A Level Economics

Sandbach College

Why study this course?

It is the world and everything in it. 

Economics is an exciting and dynamic A Level. As a social science, Economics sits neatly between the arts and the sciences and it is attractive to students from both backgrounds. Economics explores the concept of scarcity and the problem of resource allocation. There is a strong theoretical component to Economics, but the subject drives by a need to explain the real world. Economics has been high profile since the banking crisis and credit crunch. Examples of questions you might consider in Economics includes, was Royal Mail floated too cheaply? What explains the divide between rich and poor? How will Brexit affect businesses and consumers? Should the UK rail industry be nationalised? Which policies are effective in curbing the plastic pollution crisis? What is the future of work in a world of artificial intelligence? Should we tax robots? How soon will electric vehicles become the norm?  What needs to happen with the gender pay gap?

Studying Economics will help you to be more open-minded and solve problems in a creative way, combining written, numerical and data handling skills.

What will I learn on this course?

Economics falls into two distinct areas, Microeconomics (the study of individual markets, e.g. explaining why house prices are currently increasing?) and Macroeconomics (the study of the economy as a whole, e.g. why is unemployment increasing?)

In Microeconomics, you look at how markets work and why they fail, along with studying the different types of market structure. You learn about labour markets to explain, for example, why footballers earn more than nurses. A new addition to the microeconomics element of the course is, ‘Behaviour Economics’, where you learn about the reasons behind consumers’ decisions, and how, for example, they can be ‘nudged’ into making different ones.   

Macroeconomics looks at the big picture of the national and international economy. You will critically evaluate the effectiveness of government intervention to improve, for example, employment levels. Recent additions to the macro side include, ‘Financial Markets’ and the part they play in the wider economy.

Examinations & Coursework

100% examinations, 2 papers 

Potential career paths

In a typical year, there are over 200 000 job adverts in the UK that are economics related. The NHS is the largest graduate employer of those with economics skills, recruiting nearly 6000 economics-related graduates every year. Large employers of graduate economists include Amazon, Sky, Astrazeneca, and Shell. The skills you develop from studying economics will be incredibly helpful in many other jobs, such as, Marketing, Teaching, Charity work, Quantity surveyor, Military and Graduate management schemes. Around 45% of Economics-related jobs are outside London.

Enrichment opportunities

Interest Rate Challenge – you have the opportunity to take part in an interest rate challenge, which involves a team adopting the role of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee setting the UK’s interest base rate.