Economics

Introduction

Awarding body: OCR

The old definition of Economics was that it sought to explain ‘the allocation of scarce resources amongst competing wants’... but that definition is now simply too narrow.

Economics is about life!... but that definition is too broad, so consider the following:-

  • How do you spend your income so you derive the most satisfaction out of it?
  • Why is it compulsory to ‘consume’ education between the ages of 5 and 18?
  • What is a good view worth?

What does a government do to allow its citizens to pursue happiness and for businesses to compete effectively with others from all over the world?

The study of Economics does not necessarily provide definitive answers to these questions, but it will give you the tools to explore these issues and back up your answers with your own opinions, based on evidence.

What sort of students study Economics?

So, you might enjoy studying Economics if:-

  • You are interested in the world of economics and business (for example, current problems in the Eurozone and government debt).
  • You have strong opinions, but can assimilate new ideas and weigh up evidence from competing sources.
  • You have good attention to detail and can express yourself well in written work.

Economics sits very well with all other AS and A level subjects (except Business Studies). So you can combine it with arts, social science and pure science subjects.  

If you think that you might like to study Economics at university, then you really need to study Mathematics to AS level.  Moreover, if you want to study Economics at the one of the top UK universities, then you would need to study Mathematics to the full A level.  

What can I do with an A level in Economics?

Just about anything!  Students who have studied Economics go on to study the full range of degree disciplines.  Many go on to study Economics and business related degrees such as Management and Business Studies in its various forms.  However, students can proceed to study arts based subjects, such as History, English, or Languages.  Others read for a degree in Engineering, Pharmacy, or the pure sciences.  

For the most academically able students contemplating a medical, or dentistry degree, Economics can be one of your A level choices.  (Please note that in this case you might be studying four, rather than the usual three subjects to the full A level and it is really important to check with university admissions tutors to make sure that your subject combination is acceptable).

Course content and examination requirements:

Economics deals with the most challenging issues we face. Its range encompasses both large scale government decisions which affect inflation, unemployment and growth; and small scale decisions made by individual consumers and producers. You will study topics dealing with price determination, theories of the firm, issues of economic policy in the UK, EU and international contexts. The course covers a range of issues such as basic economic problems; market structures; international trade; objectives of macroeconomic policy.

Entry Requirements:

There are no specific entry requirements for the course. You will need to be able to adopt a logical and mathematical approach to theoretical concepts, to present well-reasoned and coherent arguments and the ability to handle and interpret data. Candidates will ideally be studying Mathematics as AS, if not, a good grade in GCSE Mathematics is highly desirable (ie A or A*).

Relevance to further studies and careers:

There are many openings for Economics students in such fields as Accountancy, Management Consultancy, Banking/Finance, Education, Civil Service and general business. It is a subject which at AS and A level can be studied with any other subject, except AS and A level Business Studies.

Important Note

The is a new specification and the AS examination does NOT contribute to the A level grade as the legacy syllabus did. However, the syllabus has been designed to be fully co-teachable (AS and A level).

Teaching staff / further information : 

Miss L Bellerby