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Economics A Level at Lansdowne College

Course description

Economics is a challenging, relevant and stimulating field of study concerned with examining and analysing the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Economics as a subject is broken into two parts:

  • Microeconomics is the study of transactions between consumers and producers and its effect on third parties such as local communities and the environment
  • Macroeconomics is the study of whole economies, looking at how income circulates through transactions to create jobs and to generate international trade.

Modern economics enable students to make sense of local issues such as UK inflation, unemployment, interest rates, the exchange rate and the housing market, as well as global issues like economic development, trade and globalisation itself.

Course content

Advanced Subsidiary (AS): 8ECO

Edexcel Level 3 Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Economics A 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 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 One – Introduction to Markets and Market Failure

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

  • Nature of economics
  • How markets work
  • Market failure
  • Government intervention.

Theme Two – The UK Economy – Performance and Policies

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

  • Measures of economic performance
  • Aggregate demand
  • Aggregate supply
  • National income
  • Economic growth
  • Macroeconomic objectives and policy
A-Level

Advanced GCE in Economics A is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers. Students build knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts in Themes One and Two, and then build on this and apply their knowledge to more complex concepts and models in Themes Three and Four. Students 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 One – Introduction to Markets and Market Failure

Students consider how markets work, looking at how supply and demand interact to allocate resources in local, national and international markets. They learn how to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations and how to offer explanations of consumer behaviour. This involves looking at both how consumers act in a rational way to maximise utility and how firms maximise profit, but also why consumers may not behave rationally.

Having investigated how markets work, students then look at market failure. They look at the nature and causes of market failure before considering the strengths and weaknesses of possible government intervention to remedy market failures. This theme provides a coherent coverage of microeconomic content with students drawing on local, national and global contexts. Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and to develop an ability to think as an economist.

Theme Two – The UK Economy: Performance and Policies

Students are introduced to the aggregate demand/aggregate supply model so that they can use it to analyse changes in real output and price level. They examine the use of demand-side policies, supply-side policies and direct controls as means of improving an economy’s performance; recognise the underlying assumptions; predict the likely impact and effectiveness of such policies; and consider these in an historical context. Students should consider the different approaches that may be used by policymakers to address macroeconomic issues and be able to identify the criteria for success. Students should have knowledge of the UK economy over the last 10 years. This theme provides a coherent coverage of macroeconomic content with students drawing on local and national contexts, as appropriate. Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and to develop an ability to think as an economist.

Theme Three – Business Behaviour and the Labour Market

This theme examines how the number and size of market participants, and the level of contestability, affect the pricing and nature of competition among firms. Students consider the size and growth of firms through exploring organic growth, mergers and takeovers. They look at the reasons for demergers and why some firms tend to remain small. Students look at the rational assumption that firms are profit maximisers and then challenge this by looking at alternative business objectives.

Revenues, costs and profits are explored before linking these ideas to different market structures. Students are then be able to analyse and evaluate the pricing and output decisions of firms in different contexts and understand the role of competition in business decision making. Supply and demand analysis is specifically applied to the labour market to see how wages are determined in competitive and non-competitive markets. At the end of this theme students should be capable of making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.

This theme provides a coherent coverage of microeconomic content, drawing on local, national and global contexts.

Theme Four – A Global Perspective

Students are expected to understand the significance of globalisation, international trade, the balance of payments and exchange rates. They examine public finance, macroeconomic policies and the role of the financial sector in a global context. Students consider the factors influencing the growth and development of emerging and developing countries. In examining these areas, application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as an ability to assess policies that might be used to address national and global economic challenges. Students should develop an awareness of trends in the global economy over the last 25 years through wider reading and research so that they can include relevant examples in their analysis and evaluation.

Assessment

AS

Theme One – Introduction to Markets and Market Failure

This written examination comprises two sections:

  • Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer questions; students answer all questions
  • Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including a choice of extended open-response questions; students select one from a choice of two

(1hr 30mins; 80 marks)

Theme Two – Introduction to Markets and Market Failure

This written examination comprises two sections:

  • Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer question; students answer all questions
  • Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including a choice of extended open-response questions; students are required to select one from a choice of two

(1hr 30mins; 80 marks)

A2

Students sit three papers at the end of the year.

Paper 1 – Markets and Business Behaviour

This assesses microeconomics and questions are drawn from Themes One and Three.

This written examination comprises three sections. Students are required to answer all questions from Section A and Section B, and one from Section C.

Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts. Section C comprises a choice of extended open-response questions; students are required to select one from a choice of two.

(2hrs; 100 marks; 35% of total qualification)

Paper 2 – The National and Global Economy

This paper assesses macroeconomics and questions are drawn from Themes Two and

Four. This is a written examination comprises of 3 sections and students are required to answer all questions from Section A and Section B, and one from Section C. Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts. Section C comprises a choice of extended open-response questions and students are required to select one question from a choice of two.

(2hrs; 100 marks; 35% of total qualification)

Paper 3 – Micro and Macro Economics

Paper 3 assesses content across all four themes. Students are required to apply their knowledge and understanding, make connections and transfer higher-order skills across all four themes.

This written examination comprises two sections. Each section comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including a choice of extended open-response questions; students are expected to select one from a choice of two.

(2hrs; 100 marks; 30% of total qualification)

Future opportunities

The following are examples of university courses that one can embark on with an A-Level qualification in Economics:

  • Pure Economics
  • Economics and Finance
  • Economics and Maths
  • Accounting, Banking and Finance
  • Business Economics
  • International Trade
  • Economics and Foreign Languages

A good grade in Economics A-Level is highly valued by universities and employers because it requires the student to develop a high level of critical thinking and analytical skills. Potential careers include banking, finance, accounting, teaching, financial journalism, and private- or public-sector economist.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lansdowne College directly.

Last updated date: 15 August 2016

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