A high proportion of Clifton College Sixth Formers take economics at A Level. This reflects national and international interest in the subject, arising from recent events such as the Global Financial Crisis, Brexit and international issues such as inequality and climate change.

A key reason for wanting to study economics is that it helps you to make sense of the world around you. Many Clifton leavers go on to study economics-related courses at the best universities in the UK and abroad and benefit from the broad range of skills they gained from studying economics.


We have a team of highly-experienced and inspirational teachers from a range of backgrounds.

Whatever your level of study, you will be taught by expert teachers of economics. The courses are engaging and will give you a wealth of practical and academic skills. We achieve excellent results and economics is one of the most popular subjects at A Level. The study of economics helps pupils to develop clear, logical thinking and an analytical approach to problem-solving. They learn data-analysis skills and are encouraged to think through the wider implications of events. An ability to write fluently in essays is important and economics students should be comfortable with using data to help explain a range of issues.

Economics provides an analytical framework with which to address questions such as:

  • Why do some nations grow faster than others?
  • Is the value of the Euro against the US Dollar a matter for concern?
  • Is the taxation of petrol a good way to address global climate change?
  • What are the advantages of mergers between companies?
  • Will the government’s spending cuts help or hinder the UK’s economic recovery?
  • Are there any drawbacks to increasing global interconnectedness?

At A Level, Clifton follows the AQA Economics syllabus. The first year of study develops students’ basic understanding of the subject and encourages them to think like an economist. The second year of study explores more complex theories and applies them to real world scenarios. The subject content is split into ‘micro’ (individuals, firms and markets) and ‘macro’ (the national and international economies) economic theory.

At GCSE, we follow the Cambridge International Exams (CIE) IGCSE syllabus. This is a two year course that provides an introduction to economics. It provides an excellent grounding for the study of economics at A Level and most of our GCSE students enjoy the course and decide to continue with the subject in the sixth form. However, the majority of our A Level economists have not taken the GCSE and it is not a requirement to do so.

Why Study at Clifton?

At Clifton College, each pupil’s interest in current and economic affairs plays a critical factor in the successful enjoyment of their course. They come to class brimming with news and views, topical examples of the theories under consideration, and questions about the things they have read in their own time, all of which makes for stimulating discussions in lessons. We welcome outside speakers, including leading academic economists, to the thriving Economics Society and enjoy taking pupils on trips to the Bristol Festival of Economics and Bank of England..