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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5271M Economics of Regulation

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Alexander Stead

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Prior economics experience required; discuss with tutor in advance.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Many public utilities, infrastructure, and transport industries are subject to specific forms of economic regulation, often administered by dedicated regulatory bodies. This module discusses the rationale for regulation of these industries, and considers the different forms of regulation that can be applied, and how these compare in terms of industry performance.


This module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the rationales for, and the costs and benefits of, alternative approaches to economic regulation of public utilities, transport, and infrastructure industries. Consideration will be given to theoretical contributions and empirical evidence. The course will focus on UK examples, but will also consider international evidence where appropriate to draw out important similarities and differences with the UK case.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1. Explain the rationale(s) for economic regulation of public utility and transport industries.
2. Compare and contrast different approaches to economic regulation and evaluate the relative merits of each, with reference to theory and empirical evidence.
3. Evaluate the cases for differing approaches to ownership, horizontal and vertical integration, or competition in public utility and transport industries, drawingon theory and empirical evidence.

Skills learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

4. Critical thinking – the ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives, using supporting evidence.

5. Academic writing – the ability to write in a clear, concise, focused and structured manner that is supported by relevant evidence.

6. Problem solving and analytical skills – the ability to take a logical approach to solving problems; resolving issues by tackling from different angles, using both analytical and creative skills.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours130.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Progress monitoring is by means of in-class discussions.

- Written feedback is given on the coursework assignment, providing formative feedback ahead of the online time-limited assessment.

- A 2hr revision session for the OTLA is also held at the end of the semester in which students are able to receive feedback on their answers to example questions.

- Students may also choose to submit a formative non-credit bearing essay to get feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
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: 10/04/2024


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