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Module ASB-2320:
Current Issues in Economics

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Noemi Mantovan

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to develop students’ abilities to apply core economic principles to the analysis of contemporary events and policy developments.

Course content

This module will consider five specific topics of current interest. It is likely that these topics will be related to some of the following broad subject areas:

  1. Macroeconomics
  2. Monetary economics
  3. Public economics
  4. International and regional economics
  5. Development economics and growth
  6. Financial economics
  7. Labour markets
  8. Industrial and business economics

Assessment Criteria


D- to D+ (40-49%): No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information/skills. Some grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives.

C- to C+

C- to C+ (50-59%): Much of the relevant information and skills mostly accurately deployed. Adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Fair integration of theory/practice/information in the pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Some evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.


A- to A+ (70%+): Outstanding performance. The relevant information accurately deployed. Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practice elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.


B- to B+ (60-69%): Very good performance Most of the relevant information accurately deployed. Good grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. Apply core economic principles in the evaluation of the effects of policy and other exogenous events.

  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of current economic events; including developments in economic variables, policy and institutional structures.

  3. Demonstrate a knowledge of core economic principles.

  4. Communicate economic ideas, concepts and information using appropriate means.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Presentation 10
Contribution to group work 15
Blog #1 15
Blog #2 15
Blog #3 15
Blog #4 15
Blog #5 15

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

To include:

  • reading textbooks and related literature
  • preparing for workshops
  • researching for and writing essays
Study group

Group meeting to prepare for workshop presentations


Introductory lecture / administration: 2 hours in week 1 of semester 1.

The remainder of the module will be split into five blocks, each focussing on a different topic. Each block will follow a four week, overlapping cycle as follows:

  • Week 1: 3 hours of lectures (1x3 hour lecture)
  • Week 2: 2 hour study group meeting
  • Week 3: 3 hour workshop – presentations and discussion
  • Week 4: Submit individual essay

Interactive workshops


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Abstraction. From the study of economic principles and models, students see how one can abstract the essential features of complex systems and provide a useable framework for evaluation and assessment of the effects of policy or other exogenous events. Through this, the typical student will acquire proficiency in how to simplify while still retaining relevance. This is an approach that they can then apply in other contexts, thereby becoming more effective problem-solvers and decision-makers.
  • Analysis, deduction and induction. Economic reasoning is highly deductive, and logical analysis is applied to assumption-based models. However, inductive reasoning is also important. The development of such analytical skills enhances students' problem-solving and decision-making ability.
  • Quantification and design. Data, and their effective organisation, presentation and analysis, are important in economics. The typical student will have some familiarity with the principal sources of economic information and data relevant to industry, commerce, society and government, and have had practice in organising it and presenting it informatively. This skill is important at all stages in the decision-making process.
  • Framing. Through the study of economics, a student should learn how to decide what should be taken as given or fixed for the purposes of setting up and solving a problem, i.e. what the important 'parameters' are in constraining the solution to the problem. Learning to think about how and why these parameters might change encourages a student to place the economic problem in its broader social and political context. This 'framing' skill is important in determining the decision-maker's ability to implement the solutions to problems.


Reading list

There are no core texts for ASB-2320. The module will consider six specific topics of current interest, according to what is happening in the news at the time. Lecturers will make reference to newspapers (mainly the Economist and FT) and various academic literature. This will be a mixture of textbooks that are being used on different modules (in particular Micro and Macro) and relevant research papers.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: