Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Business School (Economics and Finance)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Microeconomics (ECON2021).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module aims to build upon material introduced at Levels 1 and 2 in order to develop an understanding of some of the principal issues in modern labour economics, while providing opportunities to practise and develop a range of key skills.


  • The demand for labour
  • The supply of labour
  • Models of trade union determination
  • Union effects
  • Minimum wages
  • Worker participation
  • Job search and unemployment
  • Human capital and information
  • Compensating differentials
  • Discrimination in the labour market
  • Incentives, labour effort and pay
  • Labour market equilibrium
  • Topics in Labour Economics

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of modern labour economics, drawing on relevant theory and empirical evidence.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students should be able to apply the tools of economic analysis to selected issues in labour market policy.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication - through formative and summative assessment
  • Initiative - by selecting and researching relevant literature and information in preparation for tutorial classes, formative assessment and the written examination.
  • Problem solving and analysis - by exercising critical thinking in applying relevant theory and empirical evidence to the analysis of problems and issues encountered in seminar worksheets and summative assessment.
  • Numeracy - by applying core mathematical and quantitative skills to complete a range of seminar exercises.
  • Computer Literacy and Information Retrieval - by word processing, accessing and downloading material form DUO, using e-mail to communicate with class leader and other students, undertaking bibliographic search and information retrieval for their student-centred learning topic.

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

  • Teaching is by lectures, seminars and support for student-centred learning. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminar classes and private study (including student-centred learning). Formative assessment is by means of a piece of written work. Summative assessment is by means of a written examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Seminars 8 1 every 2 weeks 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 171
Total 200

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

One piece of written work of not more than 1500 words.

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