Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Maria Asensio
Email: m.j.asensio@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the basic principles of economics from the concepts of demand and supply and their influence on the prices of goods and the behaviour of firms, to the wider impacts on the national economy: economic growth, unemployment, inflation, and international trade.


This module will provide a foundation in economics to further studies at an undergraduate level.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • identify and explain the basic principles of micro and macroeconomic theory;

  • locate and assemble information from a variety of sources;

  • organise their material and present arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions.

Additional outcomes:

The module aims to encourage the development of written communication skills. Students will also develop IT skills by using relevant web resources and by word-processing assignments.

Outline content:

The syllabus focuses on micro and macroeconomics. Microeconomic topics in the first term include demand and supply theory, market failure and the theory of the firm.

The module analyses the national economy, identifying how an economy might grow and what are the constraints upon it. Economies fluctuate over time, and we discover the ‘tools’ available to governments and the financial sector to stimulate or slow down aggregate demand – through the useof monetary and fiscal policies .

Real life experiences are used throughout the module and students are encouraged to read the national newspapers and the Economist.

The final part of the module looks at the role international trade plays in our economy and completes our first introduction to the principles of economics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures and small group tutorials. Work is also done from work sheets, workbooks and online.

Weekly surgery hours for individual assistance as required.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 22 10
Tutorials 20 22 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 35 35 7
    Exam revision/preparation 50 55 46
    Preparation for tutorials 20 25 10
    Reflection 5 5 3
Total hours by term 150 164 86
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Set exercise 20
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour multiple choice paper and one 3-hour written examination paper, with a total weight of 60% in the overall mark.

The examination for this module will require a narrowly defined time window and is likely to be held in a dedicated exam venue.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework has a weight of 40% in the overall mark, comprising: 

  • End of term 1 test 10%

  • End of term 2 test 10%

  • MC tests (4) 20%

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: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/cqsd-old-site-documents/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
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-assessment is by written examination only in August/September of the same year. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: Essentials of Economics, 8th Edition, Sloman, J. and Garratt, D. (2019) Pearson Education Limited. 5

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

4) Printing and binding: 

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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