Module code: ECOM054

Module Overview

The module analyses the sources of inequalities and differences in our society; that is, the module will provide the economic tools and frameworks to understand family formation, household decisions, fertility choices, divorce, as well as the very important policy issues of immigration, gender inequality in career and pay (where the above family mechanisms play an important role), and more generally of discrimination in the labour market. We will consider the different (labour market) outcomes associated to ethnicity, sexual orientation, and obesity/health.The module contains both theoretical and empirical components and will include the interpretation of estimates from econometric analysis, and possibly data analysis as coursework.  

Module provider


Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  1. Social objectives and allocation of resources

  2. Health care provision

  3. Human capital investments

  4. Savings and pensions

  5. The economics of housing

  6. The economics of crime

  7. Traffic and road congestion

  8. Climate change

  9. Poverty and welfare

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 25
Examination Examination (2 hours) 75

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation of how microeconomic analysis can inform policy.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework in the form of a take-home essay. This will provide students with an assessment of their understanding of the basic concepts and empirical patterns, indicated in the learning outcomes and module content.

  • 2-hour final examination.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback during lectures through direct questioning.

  • Students will receive written feedback on the coursework submitted. This feedback will help students to judge their own performance and prepare for the final exam. In addition, students will be encouraged to attend office hours to receive further verbal feedback.

Module aims

  • provide students with the microeconomic tools needed to analyse a range of relevant public policy issues
  • critically examine individuals’, firms’, and governments’ behaviour and the impact of related public policies, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Apply economic principles to the analysis of public policy design and its economic and social responses KCT
2 Interpret relevant public policy data and empirical findings CPT
3 Assess appropriate policy responses for different labour market and social problems  PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • enhance skills in analytical and critical thinking, and in written and verbal presentation

  • appreciate the complexities of policy decision making, weighing theory and practice


The learning and teaching methods include:

A series of eleven two-hour lectures/classes including in-class discussions (22 hours: 2 hours per week x 11 weeks).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ECOM054

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Economics MA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.