Economics
A level

How do rational consumers make their decisions in the market place?  Why is profit not viewed as a good thing by an economist?  What are the best macroeconomic policies for the UK economy in the post 'Brexit' era?  Why do footballers earn huge salaries while nurses do not?  If you are interested in current affairs and world issues, then economics is the subject for you!

Core Micro and Macro Economics

  • How rational economic agents make decisions, how markets work, why markets fail and how markets are regulated. 
  • How the national economy is managed and by who, inequalities in the global economy, trade vs aid, the labour market and the role of the Central Bank.

Economic activity is diverse and so is what happens in lessons.  You will be involved in discussion and debates about current and topical economic issues, exam practice, group work, computer research and data analysis.

In the second year of the course, you will take three external exams that assess content covered in the first and second year.  These exams will determine your A level grade.

Economics is a subject that sits well with all other subjects.  It develops your skills of logic and your skills of extended writing.  Many students of humanities subjects such as history, government and politics, law or English find that economics is helpful in developing their logic, maths and problem solving skills.  Students of geography find much cross over with issues in development and environmental economics.  Economics is an excellent link subject for science and mathematics students, allowing them to demonstrate extended writing skills.

To study pure economics at undergraduate level (BSc), most universities will require you to have A level mathematics.  Mathematics is generally not a requirement to study for a BA in economics.

Many students go to university where they take a wide range of courses including pure economics, economics and management, accounting & finance, business studies, with many choosing economics with another subject e.g. economics and history or economics with a language.  To enter banking or finance, economics BSc would be advantageous.  Law is also a popular degree course among economics students from Farnborough.

Did you know that economics graduates are among the UK's top earners?

Please see below for careers and labour market information for economics - use the refresh buttons to find out about different courses and careers, and use the left and right arrows to view more detailed information.

You can find the prep work for this course at prepwork.farnborough.ac.uk

Q:  How is economics different from business studies?
A:  Economics and business studies develop similar skills, but differ in their subject matter. Economics is broader in its focus, considering all of the components of an economy, both national and international. Economics is interested in the behaviour of businesses, but primarily so as to better predict their actions and their impact on the broader economy. Business studies looks at the economy through the lens of a business, giving consideration as to how macroeconomic trends may affect the running of the business.

Q:  What qualifications do you need to study economics at degree level?
A:  Most BSc courses in economics require A level mathematics, but many BA and joint honours courses do not. Even on courses where mathematics is not required, it will be helpful. Economics A level is beneficial when studying the course at degree level, but it is not a requirement.

Q:  Do I need to be good at maths and English?
A:  Economics A level makes frequent use of mathematics, primarily statistics and diagrammatic modelling. You will be expected to calculate percentage changes and ratios and make use of index numbers. You also will need to analyse and interpret a range of quite complex data. While the standard of maths required in economics is not as difficult as that required in A level maths or physics, you may find it difficult if you are unable to handle data and perform relatively simple calculations with confidence.
The subject is examined through written essay questions, including sustained debates that weave together multiple issues and argue towards a supported conclusion. Essays are often informed by and refer to source materials which students need to process relatively quickly. Analysis in these essays must be precise and clear and conclusions must be supported by balanced debates considering a range of arguments and evidence. These skills can of course be learned through studying the course, but this will be easier for students who are proficient readers and who are reasonably articulate. A competent understanding of grammar and sentence structure is also highly beneficial.

Q:  What sort of careers can economics lead to?
A: About half of our students go on to study economics, business or finance at degree level. A significant proportion go on to study law or law and business.
Economics twinned with maths can open doors into the world of finance, data handling, forecasting and modelling. This can be valuable in the world of banking as well as working with organisations such as the Bank of England.
Economics also is popular among students who wish to pursue a career in politics or journalism as it provides a richer understanding of the forces underpinning significant political issues.

Q:  What happens in lessons?
A:  Lesson content is varied. We make use of computers to conduct online research, both independently and in groups. We encourage class discussions about the issues faced by economists and make regular use of past exam questions to consolidate and assess understanding. Resources are geared towards independent study so students can work at their own pace and catch up on missed work if necessary.

Exam Board

AQA Learn More

Entry Requirements

  • You should have at least a grade 5 in GCSE maths.
  • You should have at least a grade 5 in GCSE English language and GCSE English literature.
  • Ideally you should have a grade 5 or higher in a humanities subject and in science subjects.
  • You need to be confident in writing extended essays as well as handling numerical data and interpreting graphical models.
  • The majority of students have not studied economics before as this is rarely offered at GCSE.

Year 1

  • Microeconomics - The economic method and economics as a social science, economic agents as rational decision makers, the operation of markets, market failure and government intervention.
  • Macroeconomics - Key macroeconomic indicators and government objectives, how the national economy operates.

Year 2

  • Microeconomics - More and less competitive markets, labour markets.
  • Macroeconomics - The national economy in a global context, trade vs protectionism, measuring and facilitating growth and development.

Employability Skills

  • Clear communication
  • Understanding of the market place and wider world
  • Ability to write reports and interpret events
  • Ability to forecast and project
  • Analytical skills
  • Numeracy skills

Course Resources

Economics (Anderton) - ISBN: 9780993133107, Anderton Press 2015