Advanced Level Economics

Economics is the study of how people make choices as individuals and in groups. Economic models are used to examine choice in all forms of social interactions-including but not limited to business, politics, international relations, workplace, family, schools, and criminal activities. In Economics you’ll look 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 you the opportunity to make your own judgements and form your own opinions.

Course content

International Advanced Level in Economics. (IAL)

Key features

AS Economics has two compulsory units:

Unit 1: Markets in Action

This unit provides an introduction to the nature of economics and examines how the price mechanism allocates resources in local, national and global markets. Students should be able to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations, and be able to suggest reasons for consumer behaviour. They should analyse the nature and causes of market failure and also understand the strengths and weaknesses of possible policy remedies.

Unit 2: Macroeconomic Performance and Policy

This unit introduces the key measures of economic performance and the main objectives and instruments of economic policy in an international context. Students should be able to use a basic AD/AS model to analyse changes in real output and the price level. Students will understand when demand and/or supply side policies may be appropriate ways of improving an economy’s performance; consider these policies in an historical context; predict the possible impact of such policies and recognise the assumptions involved. Students should understand different approaches which may be used by policy makers to address macroeconomic problems and to identify criteria for success.

A2 Economics has two compulsory units

Unit 3: Business Behaviour

This unit develops the content of Unit 1 and examines how pricing and the 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 analyse and evaluate the pricing and output decisions of firms in different contexts and understand the role of competition in business decision making. They should also be capable of making an appraisal of government intervention aimed at promoting competitive markets.

Unit 4: Developments in the Global Economy

This unit develops the knowledge and skills gained in Unit 2. 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 40 years, including contemporary issues, is required. Wider reading and research will enable students to use up to date and relevant examples in their analysis and evaluation of issues and developments in the global economy.

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