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2015/16 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS2300 Explanation in Economics

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Andrew Mearman

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2015/16


LUBS1950Economic Theory & Apps 1

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module examines the underlying rationale for competing contemporary methods of economic explanation. This raises, amongst other things, pertinent questions about the nature of economics and its relation to other disciplines.


On completion of this module students will be able to:
- recognise competing perspectives on explanation in economics
- relate debates in economic methodology to the concerns of practicing economists
- and draw upon economic methodology as an input into their work on economics.


This module covers a number of broad questions that are continually thrown up in economic explanation:
- How should we decide between competing economic theories?
- How should economic theories be tested?
- How are we to develop new theories?
- How important is it that economic theories are realistic?
- When is a theory too abstract or too complex?
- What is the role of mathematics in economic theory?
- How important is it that economic theory predicts future outcomes?

The module undertakes a systematic enquiry into such important questions, from the perspective of the practicing economist. This enquiry can be termed 'economic methodology', and the module draws on the burgeoning literature on this topic in order to answer the questions posed.

The economic methodology literature covered is:
(i) the 'old' economic methodology, applying traditional philosophy of science to economics; and
(ii) key aspects of the 'new' economic methodology, namely the 'rhetoric' and 'realism' approaches.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Verbal feedback will be given on group presentations made each tutorial. The presentations are written up (approximately 1,000 words) and submitted for written feedback.

Feedback is also provided on practice essays.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment3,000 essay. NOTE: Resit by 2 hour written paper100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/11/2015


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