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Economics A Level at The Downs School

Course description

To develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life. Students will be able to explain, analyse and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Market Economy and the role of government within it.

Course content

AS Level includes microeconomics and macroeconomics. Micro economics: the workings of the market mechanism, why economic choices are made, how markets are efficient, how markets fail and how governments intervene in markets to improve the welfare of society. Macroeconomics: key indicators of national macroeconomic activity, measuring the causes of and changes in GDP, unemployment, inflation, interest rates, business investment and consumer spending. Government policy options for controlling the macroeconomic environment.

At A Level students will cover all of the above to a greater level of depth plus the following additional topic areas: Microeconomics; the functioning of labour markets and government policy to improve the workings of labour markets, completion and concentrated markets and government policy to increase competition in markets, inequalities and the distribution of income and wealth in society. Macroeconomics; the importance of international trade, exchange rates, international economic growth, fiscal and monetary policies for growth both domestic and international.

Throughout the course current economic and business events will be discussed as evidence of theories and concepts in action. Newspaper and magazine articles, internet research and current affairs tv programmes and documentaries will be used. Students must be prepared to investigate the subject area from a wide range of sources. Students will also regularly be interpreting and analysing data (graphs, tables, percentages and index numbers) to identify patterns or trends therefore GCSE Maths at GRADE B is required.

Entry requirements

A minimum of GRADE B in Mathematics and English at GCSE

An interest in the business world

An ability to organise ideas into a coherent argument

An ability to find and use multiple sources of research material

A commitment to hard work


AS Level – assessed at the end of Year 12 Paper 1 – The operation of markets and market failure, written exam, 1hr 30 mins, 50% of AS Paper 2 – The national economy in a global context, written exam, 1hr 30 mins, 50% of AS

A Level – assessed at the end of Year 13 Paper 1 – Markets and market failure, written exam, 2 hours, 33% of A Level Paper 2 – National and international economy, written exam, 2 hours, 33% of A Level Paper 3 – Economic principles and issues, written exam, 2 hours, 33% of A Level

Future opportunities

An excellent option for students wishing to study Economics or any Business-related course, an A Level in Economics is highly regarded by leading universities and an advantage for anyone seeking a career in the business world.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Downs School directly.

Last updated date: 26 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years