Module code: ECOM028

Module Overview

This module examines the importance of labour to organisations. It analyses the demand and supply of labour and applies this framework to consider contemporary issues such as how workers are paid and the consequences for incentives, productivity, investment in training/education, and inequality

Module provider


Module Leader

MCNALLY Sandra (Economics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Background – labour supply and demand

  • Human capital: Returns to schooling and post-school investment.

  • Trade unions and wage bargaining

  • Incentives to work – how to make people work harder

  • Efficiency wages – How to reduce labour turnover

  • Performance related pay – when to pay individual/group PRP

  • Chief executive pay – Are they worth it?

  • Inequality, tasks and technical change

  • Compensated wage differentials - good/bad jobs

  • Fringe benefits – wages or other compensation?

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK - 1,500 WORD REPORT 25
Examination EXAMINATION - 2 HOURS 75

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • Knowledge and skills in this subject area.

  • Ability to critically assess different theories and empirical findings.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A 1500 report, typically submitted Week 9

  • A 2 hour examination. Students will be asked to answer three out of five short questions and one out of three longer essay type questions.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive written feedback on their coursework as soon as possible after the deadline for submission

Module aims

  • Apply economic principles to understand the demand and supply of labour.
  • Apply an economic framework to show how firms and workers make decisions.
  • To provide an understanding of the consequences of forms of remuneration on individuals, firms and the economy.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Systematic understanding of standard economic principles and the ability to apply this knowledge to a range of issues in labour economics KC
002 Critical awareness of the importance of incentives and contracts in the design of remuneration packages K
003 Critical evaluation of empirical findings in labour economics in the light of theoretical arguments KC
004 The ability to make and to critically evaluate policy recommendations in the areas of labour economics taught in this course. For example, this might be in relation to compensation packages adopted by firms in a given set of circumstances. KPT
005 Application of knowledge clearly in writing 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:

  • In accord with the University’s learning and teaching strategy, this module will provide research-led teaching that introduces students to the latest findings in this subject area. The learning and teaching strategy aims to develop their powers of critical insight and intellectual synthesis as well as knowledge of the specific content taught in this module.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2 hour lectures and group discussion 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: ECOM028

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Economics MSc 1 Optional 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 2020/1 academic year.