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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS2680 Ethics and Economics

10 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Stefan Kesting

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Economics and ethical questions are intertwined in many ways. The lectures are intended to provide you with an overview and in-depth insight of the ethical assumptions inherent in economic concepts and the potential and problems associated with their application to ethical problems and economic policy that are currently debated. Independent reading is strongly encouraged and is essential to do well in the exam, essay and oral group presentation. Classes are concentrated towards the end of the semester. They are a vehicle for you to build on the knowledge gained in the lectures, to develop a methodology for applying your knowledge to problems and to refine your analytical and oral communication skills. This module is particularly in aligned with the Leeds University Business School thread of global cultural citizenship and ethics/responsibility.


This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to contrast and integrate ethics and economics and enable students to apply moral philosophy and economic theory to an appropriate, but freely chosen economic policy or management decision problem. The module aims to provide students with skills in evaluating economic policies and company practices based on a variety of alternative concepts.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Outline the history of ethical foundation in economic thinking
- Engage critically with current theoretical and empirical literature in economics and moral philosophy as well as critically evaluate the potential of economic activities to deliver positive and negative social and environmental outcomes

Skills outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Deploy effectively written and presentational communication skills
- Apply critical thinking to reviewing evidence and interpreting results

Subject Specific
- Recognise the relevance of ethical awareness to economics


Indicative content
Key concepts: cost-benefit analysis, Pareto Optimality in welfare economics, rationality in neoclassical economics and consequences, utility, liberty, rights, equality, virtue and justice in moral philosophy will be covered.
Moral questions and their relevance to economics; ethics in welfare economics (an example); ethics in positive economics (an example); rationality and morality; welfare and consequences; liberty, rights, equality and justice.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning15.005.00
Private study hours79.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

The group presentation will provide students with a chance to develop a particular moral conviction on a specific issue and to discuss and defend this view in front of the class.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationTo class20.00
Tutorial PerformanceParticipation10.00
Essay2,500 - 3,000 words70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit will be 100% by coursework.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/12/2017


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