Economics is the study of how society can best organise itself to overcome the fundamental problem that mankind has had ab initio: that its material needs and wants can be fulfilled only by resources that are scarce. In particular, we study the operation of markets, and determine how the operation of the market can be improved, in order that we can better satisfy those material desires.
The ideas of economists and political philosophers are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”
John Maynard Keynes
Human beings have spent most of their existence in tyranny and misery, bound by a natural law that its material needs and wants can only be fulfilled by resources that are scarce. Out of that scarcity all the struggles of history were born. Fundamentally, economics is an investigation into how society can best organise itself to overcome that scarcity, and satisfy the material desires of humanity. In particular, economists study the operation of the market, and propose how its operation might be improved.
The A Level course doesn’t contain much mathematics per se, although a logical mind is very helpful. At university, all pure economics courses require A Level Mathematics, and Further Mathematics is helpful at the most selective. Pure courses can be found at many of the top universities, including at Cambridge, for instance, as can mixed courses, including the Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) course at Oxford. Studying an Economics A Level without Mathematics can be helpful for courses such as the Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) course at Cambridge. An Economics or related degree may lead to a career in finance in the City of London, in Government, and is respected among employers as it demonstrates both a strong mathematical and a strong written ability.