Economics A Level

A Level Economics

Why is a Cadbury’s Freddo 30p now when it was 10p ten years ago? Why are cigarettes and alcohol not illegal? What psychological factors cause us to buy things we don’t really need? Is rapid technological change an opportunity or a threat? Study economics and discover a fresh perspective on our world, through lessons full of discussion and debate on current affairs. In a fast-paced world, full of big questions, there has never been a more exciting time to study economics!

Why St Mary's

Our Economics Department has its own library, offering you access to the latest resources, including subscriptions to key journals, plus a range of films and documentaries on topical issues. You will receive a bespoke e-textbook, textbooks and revision guides, plus a selection of carefully curated lesson resources on Cloudbase to support your studies.

From lectures at the University of Cambridge to exploring the Bank of England, we offer access to many extended learning opportunities, selected to deepen your knowledge of this fascinating subject. There are also plenty of opportunities to shine – from taking the lead in our Business and Economics Society or competing internationally in the Schools Enterprise Competition or in the fast-paced Student Investor Challenge.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

Enabling your transition from GCSE

For almost all students, economics is a totally new subject. This offers you a fantastic opportunity to start with a blank canvas, on a level playing field with your peers. Irrespective of what subjects you have studied at GCSE, with a little hard work and dedication there is nothing to stop anyone becoming a competent economist.

Throughout your studies you will have access to a lunchtime drop-in surgery once a week, but our teachers have an open door policy – so support is on-hand whenever you have a question! You will have a one-on-one meeting with our Head of Department three times a year, providing an opportunity to discuss your progress in a more formal setting and to agree targets for the next term.  If you would like more structured, regular one-on-one support, we are more than happy to support this.

All members of the department have previously marked A Levels for exam boards, and you will benefit from their insight through specific sessions that look at exam technique and practice – equipping you with the skills you need to succeed. 

Course overview

AS Level content

The operation of markets and market failure

  • The economic problem and economic methodology
  • Price determination in a competitive market
  • Production, costs and revenue
  • Competitive and concentrated markets
  • The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

The national economy in a global market

  • The measurement of macroeconomic performance
  • How the macroeconomy works: the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis and related concepts
  • Economic performance
  • Macroeconomic policy

A Level content

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

  • The economic problem and economic methodology
  • Individual economic decision making
  • Price determination in a competitive market
  • Production, costs and revenue
  • Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly
  • The labour market
  • The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality
  • The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

The national and international economy

  • The measurement of macroeconomic performance
  • How the macroeconomy works: the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis and related concepts
  • Economic performance
  • Financial markets and monetary policy
  • Fiscal policy and supply-side policies
  • The international economy

Assessment

AS Level

  • Paper 1: The operation of markets and market failure (50% of AS Level)
  • Paper 2: The national economy in a global market (50% of AS Level)

These units are assessed by 20 multiple choice questions and a written data response question.

A Level

  • Paper 1: Markets and market failure (33% of A Level)
  • Paper 2: National and international economy (33% of A Level)

These papers will be assessed by data response questions and essay questions.

  • Paper 3: Economic principles and issues (33% of A Level) - This paper covers the whole A Level syllabus containing both microeconomic and macroeconomic topics. It will be assessed by multiple choice questions and an economic report
At a glance
  • Syllabus: AQA (AS Level 7135, A Level 7136)
  • 3 written papers (33.3% each of total A Level mark)
  • Small class sizes
  • Themes: Markets and market failure, National and international economy, Economic principles and issues
You will enjoy this course if you...
  • Like working with data and statistics
  • Can communicate your ideas in writing
  • Enjoy discussion and debate
  • Are interested in current affairs
  • Can think critically and analytically

Visit our Sixth Form

What our teachers say...

“From a young age I was intrigued by inequality and frustrated as to why it could be allowed to take place in society. I would constantly ask myself questions like: ‘why are whole continents richer than others?’ ‘Why do some people drive sports cars whilst others sleep on the street?’ I chose to teach economics because I wanted to inspire the next generation to solve some of these issues which on the surface seem so easy to correct.”

The richest 1% of the world own 45% of the world’s wealth. Global adult population and share of total wealth by wealth group, 2018*

When you hear that the eight richest people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion, it is hard to comprehend how we got to a place where such disparity exists.

Economics has the power to shape a better world. If the next generation wish to improve the issues surrounding inequality, then a sound understanding of the complex economic variables that underpin them is vital to success.

*Source: Credit Suisse

Many of our students aspire to attend top universities for economics such as Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, UCL and LSE. Typical degree choices are: economics, economics and a modern language, economics and mathematics, economics and politics, politics, philosophy and economics (PPE), management, business, finance and accounting, international development, international relations. 

An economics degree is highly respected by employers. By providing a vast range of sought-after transferable skills, such as communication, numeracy, problem-solving and data handling, economics graduates are in high demand. This is reflected in a recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which showed that economics graduates are the second highest average graduate earners. 

Economics graduates work in diverse fields, from world-renowned banks or financial institutions, to the Government or international organisations such as the UN, IMF or World Bank. Others use their skills to go into research and education, working for universities, schools, or think tanks. 

Leaver destinations

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