A-Level Economics gives students an opportunity to look at and analyse the economic output of entire countries, asking questions such as: What is their position in the international marketplace? How they allocate their limited resources to build growth? It also focuses on the individual and industries, looking at the buyer and seller, what impacts demand, and how people and companies respond to price changes. Students also gain an idea of how economists reach decisions, how observations are converted into theories and models, how these are tested, and whether they have practical value.
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Economics introduces students to both microeconomic and macroeconomic issues. Students are expected to acquire competence in quantitative skills that are relevant to the subject content. They will develop a familiarity with the various types of statistical and other data commonly used by economists. Students will also be expected to be able to construct and use graphs and apply statistical measures such as the mean, median and relevant quantiles, as well as being able to interpret data presented in the form of index numbers.

Students also explore the disagreements between economists and current economic controversies. Students will also develop a critical approach to both economic models and methods of enquiry, and will appreciate that value judgements play an important role in economic decision-making. They will also acquire a good knowledge of the trends and developments in the economy which have taken place over the past fifteen years.

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AQA A-Level Economics is taught within the two-year or five-term A-Level programmes.

Economics is taught in small groups and students are taught both the theories of economics and their respective criticisms. Students gain an insight into methodology and issues such as price determination, production, markets and market failure, as well as the reasoning behind government intervention. Other topics include the macroeconomy, policy, and performance.

Students are prepared for their final exams which include multiple-choice questions, structured questions and responses to stimulus materials.

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Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Markets and Market Failure 33.3% External exam: 2 hours
2 National and International Economy 33.3% External exam: 2 hours
3 Economic Principles and Issues 33.3% External exam: 2 hours

Exam Board: AQA

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5 GCSEs grade 5 or above including Maths and English or equivalent international qualifications.

For international students who have taken IELTS, we require an overall score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 for each of the reading and writing components.

For international students who have taken IGCSE English (Second Language), we require grade 5 or above.

Economics involves the analysis of quantitative data and evidence, so sound mathematical ability is required to study economics successfully. Students should also have an interest in the workings of individual industries and the policy decisions of governments, as the A-Level looks at both of these. Students will be expected to keep up-to-date with economic changes and trends, so an interest in watching or reading current affairs is helpful.

Students do not need to have studied GCSE Economics to study A-Level Economics.
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A-Level Mathematics is extremely useful and essential if you aim to read economics at university. In addition to Mathematics, Economics  combines well with a broad range of subjects including Politics, Psychology, Sociology and History.
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Many students go on to study economics at university; others pursue business or management science degrees or degrees involving the study of more than one subject such as Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE).


  • Can I study A-Level Economics in one year?
  • Do I need GCSE Mathematics to study Economics?
    GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent) at grade 5 or above is essential in order to study A-Level Economics successfully.
  • Is it possible to study A-Level Economics and A-Level Business as two of my three A-Levels?
    Yes. However, some Russell Group universities ask for a broader variety of subjects, as they see these two subjects taken together as being a narrow a range of study.