Debates in Economic Theory

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Economics

Module overview

This module seeks to provide foundations of economic theory across micro and macro for students without any prior disciplinary knowledge. The course will introduce the most relevant economic theories across micro and macro to enable students to navigate broader economic policy debates that often draw on a set of analytical propositions across micro and macro.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • have a critical understanding of the main concepts and theories in both micro and macroeconomics
  • understand and evaluate the importance of key assumptions underlying theories and how these relate to policy prescriptions and debates
  • discuss and critically evaluate the determinants of output, employment, inflation, and their dynamic interactions under different macro models
  • discuss and critically evaluate different approaches to consumer and firm behaviour, and the role of market structures

Debates in Economic Theory will offer the necessary theoretical grounding in economics, it aims to introduce students to foundational concepts and theories within macro and micro economics. Debates in Economic Theory will provide the building blocks and serve as the basis for the more applied and policy oriented modules of the programme.

Scope and syllabus

Topics covered include:

  • What is maintream economic theory? What are its methods, scope, its main categories and how are these measured?
  • Classics versus Keynes
  • The Neoclassical Synthesis
  • The Classical revival: monetarism, new classical economics, real business cycle theory (Washington Consensus)
  • New Keynesian Economics (post-Washington Consensus) and the new Neoclassical Synthesis
  • The Neoclassical consumer and producer
  • Partial and General Equilibrium Analysis
  • Market Structure Benchmarks: Monopoly and Perfect Competition
  • Game theory
  • Behavioural Economics

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 60% / Coursework 40% (2 essays). All coursework is resubmittable.

Suggested reading

Core Reading List:

  • Snowdon, B. and Vane, H. (2005). Modern Macroeconomics: Its Origins, Development and Current State. Edward Elgar
  • Hillier, B. (1991). The Macroeconomic Debate: Models of the Closed and Open Economy. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Nicholson, W. and C. Snyder (2015) Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions. Andover: Cengage Learning
  • Chang, H. (2014). Economics: The user's guide. Gretna: Pelican.
  • Lipsey, R. G. and Crystal, A. (2015). Economics (13th edition.). Oxford University Press.
  • Varoufakis, Y. (1998). Foundations of economics: A beginner's companion. Routledge.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules