Economics AS/A Level Course Content

OCR GCE Economics - H061, H461

Units studied

  • Unit F581 Markets in Action (25% of A2, 50% of AS) - 1hr 30min external exam
  • Unit F582 The National and International Economy (25% of A2, 50% of AS) - 1hr 30min external exam
  • Unit F583 Work and Leisure (25% of A2) 2hr external exam
  • Unit F585 Global Economy (25% of A2) 2hr external exam

About this course

  • How can a bank worth millions on one day be sold for £1 a few days later?
  • What is a “credit crunch” or the USA “sub prime market”?
  • Why do people pay 5000% more for water from a bottle rather than from the tap?
  • Who is in charge of the supply of bread to the population of London?

Did you know that the average European cow now earns $2 a day in subsidies? Half of the world’s population has less than $2 a day to live on - Why is this? eBay has over 150 million registered users. That’s more than the population of France, Spain and the UK combined. In 2005 it traded goods to the value of $40 billion. That’s about ten times theGDP of Zambia. Should we attempt to control companies like eBay? The NHS is the UK’s largest employer, employing over 1.3 million people. Why is healthcare generally free in the UK but charged for in the USA?

You will need to be interested in these issues and enjoy current affairs. A good test of this is whether you pay attention to the news when it comes on the TV. Economics is a social science that aims to give some you some understanding about how society works. It is rigorous because economists develop models and theories that have to be tested. It is not an exact science because we can’t run experiments on society, so economists sometimes getit wrong and we experience events like hyperinflation or the Wall Street Crash.

You will need to enjoy logical arguments and be able spot holes in other people’s lack of logical reasoning, so if you like debates and winning your argument you may like Economics.


Don’t worry if you haven’t studied business or economics before, because you’ll start from first principles. (If you have studies economics or business before you will have a good start). You will study market economics and why markets work, but also where they go wrong and produce outcomes we don’t want, like poverty, pollution and hospital waiting lists. You will also study the big picture like why Germany is the world’s largest exporter, international development and globalisation.

The Future

  • Economics gives you flexibility in higher education because it is a long established, well recognised A Level within higher education.
  • Economics is about the real world, it will be helpful to you whatever you do with your life; just remember what Adam Smith said: “Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work – whereas economics represents how it actually does work”.
  • Adam Smith, the founder of classical economics, was first and foremost a philosopher. He strived to be a moralist and, in doing so, became an economist.
  • There are many possible career outcomes: Management, Accountancy, Economist, Marketing, Civil Service, Market Trader, Teacher? and so on…

August 2022


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