Search our site
Search our site

Becoming an Economist

  • Module code: EC4001
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 4
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None


The module is designed to help students develop many of the basic skills used in the discipline of economics. The module explores and covers a variety of study and research techniques. Students will develop skills in the use of language, writing, ICT usage, data collection, data interpretation and groupwork. Key threshold economic concepts will also be incorporated. Particular emphasis will be placed on small group learning and personal development planning.


To introduce and demonstrate the generic value of research and study skills;

To promote and develop students'  study and research skills in the discipline of economics;

To develop a reflective approach to learning and;

To introduce basic substantive economic concepts in a real-world context.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective (oral and written) communication skills;
  • Identify appropriate data sources and referencing materials;
  • Discuss the importance of skills application within economics, and;
  • Apply relevant concepts and skills to current economic issues

Curriculum content


  • Introducing relevant substantive economic concepts and appropriate mathematical and statistical techniques.

Personal development planning

  • Identifying the skills needed to begin thinking like an economist; completing an individual skills audit and constructing an action plan to enhance study and research skills.
  • Introducing the concept of reflective writing.
  • Developing employability skills and CV building

Collecting information and managing your time

  • Introducing and applying study skills including goal-setting, reading, note-taking, time management, revision strategies.
  • Developing individual goals relating to the knowledge of economic concepts.

Sourcing and referencing information

  • Introducing and applying research skills including using the physical and electronic LRC resources, keyword searches, selecting appropriate and relevant sources, accurately citing and referencing sources, avoiding plagiarism.
  • Identifying keywords appropriate to economics, evaluating internet sources and finding other relevant sources.

ICT usage

  • Developing fundamental ICT skills for economists using Microsoft Office package, e.g. Word, Excel and Powerpoint and introduction to RefWorks

Working with others and communicating effectively

  • Introducing and applying speaking, listening, presentation and team-working skills.
  • Working in small groups to evaluate, debate and develop arguments relating to various economic concepts.
  • Developing and delivering group presentations to persuasively communicate the group's understanding of economic concepts.

Reflecting on experience

  • Considering personal strengths, challenges and feelings during the module, including identifying preferred learning styles and research strategies and action plans for future development.
  • Developing individual pieces of reflective writing.

Teaching and learning strategy

Module delivery will be through workshops. Some weeks may be set aside for directed activities and/or group tasks and group work. These group tasks/work will form the basis for presentation groups throughout the year and the workshops will provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning and to seek guidance from their tutor.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops 49
Guided independent study 251
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessment will be through a combination of a low stakes early assessment in the form of an essay (max 1500 words) worth 20% and a portfolio worth 80% (max 2000 words excluding any group presentations). The portfolio of assessments will normally include synoptic elements. Students will be required to demonstrate a clear understanding of relevant study and research techniques; to carry out competent and independent economic research and to present and communicate their research findings effectively. Opportunities for formative assessment will be provided, wherever necessary and/or appropriate.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate effective (oral and written) communication skills Group presentations and individual reports/essays
Identify appropriate sources and referencing materials Group presentations and individual reports/essays
Discuss the importance of skills application within their discipline Group presentations and individual reports/essays
Apply discipline-specific concepts and skills to current economic issues Group presentations and individual reports/essays

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Portfolio 80
CWK 1500 Word Essay 20
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Atkinson, B, and S. Johns (2001) Studying Economics Palgrave Study Guides

Cottrell, S. (2008). The Study Skills Handbook, 2nd edition. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan

Bibliography recommended reading

Boakes, K. (2009) Reading and Understanding Economics, Pearson Education Limited, England

Boakes, K. (2008) Reading and Understanding the Financial Times, Pearson Education Limited, England

Find a course

Course finder

Undergraduate study
Site menu