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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OSEE5101M Contemporary Economics

15 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Richard Itaman

Taught: 1 Jan to 28 Feb, 1 Jan to 28 Feb (adv year), 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to meet the programme entry requirements prior to studying the module.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module provides students with an insight into select economic theories and concepts and their practical application.Students will learn about the relationship (and associated complexities) between economics and sustainability considering this relationship from a variety of perspectives e.g., neoclassical and environmental approaches.The module seeks to progress the students' insights by introducing contemporary and innovative approaches to the subject area, for example steady-state, circular and doughnut economics.


The module will outline the evolution of economic thinking along with core economic concepts and terminology. Drawing on this knowledge students will have the opportunity to:
- Critically analyse established economic concepts.
- Appraise the complex interface between economics and the environment.
- Consider alternative economic approaches including environmental and ecological economics.
- Investigate contemporary economic approaches which seek to integrate economic activity and the environment. Examples may include doughnut economics, steady-state and circular economics.

In order to provide students with practical insights into the issues being addressed the module will make extensive use of case studies and organisational examples (e.g., application of shadow prices, analysis of material and energy flows). Furthermore, the module assessment will enable students to apply what they have learnt in order to develop and communicate potential strategies and actions for select sectors/organisations managing the interface between economic activity and sustainability.

Learning outcomes
1. Appraise the significance of the economics/sustainability interface within their working environment.
2. Critically examine the different schools of thought in economics and compare the key differences between weak and strong sustainability.
3. Outline and evaluate emerging trends relating to economics and sustainability.
4. Draw on their understanding of the complex interface between economics and sustainability in order to develop and effectively communicate potential strategies and actions relevant to select sectors and/or organisations.


1. Introduction to economics and sustainability.
2. Conventional and sustainability related economic concepts (for example: neoclassical, ecological and environmental economics).
3. Emerging economic trends relating to sustainability (for example: circular economy, steady state, and doughnut economics).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning61.006.00
Discussion forum61.006.00
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours114.00
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent online learning refers to non-facilitated directed learning. Students will work through bespoke interactive learning resources and reflective activities in the VLE.
Private study refers to directed reading and self-directed research in support of learning activities and discussions, as well as in preparation for assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- The module's digital learning materials provide regular opportunities for participants to check their understanding and gain feedback (e.g. case studies with short answer questions and automated feedback, MCQs with detailed feedback on correct/incorrect answers).
- The individual unit webinars and discussion forums provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors.
- The module assessment (15 minute presentation) will enable student progress to be monitored.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral Presentation15 minute recorded presentation100.00
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: 11/01/2023


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