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When you think of Economics, what do you think of? The Chancellor, money, wealth, the economy? Well it’s about much more, covering the personal, national and global aspects of our lives. Economics is the ‘study of the factors that influence income, wealth and well-being’.

Key Stage 5

Economics - Is this the right subject for me?

This course is suitable for students who:

  • Have an interest in learning how businesses and the government  create benefits and economic wealth and conversely, how they may create costs which society has to pay, such as those associated with pollution or new house building projects

  • Are interested in playing a full part in society: understanding why government pursues certain actions and how it may use the tax system to influence peoples’ actions

  • Want to learn how to analyse data and economic models in order to suggest solutions to real world problems or forecast future trends

  • Are aware that buying and selling are activities vital to survival and success thereby studying economics can help them to understand human thought and behaviour in the global economy  

Assessment (100% External Assessment).

Paper 1 (35% of total qualification) – Paper 1 will assess microeconomics and questions will be drawn from Themes 1 & 3. Duration 2 hours 100 marks available. 

Paper 2 (35% of total qualification) - Paper 2 will assess macroeconomics and questions will be drawn from Themes 2 & 4. Duration 2 hours 100 marks available.

Paper 3 (30% of total qualification) - Paper 3 will assess content across all four themes. Duration 2 hours 100 marks available.

What will I learn?

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure: This theme is one of two in this qualification that focuses on microeconomics. This theme introduces students to the microeconomic nature of economics, looking at economic problems and the ways economists think and work. Students will consider how markets work, looking at how supply and demand interact to allocate resources in local, national and international markets. You will learn how to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations and be able to offer explanations of consumer behaviour. 


Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies: This theme is one of two in this qualification that focuses on macroeconomics. This theme introduces the key measures of economic performance and the main instruments of economic policy primarily in a UK context. Students will be introduced to the aggregate demand/aggregate supply model so that they can use it to analyse changes in real output and the price level. You will examine the use of demand-side polices, supply-side policies and direct controls as means of improving an economy’s performance; recognise the underlying assumptions; predict the likely impact and effectiveness of such policies and consider these in an historical context.


Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market: This theme builds on the content of theme 1 and examines how the number and size of market participants and the level of contestability, affect the pricing and nature of competition among firms. Students will consider the size and growth of firms through exploring organic growth, mergers and takeover. You will also look at the rational assumption that firms are profit maximisers and then challenge this by looking at alternative business objectives. Revenue, cost and profits are explored before linking these ideas to different market structures. Students will then be able to analyse and evaluate the pricing and output decisions of firms together with making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.


Theme 4: A Global Perspective: This theme builds on the knowledge and skills gained in theme 2. Students will be expected to understand the significance of globalisation, international trade, the balance of payments and exchange rates. They will examine pubic finance, macroeconomic policies and the role of the financial sector in a global context. In examining these areas, application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as an ability to assess policies that might be used to address national and global economic challenges .Students should develop an awareness of trends in the global economy over the last 25 years through wider reading and research so that they can include relevant examples in their analysis and evaluation.


Throughout the course students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and to develop an ability to think as an economist. To develop your skills, knowledge and understanding in economics, you need to acquire competence in quantitative skills that are relevant to and applied in the context of each theme of study.


Martin Root

 Head of Faculty Business and Computing