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Unit information: Communicating Economics in 2020/21

Unit name Communicating Economics
Unit code EFIM30049
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Davies
Open unit status Not open

EFIM20033 Intermediate Microeconomics AND
EFIM20034 Intermediate Macroeconomics AND
EFIM20011 Econometrics 1
EFIM20038 Microeconomic Analysis AND
EFIM20037 Macroeconomic Analysis AND
EFIM20010 Applied Quantitative Research Methods



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Economists need to be able to communicate their expert analysis and advice to different audiences, via a range of media. In this unit, students will explore the challenges of communicating a technical and quantitative subject – and how to overcome them.

The course will run as a series of interactive sessions. Students will reflect on how to communicate economic knowledge and will gain hands-on experience in how to use different media (including writing economic briefs and blogs, making videos and producing infographics) to communicate messages to decision-makers and wider public audiences. External speakers will provide advice and experience.

The unit aims to:

  • train students to communicate expert economics knowledge in an accessible way to different audiences
  • respond to criticism that economists are insufficiently skilled in communicating complex economic concepts to the audiences they are trying to reach
  • improve and test intuitive understanding of complex economics appropriate for the level of study
  • expose students to knowledge and experience from professional communication experts
  • provide a learning experience in line with the labour market demands graduates will face.

Intended learning outcomes

The course trains students to communicate complex economic ideas to different non-specialist audiences.

By the end of the course, students will

  • be able to communicate expert economics knowledge in an accessible way to different kinds of non-expert audiences, such as the general public, politicians, A-level and first year students and colleagues within policy or business organisations.
  • be able to produce concise writing and compelling videos/podcasts appropriate for the target audience
  • be aware of challenges when communicating to non-expert audiences and show familiarity with real world examples of good and inadequate communication.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions such as online teaching for large and small group, face-to-face small group classes (where possible) and interactive learning activities

Assessment Details

Portfolio of assignments (100%)

Reading and References

There is no single textbook for this course.

Students will be required to read and communicate the findings from research papers and will be offered a range of papers to choose from.

A reading list will also contain useful information and guides for how to communicate. The following are illustrative of the type of materials:

Blastland, M. and Dilnot, A. (2007) The Tiger that Isn’t: Seeing Through a World of Numbers

McCloskey, D (2019): Economical Writing, third edition

Rodrik, D. (2015) Economics rules

Fourcade, M., Ollion, E. and Y. Algan (2015) The superiority of economists, Journal of Economic Perspectives