A Level Economics (Reformed 2015)

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of markets, in particular how they work, why they fail and how they can be effectively managed. Britain's economic performance both at home and abroad can be assessed and policies designed to promote welfare and growth can be evaluated.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

This course will appeal to students who enjoy studying a subject that affects their everyday lives. No previous experience of economics is required but an interest in national and international affairs is desirable. Economics can be combined with social science and humanities subjects. You should learn how to develop an understanding of economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current economic issues, problems and institutions. By the end of the course you should be able to apply economic concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to appreciate their value and limitations in explaining real-world phenomena. You should also know how to analyze, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and the role of government within it.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Economics is taught by a small cohort of enthusiastic teachers, who are passionate about the subject and sharing their subject knowledge with their students. Unlike many other colleges MPW offers students the opportunity to apply economic theory learnt in the classroom to real past paper questions and case studies from an early stage. Familiarity with the demands of the assessment objectives throughout the course will build student’s confidence and they will know exactly what is expected of them in the examination.

Economics is a subject which continues to dominate the headlines, and at MPW we embrace the changing nature of economics by encouraging classroom discussion and debate on the changing economic climate therefore differentiating the teaching style on a regular basis.

Due to the recent changes in the specification it has become increasingly more important that students are willing and able to participate in independent research around a wide range of markets and economies in order to build a strong collection of examples which will re-enforce economic judgements made in the examination.

AS Specification (Economics A, First certification 2016)

Edexcel 8EC01

Theme 1 (9EC0/01)
1h 30m exam 50%

Markets: Introduction to markets and market failure

This unit provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines how the price mechanism allocates resources in markets. It analyses the nature of market failure, its causes and possible policy remedies. At the end of this unit, students should be able to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations; to understand why markets might not allocate resources efficiently and the methods of dealing with market failure, together with an evaluation of their effectiveness. The examination consists of supported multiple choice questions and one data response question out of a choice of two questions.


Theme 2 (9EC0/02)
1h 30m exam 50%

Managing the Economy

This unit introduces the key measures of economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of economic policy. Students should be able to use a basic AD/AS model to understand why demand and/or supply side policies may be seen as appropriate ways of managing an economy; predict the possible impact of such policies and to recognize the assumptions involved; argue for different approaches and identify criteria for success. The examination consists of one data response question out of a choice of two questions.

Reading List

Smith, Peter Economics  Hodder Education
Anderton, Alain Economics  Pearson


A Level

MPW approach to A level study

The teaching methodology applied to A2 study is essentially the same as for the AS however there is greater focus on independent reading and research when covering the fourth topic area. Due to the extent of necessary research students are encouraged to participate in class discussions and prepare presentations which would be conveyed to the whole class, although some students feel uneasy when it comes to presentations it is an essential task which will help prepare them for the necessary demands of university coursework.

Providing students with a well-structured and logical scheme of work is important as it should help them to work in a disciplined and consistent manner, with clear targets and deadlines. Regular revision is likely to lead to a good understanding of the principles as they are introduced which is essential if they are to be successfully applied later on.

A2 Specification (Economics A, First certification 2017)

Edexcel 9EC01


Theme 3 (9EC0/03)
2hr exam 40% (35%)

Business Economics and the Labour Market

This unit develops the content of Unit 1 and for students hoping to attain the A Level qualification they will have to sit paper 1 which tests theme 1 and theme 3 concepts side by side. Theme 3 examines how the pricing and nature of competition between firms is affected by the number and size of market participants. At the end of this unit, students should be able to analyze the pricing and output decisions of firms in different contexts. They should also be capable of making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets. The examination consists of short answer and multiple choice questions, one set of data response questions and an extensive essay out of a choice of two specified topics.

Theme 4 (9EC0/01)
2hr exam 40% (35%)

The Global Economy

This unit develops the knowledge and skills gained in theme 2 so that they can be applied in a global context, however theme 2 concepts will be tested alongside theme 4 concepts in the examination. The application, analysis and evaluation of economic models is required as well as an ability to assess policies which might be used to deal with economic problems. An awareness of trends and developments in the global economy over the last 10 years is required. The examination paper follows a similar format to paper 1 which covers themes 1 and 3.

In addition to paper 1 and paper 2, paper 3 is a 2 hour examination equivalent to 30% of the A-Level which tests concepts learnt across all 4 taught themes.

Reading List

Anderton A  Economics 6th Edition Causeway Press 
Smith, Peter Economics 2 Hodder Education


Click - Full A2 specification details to find out more.