Sixth Form: Economics

Subject Overview

Economics is a traditional and well established subject at A/AS Level. It involves the study of how wealth is created and distributed in the world today. We look at our society especially, but we also examine the plight of people in poorer countries. In addition, we look at how wealth is created and distributed.  Could it be fairer? Do the rich have to get richer and the poor poorer? Do we have any responsibilities toward the environment? If so, what can economists contribute to the solutions?

Students will also be expected to understand how our economic system can fail, leading to unemployment, pollution and a widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Average Graduate Salaries 11 years after graduation:

  • Economics  £56,000
  • All other graduates  £45,000

Entry Requirements

  • The standard entry requirements
  • A 5 in GCSE Maths
  • A GCSE in Economics is not required but students with a Economics GCSE must have attained a 4

Syllabus (Course Outline and Structure)

We will be following the AQA syllabus.

At A level we will prepare for the following three papers:-

  1. Individuals, Firms, Markets and Market Failure
    • This module requires us to consider why economic choices have to be made. For example, do we spend taxpayers’ funds on Trident or the NHS?  We will look at how our market system operates.  We will examine how markets work, but also how they can fail.  Should “bad” food be taxed?  What policies can we as economists recommend to limit/eradicate the damage being done to the environment?  Would such a policy work?  Why is Wayne Rooney paid £250,000 per week and a nurse might get £30,000 per annum? How fairly is income/wealth distributed in society?  Can/should the government intervene to make society fairer?
  2. The National and International Economy
    • We will examine the economic objectives the government sets for itself such as unemployment, rising prices, improving living standards and so on.  How can it achieve those objectives?  What might the problems be with any of the policies the government uses?  In this module we will also consider the fact that our economy operates in a global context.  As an island we have always been a trading nation but what are the implications for us in the modern world?  What about the plight of the less developed economies of the world?
  3. Economic Principles and Issues
    • This paper will test a candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge of all the work covered during the course in order to test the depth and breadth of their understanding.  How well have students understood all the concepts and, more importantly, how good are their skills of analysis and evaluation?

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

Economics adds breadth to any choice of subjects.  It will be relevant and significant in your life whether you pursue the sciences,arts or humanities. It is a traditional A level fully accepted at ALL universities.

Subject Resources

Schemes of Work

Past Papers

Courses References

Useful reference material which supports the course:-

Multimedia link

The Paj Holden videos on Youtube are excellent. He teaches straight to camera and the videos can be used to catch up on lessons missed, as part of revision or as an alternative explanation to the classroom teacher.

Other Information

Recommended text books (to buy)

  1. Anderton A. – Economics (Causeway Press)
  2. Smith P. – Advanced Economics (Phillip Allan)
  3. Jewell M – Key Definitions for OCR (Anforme) ISBN 9781905504220
  4. Threadgould A – Microeconomics for AS Level (Anforme), ISBN 9781905504701
  5. Threadgould A – Macroeconomics for AS Level (Anforme), ISBN 9781905504787
  6. Black I – The UK Economy (Anforme) ISBN 9781905504350

Reference texts

The reference and supplementary sources listed will contain materials that are in greater depth than is needed for AS/A GCE but it is felt that some sections in these books will be of considerable value.

  1. Begg D et al – Economics
  2. Lipsey R G Crystal K A – An Introduction to positive Economics

Publications on particular topics that correspond to parts of the specification :

  1. Cramp P – Economic Development (Anforme) ISBN 9781905504473
  2. Keefe J, Riley G – A Revision Guide to A level Economics (Anforme) ISBN 9781905504213
  3. The Studies in the UK Economy series published by Heinemann
  4. Todaro M – Economic Development in the Third World