A Level Economics has seen record numbers of students in recent years at The Streetly Academy and this offers a new subject for many students who have an interest in the world we live in. The principles of this highly academic A Level are that you will develop a consideration about how the local world that we live in and the wider world is structured and develop economic principles as to how this might be improved. For example, developing views as to whether we should reduce poverty in deprived countries and how this might be done, with consideration to the impact of such choices.

We plan to operate the OCR A Level course, which includes three exam units, to be taken at the end of Year 13.  However, there will also be examinations at the end of Year 12 for an AS qualification, that will not contribute to the final A Level grade.  The economic topics covered are Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Themes in Economics.  In Year 12, we begin the course, covering basic concepts which will enable students to understand why economics exists, and later in the course economic problems will be put before students where they will need to make analytical judgements about how problems should be dealt with.

The units covered are:

Unit H460/01: Microeconomics – 80 marks – 33.3% – 120 minute exam at the end of Year 13.

This unit provides an introduction to why economic choices have to be made and the issues which arise from scarcity and choice.  Also, this unit will look at the market model, how markets can be efficient and also how they can fail.   For example- we will consider why we live in a world where we chose to let people starve and we can throw food away.

The questions in this exam will be based around responding to numerical data and having to also complete two essay responses.

Unit H460/02: Macroeconomics – 80 marks – 33.3% – 120 minute exam at the end of Year 13.

Candidates are required to answer questions based on issues such as economic policies, supply and demand and put these issues into a global context.  For instance, a candidate would have to be able to reason how the actions that another country’s government could make an impact to other countries and suggest improved policies.

This exam has some data-interpretation questions, where numerical skills are essential. Also, over half the marks on this paper are based on your completion of two essay questions, which requires an answer written in extended continuous prose.

Unit H460/03: Themes in Economics – 80 marks – 33.3% – 120 minute exam at the end of Year 13.

This unit focuses principally on the economic concepts and theories covered over the two year course and complete questions about an unseen case study.  This will require candidates to consider the theories and relate them to real world issues, making appropriate suggestions.  This is a demanding and challenging paper, based on understanding and interpreting information and applying theories, such as how to improve the situation a country is facing with unemployment or a trade deficit.

This examination will involve having to complete complicated data to respond to multiple choice questions and then complete numerous essays on the case study material.

Economics requires a high level and range of academic skills and a requirement to have achieved 5 grade B’s or above at GCSE including GCSE English Language and Maths.  The subject blends well with History, Business Studies and English due to the ability to develop planned written responses, which is essential.  However, in this new course data analysis will require good levels of mathematical skills as more emphasis is being placed on data interpretation.

An Economics A Level is well received by many universities.  The learning skills encountered in this subject help students in their development of analytical and evaluative skills, which are transferable to other subjects at A Level and beyond.