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Economics A Level at The Ashcombe School

Course description

Reformed subject

Why study the subject?

Economics provides you with the knowledge and insight necessary to understand the impact of developments in business, society and the world economy. It enables you to understand the decisions of households, firms and governments based on human behaviour, beliefs, structure, constraints and need. It is concerned with how society sets about meeting people's demands for things they want to consume.

We all make economic decisions every day of our lives, and economics can help to improve our decision making. Economics offers a way of thinking about the world that enables us to make the best of what we have. For example, what makes a luxury item such as a diamond more expensive than a necessity like water? Why should public transport be subsidised by the government? Why do celebrities with few skills get high pay while a highly skilled nurse gets paid significantly less?

Economics relates to a whole range of other subjects. Economics is a Social Science, so it is closely related to subjects such as Sociology and Politics. To have a good grasp of how economies function, it also helps to be able to see economic problems in their historical context and how economic ideas have developed over time. Other subjects that are closely related to Economics include Business, Geography, History and Politics.

To be able to analyse economic problems, you will need to develop a number of skills:

• Thinking like an economist.

• The application of economic concepts and theories to real-world contexts.

• The application of appropriate quantitative skills to relevant economic contexts.

• Engagement with economics through wider reading and an awareness of the current issues impacting on the subject.

Students typically go on to study Economics, Management, Law or other business related courses. They often study courses combined with a wide variety of other subjects such as History, Maths or a language because of the strong logical base that the subject provides. It is important to note that the new specifications emphasise the importance of numerical skills and if you are interested in studying Economics at degree level, you may also need to study A-level Maths.

Course content

AS Content

The AS is structured into two themes and consists of two externally examined papers. Students develop knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts in the two themes. Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessment and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure

This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of:

● nature of economics

● how markets work

● market failure

● government intervention.


Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies

This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of:

measures of economic performance

 ● aggregate demand

 ● aggregate supply

national income

economic growth

● macroeconomic objectives and policy


A-level content

 For the A-level students build on the knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts in Themes 1 and 2 and apply their knowledge to more complex concepts and models in Themes 3 and 4. It comprises three externally examined papers. Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessments and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market

This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 1 and focuses on business economics. Students will develop an understanding of:

● business growth

● business objectives

● revenues, costs and profits

● market structures

● labour market

● government intervention.


Theme 4: A global perspective

This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 2 and applies these concepts in a global context. Students will develop an understanding of:

● international economics

● poverty and inequality

● emerging and developing economies

● the financial sector

● role of the state in the macroeconomy.


Entry requirements

Grades A* - C in GCSE English and Mathematics are highly recommended. The ability to write extended essay questions is essential.


AS level

Paper 1: 1h 30 mins: 80 marks (50%)

Paper 2: 1h 30 mins: 80 marks (50%)


A level

Paper 1: 2 hours: 100 marks (35%)

Paper 2: 2 hours: 100 marks (35%)

Paper 3: 2 hours: 100 marks (30%)

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 25 August 2016
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