GCSE Economics

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

Why should I choose this subject

GCSE Economics provides a well-rounded introduction for the advanced study of the subject. Through learning how to explain and evaluate economic problems and possible solutions, pupils will acquire a way of thinking as economists and develop a logical approach to thinking and reasoning. Pupils will gain an understanding of how to use economic data from a range of sources, such as tables, charts and graphs, pupils will acquire the skills to make informed judgements and to communicate in a clear and concise way. Pupils will benefit from these transferable skills in their further study and employment. Economics is an academic subject that is highly thought of both by universities and employers. 

Economics degrees have been found to be the second most lucrative degree five and ten years after graduating (after Medicine), however studying economics will help with all career paths – whether in the private, public or charity sector.

What does the subject consist of?

GCSE Economics is a two year course covering both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Pupils learn microeconomics in the first year through covering introductory topics and the role of markets and money. They then switch to macroeconomics in the second year and cover economic objectives, the role of government, international trade and the global economy.

The key areas of study for Year 1 are:

  • The basic economic problem
  • The role of markets
  • Demand
  • Supply
  • Price
  • Market failure
  • Competition
  • Production
  • Business costs, revenues, profits 
  • The labour market
  • Government intervention

The key areas of study for Year 2 are:

  • Economic growth
  • Unemployment
  • Inequality
  • Inflation
  • Fiscal policy
  • Monetary policy
  • Supply-side policy
  • Globalisation
  • International trade
  • Exchange rates

How is the subject assessed?

All assessment is through two exams at the end of the course (with multiple choice, short and longer answer questions):

  • Paper 1: Microeconomics and Business Economics  (1 hour and 30 minutes written paper)
  • Paper 2: Macroeconomics and the Global Economy  (1 hour and 30 minutes written paper)

Whom does the subject suit?

Anyone with an interest in current affairs and knowing more about the way the world works. If pupils have a particular interest in business, human geography, or politics then this could be the course for them. GCSE Economics will enable pupils to become better informed and more responsible citizens, consumers and producers, by allowing them to develop an awareness for the importance of the economic dimension to their lives. This enables them to become more confident in the economic choices relating to their life and work.