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Economics A-Level at Chesham Grammar School

Course description

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood”

John Maynard Keynes

Everyone’s daily lives are affected by economic issues and our A level Economics helps students analyse and think critically about the world around them. It is a prestigious subject inquiry with the rare distinction that a Nobel Prize is awarded annually for outstanding contributions.

An Advanced GCE in Economics will introduce you to the effects of economic variables on everyday life for consumers, businesses and governments. This qualification is highly valued by universities and will give you enhanced career choice and progression opportunities.

In Micro economies, private ownership and the pursuit of self-interest are paramount through the workings of the price mechanism and microeconomic theory analyses the strengths and weaknesses of free markets in this context. We address questions such as:

  • How should university fees be funded? NB Germany have recently scraped university fees.
  • Should there be a maximum wage?
  • Should the government go ahead with HS2? What are the alternatives?
  • Should we be concerned rising London house prices versus the rest of the UK and what, if anything, should be done about them?
  • Who should run our hospitals and for whom should we provide free health care?
  • Why are GPs considering charging for patient consultations and what were would be the consequences for society if they did so?
  • Should the utility services be brought back into public sector?

Macroeconomic analysis, by comparison, focuses on the factors which influence the performance of national economies. We address questions such as:

  • What role have austerity measures played in the economic recovery and do we need to continue with them?
  • What tax treatment should apply to MNCs such as Starbucks and Google, and should they be encouraged to pay more in the UK.
  • Which is the best measure to target for public policy, Happiness, Well- being or GDP?
  • What is best way of encouraging youth employment?
  • Would exiting the EU deliver faster growth?

The Global Economy focuses on changes in trade flows between countries and the reasons for them. For example, students should be aware of the potential impact of China and India on world trade patterns and the possible reaction of developed economies. An awareness of trends and developments in the global economy over the last 10 years is required. We address questions such as:

  • Who has benefited the most from globalisation, developed or emerging economies?
  • Are economic crashes inevitable and what can we do to prevent them?
  • Rising global poverty, whose problem is it?
  • Would adopting the Euro improve our trade balance?

Course content

Markets and Market Behaviour

Rational decision making, Market failure, Economic thought: Smith, Hayek, Marx, Game Theory, Externalities, Opportunity cost, subsidies, the role of non for profit businesses, Public and Merit goods and services, Oligopoly, contestable markets, Third Degree Price discrimination, government failure, Dynamic efficiency, Mergers, regulatory capture, The tragedy of the commons, Substantial Lessening of Competition, Bond and equities.


10 years of data, Happiness Index, Quantitative Easing, Multiplier calculations, Depression and Global Financial Crisis, Growth of SMEs, Game Theory, Economic impact of migration, The Labour market, Keynes Animal Spirits, Fiscal, Monetary and Supply side policies, investment appraisal.

The National and Global Economy

Poverty and Inequality, Capitalism and Poverty, Trade Blocs, Currency movements, Trade Balance, Regulation on transfer pricing, Capital flight, Harrod-Domar model, Lorenz curve, FDI flows, international competitiveness, Comparative Advantage, IMF, The World Bank. Pressure groups.

Entry requirements

For Advanced level courses, students will be expected to have successfully completed GCSE level examinations, with an average score of 46 points from their best eight GCSEs.

The average is worked out by converting each grade to a numerical score where:

A* = 58, A = 52, B = 46, C = 40, D = 34, E = 28, F = 22 and G = 16 b.

In an A level subject to be taken there is a requirement of grade B or above at GCSE (Grade A or above in Maths, Music and the Sciences), either in the subject itself or in an appropriate related subject in the case of new courses, as indicated on the subjects’ requirement. At least a C in English Language and Mathematics.

Subject Specific

GCSE Grade B or above in Economics and/or Grade B in Mathematics and English


AS Level - Discretionary

  • 2 Papers, each are 1 hour 30 minutes written exams

A Level

  • 3 Papers, a 2 hour written exam for each.
  • Each paper consists of:
  • Section A: Multiple choice, 5 x 5m.
  • Section B: Data response 5, 8, 10, 12 mark questions.
  • Section C: Extended essay 25m.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Chesham Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 30 April 2015
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