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Sixth-form a-level-economics-2

A Level

Economics

What could this course lead to?

This qualification should enable students to progress to a straight economics degree with a focus on theory, or a degree in applied economics such as environmental economics, finance and economics, development economics, public sector economics or monetary economics. Economics can also be combined with another subject in a joint degree such as politics, philosophy, or economic and social history.

GCSEs required

No prior learning of Economics is necessary, although those who have studied GCSE in Business Studies will find that this course builds on some of the concepts they have learned.

What will I be studying?

Year 1 Components

Theme 1: 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. Students will learn how to apply supply and demand analysis to real world situations and understand why markets might not allocate resources efficiently and the methods of dealing with market failure, together with an evaluation of their effectiveness.

Theme 2: The U.K. economy – performance and policies.

This unit introduces the key measures of economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of economic policy. Students should be able to use a basic aggregate demand and supply model to understand why different government policies may be seen as appropriate ways of managing the economy; predict the possible impact of such policies and to recognise the assumptions involved; argue for different approaches and identify criteria for success

Year 2 Components

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market. This unit develops the content of Theme 1 and examines how the nature of competition between firms is affected by the number and size of market participants. At the end of this unit students should be able to analyse the pricing and output decisions  of firms in different contexts. They should also be able to make an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.

Theme 4: A global perspective

This unit develops the knowledge and skills gained in Theme 2 so they can be applied in a global context. The application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as the ability to assess policies which might be used to deal with economic problems. An awareness of trends and     developments in the global economy over the past ten years is required.

What benefits does this subject have for university entrance?

Economics has long been recognised as a subject that combines the development of transferable skills with an understanding of contemporary world problems and can be a preparation for the study of many different subjects.

What skills or learning approach do I need for this subject?

Candidates will be encouraged to:

  • Develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect life
  • Apply economic concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to appreciate value and limitations in explaining real world phenomena
  • Apply appropriate quantitative skills (representing 20% of the final assessment of the overall A Level marks and 15% of the AS Level marks)
  • Analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it
  • Participate effectively in society as citizens, producers and consumers

Students should be willing to follow real world examples in the various news media so that they can identify and apply economic theory.

Do I need to do coursework?

No.

How is it examined?

At the end of Year 1 the AS Level exam can be taken as an entirely separate qualification but it does not contribute to the final A Level grade. The AS Level examines Themes 1 and 2 only.

Paper 1: Introduction to markets and market failure (1.5 hours in length and representing 50% of the AS Level)

  • Section A: multiple choice and short answer questions.
  • Section B: one data response question broken down into a number of parts, each including one open extended response question.

Paper 2: The U.K. economy – performance and policies (1.5 hours in length and representing 50% of the AS Level)

  • Section A: multiple choice and short answer questions.
  • Section B: one data response question broken down into a number of parts, each including one open extended response question.

The A Level exam is taken at the end of Year 2 and examines all four themes and is assessed in the following way:

Paper 1: Markets and business behaviour – testing Themes 1 and 3 (2 hours in length and represents 35% of the final mark):

  • Section A: multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Section B: one data response question 
  • Section C: one extended open response question (choice of one from two)

Paper 2: The national and global economy – Testing Themes 2 and 4 ( 2 hours in length and representing 35% of the final mark):

  • Section A: multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Section B: one data response question
  • Section C: one extended open response question (choice of one from two)

Paper 3: Microeconomics and macroeconomics

Testing all 4 themes (2 hours in length and representing 30% of the final mark):

Two data response questions broken down into a number of parts, including one extended open response question (choice of one from two for extended open response questions).

What syllabus do you follow?

Edexcel Board: www.edexcel.org.uk 

Examination method

  • Written exam x 2 for AS
  • Written exam x 3 for A Level 

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