Nottingham Trent University Course Specification

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1 Nottingham Trent University Course Specification Basic Course Information 1. Awarding Institution: Nottingham Trent University 2. School/Campus: Nottingham Business School /City Campus 3. Final Award, Course Title and Modes of Study: BA (Hons) Economics, Finance and Banking (Full Time and Sandwich) 4. Normal Duration: FT= 3 years, SW= 4 years 5. UCAS Code: LNIH (FT) and LN13 (SW) 6. Overview and general educational aims of the course Recent events have helped to emphasise the importance and impact of the international financial and banking system on economies. Modern economies have become increasingly interconnected through trade, finance and banking. This interconnection can contribute to the inherent volatility of economies. Financial institutions and markets have important influences on the behaviour, decisions and well-being of individuals, businesses, organisations and governments. In doing this course you will be better able to discuss such questions as: What role do banks and financial institutions play in modern economies? What could lead financial institutions to require government help? Are some banks too big to fail? How much should financial institutions be regulated? How do central banks affect interest rates? What is money? Why do some firms struggle to get credit? What is the future of banking? In choosing this degree you can choose to study 3 years full time or a 4 year sandwich degree which includes a year out of university working in an organisation. The first year of this degree is a common first year shared with two other degrees: Economics and Business Economics. Students may transfer between these degrees, should they wish, after successfully completing their first year. The distinctive nature of these courses is developed during the second and final year of the courses. It is not at all necessary for success on this degree to have studied Economics or Business Studies before (see Admission to the Course, section 11 below). In studying on this course you will also develop a range of skills which will prove valuable later in whatever career you choose to follow. Therefore, in undertaking the 1

2 course you will be developing distinctive ways of thinking adopted by economists. In particular, economists are problem-solvers who are expected to weigh-up the costs and benefits of a proposal. For instance, what criteria should banks adopt when lending money or how can a firm determine the profitability of building a new factory? Successfully completing the course not only makes you employable in a range of graduate careers worldwide, but will also prepare you for successful postgraduate or professional study (please see section 13 below). As you progress through the degree there are opportunities for some specialisation, including an international or applied economics theme. Distinctive features of the course include: Opportunity to take an internship or study abroad as an integral part of the second year of the course; Common first year with Economics and Business Economics facilitating transfer in the second year; A rounded view of economics demonstrating its practical as well as theoretical importance; Opportunities to develop specialisms within economics through module options 7. Course outcomes Course outcomes describe what you should know and be able to do by the end of your course if you take advantage of the opportunities for learning that we provide. Knowledge and understanding By the end of the course you should be able to: A1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of work, theory and practice within the field or discipline and its application to organisations globally. A2. Assimilate and critically evaluate key themes and concepts within the literature relevant to the field/discipline. A3. Evidence a wide knowledge of economic concepts, theories and techniques of relevance to the study of the behaviour of financial institutions and financial markets and to their significance in a national and international economics context. A4. Critically apply fundamental economic concepts and techniques to analyse financial institutions and financial markets in an economics context so as to draw reasoned conclusions. A5. Demonstrate an awareness of wider social and management issues such as social 2

3 responsibility, cultural diversity, ethics and sustainability issues in a global context. Skills, qualities and attributes By the end of the course you should be able to: B1. Display commercial awareness, adaptability and understanding of contemporary practice. B2. Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements and decisions and frame appropriate questions to achieve solutions to business problems. B3. Demonstrate a range of professional and transferrable skills including: interpersonal skills; effective communication skills; capacity for leadership, collaborative working and team-building; ability for self-managed learning and continuing professional development. B4. Demonstrate cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis B5. Exhibit information literacy, including searching, retrieving and critically evaluating information from a range of appropriate sources. B6. Apply economic reasoning to issues relating to financial institutions and financial markets. 8. Teaching and Learning Methods The teaching and learning strategy of the course rests on a number of beliefs and priorities: the need to provide effective learning opportunities throughout the course; the need to stimulate learners and processes of learning through the highest quality of inputs; the need to link theory and research with practice and to demonstrate the value of such linkages; the value of variety, innovation and creativity in teaching and learning; the belief that as autonomous human beings, adult learners should be encouraged to take more responsibility for their own learning and to use their existing skills and experiences as the basis for new learning. In the majority of modules, the teaching approach is centred on lectures and workshops, supported by smaller group seminars and tutorials. Seminars and workshops tend to be more student-centred than lectures and in some cases are student-led. Tutorials offer an opportunity for individual students or learning-sets to 3

4 discuss their work and development with their tutors. Your learning is also progressed through directed activities, research and reading. These modes of tuition are intended to develop your subject knowledge and understanding. The course emphasises independent learning as a key outcome and is structured to facilitate reflective and autonomous learning. You are encouraged to undertake a range of independent tasks in order to supplement scheduled classes and directed activities. To support this, the course includes a spine of personal and professional development (PDP) modules. This begins in year 1 with Economics in Graduate Occupations and culminates with Leadership and Employability in the final year. This ties in closely with the government s stated aims concerning personal development and life-long learning. You will be required to complete an extended piece of research study over the final year at Level 3. This project will be on a topic in economics chosen in discussion with tutors and associated with key course themes. The skills and attributes necessary for success here and in other research work will be discussed and practised at earlier points in the course. This requires creative thinking and familiarity with a range of data, research sources and methodologies. Teamwork is a fundamental part of being a manager or working in any kind of organisation and is therefore a central part of the learning experience. Some modules contain team-based projects and presentations, some of which are directly assessed (see section 9). The delivery of the course is enhanced by the use of external staff and visiting faculty members where possible. This ensures that your learning is further developed through exposure to new ideas and perspectives and provides a complement to the international knowledge and input of resident faculty. Increasing use is being made of reliable electronic aids to teaching and learning but the availability of face-to-face contact will remain an integral and essential feature of the course. As the course encompasses the possibility of a half year of study in a host institution, you will be exposed to a number of different teaching and learning methods. 9. Assessment Methods Assessment strategy and practice operates in accordance with the University s Common Assessment Regulations. The course uses a variety of assessment styles and techniques to ensure that you can 4

5 fulfil the range of learning outcomes specified. Your subject knowledge is assessed through an appropriately balanced combination of examinations, presentations (individual and group), coursework essays, reports and projects. These assessments also address a variety of transferable skills, including written and/or verbal communication, teamwork, numeracy and competence in using relevant IT. The overall balance of assessment types will depend in part on your choice of options, but each of the main types will feature prominently. As well as formal assessments, the course incorporates activities (termed formative or diagnostic) which help you to consider and develop your performance. These activities are often completed in class, with informal verbal feedback available to all students. There is also a strong formative value in written and verbal feedback offered to students on their formally assessed work which has been completed in earlier stages of the course. Some of your assessment methods will be determined by your choice of academic work in your host institution (year 2, semester 2). To obtain an honours degree, you must obtain 360 credit points in total over the three levels. Your final degree classification will be based on a percentage mark, comprising 25% of your performance (measured by the aggregate of module marks) at Level 2 plus 75% of your assessment performance at Level 3. The weighting of each module is therefore indicated by its level and its number of credit points. 10. Course structure and curriculum The full time course is studied over three years. The sandwich version is studied over four years with a placement in an organisation occurring in the third year. In the following course structure, C denotes modules that are compulsory and O denotes modules that are options. All courses, except those in year 2, are studied over the full academic year. Total study hours vary according to credit point weighting. At Level 1 you will follow the same course of study as those students on BA (Hons) Business Economics and BA (Hons) Economics. Nottingham Business School has developed a level two (year 2) framework for all our full time undergraduate courses that will allow students to follow one of five opportunities in the second half of their second year. Opportunity One would be to continue with three modules at the university. Opportunity Two would be to study your second half year at an International Partner University. You will need to have attained a specified level of competency in a (foreign) target language in order to complete a study block in the native language of 5

6 a host institution where that language is other than English. However, most of our partners offer study programmes taught and delivered in English. Study options exist in a range of countries including: China, S Korea, Thailand, Australia, the United States, Mexico, Japan, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Poland (list for illustrative purposes only). Some study places may be secured under the Socrates- Erasmus programme providing grant support for students and exemption from UK tuition fees. Opportunity Three would be to complete an internship within an Organisation. This must be international in orientation either through working overseas, or in an international role within the UK. The duration of the internship should be a minimum of weeks. Opportunity Four would be to undertake an entrepreneurship project in conjunction with the NTU HIVE. Opportunity Five would be to undertake an international community project in conjunction with SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) The learning and development on each of these opportunities would be assessed in a way that enabled you to achieve the 60cpts necessary to complete your study whilst benefiting from these additional and exciting opportunities. During your first year of study you will be guided through the opportunities available to you in the second year of your chosen degree course. Level 1: Microeconomics I (20cp) - C Macroeconomics I (20cp) - C Quantitative Methods for Economists (20cp) - C Economics in Graduate Occupations (20cp) - C Economics in Content (20cp) - C Introductory Finance for Economists (20cp) - C Level 2 - (First Half year): Microeconomics 2: Choice Analysis (20cp) - C Macroeconomics 2: Issues and Theory (20cp) C Financial Decision Making with Econometrics (20cp) - C Level 2 (Second half year) Economics of International Banking (20cp) - C 6

7 Global Financial Markets (20cp) - C Plus one from China and the Global Economics (20cp) - O Accounting in its Organisational Context (20cp) - O Or full-time students will do one of Internship Opportunity (Full time only) (60cp) O Community Project Opportunity (Full time only) (60cp) O Entrepreneurship Project Opportunity (Full time only) (60cp) O Commensurate modules at international partner university (Full time only) (60cp) O Level 3: Research Project in Financial Economics (20cp) C Leadership and Employability (20cp) C Money and Risk (20cp) - C Financial Risk Management with Derivatives (20cp) C International Finance and Banking (20cp) - C Plus one from Jean Monnet, Europe and the World Economy (20cp) O Investment and Portfolio Management (Trading Room) (20cp) O Econometric Methods (20cp) O 11. Admission to the course Entry requirements For current information regarding all entry requirements for this course, please see the `Applying tab on the course information web page. 12. Support for Learning The Course Leader, together with the course team, coordinates the academic support and other facilities available to all students enrolled on the course. Each student has a named personal tutor. In addition, year tutors work closely with the Course Leader in monitoring student progression at each level and in ensuring pastoral care. The team works closely together and meets frequently throughout the course of the year in the form of a Course Committee which includes elected student representatives (see section 14). One of the key contributions to student support and guidance is the approach taken to induction and orientation at the start of the academic year. Your induction week will encompass a range of briefings, workshops and activities designed to provide essential 7

8 information about the course and the support we provide for your learning. In later years of the course, we run reorientation sessions for returning students. The library and other learning resources are continually updated to ensure that they are fit for purpose. The University central Student Support Services also offer a range of general, specialist and professional support services for students, including personal counselling and disability support. Additional support is available to international entrants through dedicated University offices and at course level through an international student buddy committee, run and led by senior economics students. Almost all your tutors are engaged in academic research and/or consultancy, commercial projects, external examining and review. A number serve short spells as visiting scholars at other universities and institutions both in the UK and overseas. Staff use this experience and know-how to provide student support as appropriate. Host institutions are monitored with respect to support provided for learning and other purposes. 13. Graduate destinations / employability In recent years, Nottingham Trent has consistently been placed as one of the top Universities for graduate employment. The Nottingham Business School contributes strongly to this enviable record. There is strong evidence at national level that graduates in economics, including financial economics, are strongly in demand by a range of employers in the years following graduation. The BA Economics, Finance and Banking course will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed not only in careers in the financial services sector, such as insurance and investment banking, but also in a wide range of other employment areas too. These other opportunities include teaching, accountancy, retail management and employment with the Government Economic Service. Employability of graduates and an employer perspective has heavily influenced the design of the course. But, at the same, the course has been shown to provide an excellent foundation for postgraduate study and success in professional examinations. Support services involving the course team also help to prepare students for the world of work. Events specifically for students on courses in Economics are organised by the University Careers Service in partnership with the course team. These include a 8

9 regular course of talks by successful ex-students (alumni) and events organised by the Economic Society run by the students themselves. The University Careers Service is available both to current students and to alumni. 14. Course standards and quality Course standards and quality are maintained in a number of ways. You will be offered constructive feedback in various forms, based on the criteria employed, in each element of assessed work. You will be offered the opportunity to provide written comments on the modules you study and to report on your learning experience abroad. You will be able to offer your comments and suggestions about the teaching and learning experience to the course team at regular course committees via elected representatives. The course team ensures the continuing relevance of course content by consulting respected professional practitioners beyond Nottingham Trent and a number of national and international employers. External Examiners report annually on the quality of student work and the standards upheld across the course. All tutors have the opportunity for their teaching to be observed by their peers with a summary of good practice observed across the group then being produced and circulated. Current national subject benchmarks for Economics (identifying characteristic features of a course in the subject), together with graduate attributes sought by the University, also shape course design and content (see Section 7 above). The University was the subject of a successful institutional audit by The Quality Assurance Agency in November Assessment regulations This course is subject to the University s Common Assessment Regulations (located in its Academic Standards and Quality Handbook). Any course specific assessment features are described below: As this course may incorporate study abroad module during level 2, students must successfully complete modules at a partner institution for this part of the course. Therefore, students will complete assessment according to assessment regulations of the host institution and in accordance with the host s own customs and practice. Students who do not complete the full course may receive a Certificate of Higher Education (120cp at level 1), Diploma of Higher Education (240cp at levels 1 & 2) or 9

10 an Ordinary Degree (240cp at levels 1 & 2 plus at least 60cp at level 3). For the award of Ordinary degree, you must also demonstrate that you have met specified learning outcomes. 16. Additional Information Collaborative partner(s): Course referenced to national QAA Economics Benchmark Statements: Course recognised by: Date implemented: September

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