A-Level Economics is a two year course which aims to explore the ways in which people, businesses and industries use resources globally. We look at how markets work – and how they fail. Economics covers a wide variety of topics, from production, efficiency, unemployment, poverty, government macroeconomic policy, market failure and international trade. Ultimately, Economists look at how to satisfy our wants with the finite resources we have.
The course is 100% exam based, with one exam in microeconomics (the theory of the firm), one exam in macroeconomics (the national and international economy) and finally a synoptic paper which covers both micro and macro topics. Maths skills are important as well as the ability to construct arguments in essay questions.
In Economics we seek to understand the dynamics of change at a micro level (within an industry) and at a macro level (within and between countries).
Mathematical skills are crucial as you need to be able to interpret figures, calculate percentage changes, draw diagrams and use Index numbers confidently. Writing skills also matter as we address many economics debate issues in essay questions, so the ability to read longer pieces of text and construct balanced arguments is important.
Prior to commencing your studies, we have some activities we would like you to undertake. Please watch this short video which is a brief introduction to the course.
Please complete both of the Economics numeracy test worksheets over the summer, being sure to show all your calculations and working out (you should use a calculator to help you).
Then, read this article:
Try to list as many economic issues in the article that you can.
Please bring your completed tests and topic list to your first Economics lesson at Barnsley Sixth Form College.
You can either write the answers by hand on paper, or you can word process them on a computer if you have access to one. Please bring them into your first session at college. Paper copies of the tests are available upon request.
Have a look at this specification – do you like the sound of these topics? 3.1 and 3.2 we complete in year one, with 4.1 and 4.2 building upon this in year two.
A revision book will be useful for the course. There are suggestions of suitable books to buy here:
Title : A Level Economics Complete Revision & Practice for Exam Board AQA
Publisher : CGP
Title: My Revision Notes – A-level Economics AQA
You are not expected to read these books, but if you are interested in Economics and decisions businesses, governments and individuals make, then you may wish to read one of these. Amazon have got many free Kindle books available for download at the moment.
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is an interesting book and so too is The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford. The Armchair Economist by Steven E. Landsburg is also insightful.
At the end of this page there are some PowerPoint slides with QR code links to interesting Economics issues in the news.
Meet the tutors
Jill has a BA (Hons) degree in Sociology from the University of Leeds, a Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Level 6 qualification, and PGCE in Business Studies from the University of Huddersfield. She has a substantial amount of teaching experience and before moving into education held senior roles in procurement and supply chain management. Jill teaches Economics and Business.
Meet the tutors
Gemma has a BA (Hons) degree in Business & Finance and has been teaching for the past fourteen years since gaining her PGCE in Business Education from Sheffield Hallam University. Gemma started her teaching career on a placement at Barnsley Sixth Form College with Jill as her mentor, and after teaching A-level Business and Economics at a Rotherham secondary school she has returned to Barnsley Sixth Form College. Gemma is passionate about education and in her spare time is a governor at her children’s primary school.