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:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Giovanni Razzu


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will explore a range of contemporary social problems and how economic policy can be used to address them.


The aim of this module is to demonstrate how an economic framework can be used to analyse social problems and how it can inform the design of policies to address them. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module students should be able to:

(1) explain the relationship between social objectives and methods of resource allocation;

(2) apply economic theory to analyse a variety of social problems and possible policy solutions;

(3) assess the outcomes of alternative policies, using both economic theory and evidence.

Additional outcomes:

Students will have the opportunity to further develop their written communication skills through written assignments.

Outline content:

Topics to be covered may include: social objectives and the allocation of resources; the market system and public policies in the provision of health care and education; poverty, inequality and social exclusion; housing.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures will be used to introduce and discuss the material. Students are expected to prepare for lectures by doing the recommended reading. Coursework is set to develop analytical and critical skills. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Guided independent study: 90
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Report 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One essay assignment (40%) and one report (60%).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-assessment of Part 1 modules takes place in August of the same year.

Re-assessment will be on the basis of further coursework related to the topics covered in the module. This will not be a re-submission of earlier assignments.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

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.

Last updated: 4 September 2020


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