Why study Economics?

Within Economics at Barnhill students apply a range of economic theory to support their analysis of current economic problems and issues and appreciate the interrelationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students explore the disagreements that can exist between economists and current economic controversies. Economics shows how to break a problem down into is various components and consider the diverse factors which can influence it, analyse previous data as well as what theory predicts to examine choices being made and the reasons for this. Within Microeconomics students study the behaviour of consumers and businesses, analyse how markets work and why they may fail and the rationale for Government intervention. Throughout the course students explore real-world application of theories and concepts. Within Macroeconomics study aspects of the economy as a whole and how Government policies such as the use of taxation and interest rates can be used to achieve economic objectives. 

Economics helps students to look more deeply into the world around them, allowing them to develop a broader appreciation of how and why it functions as it does. Students develop a real appreciation of some of the most pressing and challenging problems facing the world today whether this is the operation of the financial markets, growing income inequality, action to reduce global warming, UK cost of living crisis and inflation, issues surrounding government borrowing and debt; migration/immigration and ageing populations.  

By the end of the course students will have gained an understanding of what it means to be an independent learner, to prepare them for the next phase of their learning journey whether this is studying for a degree, starting an apprenticeship or work. 

The Programme of Study

AQA A Level Economics 

The Economics course is structured to develop both microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts and theories in a variety of contemporary contexts 

The course is externally assessed at the end of Year 13 where students complete 3 two hour papers. Each paper is equally weighted. Question papers use a variety of assessment styles including real-life case studies and data exercises where student’s complete multiple choice questions, data analysis and a number of essay style questions 

Year 12  

  • How does scarcity of resources impact individual, business and the economy? 
  • How does the fundamental economic problem impact all stakeholders? 
  • How do competitive markets impact equilibrium in the economy? 
  • How does the costs of a business impact its decision making? 
  • Is competition healthy for an economy? 
  • Does market failure prompt Government intervention or does Government Intervention prompt market failure? 
  • Why is it important for economic agents to understand changes in macroeconomic performance? 
  • How can changes in national income impact consumers, business and the economy? 
  • How is economic growth impacted by the economic cycle? 

Year 13 

  • Do individuals behave rationally when making decisions? 
  • How does minimum efficiency scale impact business decision making? 
  • How does market structure impact the profitability of a business? 
  • Why do people earn different wages? 
  • Does income generate wealth or wealth generate income? 
  • Should the Government force businesses into public ownership? 
  • Is economic growth necessary? 
  • Is the Bank of England important for the UK economy? 
  • What happens if a bank fails? 
  • How could the national debt decrease? 
  • Would life be different without international trade? 

Important textbooks, resources and websites 

Great for A Level Economics theory: 

Great for economics in the news: 


Homework in Economics can take a number of formats including pre-reading and note taking in advance of topics that will be examined in more detail within subsequent lessons; completion of a range of activities which mirror requirements of formal examinations including completion of multiple choice, data analysis questions and writing detailed essays.


Throughout the course opportunities are provided to debate current issues for example impact of cost of living crisis on consumers, business and the UK economy, inequality implications, why base rate changes; implications of an ageing UK population. In Year 13 students attend lectures on examination preparation and techniques run by chief examiners for the AQA examination board.