‘Economics is the study of the way in which scarce resources are allocated between competing ends.’
The Economics A level is a linear course with exams at the end of the second year of study. Microeconomics in the first year examines the role of markets in the distribution of resources, goods and services, and also why markets may fail or work inefficiently. In macroeconomics, the course takes a broad look at the wider UK economy, with a deep analysis of the effectiveness of economic policies such as manipulating interest rates, changing tax rates and spending on education and healthcare.
The second year of the course follow a similar pattern to the first year, although the focus is on the wider global economy. In microeconomics, there is a heavy emphasis on business economics. There is a strong graphical element to this part of the course, and more maths than at in the first year. In macroeconomics, there is an increased on focus on international trade and development, as well as greater emphasis on the mechanics of measuring economic variables such as inflation and unemployment.
The course has been updated to include the study of financial regulation and the impact of the global financial crash. The new syllabus also includes the study of economic theorists such as Karl Marx, John Keynes, Friedrich Hayek and Adam Smith, as well as a section on new theories in behavioural economics and the ways in which psychological, emotional and social factors contribute to people's economic decisions.
At the end of the course there are three two hour exams designed to test students' technical understanding of the course material. Assessment comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer questions as well as extended open-response questions.
Examining Board: Edexcel
Head of Department: Shaun Ritchie