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Unit information: Applied Economics: Current Economic Problems in 2018/19

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Unit name Applied Economics: Current Economic Problems
Unit code ECON30065
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Philippe
Open unit status Not open

Intermediate Economics 1 (EFIM20008) and either Econometrics (EFIM20011) or Applied Quantitative Research Methods (EFIM20010)



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


This unit considers various economic topics of contemporary interest, with an emphasis on the UK economy and UK economic policy. There would typically be about six topics and about two of these would change every year: there will be a mix of macroeconomic and microeconomic topics. You will be expected to study all six topics in the unit but will not have to study each one in the same level of detail: instead you should concentrate on three topics to study in depth.

The unit requires you to use economic theoretical concepts learned in the first two years of the degree to analyse current questions from the perspective of an economist. In all cases you will need to use the econometrics skills learned in the second year to analye and evaluate empirical studies. Questions are usually multi-faceted so you will also need to compare and evaluate a range of different opinions using different sources.

Unit aims:

  • To get students to bring together the multi-faceted skills expected of an economist (quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, etc.) to address a contemporary question.
  • To provide students with practice in analysis and synthesis of economic methods.
  • To allow students to study select topics in depth and detail.

Intended learning outcomes

  1. Ability to apply economic theoretical techniques to concrete economic questions.
  2. Ability to describe and summarise material from a range of sources.
  3. Ability to evaluate differing and possibly contradictory theories and sources of information.
  4. Ability to combine (1), (2) and (3) in a holistic way.

Teaching details

  • 18 Lectures
  • 8 classes

Assessment Details

Summative Assessment:

Three-hour closed book exam. This will assess all ILOs.

Formative Assessment:

Each student will give a presentation in class and write two essays (of 2000 - 2500 words). Where appropriate, this may be supplemented by additional online assessment.

Reading and References

The reading material changes with the topic. For any topic students would not be expected to use a textbook but to synthesise material from a range of sources (books, articles in learned journals, discussion papers, government publications).