module specification

EC4002A - Economics for Finance and Business (Study Abroad) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Economics for Finance and Business (Study Abroad)
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   In-class test (1 hour)
Coursework 50%   Essay (1500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Friday Afternoon

Module summary

Studying economics is both challenging and rewarding. Economics deals with some very fundamental forces and issues of the world around us. Understanding and communicating what economics is can alter the way we see things and also the way we live. Learning about economics also gives a better understanding about the forces which will shape our future prospects and well-being. Economics is a social science discipline that ultimately deals with making sound arguments and informed judgments.

The module focuses on the key principles of microeconomics. It will will cover the central concepts of microeconomic theory and will explore the relevance of these to the operations of businesses including financial services firms. The main themes are the role of markets, individual consumer behaviour, and the operations of individual firms taking into account the market environment and government regulation.

Module aims

This module will deal with introduction to both basic theory and practice relating to microeconomics in the context of Financial Services and Business. It will:
1. explore the meaning of economics and introduce some important concepts and tools of microeconomics;
2. examine different economic systems in order to understand what determines what gets produced, how it is produced and who gets what;
3. provide a supportive environment for the development of written and oral communication and analytical skills.

The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: academic study skills; subject research; data analysis; applied analysis; literacy; communication; critical thinking; and quantitative skills.


Key concepts relating to resource allocation, economic systems and economic analysis.
Demand and supply analysis and markets.
Utility maximisation and the theory of consumer behaviour.
Production and costs in the long run and short run.
Profit maximization, market structures and the theory of the firm.
Factor markets; marginal productivity theory of wages and imperfections of the labour market.
Market failure, government intervention and regulation.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is structured around a lecture (1.5 hours) and a seminar (1.5 hour) session per week. Lecture topics are designed to progress from basic concepts and issues onto more difficult ones. Each lecture session will be given a clear context and will then introduce new economics concepts, ideas and applications.  This is an effective way for students to discover the operation and the interactive nature of economic theory and to develop their ability to apply economic concepts to real world issues and problems. Lectures are designed to be lively and interactive. Students are encouraged to take part in thought-provoking debates and discussions.  Participating in debates, in conjunction with note taking, will reinforce students’ understanding of economics and improve their oral and analytical skills.

For each seminar session students will be given a set of questions and other activities. Students are expected to prepare the answers to these questions before attending their seminar. The seminars will provide an opportunity for students to discuss the topics covered in the lecture session and to work in groups.  In addition, for each seminar session students will be given a recently published short article that is closely linked with the lecture topic the week before to read. A range of activities will be organised in connection to the set of the seminar questions and the articles. These activities will include individual and group presentations, problem solving, reading and discussing extracts from the articles, economics games and simulations, summary writings and preparation for the in-class test and the essay. These activities will develop students’ critical and analytical skills, their academic writing skills and their teamwork skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:
1. explain the main concepts and principles of microeconomic theory;
2. apply appropriate economic principles, models, graphical techniques and language to explain or analyse real world economic issues and problems;
3. show an increased awareness and confidence in employing analytical written communication skills in expressing basic economic ideas;
4. apply a range of specialist skills to the organizations in which they as specialists may operate, including the application of analytical techniques.

Assessment strategy

There will be two assessments for this module. They comprise of one In-class test and one essay. The In-class test will be one hour test which will assess most of the teaching and learning materials that are used in the microeconomics section of the module. The second component of assessment will be a 1,500 word essay.


Core Textbooks:
Case K. E., Fair R.C. and Oster S. (2011) Principles of Economics, 10th ed., Pearson
Begg D. (2009) Foundations of Economics, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill Higher Education  
Griffiths A. And Wall S. (2011) Economics for Business and Management, 3rd ed. Financial Times, Prentice Hall
Powell M. And Mathews K. (2011) Economics , 8th ed., Addison- Wesley
Harvey J. (2007) Modern Economics, 8th ed. Palgrave - Macmillan

Background Reading List:
Backhouse R. E. (2002) Economics, London, Penguin Books
Curran J. (2000) Taking the Fear out of Economics, London, Business Press, Thomson Learning
Jowsey E. (1998) 100 Essay Plans for Economics, Oxford University Press
Stewart M. (1991) Keynes and After, 3rd ed. London, Penguin Books
Varoufakis Y. (1998) Foundation of Economics, London, Routledge