Course outline

The course provides a basic introduction to the study of Economics in a practical way, looking at the application of economic theory in the modern world, emphasising recent trends and
developments and putting them in a historical perspective. Material is presented and discussed
in seminar sessions, with one-to-one tutorials to develop ideas and understanding. Simulations
are introduced as a way of developing awareness of economic issues. Background reading is
required during the course, especially of economic articles and journals and students are set
data response and essay assignments, as appropriate.

Introduction to Economics; the Basic Economic Problem
Economic Systems
Opportunity Cost and the Production Possibility Frontier
Demand and Supply; the Price mechanism; Elasticity
Cost and Revenue; Economies of Scale
Market Structure; Business Objectives and Strategy
Market Failure and Government Intervention in Markets

Introduction to Macroeconomics; Measures of Economic Performance and
Macroeconomic Objectives
Different approaches to Macroeconomic Policy; Keynesians and Monetarists
National Income Statistics; their use and abuse
Aggregate Supply and Demand
Economic Growth and Economic Cycles
Inflation and Deflation
The Balance of Payments and the Exchange Rate
Money and Monetary Policy
Fiscal Policy
Supply-side Policies
International Trade
Patterns in International Trade
The European Economy; Issues and Trends; The Euro and Monetary Union
A Global Market?


  • To familiarise students with the theoretical basis of modern economics.
  • To enable students to apply economic theory to real world situations.
  • To nurture in the students the skills and methods used in economic analysis.


  • To show an understanding of economic concepts and theory and this application to
    modern day economic policy.
  • To show through individual and group research an understanding of the alternative
    choices that face economists in attempting to resolve economic issues.
  • To have completed regular assignments on each area of the course and to deliver the
    acquired knowledge through a range of presentational skills.

Assessment process

Students will be expected to attend all classes and to be active participants. They will also be
expected to complete regular assignments and tests.

Grade breakdown
50% Essays
20% Tests
20% Class Participation
10% Attendance

Example Homework Essays

Discuss the extent to which governments should intervene in health-care

Why do economies periodically experience a recession?

Discuss the extent to which it is possible for governments to reduce the severity
of recessions which are experienced in the economy.

Assessment Criteria

Grade A
Student has advanced understanding of a wide range of concepts and methods, has excellent understanding of their impact in economic situations. Student also shows excellent communicative and analytical skills in the presentation of persuasive argument supported with a high level of evaluation.
Grade B
Student understands core, and some advanced concepts, has advanced understanding of their application to economic situations and can construct reasoned argument supported with persuasive use of evidence through analysis and evaluation.
Grade C
Student understands core concepts, has clear understanding of their relevance to economic situation and can construct an argument to reflect that knowledge with clarity. Student has the ability to show some analysis and evaluation of data.
Grade D
Student understands basic concepts, has some understanding of their relevance to modern day economic situations, and some ability to communicate that information both verbally and in written form.
Fail None of the criteria listed above followed

Recommended reading

The list below is for guidance and to supply some ideas for preliminary reading. We
recommend that you do not purchase the books on this list before arrival and certainly not all of
them; most should be available from a good library. Your tutor will recommend the most
appropriate books for purchase at the first class of term.

Economics, Alain Anderton,

Additional notes

You can take this subject as a core or an elective module.