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Economics

A LEVEL (PEARSON)

What interests should I have if I want to take this course?
 
Students looking to complete A level Economics should be aware of current affairs present in news bulletins and the wider media.  Government, politics and specifically economic policy will be examined throughout the course and an awareness and ability to apply theory to current events will enable the successful completion of the four units.
 
What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?
 
5 grade in GCSE Maths, 4 in English Language and an average GCSE points score of 4.3 and C in GCSE Business if taken.
 
What will I learn about?
 
Theme 1 - Introduction to markets and market failure
This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts.  You will develop an understanding of:
  • The nature of economics
  • How markets work
  • Market failure
  • Government intervention
This unit looks at the basic economic problem of unlimited wants and scarce resources. It considers how markets determine the price of products such as the Apple iPhone or a tin of baked beans? It also investigates when markets fail to operate efficiently and how Government interferes to solve the market failure.
 
Theme 2 - The UK economy – performance and policies
 
This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts.  You will develop an understanding of:
  • Measures of economic performance
  • Aggregate demand
  • Aggregate supply
  • National income
  • Economic growth
  • Macroeconomic objectives and policy
This unit looks at how the UK economy operates and how the government attempts to manage it successfully. You will be asked to consider for example why inflation needs to remain low and how the Bank of England can influence house prices, how the UK economy grows and why interest rates have been lowered so significantly in recent years.
 
Theme 3 - Business behaviour and the labour market
 
This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 1 and focuses on business economics.  You will develop an understanding of:
 
1.   Business growth
2.   Business objectives
3.   Revenues
4.   Costs and profits
5.   Market structures 
6.   Labour market 
7.   Government intervention
 
The unit will investigate how markets can be structured differently.  It explains why some markets are dominated by very few suppliers while other goods are provided by many firms.  It examines the behaviour of firms in different markets, for example how traditional supermarkets such as Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury are changing their behaviour to fight off the competition from different food retailers such as Aldi and Lidl. It looks at the role the government has in ensuring that firms behave in consumers’ interests and how it promotes competition.
 
Theme 4 - A global perspective
 
This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 2 and applies these concepts in a global context.  You will develop an understanding of:
  • International economics
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Emerging and developing economies
  • The financial sector
  • Role of the state in the macroeconomy
This unit looks at how the UK fits into the global picture and how it interacts with other economies. It examines the importance of global trade and the rising economic status of countries such as China and India. In addition, it considers why some countries continue to struggle to provide their citizens with basic needs such as food, shelter, sanitation and  education.
 
How will I be assessed?
 
Paper 1 - Markets and business behaviour
 
This will be a written examination and will assess microeconomics. Questions will be drawn from Themes 1 and 3.  The paper comprises three sections.  You will answer all questions from Sections A and B and one from Section C.
 
Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer questions
 
Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts.
 
Section C comprises extended open-response questions where you will select one from a choice of two
 
The examination will last 2 hours and is worth 35% of the A Level.
 
Paper 2 - The national and global economy
 
This will be a written examination and will assess macroeconomics.  Questions will be drawn from Themes 2 and 4.  The paper comprises three sections.  You will answer all questions from Sections A and B and one from Section C.
 
Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
 
Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts.
 
Section C comprises extended open-response questions where you will select one from a choice of two.
 
The examination will last 2 hours and is worth 35% of the A Level.
 
Paper 3 - Microeconomics and macroeconomics
 
This will be a written examination and will assess content across all four themes.  The paper comprises two sections with each section made up of one data response question with a choice of extended open-response questions (a choice of one from two)
 
The examination will last 2 hours and is worth 30% of the A Level.
 
What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?
 
A variety of teaching methods will be used including:
  • Working independently or as part of a group
  • Completing short tasks and larger projects
  • Taking part in national conferences and visiting other important economic institutions like the Bank of England.
  • Researching current economic issues through the internet, newspapers and other media.
  • Playing an active role in class debates
  • Producing and delivering presentations
The staff are always supportive and they will willingly provide help and guidance throughout your course.
 
What can I do when I complete my qualifications?
 
This is a useful qualification if you are planning to study a degree in economics, business, accountancy or related courses. However, it is a subject which can provide you with an excellent general understanding of economics, something useful whatever your future plans or employment. Success in Economics will equip you with many important life skills and a sound understanding of how you fit into society as a consumer, employee and perhaps one day as a successful business entrepreneur.
 
How can I find out more information?
 
If you have any further questions please contact Mr Green, Mr Snowdon or Mr Thrall in the Business & Enterprise Department.