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Contemporary Issues in Economics

  • Module code: EC5001
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Introduction to Economics
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

The module aims to develop your ability to apply economic analysis to a range of contemporary economic problems and policies.

Aims

  • To develop students' ability to analyse microeconomic and macroeconomic policy developments in the UK economy
  • To develop students’ ability to communicate the state of established knowledge on specific topics prominent in the economics news of the day
  • To provide students with practice in locating a broad range of information resources to support research into topics prominent in the economics news of the day;

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a quantitative and qualitative understanding of current policy issues
  • Use the skills needed to critically analyse current and possible economic policy developments
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current events including trends and developments in economic data, policy institutions and legislation, and theoretical models of policy and policy outcomes

Curriculum content

  • Europe and monetary union
  • Crises
  • Labour markets and unemployment
  • Minimum wage
  • Gender gap
  • The welfare State
  • Health care provision and finance
  • Migration
  • The moral limits of markets
  • Environment
  • Environmental taxation and control
  • Sustainability and climate change
  • Fiscal policy
  • Taxation
  • Public expenditure
  • Monetary policy
  • Inflation rate targeting
  • Quantitative easing
  • UK productivity gap
  • Income distribution, poverty and inequality
  • Happiness
  • Obesity

Teaching and learning strategy

a)      There will be a weekly lecture and class. The lectures will discuss the key issues which student can then follow up with more detailed reading in their own time.
The classes will involve discussions of some important issues as well as case studies and various question/answer sessions.

b)      Students are expected to read the recommended text and the Financial Times daily.

c)      Students are expected to commit 6 hours per week outside the class room to reading and supplementing their notes, preparing the classes, writing the assignment and preparing for the examination.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 20 two-hour keynote lectures 40
Scheduled learning and teaching 20 seminars of 1 hour each 20
Guided independent study 240
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

One 1,500-word essay plus one unseen two-hour final examination.

The assignment will require students to find, manipulate and display data within the context of the economic models they are studying and using.

The examination will test their knowledge across the entire range of the module’s content.

Seminar discussions will formatively assess knowledge of current events, policy institutions and legislation, and relevant theoretical models. The essay requires students to show evidence of using appropriate source material in constructing their arguments. In the examination students answer questions using relevant economic theory, combines with knowledge of the underlying institutions and policy context.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate a quantitative and qualitative understanding of current policy issues Coursework (formative and summative)
Use the skills needed to critically analyse current and possible economic policy developments Coursework (formative and summative) and exam (summative)
Demonstrate knowledge of current events including trends and developments in economic data, policy institutions and legislation, and theoretical models of policy and policy outcomes Seminars (formative), coursework (formative and summative), examination (summative)

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK 1500 word essay 50
EXWR 2 hour exam 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

  • Le Grand, J., Propper, C., and Smith, S. (2008) The Economics of Social Problems  Palgrave Macmillan
  • Griffiths, A., Wall, S., (2011) Applied Economics Financial Times/ Prentice Hall

Bibliography recommended reading

Layard, R., (2011) Happiness: Lessons from a New Science Penguin

 

Boakes, K.,(2008) Reading and Understanding Economics Financial Times/ Prentice Hall

Krugman, P., (2008) The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 Allen Lane

Sandel, M. J. (2012) What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets Allen Lane

 

 

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