Topic outline

  • Preparing for A-Level Economics

    An Economics Word Cloud

    Course Leader: Richard Stone
    Email Richard (

    If you have any questions about the course or anything to do with college life, please

  • Introduction

    What is economics?

    Economics sheds light on how and why resources are distributed the way they are, how money works and why things cost what they do.

    Studying economics in the sixth form stretches your mind and forces you to think laterally about a range of interesting and topical problems. It will not only ensure you stay up-to-date with current affairs; you will also develop the facilities to critically analyse a range of issues in finance, business and politics.

    The two main areas of study are microeconomics and macroeconomics.

    Microeconomics is the study of the dynamics between individuals and industries, a more concentrated study of the broader discipline of macroeconomics, which is the study of the economic activity of an entire market or country.

    Economics is a relatively modern discipline and Adam Smith is widely regarded as the father of modern economics having developed the idea of classical economics (or liberal economics) in the 18th century.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will study four themes and will sit three exams at the end of your course:

    Paper 1 Data response and essay questions, and focuses on how markets work and the behaviour of consumers and businesses

    Paper 2 Data response and essay questions, and focuses on how the economy works and how governments try to manage the economy

    Paper 3 Data response and essay questions covering a range of content from all four themes

    • Why Study A-Level Economics?

      By studying A-Level Economics you can:

      Expand your vocabulary

      Whether it’s scarcity (limited resources), opportunity cost (what must be given up to obtain something else), or equilibrium (the price at which demand equals supply), an economics course will give you a fluency in fundamental terms needed to understand how markets work.

      Put theory into practice

      Economics isn’t just learning a fancy set of words, it’s actually using them to develop viable business strategies.

      Understand your own spending habits

      For example, Willingness to Pay (WTP) is the maximum amount someone is willing to pay for a good or service and learning about it will help you decode your own behaviour and enable you to make economically sound decisions.

      Find the link between behaviour and outcomes

      Many people think of economics as just curves, models, and relationships, but in reality, economics is much more. Much of economic theory is based on assumptions of how people behave rationally. Learning about how behaviour affects our economic decision-making processes arms you with the tools to predict human behaviour in the real world.

      Increase your chances of success

      Economics can lead to a wide range of professions including: Banking, investment managers, currency, stock or commodity traders, business leadership and management, accountancy and politics to name just a few.
      People who study economics are amongst the highest paid professionals and economics graduates often fill the highest posts around. Examples include former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard and former CEO of eBay, American business magnate and billionaire Warren Buffett, Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US president George W Bush and Body builder turned actor, politician and businessman Arnold Schwarzenegger.