A level Economics B is a popular choice for Sixth Formers. No previous study of Economics or Business is required and it is a course that complements a wide variety of subject choices.

This contemporary course integrates key concepts of Economics and Business in a coherent and innovative manner highlighting the inter-relationships between Economics and Business. An interest in news and current affairs will be useful.
Theme 1: Markets, Consumers and Firms

Students will see how new business ideas are developed and implemented and they will investigate the characteristics that are needed to develop and build a business. Students will study the market economy and how market forces shape how entrepreneurs meet consumer demand. They will investigate market failure and how governments try to intervene. They will also study some aspects of macroeconomics such as inflation and unemployment.

Theme 2: The Wider Economic Environment

This theme helps students explore how firms become more competitive and how they continually seek to improve efficiency. It seeks to explain how consumers react to changes in price and income. The unit then expands into an explanation of national issues such as the economic cycle and the tools the government use to manage this cycle and global issues. Students will study the cost and benefits of international trade and globalisation.
Theme 3: The Global Economy

This theme builds on some of the content in Theme 2. Students will investigate the growing economic powers of emerging markets such as China and the potential opportunities presented by Africa. Students will explore the role of multinational corporations and why firms relocate around the world. Certain aspects of the supply chain are studied as well as poverty, inequality, and wage determination.

Theme 4: Making Markets Work

This theme considers the level of competition in markets and how governments try to seek improvements in the functioning of markets and the economy. It focuses on the use of regulation to control or reduce the market power of producers and increase the protection given to consumers. Students will also explore aspects of economic management such as supply-side policies and demand management. Finally, students explore the topic of market failure and the impact of the recent financial crisis.
The assessment for A level comprises three separate written papers that cover topics from Year 12 and Year 13.
  • Paper 1: Written paper that covers themes 1 and 4. Duration 2hrs. Contributes 35% of the total qualification.
  • Paper 2: Written paper that covers themes 2 and 3. Duration 2hrs. Contributes 35% of the total qualification.
  • Paper 3: Written paper that covers themes 1,2,3, and 4. Duration 2hrs. Contributes 30% of the total qualification.
Students enjoy this contemporary course and it is a subject that is valued by universities and employers alike. Many students go on to study economics or a business-related course at university, some general, some focus on a particular theme e.g. international business / environmental economics or combined degrees such as economics with maths or a modern language. Post university employment rates for graduates with economic and/or business qualifications are very high. All employers value the qualification particularly firms in the following areas. Banking, insurance, accountancy, tourism, marketing, retailing, management, and international business.