Economics A Level

Board: AQA
Syllabus: 7136

About the subject

The syllabus focuses on the key concepts of modern Economics.  The subject itself is concerned with the allocation of scarce resources – our ‘wants’ are infinite, but we can provide for only a small number of them.  How do we decide what, how and for whom to produce?  Why and how do governments act to influence other agents?  Why are such interventions not always as effective as they hope?

In Microeconomics students will use concepts like demand and supply to learn how the majority of individual markets work (from finance markets to housing markets, clothing and food).  We also study the causes and consequences of market failure; would everyone pay for education or health care if they had to?  Why do people make irrational choices?  We analyse business economics, labour markets and the distribution of income; is inequality fair? Do people get what they deserve?

We also study Macroeconomics – which looks at the functioning of the economy (growth, unemployment, inflation, etc).  Students gain insight into the debate on the level of government spending versus taxes, financial markets and policies that governments use to manage the economy. We will also introduce the international context incorporating globalisation, and trade (including issues around Brexit).

The subject is studied within the context of contemporary life.  Economic issues are current and dynamic and concepts are covered in a way that reflects this.

Learning styles

Learning includes a number of approaches, including flipped learning, teacher led discussion and current debates, individual and small group tasks, classroom experiments and research tasks. Students use peer marking to learn how to structure answers to exam questions and learn to interpret and analyse current economic data and use graphical economic analysis.

An interest in current affairs is assumed as students will discuss topical economic issues in the context of the syllabus. Homework and preparatory work is set weekly.

Subject Combinations and Progression

Economics can usefully be combined with any other academic subject. Sound combination subjects include Maths, History, Politics, Law, Geography and any of the sciences and social sciences.

Destinations frequently include university, finance industry, stockbroker, business consultancy (e.g. marketing, analysis and traders), journalism and education.

Subject Modules and Assessment

Paper 1: Markets and Market Failure
2 hours incorporating data response and essays.  (Third of A level)

Paper 2: National and International Economy
2 hours incorporating data response and essays.  (Third of A level)

Paper 3: Economic Principles and Issues
2 hours incorporating multiple choice source based questions.  (Third of A level)

Entry requirements

5 or above in GCSE Maths and a 5 or above in GCSE English Language.