Economics is about choice and the impact of our choices on each other. It relates to every aspect of our lives, from the decisions we make as individuals or families, to the structures created by governments and firms. The economic way of thinking can help us make better choices. You may have never studied economics before, and yet when you open a newspaper what do you read? “…a report from our economics correspondent”. Turn on the news on TV and what do you see ? An item on the state of the economy. Talk to friends and often the conversation will turn to the price of this or that product, or if you have got enough money to afford this or that.
Economics affects our daily lives. Continually we are being made aware of local, national and international economic problems, and continually we are faced with economic problems and decisions of our own.
Current issues could include:
• What caused the ”credit crunch”?
• Can the ‘debt culture’ amongst UK consumers ever be reversed?
• How will the UK economy deal with ever increasing petrol prices?
Many people think Economics is all about money, and to some extent this is true. Economics has a lot to do with money; how are wage levels in an economy decided, how much people spend, what it costs to buy various items, what level of profits can firms earn. But economics is about much more than just the study of money. It is the study of how best to satisfy unlimited wants with limited resources.
To do well in A Level Economics, you are likely to be:
• Very interested in the big issues in the world around us
• Aware of political policies and objectives
• Good at analysing problems
• Highly numerate and highly literate
• Able to look at an argument from both sides
In year one you will be focusing on two themes, there are:
Introduction to markets and market failure - This unit provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines how the price mechanism allocates resources in markets. It analyses the nature of market failure, its causes and possible policy remedies. At the end of this unit, students should be able to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations; to understand why markets might not allocate resources efficiently and the methods of dealing with market failure, together with an evaluation of their effectiveness.
The UK economy – performance and policies - This theme is 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.
In Year 2 you will focus on themes 3 and 4, these are:
Business behaviour and labour market – This theme builds on theme 1 in Year 1 and 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.
A global perspective – This theme builds on Theme 2 from Year 1 and 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.
6 grade 5s (or equivalent), including at least grade 5 in English Language or Literature.
5 or above in Business / Economics if taken.
5 or above in Maths.
A level Economics is highly regarded by employers and should stand you in good stead should you decide to start your career without going on to further study.
Economics is a popular choice at degree level and many courses are very mathematical, so A level Maths will be just as useful if you want to study Economics at university. There are many possible careers where Economics would be useful including: Economist, accountant, actuary, banker, insurance underwriter, investment analyst, management consultant, market research executive, political party researcher, statistician, trader.