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Unit information: Foundations of Economics in 2020/21

Unit name Foundations of Economics
Unit code AFAC10013
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. John McTague
Open unit status Not open




School/department Arts Faculty Office
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This is a 20 credit TB4 unit providing students on the Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences with an introduction to economics. The first teaching block will focus on the core concepts of economics while the second teaching block will provide students with an opportunity to explore economics in more depth.

By the end of teaching block 1, topics covered may include:

  • Types of objectives set by firms
  • Time value of money and decisions
  • Valuation of assets
  • Types of market competition
  • Supply and demand

In teaching block 2, topics covered may include:

  • Price discrimination
  • Government intervention
  • International trade and the global economy
  • Economic growth

Formative assessment:

Regular worksheets and case studies with short answer questions and feedback provided during weekly seminars

1,000 word essay with formative feedback

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of key financial and economic concepts and issues
  2. demonstrate an understanding of concepts and issues related to macroeconomics
  3. synthesize appropriate tools and concepts from economics and apply them to current international events

Teaching details

1 x 2 hour seminar per week

Assessment Details

Summative assessment:

1000 word essay (30%), ILOs 1, 2

2hr written exam (70%) ILO 3

Reading and References

Readings from a range of sources will be used to support and underpin individual activities. However, the following are indicative texts for students wishing for a general reading in the subject:

A-Level Economics: Year 1 & 2 Complete Revision & Practice (CGP A-Level Economics, 2015)

For more in-depth reading in the subject, students should consult:

Foundations of Economics (Gillespie, 2019)