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Economics A-Level at Harris Boys' Academy East Dulwich

Course description

Year 12 Content

The Two-Unit AS: The Advanced Subsidiary GCE is both a ‘stand-alone’ qualification and the first half of the corresponding Advanced GCE.  The AS GCE is assessed at a standard appropriate for candidates who have completed the first year of study (both in terms of teaching time and content) of the corresponding two-year Advanced GCE course, ie between GCSE and Advanced GCE.

The AS GCE is made up of two mandatory units, which are externally assessed, and form 50% of the correspondingfour-unit Advanced GCE.

These two AS units are: AS F581: Markets in Action and AS F582: The National and International Economy.

Unit 1: Markets in Action

The first unit studied is a microeconomics unit called Markets in Action.  It ensures candidates gain an appreciation of the allocation of resources, the market model and selected aspects of what makes markets efficient or sees them fail.

Unit 2: The National and International Economy

The second unit, The National and International Economy, sees candidates introduced to how levels of macro-economic activity are determined and also investigates key national and international economic indicators, policies and problems.

At AS, students are required to:

  • understand simple microeconomic and macroeconomic market models with a limited number of variables; use the models to explore current economic behaviour; make causal connections and develop an understanding of how the models shed light on the economy as a whole;
  • be aware of the assumptions of the basic model of supply and demand; explain the way it works in both words and diagrams; use the model to describe, analyse and predict economic behaviour;
  • develop an understanding of the range of ways in which markets may fail; understand the implications of market failure for individuals, firms and the government;
  • use the basic AS/AD model and data to understand why supply-side and/or demand-side policies may be seen as appropriate ways of managing an economy; predict the possible impact of such policies and recognise the assumptions involved; argue for different policy approaches and identify criteria for success.

Year 13 Content

The Four-Unit Advanced GCE: The Advanced GCE is made up of two mandatory units at AS and two further units at A2.  These A2 units are also externally assessed.  Students choose one of two options for A2 Unit 3 – either A2 F583:Economics of Work and Leisure or A2 F584: Transport Economics, together the mandatory A2 unit F585: The Global Economy.

In addition to the requirements of the AS, at Advanced GCE candidates are required to:

  • use and evaluate increasingly complex models involving more variables;
  • apply models to a wider range of contexts;
  • develop the ability to apply and evaluate economic models as represented in written, numerical and graphical forms;
  • interpret and evaluate different types of data from multiple sources;
  • be able to propose possible solutions to problems;
  • understand the relationships and linkages that underpin macroeconomic models;
  • be able to predict the possible impact of policy changes on local, national and international economies;
  • be able to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies across a range of contexts.

The principal focus in Economics of Work and Leisure (F583) is on understanding and analysing labour market concepts and issues.  Leisure industries are considered in terms of models of market structure and the way leisure needs can impact on the supply of labour.

In Transport Economics (F584) the focus is on economic concepts and issues which are applied to a variety of transport contexts.  Transport industries are considered in terms of models of market structure, particularly with a consideration of contestability.

For A2 you must study The Global Economy (F585).  This unit provides the conceptual framework for the understanding, analysis, and evaluation of macroeconomic performance in national, regional and global contexts.  The key topics are comparative economic performance indicators and policies, trade and integration, development and sustainability and the economics of globalisation.


The aims of these specifications are to encourage students to:

  • develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of the subject;
  • appreciate the contribution of economics to the understanding of the wider economic and social environment;
  • develop an understanding of a range of concepts and an ability to use these concepts in a variety of different contexts;
  • use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and develop the ability to think as an economist;
  • develop skills, qualities and attitudes that will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life.


Employers value economics students' understanding of decision-making, their research and analytical skills, and their experience of viewing problems in their national and international context.

Entry requirements

No prior knowledge of the subject is required.  The specifications build on, but do not depend on, the knowledge, understanding and skills specified for GCSE Economics.

Students require a grade B or above Maths and English GCSE, and, if it has been taken, a grade B or above in Economics GCSE. 


This qualification is assessed entirely through written papers that are externally assessed. Examinations of all units take place every June.

Markets in Action (F581) is mandatory and is 50% of AS or 25% of A Level and is a 1 hour 30 minute exam.

The National and International Economy (F582) is mandatory and is 50% of AS or 25% of A Level and is a 1 hour 30 minute exam.

Economics of Work and Leisure (F583) and Transport Economics (F584) are 25% of the A Level and are each a 2 hour exam. For these units Section A, in each case, is a compulsory data response question and section B is a choice of one out of three structured essay questions.

The Global Economy (F585) is mandatory and is 25% of the A Level and is a 2 hour exam.  Students receive pre-issued stimulus material issued six-eight weeks before exam.

Future opportunities

Throughout the course of study, students are encouraged to develop a critical understanding of economic concepts and theories through an awareness of current economic issues and problems that affect everyday life.  Students are encouraged to develop and apply their understanding of different aspects of economics that are of relevance in today’s complex global economy.  This course also has significance for fostering a better appreciation of contemporary economic issues in the UK economy.

The specifications, therefore, provide a suitable foundation for the study of Economics or related courses in Higher Education.  Equally they are suitable for candidates intending to pursue business careers or further study in Business Studies or Social Sciences, or as part of a course of general education.

Economics University graduates are employed in a range of posts which may, or may not, be related to the discipline they studied.  They work in Manufacturing, Transport, Communications, Banking, Insurance, Investment and Retailing Industries, as well as in Government Agencies, Consulting and Charitable Organisations.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Boys' Academy East Dulwich directly.

Last updated date: 03 June 2015

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