module specification

FE5060 - Applied Macroeconomics (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Applied Macroeconomics
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 100%   Written examination - 2 hours
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module develops the student’s understanding of economic policy formation using the foundations of macroeconomic theory.

The module aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of key macroeconomic policy alternatives that have been discussed and applied in the rapidly changing UK economy during the last fifty years. 

Starting with a review of the changes in the UK economic structure over the last 50 years, the market context within which government economic policy operates is explained. This covers the role of SME’s and the larger companies, the multinational corporations, in the UK and their part in the overall production and distributive processes. This includes a review of the evolving nature of government supervision and regulation of the ‘competitive framework’ and the pricing processes. The aims and consequences of privatisation and the notions of ‘deregulation’ are evaluated as a major arm of ‘supply side’ economic philosophy.

The module proceeds to develop an understanding of the competing and apparently conflicting policy goals pursued in recent times. These challenges are related to the theoretical explanations offered by different players in the economic scene. The actual patterns of consumption, saving and investment are examined so to explain the management of state debt through budgetary policies, and the alternative approach to economic management through monetary policy. Public spending and taxation policy are reviewed in relation to monetary policy in recent times, with an investigation into increasing pressures to return to expanding fiscal policy as a central tool of economic management from 2000, and especially after the 2008 Financial and 2020 Covid19 ‘shocks’.

The outcomes of policies in terms of the consequences for employment, the structure of the labour market, wage movements and price stability, along with the role of the imbalances in the international payments position and the results for the sterling exchange rate are examined and evaluated.

Students are encouraged to reflect and draw on their own different backgrounds and experiences in different economies (international and regional) during class discussions and to relate these experiences to the economic concepts and principles used in the module.

The core topics of the module provide the student with the basic understanding of the debates over economic policy since the start of the new millennium, and the value of concepts such as ‘equilibrium’, and ‘cyclical expectations’. This is further developed throughout by considering the impact of membership of the European Union and the current process of withdrawal from that Union.

Finally, we consider extensions to the above areas of investigation by covering topics such as the broader and future role of international trade and investment in the development of the UK economy and the importance of the ‘global’ economy as the vital context of operations.


Understand changes in the economic structure in the UK over the last 50 years. - LO1

Examine the nature of competition, ‘contestability’ and concentration of industry and commerce in the current UK market. The role of SME’s and multinational corporations in the UK. The aims of state ‘supply side’ and competition policy. - LO1

Assess the process of privatisation, objectives and results.  Review conflicting policy goals pursued through the recent period. - LO2

Understand actual patterns of consumption, saving and investment, and the management of state debt through budgetary and monetary policy. - LO1

The relation between public spending and taxation. The effect on the GDP - LO3

Monetary policy in the recent period. Pressures to return to expanding fiscal policy. The effects of the 2008 Financial and 2020 Covid-19 ‘shocks’. - LO3

The consequences for employment, the structure of the labour market, wage movements and price stability. - LO3

The UK’s international payments position and the results for the sterling exchange rate. The membership of and withdrawal from the European Union. - LO4

The use of concepts such as ‘equilibrium’, balance, growth and ‘cyclical expectations’. - LO2

The significance of international trade and investment for the UK economy and the shifting cohesion in the ‘global’ economy as the vital context of operations. - LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students’ learning is centred on direct contact time with the teaching team, and reflective independent learning. The direct contact time takes place through lectures and seminars. Students are expected to complement this 'formal' learning activity with further reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, addressing  macroeconomic problems using economic analysis and research.

Student weekly contact time is normally 3 hours. Lectures are typically of 2 hours duration and deliver core subject knowledge in applied macroeconomics. They also provide opportunities for interactive learning.  The module emphasises knowledge and applications of macroeconomic policy. The aim is that the students become conversant with macroeconomic policy choices and the processes that precede them. This involves awareness and understanding of different views of ‘stabilisation’ policy. The module examines the theoretical division of analysis of the economy into the short-run, medium-run and long-run.

Seminars are typically 1 hour in duration and emphasise the solution of practical macroeconomic problems facing the UK government and businesses, based on topics addressed in the lecture. The emphasis is on student participation, and students are expected to work in groups. The module develops students’ ability to think as policy advisers by providing sessions on the application of macroeconomic policy. These sessions enhance students’ ability to provide an economic interpretation of empirical findings, analyse policy debates and develop peer learning through participation and collaboration.

Inititative and independence are developed through the module and students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their learning. Professional and transferable skills are developed in lectures and seminars and reinforced through independent directed learning and assessment. Module learning activities will enable the students to develop analytical, communication, presentation, and problem solving skills. 

The module makes extensive use of virtual learning environment platforms (WebLearn, Publisher E-resources) where module lecture material, course handbooks,test questions, previous assessment with feedback, and other material are made available.  Other ICT resources include links to key web resources such as FRED, Government departments, and institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, OECD and The UK Data Service. Various sessions use Excel-based sessions to analyse real-world data.

Equality is promoted by treating all students with dignity and as of equal worth, while also raising their aspirations whilst supporting achievement for our students who have diverse learning requirements and backgrounds.  Open dialogue and debate are encouraged throughout the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Access and understand empirical resources such as data and policy statements related to the evolution of the actual economic trends and cycles in the UK:
2. Interpret real movements in the economy through theoretical concepts, so to interpret macroeconomic phenomena to aid policy understanding for business, government and other organisations;
3. Use economic and financial information generated by macroeconomic processes through written and oral exposition;
4. Through a grasp of the real dynamics of the UK economy demonstrate a critical awareness of a range of issues such as international payments, trade, and investment.

Assessment strategy

Formative Assessment during the module will involve:
• In-class questions and problem-solving activities during lecture time
• Seminar questions/exercises and self-evaluation at the end of each class.
• Students to act as learning resources for one another, by in-class discussion and working in small groups
•     Student participation in group presentations.

Students are formally assessed by an unseen examination (100% of overall mark).

At the end of the module students are required to take a two-hour unseen written examination. The exam will test the students’ scope and depth of knowledge, analytical capacities, and their ability to provide solutions to policy-related questions, using economic and financial information and macroeconomic processes in a variety of contexts.



Core Texts

Griffiths. A. & Wall. S., (2012) Applied Economics. 12th Ed., Pearson, Financial Times Press Prentice Hall
Mishkin, F. S. (2015) Macroeconomics: Policy and Practice, Global Edition, 2nd Edition, Pearson

Other Texts

Booth. A. (2001) The British Economy in the Twentieth Century (British Studies Series) Palgrave

Fyfe. N. & Threadgold. A. (2017) The UK Economy: 2007-2017 Informe

Graff.M., Greenwood.A.G., Louhgheed .A.L., (2014) ‘Grow of the International Economy 1820-2015’:   Routledge   5/E

Griffiths. A & Wall S.,  (2008) Economics for Business and Management. Prentice Hall

Keegan. W (2019) ‘Nine Crises: Fifty Years of Covering the British Economy from Devaluation to Brexit’ (2018) Biteback publishing

King.A. , Crewe.I., (2013) ‘The Blunders of our Governments’ One World

Moorthy, V. (2017) Applied Macroeconomics: Employment, Growth and Inflation, I K International Publishing House

Pollard.S., (1992) ‘The Development of the British Economy 1914-1990’ Arnold 4/E

Pope. R., (1998) The British Economy since 1914: A Study in Decline? (Seminar Studies in History) Routledge

Sawyer M. (2005) The U.K. Economy: A Manual of Applied Economics. OUP 16/E

NIESR Economic Review
Oxford Review of Economic Policy
Institute of Fiscal Studies: