St Augustine's Catholic College

A Level Economics

“If you want a real insight into the way the world we live in works, Economics is a great starting point. It gives an overview of the way real-life businesses operate and the issues facing the world economy. It has given me an all-round understanding which will be incredibly useful in the future.”

— Economics student

Economics is the right subject for you if you enjoy:

  • Debating economic issues such as inequality, globalisation and the Global Financial Crisis

  • Exploring and presenting alternative courses of action

  • Keeping up-to-date with national and international trends

  • Learning about the economic environment and business through research and investigation

What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t studied economics before. You might have an interest in economics and want to know more about the impact economics has on the world around you. You might want to investigate some of the stories you hear in the news – Why do some economies grow and others don’t? Why didn’t economists predict the Global Financial Crisis? What impact does the economy have on the business world? This course will help you to understand all this and more. There is an emphasis on interpreting real numerical data in the form of tables and graphs, including index numbers. It is expected that you will have achieved at least a grade B in Mathematics.

What will I learn?

Economics is about choice and the impact of our choices on each other. It relates to every aspect of our lives, from the decisions we make as individuals or families to the structures created by governments and firms. An economic way of thinking can help you make better choices. In Theme 1 and Theme 2 you will be introduced to the nature of economics, how markets work and why they fail, consumer choices and enterprise in the economy. You will also consider the role of banks and life in a global economy. In Theme 3 and Theme 4 you will explore the impact of globalisation on consumers, firms and the labour market. You will also investigate the role of the government and have an opportunity to consider the role and impact of the financial sector.

How will I be assessed?

  • Paper 1: You will tackle data response and essay questions on markets, consumers and firms and how markets work – this is the content you study in Theme 1 and Theme 4.

  • Paper 2: You will tackle data response and essay questions on competitive advantage and the global economy – this is the content you study in Theme 2 and Theme 3.

  • Paper 3: You will have a research task before the exam. The questions in the exam – data response and essay questions – are linked to the context you will research.

There is no coursework.

What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

Studying economics will help you develop transferable skills that will prepare you for studying at university or moving into the world of work. These include skills in data interpretation and essay writing. You will also develop commercial awareness. Suitable higher education courses include economics degrees or degrees in applied economics such as environmental economics, labour economics, public sector economics or monetary economics. You might choose to study business economics, international business or a business and management degree. Economics students can follow a wide range of careers in industry, commerce, finance and the civil service. You might choose a career in banking, sales, product management or general management.

What are the other bonuses of Economics A Level?

As well as academic study, all Economics students are expected to step outside of their comfort zones by participating in a range of economics-related activities. In recent years, students have taken part in the LIBF Investor Challenge and Shares4Schools competition. All students also participate in the ICAEW BASE competition, in which teams from St Augustine’s have reached the National Final in 2014 and 2018