Edexcel International Advanced Level in Economics
Economics is the study of how individuals and groups make decisions with limited resources so as to best satisfy their wants, needs and desires. You will study basic economic concepts and theories such as supply and demand, the operation of markets for goods, services and labour, reasons why markets sometimes fail (e.g. the recent problems in the financial and housing markets) and how policies can be used to remedy such failure. You also look at the key features and measures of international economies such as unemployment, inflation and economic growth, which will help you to understand, and comment upon, government policy.
Key topics in the second year of the course are business economics and the labour market. You also examine the global economy, including financial markets, and the role of the state in the macroeconomy. You then examine and explore the economies of developing countries and consider wider issues such as poverty, aid and debt.
In the first year you will learn about markets and market failure (micro) and economic performance and government policies (macro). In the second year you will study business behaviour and the labour market finishing with a unit on the global economy. Content allows students to develop an awareness of trends in the global economy, researching developed and developing economics, including a focus on contemporary issues. Development of quantitative skills – students develop these skills throughout the content of the course and are required to apply these skills to relevant economic contexts within the assessment.
Assessment is through written examinations. Each AS level paper is 1 hour 45 minutes long. Each A2 paper is 2 hours long. The examinations contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, data response and essay questions. The International Advanced Level consists of the two IAS units (Units 1 and 2) plus two IA2 units (Units 3 and 4). Students wishing to take the International Advanced Level must, therefore, complete all four units.
Aside from progressing to an Economics degree, Economics is a suitable foundation for many related courses such as Accountancy, Finance, Business and Management at university. A number of students opt to study non-related subjects such as Law, Mathematics, Politics, Psychology, IT and Sciences at university. Economics prepares you for a variety of careers ranging from financial services, banking, accountancy and finance to management consultancy, law, business services, politics and actuarial work. The A level allows students to apply for a variety of graduate recruitment schemes offered by major blue-chip companies.