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Introduction to International Economics (Module)

Module description

Please note that module information is indicative and may change year to year.

This module introduces students to the main debates and issues in the study of economics, situating those debates and issues in political context at domestic and international levels. 

The module starts by looking at how different economists think about markets, people, companies and the role of the state, moving on to unpack the major traditions of macroeconomic thought and how they inform public policy issues today. In semester 2, the module looks at international economics understood as the flow of goods, money, finance and people around the international economy, presenting a variety of ways of explaining those flows and relating them to political debate.  It finishes by exploring global economic growth, why it happens, how it is measured and how it relates to issues of environmental harm and inequality. 

You do not need to have studied economics before taking this module.  But if you have never studied economics before (and even if you have) we would recommend reading Ha-Joon Chang’s 2014 book Economics: A user’s guide before starting the module. It provides an entertaining and readable overview of some issues and ideas.

Module aims

  • Examine the core issues and debates in International Economics.
  • Introduce students to essential concepts and terms of art for the study of International Economics.
  • To communicate the evolving character of International Economics from diverse perspectives, with a particular emphasis on questions of public concern and policies in practice.
  • To provide students with an introduction to the main skills, academic and other, that are necessary for the BA International Relations programme.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will:

  • Have developed a broad understanding of international economics, including key terminology and main debates
  • Be able to identify the relationship between issues of international economics and political context at domestic and international levels.
  • Have acquired specialised cognitive and analytical skills such that they are able to identify assumptions and concepts underlying economic theories, and begin to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be able to identify and develop their own enquiries, within defined guidelines, into central problems in international economics, through the collection and analysis of authoritative sources, and be able to communicate solutions informed by these sources in appropriate formats.
  • Have begun to reflect upon their own learning, becoming aware of their own capabilities and engaging in development activity through guided self – direction.
  • Have demonstrated awareness of the ethical issues inherent to the study of International Economics, and relate these to personal beliefs and values.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

2 hours per week (one lecture, one seminar)

Module assessment - more information

Two 3,000 word essays each worth 50% of overall module grade

Key information

Module code 4AAOB104

Credit level 4

Assessment coursework

Credit value 30

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module Yes