In theme 4 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.

Students attend an Economics Conference in November of year 12, alongside other GDST schools. Speakers are invited into school for students to network with and widen their appreciation of the career opportunities available.

University and beyond
Students develop transferable skills that support study in a wide range of subjects at university and the transition into employment. The development and application of quantitative skills throughout the course prepares students to study economics at university. Russell Group universities are likely to require students to also study Further Maths at A Level, to apply for a theoretical economics degree. Alternatively, applied economics courses such as environmental economics, labour economics, public sector economics or monetary economics allow for specialism within a particular field. Students may choose to study a business economics or a business degree and there are a wide range of careers such as finance, banking, insurance, accountancy, management and consultancy, to becoming professional economists.

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