Economics

Key Stage 5

A Level Examination Board: Edexcel

Head of Department: Mr E Elmas

Why do people buy the things they do? Why do they work in certain jobs and what determines how much they earn? What caused the global recession and what policies are being tried to stimulate recovery? How can we tackle critical issues such as poverty, inequality and global warming? Economics can help to address and explain these issues, and many more.

The study of economics enables students to understand how the material resources of an individual, a community, a country or the world are managed. It is an ideal subject for students who are beginning to become interested in current affairs and who want to develop an informed and critical knowledge of how the world works. It is welcomed by universities as a rigorous and academic qualification. The subject works particularly well with Mathematics, which is a prerequisite for a degree in Economics at most universities. Other subjects which strongly complement Economics are Politics, History, Psychology and Geography.

The AS specification provides a broad introduction to the subject, developing key economic concepts and relating them to real world issues. It also aims to encourage students to develop a critical and questioning approach.

Unit 1: Competitive Markets – How They Work and Why They Fail (Code: 6EC01)

This unit provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines how the price mechanism allocates resources in markets. It also analyses the nature of market failure – which occurs when the price mechanism does not work effectively – and looks at its causes and possible remedies.

Unit 2: Managing the Economy (Code: 6EC02)

This unit provides an introduction to the key measures of economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of government policy, the basic aggregate demand/aggregate supply model and the policies which can be used in the management of the economy.

Both AS units are externally assessed via written examinations.

The A2 course builds on the foundations of AS and requires stronger analysis and evaluation skills, and a detailed interest in economic and current affairs.

Unit 3: Business Economics and Economic Efficiency (Code: 6EC03)

This unit develops the content of unit 1 and examines how pricing and the nature of competition between firms is affected by the number and size of market participants. At the end of this unit students should be able to analyse the pricing and output decisions of firms in different contexts. They should also be capable of making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.

Unit 4: The Global Economy (Code: 6EC04)

This unit develops the knowledge and skills gained in Unit 2 so that they can be applied in a global context. The application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as an ability to assess policies which might be used to deal with economic problems. An awareness of trends and developments in the global economy over the last 10 years is required.

Both A2 units are externally assessed via written examinations.