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Economics A Level at Harris City Academy Crystal Palace

Course description

The structure of the new A Level course has now changed, as the ‘AS’ course, is a standalone qualification. New Year 12 students in September 2015, will be following the AS programme of study and will be entered for exams in Summer 2016.

The Economics qualification aims to captivate the imagination of students so that, when they leave the classroom, they’ll want to explore and read around the subject further.

While serving as an introduction to the study of Economics, the specification will also provide opportunities for Stretch and Challenge to extend students’ understanding of the world of Economics. With this in mind, this specification will appeal to students across the ability range. The classroom is where the majority of students will be introduced to the study of Economics. It’s within this environment that they will confront issues, tackle the challenges that these issues raise, and engage in debate and discussion with fellow students.

At the heart of the Economics qualifications will be their relevance to the modern world; their topicality is designed to engage students and facilitate an understanding of their role in society. The stimulating specification content will encourage them to develop their skills as independent learners, critical thinkers and decision-makers – all personal assets that can make them stand out as they progress to Higher Education and/or the workplace.

Course content

This is a two year course, which will cover 3 key components.

The OCR A Level in Economics content encourages the learners to ‘think as economists’ and develop the appropriate range of analytical, questioning and reasoning skills to achieve this objective. In addition the qualification will enable learners to develop strong grounding in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, drawing on local, national and global contexts.

The qualification also encourages learners to apply the concepts and techniques which they have learned throughout the course to a range of ‘real world’ issues and contexts. In particular, Themes in Economics (component 3) draws together both microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts in relation to a specific unseen theme.

This specification enables learners to foster an understanding of economic concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to develop a critical consideration of their value and limitation in explaining real world phenomena. As a result of following this course of study learners will be able to explain, analyse and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of the government within a market economy, and be able to criticise economic models of enquiry, recognising the limitations of economic models.

In addition, learners will understand microeconomic and macroeconomic market models and will be able to use these to explore current economic behaviours and make causal connections. They will be able to develop an understanding of how the models shed light on the economy as a whole.

The detailed specification content is presented in three columns. The first column details the areas of study, the second column details the topics which need to be covered during the A Level course and the third column details the actual content which needs to be addressed within each individual topic.


Component 1 of OCR’s A Level in Economics focuses on microeconomics. From a base of microeconomic theory, this component enables learners to discuss and evaluate how well microeconomic theories explain our observations of economic agents in the real world. The theoretical workings of the free market provide a useful starting point for explanation and analysis. Imperfections and market failures provide a lead into a discussion of the merits and drawbacks of government intervention. The study of microeconomics encourages the learners to consider the usefulness of theory in explaining observations taken from the real world of Economics.

The content of the specification is expressed in three columns in relation to components 1 and 2. The first column identifies the areas of study (taken from the Subject Criteria), the second column states the topics which need to be covered within each area of study and the third column lists the actual content which learners should be able to do.


Component 2 focuses on macroeconomics. This component provides learners with the technical and analytical tools required to understand how the macroeconomy functions on both a domestic and global level. The content of this component encourages learners to adopt a critical approach to their study of policy through a development of their understanding of the limitations and conflicts which macroeconomic policies cause.  Learners should be able to: recognise the assumptions, relationships and linkages of the possible impacts of macroeconomic policies; consider the possible impact of macro-economic policies; recognise the issues which a government faces in managing the macroeconomy; argue for different approaches; and identify criteria for success and to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different policy approaches.

Policy approaches are also considered in a historical context, as well as at the current time, in order to develop an understanding of how macroeconomics has changed over time.


The assessment of this component will be fully synoptic in nature and will draw on both the microeconomic and macroeconomic components. Although there is no specific content prescribed within the assessment of this component, it is anticipated that both the microeconomic and the macroeconomic subject content will be applied, as appropriate, in relation to a specific unseen theme.


100% exam- three papers

Entry requirements

Students require a grade B or above Maths and English Language GCSE, and, if it has been taken, a grade B or above in Economics GCSE. Please see the Generic Entry Requirement Document for more details.

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 City Academy Crystal Palace directly.

Last updated date: 07 April 2017

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