Grammar School


Economics A Level

Board: AQA

Course Tutors: Mr N McCarley / Mr S Earley

Course Outlines:

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 to produce and how to produce it?

At AS level students will use concepts like demand and supply to learn how the majority of individual markets work (from money markets to housing markets, clothing and food).  We also study what happens when the system fails; would everyone pay for education if they had to?  Unit 2 looks at macroeconomics – the functioning of the whole economy.  Students should gain insight into the debate on spending cuts and the age of austerity, for example.

The second year begins with Business Economics – how firms behave in different competitive environments – and the distribution of income; is inequality fair? Do people get what they deserve?  It then goes onto develop National and International material in more depth. Unit 3 requires an extended approach to everything covered in years 1 and 2 and allows students to draw together their knowledge skills and understanding from across the full course of study with extended responses.

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.e discipline.

Learning styles

Learning includes a number of approaches, including; teacher led discussion and current debates, classroom activities and research tasks involving the school laptop bank and VLE.

An interest in current affairs is assumed and students will be encouraged to debate and discuss topical economic issues.

Homework is set regularly each week.

It is assumed that students have a basic level of numeracy and that they are literate and unlike a lot of other schools we do not impose strict criteria for either English or Maths although the Maths content for the new 2015 specification has been amplified.

Subject Combinations and Progression

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

Our students choose Economics because:

  • of their career intentions eg: law, accounts, banking, management, retailing

  • it "goes with other subjects", it complements Geography, History, Business Studies, Psychology and Mathematics.

  • they wish to start a "new" subject

  • It " broadens " their A level study eg: 2 sciences and Economics, English , History and Economics and it is a well regarded subject by universities

  • of an interest in current affairs

  • it is interesting and challenging

Subject Modules and Assessment - A-level (core topics)

Subject content

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

1 Economic methodology and the economic problem

2 Individual economic decision making

3 Price determination in a competitive market

4 Production, costs and revenue

5 Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly

6 The labour market

7 The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality

8 The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

The national and international economy

9 The measurement of macroeconomic performance

10 How the macroeconomy works : the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts

11 Economic performance

12 Financial markets and monetary policy

13 Fiscal policy and supply-side policies

14 The international economy



Paper 1: Markets and market failure

What's assessed

Content 1–8 above


·         written exam: 2 hours

·         80 marks

·         33.3% of A-level


·   Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks.

Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks


Paper 2: National and international economy

What's assessed

Content 9–14 above


·         written exam 2 hours

·         80 marks

·         33.3% of A-level


·         Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two contexts worth 40 marks

·         Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks


Paper 3: Economic principles and issues

What's assessed

All content 1–14 above


·         written exam: 2 hours

·         80 marks

·         33.3% of A-level


·         Section A: multiple choice questions worth 30 marks

·         Section B: case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks

All the question papers are compulsory

Entry requirements

Grade C in GCSE Mathematics is required. A grade B in Mathematics is recommended but not essential.


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