Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • Elements of Economics (ECON1011).

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To familiarise students with the use of mathematical and numerical tools in solving economic problems, and to provide a quantitative basis for progression to final honours. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop key skills.


  • Mathematical Section: Sets,nonlinear functions,elasticity,calculus, partial differentiation and constrained optimisation in an economic context
  • Statistical Section: Exploratory data analysis, discrete and continuous distributions,sampling distributions, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals and statistical visualisation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • an understanding of basic data analysis
  • an appreciation of the characteristics of economic data
  • a facility with the mathematical techniques of elementary algebra and optimisation
  • experience in using these techniques in economic model building and analysis
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to set up basic economic problems as systems of mathematical equations and solve constrained optimisation resource allocation problems
  • To understand statistical distributions and basic hypethesis testing
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication -by completing the summatively-assessed project
  • Numeracy - e.g. by applying core mathematical and statistical skills to answer a range of examination questions
  • Problem Solving and Analysis - by applying the necessary mathematical and quantitative skills to a wide range of economic problems
  • Planning, Organisation and Time Management - by collecting and organising data for the statistical project, and ensuring submission by the strict assignment deadline.
  • Initiative - e.g. by searching relevant literature and information in preparation for the project.
  • Computer Literacy and Information Retrieval -e.g. by the compulsory use of word processing and spreadsheets in the production of the summative project

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is by lectures, tutorials and support for student-centred learning. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in tutorial classes and private study (including student-centred learning). In addition there are three IT workshops. Formative assessment is by means of 1 test and 1 set of exercises. Summative assessment is by means of an unseen written examination of 1.5 hours to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter, plus a 1500 word project to test their ability to apply what they have learned.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 38 2 per week 1 hour 38
Practicals/Workshops 10 1 every 2 weeks 1 hour 10
IT Workshops 3 1 per term 1 hour 3
Preparation and Reading 149

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1.5 hour written examination 100%
Component: Project Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
assessed project maximum limit of 1500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

1 test, 1 set of exercises.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University