EC111-Economic Policy and Social Problems

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Ms Neha Hui


Summary module description:
This module will help students to understand the nature of various social problems and show how these problems can be tackled through market or by public policies

The aim of this module is to demonstrate to economics and non-economics students how an economic framework can be used for the analysis of social problems in the contemporary world.

Assessable learning outcomes:
This module provides students with an introduction to economics of social policy. At the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • the economist’s approach to social problems;
  • the equity and efficiency objectives of the government and their relationship to the operation of a market economy;
  • the rationale behind and the economic effects of public policies.

Additional outcomes:
Ability to contribute to contemporary debates concerning the capabilities and limitations of the government relative to the private sector.

Outline content:
A selection of topics from the following list will be offered: Social objectives and allocation of scarce resources. Market economy and public policies in the provision of health care, education, pensions and housing. Economics of crime, poverty and welfare policies. Globalisation and social problems: migration, war and terrorism, climate change.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures will be used for the presentation of the concepts, analytical principles, and the methodology. Students are expected to follow media coverage of contemporary social problems and public policies. Coursework is set to develop analytical and critical skills.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 13
Guided independent study 87
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment is by coursework only. Two assignments will be set.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    There is no final examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A minimum mark of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-assessment will be on the basis of one further 3,000 word essay, related to the topics covered in the module. This will not be a re-submission of the earlier essay topic. The essay for re-assessment is required to be submitted by 18 August 2017.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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