Economics

Qualification: 
A / AS Level
Duration: 
2 years
Level: 
3

What is Economics?

If you have ever wondered why prices change, why Europe produces food surpluses, why the Chancellor of the Exchequer presents an annual budget or why most of Western Europe has a single currency, then you have been asking some of the questions which Economics will attempt to answer.

You will study a range of topics including how markets operate, supply and demand, market failure and national economic issues such as growth, inflation and unemployment. The current economic climate makes this a fascinating time to study this subject.

Is Economics suitable for me?

Students enjoy the macroeconomics topics and seeing their relevance to the fortunes of business and individuals. In microeconomics the reaching of a solution to a problem is very satisfying. However, the abstract nature of some parts of the course provides a challenge. Students with an interest in current affairs and news events will enjoy applying the theories learnt in class to the world around them.

How will I learn?

You will encounter a variety of teaching techniques in class. There will be a certain amount of formal teaching plus opportunities for you to work individually or in groups. On occasions you may be asked to work together to prepare a presentation for the rest of the class. Videos and newspaper articles will be used as sources for research and the basis for class discussion, looking for links between theories and current issues.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework: AS – 0%; A2 – 0%.

AS Level: objective test and data response questions
A2 Level: date response questions and essays.

Progression

If you go straight into work after A/AS Levels, Economics is a very useful subject to have studied and is particularly desirable if you are contemplating a career in business administration, banking and financial work, marketing, computing, health or social welfare work or accountancy.

You can go to university to study Economics to degree level and the opportunities for professional economists are many. Economists are employed by the Civil Service, local government, banks and insurance companies, research organisations, stockbrokers and most large companies and management consultancies. Economics will be looked upon favourably as a sound and useful A/AS Level subject by universities. It will provide a good foundation for students who pursue degree courses in related subjects such as Business Studies, Marketing, Management, Accountancy, Politics and Law.

In most years a number of students leaving Alton College go on to follow Economics degree courses and many go on to follow courses in related fields. They have generally found that having followed the A Level Economics course gives them a distinct advantage in the first year of their degree course.

Entry requirements

Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades. It is not necessary to have studied Economic at GCSE to take AS/A Level.

You will need to have an interest in current affairs and political issues. You will need to read appropriate newspaper and magazine articles. Viewing appropriate television programmes such as the news, Newsnight, Panorama and the Money Programme will also provide valuable information and keep you up to date about the economy.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer disks and calculators (where appropriate). Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: textbook approximately £17
Optional:   £10 magazine subscription and day trips to economics conferences in London and other visits.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course code

AQA 1141/2141