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Economics - International Foundation (Module)

Module description

The module is designed to introduce and build an understanding of economics at the foundation level; there is an assumption of no prior knowledge of economics. It is designed to enable students to use economic models and skills to analyse real life economic problems; and covers both microeconomics and macroeconomics.

The first term begins with an overview of the programme, an overview of Economy activities, and background to Supply and Demand. Issues such as scarcity, price controls and quotas, taxation, profit maximisation under different types of competitions are discussed to give an overall grounding to the study of economic ideas and theories, and attention is paid to economic theory and different types of research and data collection. 

The second half of the first term and the beginning of term 2 further focuses on the micro economy and government microeconomic policies, such as policies to redistribute income, production, consumption and externalities. Microeconomic issues covered will include markets, efficiency, public interest and the connection with government intervention policies.

The remainder of the module focusses on the macroeconomy, investigating the issues of short-run and long-run macroeconomic equilibrium, money and interest rates, inflation, balance of payments, and trade policies such as protectionism. The role of government intervention in these areas is also explored, looking at monetary vs fiscal policies, policies to control inflation and maintain equilibrium of payments. Though the module focusses on economic principles in general, particular focus will be paid to economic issues in the UK, US and European Union.

By the end of the module, you will be able to demonstrate the intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to this level of module and in particular will be able to:

  • describe the nature and terminology of economic theories and policies
  • explain the changing nature and role of economic interventions
  • have an understanding of the key features of the academic discipline of economics
  • demonstrate an understanding of economics research and case studies
  • distinguish between fact and opinion, between what is relevant and what is not and between opposing views based upon conflicting evidence
  • be familiar with basic statistical and mathematical forms of analysis used in economics
  • research a topic, extract and synthesise information from a range of written and spoken sources, and formulate a response
  • analyse and critically assess information from a variety of texts and come to an informed conclusion with limited guidance
  • understand lectures in English and actively participate in seminars
  • research, develop and deliver a presentation around the topic of a lecture, during a seminar
  • master the skills of independent learning and time management
  • demonstrate increased experience of working creatively and flexibly as part of an academic group
  • demonstrate appropriate linguistic skills in defined and predictable contexts.

Textbooks for module

During your course, you will be required to do a lot of reading. It is not necessary to purchase all books, but you should try and ensure you have access to some of the following:

Textbooks for Economic module
Required textbook Recommended textbook 
Sloman, J., (20039) Essentials of Economics (fifth edition), Pearson, Harlow, Essex. Prentice Hall.  Anderton, A., (2008) Economics (fifth edition), Causeway Pearson, Harlow, Essex.
   Bamford, C. & Grant, S. (2010) Cambridge International AS and A Level Economics (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Begg, D., Fischer, S. & Dornbusch, R., (20085) Economics (ninth edition), McGraw Hill Education, Maidenhead, UK


  • Bancock, G. et al (eds) (2004) Penguin Dictionary of Economics, London 
  • Rutherford, D. (2002) Routeledge Dictionary of Economics (2nd edition), Routledge, London

Useful websites

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Educational aims

  • To provide you with an understanding of the main theoretical and functional areas of economics
  • To develop an understanding of the key influences in the economic and social environment on the decision-making and behaviour of governments and organisations
  • To introduce you to the main conclusions derived from economic analysis and develop your understanding of economic implications
  • To ensure familiarity with some of the main sources of information and databases for the study of economics
  • To increase your ability, with appropriate support, to take responsibility for your own learning

Module assessment - more information

Most modules are assessed through coursework and final examinations. In addition, some modules are assessed through presentations, seminars and essays.

Required module for

Key information

Module code 0LEC117F

Credit level 3

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No