EC244NU-Public Economics

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: EC201 Intermediate Microeconomics
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Vivien Burrows

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Module lead at NUIST: Dr Georgi Kalchev; Email:

This module provides students with the opportunity to explore the rationale for government intervention in the economy and what the role of the government should be, and to analyse a wide range of policy issues.


The module aims to examine the rationale for government intervention in the economy. The first part of the module will look at the justification for and limitations of government intervention in the economy, combining microeconomic theory with applications to contemporary policy issues. The second part of the module will focus on the revenue side and analyse some of the principles involved in tax design and the equity and efficiency implications of taxation. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

  1. explain the main arguments for government intervention in a market economy and some of the key theories of public sector growth;

  2. explain the main arguments for government intervention in a range of policy areas;

  3. apply economic theory to analyse public policy issues and compare the outcomes of alternative policies;

  4. evaluate the means used to finance government p rogrammes and their economic implications.

Additional outcomes:

Students will have the opportunity to further develop their oral and written communication skills through classroom discussions and written assignments. 

Outline content:

Topics to be covered include: theories of the public sector; state ownership, privatisation and regulation; healthcare; social insurance; taxation and deficit financing. 

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 reading the suggested literature and to actively participate in classroom discussions. Office hours are available for students to consult the lecturer on an individual basis. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 90
Tutorials 6
Guided independent study: 104
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Oral assessment and presentation 5
Set exercise 15
Class test administered by School 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour unseen written examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One in-class test worth 30%; one set exercise worth 15%; one presentation worth 5%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres 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 (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 overall mark of 40%. 

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination for all modules takes place in August of the same academic year. Re-assessment is by coursework only.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books:  None

2) Specialist equipment or materials:  None

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:  None

4) Printing and binding:  None

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:  None

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:  None

Last updated: 30 July 2021


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