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Economics A level

What will I study in Economics A level?

“Until studying a course like economics not a lot of people are aware of how the world works, including industries, businesses and governments. I was curious about the big issues facing society today. Studying economics satisfes my curiosity.”

Economics is offered in the Sixth Form at A level, allowing pupils to develop a new view of the world and an insight into the ways in which society operates. Economic theory is taught and applied to real world current affairs and issues. It is a social science which has connections to many other disciplines (including politics, business, human geography and psychology).

Whilst macroeconomics looks at the big issues affecting the economy as a whole (such as unemployment, infation and growth), microeconomics looks at smaller scale issues such as the pricing of individual products like oil or gold and the salaries paid to different people.

Entry requirements

Pupils are required to have grade 6 in English and a grade 5 in Maths at GCSE level or equivalent to study Economics at A level.

A common misconception is that economics contains a lot of mathematics. It can at university level if pupils choose to pursue certain courses (such as BSc Economics). For the A level the mathematical content is nothing more than being confident with handling data, reading charts and graphs, calculating percentage changes and averages.

Units of study

The subject content has been grouped into three broad areas of study:

  • Unit 1: Microeconomics
  • Unit 2: Macroeconomics
  • Unit 3: Trade and Development


There is no coursework. All assessment is through three exams at the end of the course (with multiple choice, short answer, data response and essay questions):

  • Component 1: Economic Principles
  • Component 2: Exploring Economic Behaviour
  • Component 3: Evaluating Economics Models and Policies
  • Where could it lead?

    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 ten years after graduating (after Medicine). Studying economics will help with all career paths – whether in the private sector, public sector or in the charity sector. Graduates go on to work in many areas including academia, journalism, banking, finance, and the civil service.