Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

Economics is a subject that involves much discussion in lessons of current issues in the news. Theories are constructed to help our understanding of markets and economies.

The subject is divided into two parts. Microeconomics is the study of individual markets and the behaviour of consumers and producers. Macroeconomics is the study of the economy as a whole. Economics complements most A Level subjects as it develops both numeracy and literacy skills.

Course Content

Year 1:

  • In Microeconomics students will learn about supply and demand and how individual markets work. They will also learn about the case for government intervention. Students will consider issues such as: Why has the price of oil risen? Should there be a national minimum wage? Should health care be free?
  • In Macroeconomics students will learn about how government policy can be used to improve the performance of the UK economy. Students will consider issues such as: Should the Bank of England change interest rates? How can the government reduce unemployment? How can the government raise living standards?

Year 2:

  • In Microeconomics students will learn about how in theory firms set prices and how they behave in different markets.
  • In Macroeconomics there is a greater emphasis on international trade and development. Students will consider issues such as: Should there be free trade? How has globalisation affected the UK? What could be the economic effects of the UK leaving the EU? Why is China developing so rapidly?

How much Maths is there?

In A level Economics you will be need to have a good understanding of basic GCSE Maths. You will need to learn some equations, make simple calculations such as percentage changes and interpret statistical data. However, if you wish to read Economics at university we strongly recommend that you also choose to study A level Maths as there is a very high maths content in many Economics degree courses.

Methods of Teaching

A variety of teaching methods are used in Economics including independent work, class discussions, group-work, simulations and IT-based lessons. However, as Economics is a very theoretical subject there is a great deal of teacher explanation.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

A-level Economics grades are determined by three exam papers taken at the end of the second year. To prepare for these exams, students are given regular homework assignments. These are usually past data response and essay questions. There are also independent research tasks to complete. In addition there are class tests and mock exams.

Where Could It Take Me?

Economics is a rigorous academic subject which is well respected by both universities and employers. The combination of analytical, numerate and literate skills developed in A-level Economics means it is a valuable preparation for a variety of university courses. However, many of our students choose to study Economics at degree level.

Financial Implications

We provide booklets covering all the course content, past exam questions and revision materials. We ask students to contribute £10 per year to pay for the cost of these booklets. You do not need to buy a textbook.


Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English, plus Mathematics at grade 6 or above.

You do not need to have studied Economics at GCSE level.

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A* A B C D E U Total
Total: 15 58 66 66 26 5 1 237
Percentage 6.3 24.5 27.8 27.8 11.0 2.1 0.4