Economics and Business Management. BA Programme Handbook

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1 Economics and Business Management BA Programme Handbook

2 Contents The Degree Programme: Aims, Objectives and Outcomes The Degree Programme Structure The Degree Programme Regulations Strategies Lectures and Classes Module Choice Assessment Page 2

3 Degree Programme Aims, Objectives and Outcomes Aims The overall teaching aims for this and other Economics degrees are to: Objectives Provide education in the principles of economics and their application, appropriate to the type of degree concerned; Enable students to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired to address theoretical and applied problems in economics; Equip students with a range of skills which will be of value in employment, and provide them with the knowledge and opportunity to acquire skills to pursue further study in economics; Provide an environment which encourages and supports the student learning process. In order to meet these aims, our purpose is to ensure that students on the Economics and Business Management programme will have a knowledge of the principles of organisational behaviour and of strategic management, and their application in a business context. Students on placement will gain an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities for graduates in business, and assess their own aptitudes and prospects for a business career. They will have had the opportunity to apply appropriate subject-specific skills and knowledge to a businessrelated issue. In addition, they will have acquired: A structured and cumulative foundation in modern economic concepts and analysis; Knowledge of analytical methods, both theory and model-based, appropriate to their specific degree programme; An ability to apply subject-specific concepts and methods of analysis to address economic issues, and in particular, the ability to conceptualise and handle issues in an abstract fashion; Competence in key skills of written and oral communication, ability to work independently and in teams, ability to work to deadlines, skills of problem solving and numeracy, and information technology skills. Intended Learning Outcomes and Skills It is expected that by the end of the programme students will have acquired or develop: Knowledge and Understanding Knowledge and a coherent understanding of the theoretical concepts and analytical tools of economics and business management An awareness of the economic issues that confront business management An awareness of the policy implications of economic analysis so that appropriate normative recommendations can be made based on welfare and ethical considerations An appreciation of the theory and practice of modern business management within a global and national setting Intellectual Skills Page 3

4 The ability to apply subject-specific concepts and methods of analysis to address economic and business management issues The ability to conceptualise and handle economic and business management issues in an abstract fashion The analytical skills needed to present and defend economic and business arguments relevant to the business sector Developed the ability to interpret and critically evaluate the results of empirical research in economics and in business management contexts Practical Skills Understand and employ economic and business management terminology to explain and convey technical information Demonstrate skills of problem solving and numeracy by applying the appropriate techniques and interpreting or critically evaluating the results in an economic and business management context Identify, locate and retrieve relevant economic and business management materials Apply knowledge to practical situations Key (transferable) skills Use appropriate verbal and written communication skills to convey information Work independently and/or in a team contributing appropriately and effectively towards the team-based activity Use a variety of information technology skills, including word-processing, use of spreadsheets and databases, statistical software, and online information services Work independently, manage their time effectively and be able to meet deadlines Programme Structure All undergraduate degree programmes in Economics have a modular structure linked to a pattern for the academic year. This is based on a two semester system consisting of one 15 week semester and one 16 week semester located within a three-term framework. Week 1 of Semester 1 is Induction Week, given over to registration and induction activities; weeks 2-13 are teaching and learning weeks; weeks 14 and 15 form the assessment period. In Semester 2 the first 12 weeks are teaching and learning weeks with the remaining weeks given over to assessment. Each academic year of the degree programme is referred to as a Stage, so that students complete Stages 1, 2 and 3 of their degree. In each Stage of their degree programme students are required to study modules to a total credit value of 120, in accordance with degree programme regulations; usually taking modules with a credit value of 60 in Semester 1 and 60 in Semester 2, although a or split across semesters is permitted. A 10 credit module is equivalent to 100 notional hours of study. Page 4

5 The BA Honours Economics and Business Management Degree Programme is of three or four years duration, taking four years if the student secures a sandwich year training placement after the first two stages. Stage 1 of the degree programme introduces students to the fundamental concepts, analytical, mathematical and statistical techniques which are essential to an understanding of modern economics and business management. Basic modules give students an awareness and understanding of the principles and practices of economics, business management and marketing. At this stage information technology skills are developed within various modules, which will be of use both during and beyond their degree studies. Basic study and communication skills are also developed at this Stage. Stage 2 of the degree programme builds on the knowledge and skills acquired at Stage 1 and provides an intermediate level of analysis to enable students to proceed to the more advanced undergraduate level in Stage 3. Compulsory intermediate modules in microeconomics, macroeconomics and strategy allow deeper insights into how economists analyse the workings of the modern economy and of the way in which businesses operate. Students have a choice of optional modules in business management allowing them to specialise in any areas that interest them. Intercalating year: Students on the BA Economics and Business Management (LN12) degree programme are encouraged to undertake a placement year between stages 2 and 3. The objectives of the placement are to provide insights into business management methods and decision making, to enhance basic skills and to provide an opportunity to make links between the academic content of the programme by reflection and advance preparation of a dissertation plan. The placement is usually with one of the large UK companies that operate full-year placement schemes, though one-off opportunities also arise with other organisations. The jobs are advertised to the students through the Careers Service, which plays an active role in identifying opportunities, and students then have to apply and undergo full selection procedures. The placements normally carry attractive salaries and other benefits. At this stage of the degree programme students also have the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus exchange scheme which involves a period of study and/or work placement in a European country. Permission to undertake a placement or Erasmus exchange is subject to the approval of the Degree Programme Director. All students take compulsory modules whilst undertaking a placement or taking part in the Erasmus exchange scheme that consist of a reflective account of their activities during the placement year. The final stage of the degree programme further develops the knowledge and skills acquired at previous stages. The compulsory elements are in industrial economics and microeconomic theory, plus a placement-related project for those who have completed an approved placement year. Through the choice of appropriate option modules students are able to apply them to the analysis Page 5

6 of those areas of economics and business management which are of greatest interest to them. The knowledge and skills acquired at this Stage provide a foundation for those wishing to pursue postgraduate study in economics and/or business management and related fields. Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Economics and Business Management Degree Regulations are revised annually and you can also find the current regulations on: UCAS Code: LN12 Stage 1 (a) All candidates shall take the following compulsory modules: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level Type ECO100 2 ECO100 7 ECO101 0 ECO101 8 MKT100 2 BUS100 1 Economic Analysis Statistical Methods for Economics Mathematics for Economics Economic Applications Introduction to Marketing Introduction to Management and Organisation Core Core Core Core Core NOTE: Students who achieve below 70 in the University English Language Assessment are required to take INU9094 Writing for Business School Undergraduates and / or INU9053 Listening and Speaking for Business School Undergraduates on a NOT FOR CREDIT basis (in addition to the 120 credits listed above). Page 6

7 Stage 2 (a) All candidates shall take the following compulsory modules: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level Type BUS2029 ECO2003 ECO2004 ECO2005 Organisations Strategy and Management Economic Modelling Microeconomic Analysis Macroeconomic Analysis Core Core Core Core (b) All candidates shall take 40 credits of optional modules from the following list Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level Type ECO200 9 BUS201 0 BUS201 1 BUS201 7 BUS201 9 MKT200 1 MKT200 9 Empirical Economic Analysis Managing People in Organisations Business Enterprise Introduction to Innovation and Technology Management Understanding Work and Organisations Global Marketing Strategic Marketing Year 3 (Intercalating year) On completion of Stage 2 and before entering Stage 3, candidates may as part of their studies for the degree spend a year in a placement with an approved organisation. Candidates also have the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus exchange scheme which involves a period of study and/ or work placement in a European country. Permission to undertake a placement or Erasmus exchange scheme is subject to the approval of the Degree Programme Director. Page 7

8 It is the responsibility of individual students to make sure they meet the visa requirements of the country in which they plan to undertake a study/ work placement. The University will withdraw UK student (Tier 4) visas for International students spending a year overseas. It will then be the sole responsibility of the student to re-apply, in a timely fashion, for a UK student (Tier 4) visa to return to Newcastle to complete their studies. All candidates shall take the following compulsory modules whilst undertaking a placement or taking part in the Erasmus exchange scheme: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level ECO3011 Intercalating Year Personal Learning Record ECO3015 Intercalating Year Reflective Learning Account Type Stage 3 (a) All candidates shall take the following compulsory modules: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level ECO3026 Industrial Economics and Policy ECO3001 Advanced Microeconomics Type (b) Students who undertook a placement in Year 3 are required to take the following module: Code Descriptive title Total Level Sem 1 Sem 2 ECO3098 Dissertation (Placement Related) (c) Students who did not undertake a placement in Year 3 are required to take the following module: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level BUS3035 Contemporary Issues in International Business Management Type Type (d) All candidates shall take 20 credits of optional modules selected from the following list: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level ECO3002 Advanced Macroeconomics ECO3004 Labour Economics ECO3005 Behavioural Economics and Experimental Methods Type Page 8

9 ECO3006 Economics of Banking ECO3008 Econometric Analysis ECO3009 Price Discrimination ECO3010 Monetary Economics ECO3014 Public Economics ECO3017 Time Series Econometrics ECO3018 Financial Economics ECO3021 Economics of Risk and Uncertainty ECO3022 Health Economics ECO3027 Economics of Development, Transition and Reform (e) All candidates shall take at least 20 credits of optional modules from the following list: Code Descriptive title Total Sem 1 Sem 2 Level BUS3004 Electronic Business BUS3021 International Human Resource Management Type AND AND BUS3024 Critical Perspectives on HRM in Britain BUS3027 Innovation and Creativity BUS3047 Management in Practice (with Business Game) BUS3054 Strategy, Organisations & Society MKT3006 Advertising and Integrated Brand Management MKT3012 Direct and Digital Marketing Teaching and Learning Strategies Students on the BA Honours Economics and Business Management Degree Programme are expected to take responsibility for their own learning. You will spend a portion of your time - usually between 12 and 16 hours per week - in formal teaching sessions, which may take the form of lectures, seminars or workshops designed to help guide, support and facilitate the learning process. For most of your time, however, you will be expected to engage in your own learning activities, developing your understanding of the subject area using the information provided in formal teaching sessions, as well as other learning resources. You will use the information provided in lectures and classes, together with the resources of the Robinson Library, the Computing Networks and other academic facilities. A major feature of University life is the wealth of opportunity for independent learning and research. Additional classes are available in some subjects for those needing extra help while wrestling with new or difficult concepts. Page 9

10 Lectures and Classes Modules with module codes ECO**** have a credit value of 20 or 10. Twenty credit modules normally run over two semesters with the exception of ECO2004 and ECO2005; ten credit modules are taught in one semester. A 10 credit module represents approximately 100 hours of student learning time. As a general rule, lecture-based Economics 10-credit modules comprise hours contact between students and staff, with the remaining hours for self-study. The rest of this section refers primarily to economics modules but the other Business School modules follow similar patterns. Modules can be all lectures, or a mixture of lectures and seminars / workshops, or in some cases mainly private study and research. Most lectures and classes on Campus begin on the hour and are of minutes duration. Most classes that take place at the Business School Building begin at 30 minutes past the hour and are of minutes duration. Lectures are delivered to all students registered for a module and are the principal means for imparting core knowledge of economic concepts and analysis. These are backed-up by recommended reading lists, handouts and other teaching material. Module Outlines are posted on the Business School website. Increasing use is also made of the web-based Blackboard system, where teaching staff can post information about their modules and often a good deal of their teaching material. Seminars and workshops are smaller classes designed to assist student learning and understanding by reinforcing lecture material, and applying subject-specific concepts and methods of analysis, both theory and model-based, to address economic issues. They are usually supported by worksheets, which are distributed in advance and form the basis for discussion. Student participation is encouraged by the seminar leader. Workshops are mainly problemsolving classes, and may involve working with computers. Student attendance at seminars and workshops is compulsory, and is monitored. The programmes encourage students to develop information technology skills. Assignments are word-processed, and the induction programme for Stage 1 students includes a session on information search and retrieval using electronic data sources. Seminars are based on relatively small groups of students in which topics are analysed and discussed. Some seminars are student-led, an individual or group of students giving an oral presentation which is then followed by discussion of relevant issues. Most seminars and workshops are arranged after teaching on the modules has commenced. Composition, location and times of seminar and workshop groups are displayed on relevant departmental notice-boards. While entrants are not required to have prior knowledge of economics, an aptitude for quantitative analysis is needed, and we seek at least a grade A in GCSE Mathematics. Additional classes are provided to support and reinforce student learning in these areas. Module Choice The degree programme comprises a mixture of compulsory and option modules. In addition, for assessment purposes some of these are defined as 'core' or Honours modules. Some modules have 'pre-requisites', in that they require other modules to have been studied previously. Optional modules taken elsewhere in the University normally require approval from the lecturers concerned, and this may not be automatic. Some modules have a limit on their Page 10

11 numbers, and places may be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis (this particularly applies in the case of modern foreign languages). In exceptional cases, students may be allowed to take optional modules other than those specified in Degree Regulations. Approval for such must be given by the Degree Programme Director. To assist with the process of making your module selection, at Stage 1 you will be provided with a Module sheet which will describe the modules available to you during the coming academic year. For Stage 2 and Stage 3 students, information on modules is available from the University s web page: Finally, your personal tutor is available to offer guidance in the process of module selection. Students should note that all modules are offered subject to the constraints of the timetable and to any restrictions on the number of students who may be taught on a particular module. Not all modules may be offered in all years and they are listed subject to availability. Module timetables can be viewed online at Assessment At Stages 2 and 3 of the B.A. Honours Economics and Business Management Degree Programme students take a combination of compulsory and optional modules. All of the modules taken at Stage 2 and Stage 3 have the status of Honours modules, and it is these modules that count towards your final degree classification. Economics and Business Management are progressive disciplines in which concepts and analytic techniques are continually built upon and refined. It is for this reason that in determining degree classification within the B.A. Honours Economics and Business Management programme performance at Stage 3 is weighted more heavily than at Stage 2. A variety of assessment methods is used in the degree programmes to meet the student learning objectives, in terms of subject-specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Unseen examination papers are used to assess breadth of knowledge and understanding. In-course assessed written assignments are used for formative and summative purposes to assess knowledge and understanding in greater depth. They also serve to assess the critical skills of retrieval, organisation and analysis of information, reasoning, deduction and critical thought, and written communication. Team-working and oral presentation skills are assessed within several of the modules. In-course projects are used to assess the ability to conduct and report on empirical work. Attainment in the in-course assessments is indicative of the student's acquisition of appropriate attitudes to learning and self-awareness of deficiencies. Information and guidance for the assessment of each module is given in the module outlines. Unseen written examinations are the primary means of summative assessment to determine whether the learning objectives have been achieved. Examination scripts are marked anonymously. All Stage 2 and Stage 3 assessment is moderated internally on a sample basis. Assessment is marked in accordance with the University s common scale for the return of marks and the agreed grade range and assessment criteria. All examination scripts and assessed work that contribute to Honours are available for review and moderation by External Examiners. Page 11

12 Examinations in respect of Economics modules are taken when the module ends, so that modules taught only in Semester 1 are examined in the assessment period at the end of Semester 1. Modules taken only in Semester 2 are examined in the assessment period at the end of Semester 2. Modules spanning the two semesters usually have an examination and/ or assessment during or near the assessment period and sometimes include other assessments or exams which take place at various points throughout the academic year. The timing of examinations in respect of modules taught elsewhere may differ from the above. Students are advised to make sure that they are aware of the individual arrangements of each subject. Assessment Objectives The grade range and criteria used in assessment in Economics and in Management Studies are similar. A description of those used by Economics staff is provided in the accompanying table. Page 12

13 Grade Range and Assessment Criteria CLASS MARK RANGE % FIRST SECOND UPPER SECOND LOWER THIRD FAIL UNSEEN EXAMS ASSESSED ESSAYS DISSERTATION EMPIRICAL ASSIGNMENTS An outstanding answer displaying excellent critical thought and insight. Error free. Perceptive focused use of good depth of material with attention to salient detail. Evidence of insight and depth of understanding. Perceptive treatment, of the issues plus a coherent presentation with evidence of broader understanding. A "correct" answer based largely on lecture material. Lacking in relevant detail but presented in an adequate framework. Small errors. Based almost entirely on lecture material but unstructured arid with increasing error component. Errors of concept and scope or poor in knowledge, structure and expression (as in a highly foreshortened answer with third qualities). Excellent level of understanding and depth of material. No errors. Perceptive focused use of a good depth of material with attention to salient detail. Evidence of insight and depth of understanding required. Thorough clear treatment shows understanding of arguments, contribution and context. Pedestrian treatment. A "Correct" answer, lacking evidence of broader understanding. Some small errors. Very basic approach to a narrow or misguided selection of material. Lacking in background or flawed in arguments. Little or misdirected effort. Shallow and poorly presented. Lacking, in conclusions or conclusions incorrect. Original contribution, demonstrating an excellent level of achievement and insight. Error free. Perceptive analysis using considered choice of research methods and techniques, supported by critical review of relevant literature, and presented in a well-structured framework. Thorough investigation of research topic using appropriate methods and techniques, supported by thorough review of relevant literature, and presented in a well-structured framework. Limited or superficial analysis with some use of appropriate methods and techniques. Brief review of relevant literature. Presented in an adequate framework. Limited or superficial analysis with errors in application or interpretation, but broadly appropriate choice of methods and techniques. Limited review of relevant literature. Presented in an adequate framework. Excellent understanding of relevant concepts, techniques and results. No errors. Coherent understanding of relevant concepts, techniques and results, applied appropriately to problem. Good overall understanding of relevant concepts, techniques and results, but with some minor errors in understanding or application. Broad understanding of relevant concepts, techniques and results, but with some errors in understanding or application. Basic understanding of relevant concepts, techniques and, results, but with significant errors in understanding or application in some areas. Limited or misdirected analysis showing Poor understanding or relevant little appreciation of context or concepts, techniques and results, with understanding of appropriate methods significant errors in understanding or and techniques. Poorly structured. application in most areas. Conclusions unsupported by previous analysis. 13 P a g e

14 29 0 Significant inability to engage with the question or an answer to an imaginary question. Little or no adherence to essay title. Significant inability to engage with research topic or very poorly defined topic. No reference to relevant literature. Very poorly structured. Very poor understanding of relevant concepts, techniques and results. Significant inability to engage with question, or answer to an imaginary question. The objectives of unseen examination papers are to: Assess core knowledge and understanding of prescribed topics Assess the ability to present, display and use knowledge and understanding in a structured and coherent manner. Answers are assessed for: content information relevant to the question posed; comprehension and demonstration of understanding and critical thinking in relation to the topic and issues discussed; presentation - display of knowledge and understanding in a structured and logical fashion, with coherent linking of arguments. The objectives of assessed essays are to: Develop and assess ability to retrieve information relevant to a particular problem or topic Develop and assess ability to present an in-depth argument and to integrate and apply knowledge from diverse sources Develop and assess ability to communicate in written form, an ordered, structured, relevant and clear account of a prescribed topic Develop cogency, clarity and critical thinking Act as a focus for self-directed learning Each essay is assessed for: content information relevant to the prescribed topic or problem; comprehension - the demonstration of understanding and critical thinking in relation to the topic and issues discussed; and style and presentation - the structure, clarity and literacy of the essay. It is essential that students adhere to any word limits set, that assignments are legible if not word-processed, and that they are submitted in accordance with course work requirements. Page 14

15 The objectives of quantitative and empirical assignments are to: Develop and assess ability to apply quantitative techniques and empirical methods in economics Develop and assess ability to interpret and critically evaluate the results of empirical work in economics Act as a focus for self-directed learning Assignments will be assessed for: content information relevant to the question posed; comprehension - demonstration of understanding and appreciation of relevance of concepts, techniques and results; presentation - the structure and clarity of written answers. It is essential that assignments are legible if not word-processed and that they are submitted in accordance with coursework requirements. The objectives of the Dissertation are to: Develop and assess ability to apply the tools of economic analysis to a topic of original research Develop and assess ability to communicate in written form, an ordered, structured, relevant and clear account of a research project Develop cogency, clarity and critical thinking Act as a focus for the development of skills of planning and organisation, initiative, and adaptability. Integrate or synthesise lessons from theory and practical experience The Placement Dissertation will be assessed for: content - coverage of the relevant literature and appreciation of the context of the research, appropriateness of the research methods and (where relevant) data used; comprehension - the demonstration of understanding and critical thinking in relation to the research topic; presentation - the structure and clarity of the written report. The Dissertation report should normally be in the region of 6,000 words, with a maximum of 8,000 words. It is essential that the report is submitted in accordance with assessment requirements and within the set deadline. 15 P a g e

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