INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS & DATA ANALYSIS

SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1L125065
Module Leader Thomas Dudley
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
Trimesters
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to Economic theory, Critical Thinking and the sourcing and analysis of Economic data. It is designed to provide students with a solid foundation of mainstream Economic theory and concepts that can be applied to undertake elementary quantitative analysis of economic and business data. The aim is to equip students with a set of analytical tools and concepts from economic theory and simple quantitative methods that can be applied at Level One and further developed at subsequent levels to facilitate students' understanding of other cognate Business disciplines and/or underpin further study of Economics' modules. There are no direct work-based learning elements within the module; however there is plenty of scope for students to apply economic theory and reflection of the PRME principles towards their work place and vocation. As such there is 65% independent learning 'activity type' that principally leads towards the module assessments. The module has five main elements: -360b7 Microeconomic theory: the study of individual markets, consumer/worker and firm behaviour, policy implications; b7 Macroeconomic theory: the study of economic aggregates - economic growth, employment, inflation, balance of payments/international trade, policy implications; -360b7 Introduction to the Electronic Spreadsheet as used in Business, Finance and Economics; -360b7 Quantitative methods: Descriptive statistics, graphing, tabulation and correlation; -360b7 Elementary critical and lateral thinking Example of PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module: -360d8 Principle 1 (85.. develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society 85..) d8 Principle 2 (85. incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility 8585.) d8 Principle 3 (85. create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership) -360d8 Principle 4 (85. engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value85.) -360b7 Consideration of how to allocate scarce resources to maximise social welfare; -360b7 Improved data-use and intellectual skills leading to a better understanding of the role for and limitations of quantitative analysis in decision-making; Improved intellect and an ability to see the 'World' from other perspectives enhancing the students' citizenship values and leadership skills.

Syllabus

1. Economics -360b7 Nature of Economics: scarcity, choice, Micro- and Macroeconomic Issues b7 Individual Markets: Demand & Supply, consumer choice, elasticity b7 Market equilibrium: social benefits, costs & welfare maximisation, sources of market failure b7 Costs of Production: total, average & marginal cost relationships, fixed and variable costs b7 Labour as a factor of production: demand, supply, Human Capital b7 Market Structures: Theory of the Firm b7 Determination & measurement of National Income, Output & Employment b7 Role of money in the economy b7 International trade: balances of payments, exchange rates, policy implications 2. Data Analysis -360b7 Introduction to the Spreadsheet (data entry, use of formulae and functions) b7 Sourcing and graphing economic and business data b7 Descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency, variation and standard deviation b7 Tabulating Data & Correlation 3. Critical Thinking -360b7 Elementary critical and lateral thinking, developed via 'Puzzle'/problem solving

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to: 1 Demonstrate a substantive working knowledge of introductory economic theory and principles;2 Understand the nature of economic issues and policy problems [underpinning PRME Principles 1-4];3 Understand the economic context in which firms and other organisations have to operate;4 Appreciate the relevance of economic theory and principles for business decision making;5 Critically source economic and business data and use information technology and software packages for business- and economic applications;6 Analyze, present and discuss economic and business data;7 Adopt a logical and structured approach to the consideration and analysis of individual, organisational and societal problems;8 Use quantitative- and logical techniques to propose feasible solutions to a variety of elementary, discipline-relevant problems, accounting for the needs and objectives of affected constituencies;9 Work and think independently, evaluate evidence and maintain / develop an argument or hypothesis.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered through direct contact and independent learning. The directed modes of learning over the session include: -360b7 The Lecture : to impart the key points of the Economics' syllabus b7 Tutorials to discuss, develop, apply and evaluate economic concepts and ideas b7 Seminars to facilitate the consideration of set logical problems to develop approaches to the problem's solutions b7 Computer Labs ('Practicals'): to introduce the use of software packages to collate and analyse data to be applied to concepts from Economics and to construct simple logical models to derive workable solutions to set problems Students' directed and independent learning: will be supported by online modes of learning through GCU-Learn. Students will be encouraged to develop both independent and collegiate approaches to the work of the module. The computer labs (practicals') are primarily individual- based learning, which can be replicated off-campus providing employers have the necessary resources to facilitate the excel programmes. Students can attend organised computer labs for face-to-face learning. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon the theoretical application of the data analysis within the work place. Feedback strategy: In line with University policy, marks and feedback will normally be provided within 3 working weeks of submission. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing.

Indicative Reading

-360b7 Anderson, D. R., Sweeney, D.J. & Williams, T.A. (2009) Essentials of Modern Business Statistics, 4th Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press. b7 Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument, 2nd ed.: Palgrave Macmillan. b7 Davis, G. & Pecar, B. (2012) Quantitative Methods for Decision Making Using Excel, Oxford University Press. b7 De-Bono, E. (1976), Practical Thinking: Four Ways to be Right, Five Ways to be Wrong, Five Ways to Understand: Penguin b7 De-Bono, E. (2010), Lateral Thinking: a textbook of creativity: Penguin b7 Griffiths, A. & Wall, S. (2011) Economics for Business & Management, 3rd Edition, Pearson b7 Griffiths, A. & Wall, S. (2011) Applied Economics, 12th Edition, Pearson b7 King, D. (2012) Economics, Oxford University Press b7 Koop, G. (2013) Analysis of Economic Data, 4th Edition, Wiley b7 Koop, G. (2006) Analysis of Financial Data, Wiley b7 Mulhearn, C. & Vane, H. (2012) Economics for Business, 2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, b7 Oakshott, L. (2009) Essential Quantitative Methods, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. b7 Taylor, S. (2007) Business Statistics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan b7 Sloman, J. (2012) Economics, 8th Edition, Prentice Hall b7 Sloman, J. & Jones, E. (2011) Economics & the Business Environment, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall Exemplar Web-based resources -360b7 www.badscience.net <http://www.badscience.net> b7 <http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/> b7 <http://www.ecb.int/home/html/index.en.html> b7 <http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page?_pageid=1090,30070682,1090_33076576&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL> b7 <http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/> b7 <http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm> b7 <http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm> b7 www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learningareas/criticalthinkingandreflection/resourcepage.htm <http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learningareas/criticalthinkingandreflection/resourcepage.htm> b7 <http://www.criticalthinking.org/articles/the-role-socratic-questioning-ttl.cfm> b7 <http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/socratic/second.html> b7 <http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/dedind.php> <http://www.worldbank.org/>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students should have gained competence in the following key areas: -360b7 Economic literacy b7 Enhanced numeracy and quantitative understanding/ability b7 Enhanced presentation skills b7 Generic critical, analytical and problem-solving skills b7 Discussion skills b7 Interpersonal skills b7 Time management skills Team working skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 8.00
Practicals (FT) 10.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
Independent Learning (FT) 116.00
Seminars (FT) 4.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 1.00 30.00 35% Unseen exam: Multiple Choice
Exam (Exams Office) 1.00 30.00 35% Unseen Exam: Multiple Choice
Coursework 1 1.50 40.00 35% In-lab test: Spreadsheet-based quantitative methods and logical-problem questions