Module code: ECO3049

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the ways in which economic analysis can help us to understand and evaluate the law.  It combines topics on civil and criminal law.  It does not assume any prior knowledge of law but does make use of economic theory (especially microeconomics), diagrams, maths (calculus and algebra encountered in FHEQ Level 5) and interpreting empirical results.

Module provider


Module Leader

RICKMAN Neil (Economics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 11

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Captured Content: 33

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • civil law, criminal law and their objectives

  • the legal profession

  • liability rules (Strict, Negligence, Contributory, No-fault)

  • civil litigation (Outcomes, funding, compensation culture)

  • contracts and efficient remedies

  • crime rates

  • access to justice

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test ASSESSMENT 1: MCQ TEST 10
Examination Online FINAL EXAMINATION 70

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable.

Assessment Strategy

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

Their understanding of how to apply Microeconomic principles and techniques to an area that is typically new to most of them. Students who complete the module successfully will have demonstrated an ability to answer analytical questions on legal policy and on the operations and objectives of the law, using a mixture of maths, diagrams and prose.  They will have had the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of all the topics in the module.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework project and an exam

  • The coursework consists of an in-class test with 15 multiple choice questions (held in Week 5, covering  Weeks 1-3, 30 minutes), and a 1,750 word essay (two choices offered), distributed in Week 7.  The coursework is worth 10% (MCQ) + 20% (Essay) = 30% of the final mark for the module.

  • Final exam of two hours (70%), which consists of a short answer section (3 from 5 questions) and an essay section (1 from 3).  The questions require a mixture of maths, diagrams and written responses.

  • The multiple choice test allows students to demonstrate the breadth of their understanding of the early topics, and its timing also allows them to receive relatively early feedback on how they have started the module; the essay allows the students to display research and written skills and to achieve a more in-depth view of an area of the module.  It is also designed to help students practice for the essay component of the final exam.

  • The short questions on the exam and designed to tests the breadth of students’ knowledge and the longer questions are designed to test depth of knowledge and essay writing skills. The questions on both sections are drawn from (but do not cover) the whole module, and this explains the degree of choice offered on these.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive verbal feedback on question asked during lectures and five question sheets (with solutions) are distributed during the module.  Before the coursework test, some sample questions (with answers) are made available for students to familiarise themselves with the setup of the coursework test. After the coursework test, written feedback is provided, consisting of a complete set of answers; questions that caused particular problems are covered in class.  Some notes on essay writing are provided when the coursework essay is distributed and feedback consists of written comment (on the essay) and the opportunity for each student to have a 10 minute interview to explain the comments in more detail.  This feedback also indicates which parts of the student’s answer might have worked well (or badly) in an exam – e.g. if they have used tables which it would be hard to reproduce from memory.  At the start of the module, the previous year’s tests and exam are made available (on SurreyLearn) and a final revision session helps with preparation for the exam.

Module aims

  • introduce students to major areas of the criminal and civil law
  • introduce students to ways on which law, and policy towards the law, can be analysed by economists.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Evaluate the operation of key aspects of the UK legal system KC
2 Understand the efficiency and distributional goals and impacts of the legal system C
3 Describe and evaluate liability laws, civil litigation, ways of funding litigation, access to justice, determinants of crime rates and deterrence policies, the UK legal profession KC

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 information gathering, evaluation and written presentation

  • appreciate the complexities of decision making for makers of policy toward the law

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2-hour lecture 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: ECO3049

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics and Finance BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics and Mathematics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2021/2 academic year.