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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS3340 Economics of Famines

20 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Quentin Outram

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19


LUBS2140Intermediate Microeconomics

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Famines are acute episodes in which a large number of people simultaneously fail in their efforts to make a living. As such they are susceptible to economic analysis. This module is concerned to teach you how to analyse, using the tools of economics, why famines occur, how they may be prevented and the best ways to relieve them.This module supports LUBS’ distinctive approach to teaching economics as a tool for understanding and changing the world.


The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to apply economic analysis to the explanation of why famines occur, how they may be prevented and how they may be relieved. The main emphases of the module are on applying economic theory to concrete events and processes, on the critical analysis of theory and evidence, and on the formulation and evaluation of policy.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to outline and evaluate:
- Alternative theories of famine causation
- The range of famine prevention and relief policies

Skills outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Make contributions in a team environment
- Apply time management skills
- Find and evaluate relevant literature and data

Subject specific
- Apply economic theory to the analysis of famine causation, prevention and mitigation policies


Indicative content
Theories of and perspectives on famine and their application to particular cases; relevant features of under-nutrition and 'famine diseases'; market behaviour during famines; and policies for famine prevention and relief.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Library Session11.001.00
Student-led discussion31.003.00
Class tests, exams and assessment11.001.00
Private study hours171.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

For each 20 credits of study taken, the expectation is that the normal study time (including attendance at lectures and tutorials, self-study and revision) is 200 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

An MCQ test at the end of Semester 1; feedback on return of first ACW in Semester 2; Oral group feedback will be offered at the end of each workshop.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Two weighted mean marks for the two essays will be found using weights in the following ratios: (a) 1:1 and (b) 1:2 for the first and second essays respectively. The mark awarded will be whichever mean is the highest. The resit for this module will be 100% by 3,000 word coursework.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/12/2018 10:48:53


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