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Capitalism

  • Module code: EC4002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 4
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Co-requisites: none

Summary

This module is a core course for students pursuing full-field programmes in Economics.

This module offers a detailed survey of the origins and emergence of capitalism and the economic thinking that paralleled these developments.  It will develop key aspects of the contemporary economy – firms and competition in the national and international environment and the role of the state in national and supra-national contexts. It will then proceed with an introduction to the role of finance in capitalism and the nature and causes of financial crises.

Aims

  •  To acquaint students of economics with the historical context in which capitalism arose.
  • To elucidate the processes by which capitalism developed from its initial stages to giant firms and the present day global economy.
  • To give students a clear understanding of key aspects of the contemporary economy – firms and competition in the national and international environment and the role of the state in national and supra-national contexts.
  • To introduce a consideration of the role of finance in capitalism and the nature and causes of financial crises.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Have a clear conception of the historical context in which capitalism arose.
  • Understand at a fundamental level the processes by which capitalism developed from its initial stages to giant firms and the present day global economy.
  • Clearly articulate the key aspects of the contemporary economy – firms and competition in the national and international environment and the role of the state in national and supra-national contexts.
  • To give critical consideration to the role of finance in capitalism and the nature and causes of financial crises.

Curriculum content

  • The origins and emergence of capitalism
  • The first and second industrial revolutions
  • The gold standard and imperialism
  • Twentieth century wars and crises
  • Post war globalisation
  • Firms and competition in the U.K. and globally
  • The role of the UK state, the EU and trans global institutions in economic regulation
  • The role of finance in capitalism
  • The nature and causes of financial crises 

Teaching and learning strategy

The module is delivered by weekly lectures and seminars. The lectures will discuss the key issues of each topic and lay the preparatory ground for the application of knowledge and expanded discussion with regard to practical issues via the group seminars.  Students will be given questions linked to the lecture to be prepared for the seminars based on detailed reading in their own time.  Seminars will also be used to help students prepare their preliminary and final essays.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 23 two hour lectures, 21 one hour seminars 46, 21
Guided independent study Student independent study 233
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The final grade for this module is an average of the marks for a preliminary essay, to be completed by early January of 2,000 words, an assessment of the core historical and analytical material completed up to that time (50%), and a final essay of 2,000 words, to be completed at the end of the module, an assessment of the capacity to integrate and critically evaluate the material and themes of the module (50%). Formative assessment comes from discussions of students' written responses in seminars to lecture questions, as well as discussion of students' outlines and first drafts of the preliminary and final essays.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Have a clear conception of the historical context in which capitalism arose. The preliminary essay is the central mechanism for testing mastery of the historical context in which capitalism arose (formative and summative).
Understand at a fundamental level the processes by which capitalism developed from its initial stages to giant firms and the present day global economy. The preliminary essay and the final essay will evaluate the capacity to understand at a fundamental level the processes by which capitalism developed from its initial stages to giant firms and the present day global economy (formative and summative).
Clearly articulate the key aspects of the contemporary economy - firms and competition in the national and international environment and the role of the state in national and supra-national contexts. The definitive essay is the key mechanism for testing the ability to clearly articulate the key aspects of the contemporary economy - firms and competition in the national and international environment and the role of the state in national and supra-national contexts (summative).
To give critical consideration to the role of finance in capitalism and the nature and causes of financial crises. The final essay will evaluate the ability to give critical consideration to the role of finance in capitalism and the nature and causes of financial crises (summative).

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Essay 50
CWK Essay 50
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

Heilbroner, Robert and Milberg, William (2009) The Making of Economic Society 12thedition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Heilbroner, Robert L. (2000) The Worldly Philosophers 7th edition. London: Penguin.

Bibliography recommended reading

Cassidy, John (2009) How Markets Fail London: Penguin

Christian, David (2004) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History Los Angeles: University of California Press

Maddison, Angus (2007) The World Economy 2nd edition Paris: OECD 

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