Economics is a social science involving the study of people and their activities relating to production, consumption and exchange. The study covers the behaviour of individuals, their work decisions of what to produce, where to locate and how to market, and the activities of government. A thorough study is also made of major economic issues, i.e. unemployment, inflation, budget deficits, trade imbalances and economic growth.
At AS level the course covers the topics of Basic Economic Ideas, The Price System and the Theory of the Firm, Government Intervention in the Price System, International Trade, Measurement in the Macroeconomy, Macroeconomic Problems, and Macroeconomic Policies.
During the A2 year the same topics are covered, but at a greater depth.
A level Economics places a strong emphasis on not only memorising material but in being able to analyse it and apply it to real world situations. The desire and ability to be able to think critically about issues is therefore very important to success in the subject.
The level of mathematical ability for the course is not high, but the standard of written English required is, especially at A2 level. At this level students are expected to write continuous prose essays which answer questions involving critical thinking analysis. Students who have difficulty reading large amounts of English text will find Economics a challenging subject at A level.
Economics gives opportunities for careers in both the public and private sectors. Jobs include working in the civil service, local government, banking, accountancy and management. Economists are also found in many other areas including manufacturing, systems analysis and computer science.
Economics will combine well with most other A level subjects, including other social sciences, humanities and Mathematics. However, we do not recommend that students choose all three of Economics, Accounting, and Business Studies, as this combination may result in an unnecessarily narrow range of tertiary options. There is some overlap in the syllabus content of the three subjects, particularly between Accounting and Business Studies (about 15%).