Module code: ECO3042

Module Overview

The module broadly covers two parts. In the first part we concentrate on the theoretical foundations of international trade, i.e. address the questions “why do we trade” and “is trade good for us”. In the second part we focus on the policy instruments that are available to the designers of trade policy; our analysis involves issues related to the potential costs and/or benefits to a range of stakeholders of trade barriers, e.g. tariffs and quotas. We also investigate the issues of international trade agreements.

Module provider


Module Leader

ZANARDI Maurizio (Economics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Lecture Hours: 20

Seminar Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 33

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Trade and technology in the Ricardian model,

  • gains and losses from trade in the Specific-Factors model,

  • trade and resources in the Heckscher-Ohlin model,

  • economies of scale, monopolistic competition and trade, oligopoly and trade,

  • movement of labour and capital,

  • firms in the global economy,

  • international trade policies,

  • international trade agreements and the WTO,

  • global production chains and regional trade blocs,

  • brexit and challenges to the international trade system.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Online Weekly Quiz 1 within a 4hr window 5
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Online Weekly Quiz 2 within a 4hr window 5
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Online Weekly Quiz 3 within a 4hr window 5
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Online Weekly Quiz 4 within a 4hr window 5
School-timetabled exam/test MIDTERM TEST (1 HR) 20
Examination EXAMINATION (120 MIN) 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

Their understanding of basic principles and models in trade theory and and how these principles and models allow to explain the allocation of resources across industries, trade patterns across counties, the behaviour of different agents with respect to trade liberalisation, the functioning of trade policy and recent changes in the international trade system.   

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Students are assessed by weekly quizzes, a class test, essay and final examination.

  • The weekly short quizzes require student to answer a series of short comprehension questions on weekly topics. The these quizzes are worth a total of 20% of the final mark.

  • The midterm test is worth 20% of the final mark.

  • The essay is worth 20% of the final mark.

  • The final examination is worth 40% of the final mark.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive verbal feedback during lectures and seminars in which multiple questions and real-world examples of the trade policy and models are discussed. In addition to this, they receive a number of problem sets designed to further their knowledge and prepare them for the summative assessment which are discussed in seminars. Students receive guideline solutions against which they can compare their own results. Before the class test and exam, some sample questions are made available for students to familiarize themselves with the style of the assessment. General feedback will be provided after the weekly quizzes, class test and essay.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the fundamental reasons for why countries trade and why this can be beneficial to a country’s welfare
  • Help students understand and apply fundamental economic theories of international trade
  • Introduce students to the functions of international trade institutions

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain, discuss, and apply fundamental theories of international trade KCT
002 Discuss and evaluate the effects and consequences of different trade policies; on consumers, producers, and welfare KCPT
003 Evaluate the effects of different types of trade agreements KCPT
004 Understand how challenges to the international trade system change trade patterns KCPT
005 Discuss the role of International Organisations in the evolution of trade policy KCPT

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 students’ ability to analyse independently the fundamental economic theories of international trade.

  • Enhance students’ skills in evaluating trade policies and effectively communicate these evaluations in verbal and written form.

  • Appreciate the various trade-offs that surround the decision-making processes in international trade.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2 hours of lecture x 11 weeks

  • 1 hour seminar sessions x 10 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: ECO3042

Other information

The School of Economics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities particularly in the following areas:

Resourcefulness and resilience:

Students in this module will develop their understanding and skills through assessment and feedback in tutorials. Tutorial feedback sessions are designed to provide students with the opportunity to ask question and deepen their understanding of the topics.

Global capabilities:
Real life examples will be utilized in this module which will build students global capabilities by providing different perspectives on trade; it will allow them to better understand the economic and political trade-offs when making decisions about trade within a geo-political context. 


Teaching material and key readings will cover topics in trade sustainability. In addition, this module teaches adaptation to changing contexts in terms of technology, institutions, and markets.


This module will provide students with relevant soft skills to prepare them to successfully compete in the labor market and continuing education.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Economics and Finance BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Financial Mathematics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics and Mathematics BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 1 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 2024/5 academic year.