Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Business School (Economics and Finance)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Principles of Economics (ECON1011) OR successful completion of Phase 1 of the Economics programme at Shandong University, China.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop students' awareness and understanding of the contribution which economic analysis can make to discussions of issues in social policy, with particular reference to quasi-markets, education, health and crime.
  • To examine the issue of equity in relation to the provision of social policy and different philosophical approaches to it.
  • The module also provides an opportunity for students to practice their written and presentational skills.


  • Lecture topics: Introduction, Market Intervention, Resource Allocation, The Valuation of Non-Marketed Goods and Services, Equity, Externalities, and Cost-Benefit Analysis and particular topics on the Economics of Social Policy.
  • Accompanying seminars will enable students to apply the theoretical analysis presented in lectures to the areas of quasi-markets, education, health and crime.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Market failure and the limitations of government intervention to combat it in the design and provision of social policy.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The application of microeconomic theory to economic policy issues
Key Skills:
  • Written communication - summative assessment is a written examination
  • Planning and Organisation and time management - students plan their work to meet set deadlines
  • Adaptability - students perform under the pressure of written examinations
  • Oral communication - presenting of papers and participating in seminars.

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

  • Teaching is by lectures and tutorials. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in tutorial classes and private study.
  • Formative assessment is by means of two written assignments.
  • Summative assessment is by means of an unseen written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 18 1 per week 1 hour 18
Seminars 5 1 in term one, 4 in term two 2 hour 10
Revision Session 2 1.5 hours 3
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 2 hours 30 minutes 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Two individual written assignments

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