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Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel (A9EC0) 

Economics is truly all around us, present in almost every aspect of our lives. Studying the subject gives students a generalist understanding of the world we live in and its inner workings. Students learn everything from what determines the price of goods and services to why the average standards of living vary so widely within and between countries. 

Economics has two main branches which are microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the behaviour of individuals and businesses and how decisions are made based on the allocation of limited resources. On the other hand, macroeconomics is a branch of the economics field that studies how the aggregate economy behaves. 

What is covered by the course? 

Component 1 - Introduction to markets and market failure 

  • This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of: 
  • nature of economics 
  • how markets work 
  • market failure 
  • government intervention 

Component 2 - The UK economy – performance and policies 

This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of: 

  • measures of economic performance 
  • aggregate demand 
  • aggregate supply 
  • national income 
  • economic growth 
  • macroeconomic objectives and policy 

Component 3 - Business behaviour and the labour market 

This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Component 1 and focuses on business economics. Students will develop an understanding of: 

  • business growth 
  • business objectives 
  • revenues, costs and profits 
  • market structures 
  • labour market 
  • government intervention 

Component 4 - A global perspective 

This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Component 2 and applies these concepts in a global context. Students will develop an understanding of: 

  • international economics 
  • poverty and inequality 
  • emerging and developing economies 
  • the financial sector 
  • role of the state in the macroeconomy

How is it examined? 

Paper 1 - Externally Set Assessment (2 hours) 

  • This assignment will assess microeconomics, particularly markets and behaviour, and questions will be drawn from Components 1 and 3 
  • Section A will consist of technical questions, Section B will be data response questions and Section C will be an essay question 
  • 35% of the total A-Level 

Paper 2 - Externally Set Assessment (2 hours) 

  • This assignment will assess macroeconomics, particularly the national and global economy, and questions will be drawn from Components 2 and 4
  • Section A will consist of technical questions, Section B will be data response questions and Section C will be an essay question 
  • 35% of the total A-Level 

Paper 3 - Externally Set Assessment (2 hours) 

  • This section will assess content across all four themes; students are required to apply their knowledge and understanding, make connections and transfer higher-order skills across all four themes 
  • Section A and B will both have data response questions and an essay question each 
  • 30% of the total A-Level 

Related University courses & careers? 

Economics A Level can be a core foundation for many popular social science subjects. It can be studied as a single subject or combined with other subjects, such as Politics, Business, Law, Philosophy and History.

The skills developed through studying economics are incredibly versatile and can be employed in a wide range of industries. Graduates will develop analytical, numeric, communication and problem-solving skills and cultural awareness, which can be transferred to numerous industries. Common career paths for economics graduates include: economist, actuary, data or investment analyst, accountant, financial planner or consultant, risk analyst, economic researcher and public sector roles. 

Suggested literature & resources 

‘Edexcel AS/A Level Economics Student’ by Alain Anderton
‘The Economists’ 
‘Edexcel A level Economics A Book 1 & Book 2’ by Peter Smith 
‘A-Level Economics: Year 1 & 2 Complete Revision & Practice’ by CGP Books 
‘My Revision Notes: Edexcel A Level Economics Paperback’ by Quintin 
‘Need to Know: Edexcel A-level Economics’ by David Horner 
‘Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance’ by Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna 
‘Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy’ by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake 
‘Drunkard’s Walk’ by Leonard Mlodinow 
‘10. Economics for the Common Good’ by Jean Tirole (applied microeconomics from a recent Nobel Prize Winner) 
‘GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History’ by Professor Diane Coyle 
‘Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today’ by Linda Yueh 
‘Growth Delusion: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations’ by David Pilling 
‘Inequality’ by Anthony Atkinson 
‘Limits of the Market: The Pendulum Between Government and the Market’ by Paul De Grauwe 
‘Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics’ by Richard Thaler 
‘Poor Economics: Rethinking Ways to Fight Global Poverty’ by Banerjee & Duflo 
‘Ten Great Economists’ by Philip Thornton 
‘The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’ by Brad Stone 

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