Curriculum - AS/A Level

Examination Board: Edexcel

Why study Economics?

Economics is a fascinating subject that will enable you to learn more about how the world works. For example, in the last eight years the global financial crisis has rarely been out of the news, because its effects are still being felt. The government has cut spending and raised taxes to reduce government borrowing. How have these changes affected the economy and the quality of life in Britain? Is our current economic recovery, based on ever higher levels of private and public debt, sustainable?

If you opt to study Economics you’ll find out the answer to this question and many more, such as: Why are some countries richer than others? The wealth gap between rich and poor in Britain has grown over the last decade. Why has this happened? And does the issue of inequality matter anyway?

Course Content

  • AS: Microeconomics is the study of individual markets. A good example of a micro market that has rarely been out of the news in the last decade is housing. For many years house prices rose at a spectacular rate, will this continue? Occasionally, market forces can create unfavourable outcomes for society, for example, should the government allow firms to pollute the environment and to employ children? During the second half of the Lower Sixth year our attention switches to macroeconomics. Macroeconomics concerns economy-wide issues such as the causes of economic growth, inflation and unemployment. You will also study the impacts of government economic policy on the economy. For example, will the policy of quantitative easing - quite literally printing money – lead to recovery, or eventual currency collapse and hyperinflation Zimbabwe style?
  • A Level: In the second year you will study micro and macroeconomics in more depth, applying your knowledge to specific markets and economies. For example is electronic road pricing the answer to the UK’s congested roads? A Level macroeconomic issues include: the economics of international trade, exchange rate determination, the balance of payments, and development economics.

Assessment

The AS Level course is assessed via a two ninety minute examinations, the questions being a mixture of multiple-choice questions, data response and essay. The full A Level qualification is assessed via three two hour examinations that take place at the end of the Upper Sixth. These examinations consist of a mixture of essays and extended data response questions.