A-Level Economics

Examination Board: AQA


Course Summary

A-level economics is a subject rooted in real world application, combining both rational thought with behavioural economic insight. Students will confidently be able to use a range of mathematical skills alongside strong communication, both written and verbal, to present holistic arguments on a range of concepts. The course is designed to look at both microeconomics and macroeconomics individually before investigating synoptic links between the two, for example with the labour market. 

Introduction and Structure

GCE economics looks at the fundamental forces which affect our lives, such as employment, prices, international trade and poverty. Economists are often in healthy debate with each other over these issues. It is this controversy which makes economics lively and interesting and which allows candidates the opportunity to make their own judgements and form their own opinions. The course consists of the following topics:

Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

Economic methodology and the economic problem 

Individual economic decision making 

Price determination in a competitive market 

Production, costs and revenue 

Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly 

The labour market 

The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality 

The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

The national and international economy

The measurement of macroeconomic performance

How the macroeconomy works : the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts 

Economic performance 

Financial markets and monetary policy 

Fiscal policy and supply-side policies 

The international economy

The course is taught in a linear nature over Years 12 and 13 with formal exams at the end of Year 13, with all units taught in a cohesive manner. The two introductory units (economic methodology and the measurement of macroeconomic performance) are covered first to ensure students have a secure knowledge base in the fundamentals before progressing to more complex units. Subject content will be fully delivered by Easter so that the summer term can be dedicated to retrieval, revision and examination practice in preparation for the A-level examinations.  

Year 12


Topics include: the economic problem and economic methodology; price determination in a competitive market; production, costs and revenue; perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly; individual decision making


Topics include: measurement of macroeconomic performance; how the macroeconomy works; economic performance; fiscal policy and supply side policy

Year 13


Topics include: the labour market; the market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets


Topics include: financial markets and monetary policy; the international economy


Three two hour written examinations, each worth one third of the full A-level.

  • Paper 1: markets and market failure
  • Paper 2: national and international economy
  • Paper 3: economic principles and issues

Careers and Progression

Having studied economics possible career options include accountancy, stockbroker, banker and online financial and business-related careers. However, most require a higher level of education. A-level economics can lead to degrees in economics, business studies, social sciences and engineering.

Entrance Requirements

Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths

Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in maths