Economics A Level

close up of economics newspaper
Getting Ahead

Economics A Level at Alton Campus

Are you studying Economics A Level at Alton Campus in September? If so, you’re in the right place!

Economics is about the allocation of scarce resources to meet needs and wants. The issue is that resources are scarce, which means not all needs and wants can be met.

We have put together the following ‘Getting Ahead’ work to help you prep for your course over the summer.

We look forward to you starting College with us soon.

two students working together in class

You are going to apply the concept of opportunity cost to your everyday lives.

The term ‘opportunity cost’ means “the loss of the next best alternative”. This concept is used to illustrate the fact that resources are scarce and you have to make a choice of what to do with those resources in order to get the best out of them.

You need to come up with three ideas of where you had to make a decision about your resources and where you allocated them. Examples could be a choice between purchasing two tops, where to go for lunch, whether to stay in and revise or go out with friends, a choice of either a summer holiday or a winter holiday.

The templates are below. There are two choices and you have to consider which choice to make.

There are two examples given to you and a third example where you can choose. Maybe use the examples from above.

Decide whether to go on a winter holiday or a summer holiday

Which option would you take and why?





Why did you reject the alternative?





What benefits have you given up by making your decision?





What would your decision depend on/what other information would be useful
before making your decision?  



Decide whether to study for a test or go out

Which option would you take and why?





Why did you reject the alternative?





What benefits have you given up by making your decision?





What would your decision depend on/what other information would be useful
before making your decision?  




Scarcity, Choice, Opportunity Cost in the Health Sector

The machines are used for patients who have kidneys that don’t work properly. Without dialysis, the patients would quickly die. They are expensive and these resources are scarce.

A hospital in a town has one dialysis machine that can run for 30 hours per week. As the boss of the hospital, you must decide who gets the treatment. There are a number of patients who require treatment and their needs are given below:

Patient A) A six-year-old child who needs 10 hours per week. They are awaiting a kidney transplant which is expected to occur in one year
Patient B) A 55-year-old man who requires five hours per week. He is married with grown-up children
Patient C) A three-year-old child who will need dialysis indefinitely. Currently needs four hours per week
Patient D) 78-year-old female, requires four hours per week
Patient E) seven-year-old child, has three brothers and sisters, requires four hours per week
Patient F) eight-year-old child, no brothers or sisters, requires five hours per week
Patient G) 30-year-old female with two young children, requires six hours per week
Patient H) 30-year-old male with two young children requires six hours per week
Patient I) 30-year-old male with no children, requires four hours per week
Patient J) 45-year-old man with no children. Needs six hours per week but has a brother who will donate a kidney. This will take place in six months’ time
Patient K) A 65-year-old man who requires 10 hours per week. As he is quite wealthy, he has promised to buy another dialysis machine for the hospital if he is still alive in one years’ time

Complete the following table:

Patient Letter Reasons Total 30 hours














You are going to take the concept of opportunity cost and apply it to a more complex scenario.

This scenario is about building a hospital. You need to read each of the scenarios to gather your evidence to decide whether the hospital should be built.

Analyse who is likely to benefit/suffer the most as a result of the hospital project

Who is most likely to benefit? Who is most likely to suffer?




In your opinion, should the hospital development go ahead?






Childhood Obesity as an example of Market Failure

This activity introduces you to the topic “Market Failure”. Market failure happens when the market fails to allocate resources efficiently. This results in negative consequences for society. For example, the cheap production of unhealthy foods means that more can be made and sold at a cheap price. This has resulted in a rapid increase in child obesity.

Activity (you can present your work using Word or Powerpoint)

  • Research the economic costs of childhood obesity. These costs can include government spending on the NHS
  • Research how the UK government has tackled childhood obesity
  • What do you think the government could do to tackle childhood obesity?

Evaluate the economic consequences of COVID-19

Your task is to write a newspaper that gives an account of the economic costs of COVID-19. The newspaper articles will give an account of how the virus has impacted society, firms and the government. An example of a newspaper layout is below.

an example of a newspaper layout


The UK has an alcohol binge culture. This results in many costs, especially to public sector services.

Task 1

Using the internet, research the costs that alcohol places upon public sector services. These include NHS and the police.

BBC – Binge drinking ‘costing UK taxpayers £4.9bn’

Binge Britain: NHS Under Strain
Binge Britain: 24hr Liquor Sales Fuel Dangerous Drinking

Task 2

Using the internet, find out how the UK government have tackled the UK binge-drinking culture. Increasing minimum price, education.

Extension Task (optional)

Using your own ideas, how do you think the UK government should tackle the binge-drinking culture within the UK?


Economics Help (or type in Google ‘Economics help and alcohol’)
Tutor2u (or type in Google ‘tutor 2 u and alcohol’)


The Cost of Cheap Alcohol

*This is a representation of your learning space and may not be the exact room you will be using

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