Key information

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

Module overview

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of macroeconomic theory with coverage of important theoretical issues, methods and debates, and serve as reference for more applied or specialised modules of our MSc programmes. A critical assessment is made of the analytical underpinnings of contemporary mainstream economic theories and policies, and heterodox alternatives are reviewed. Topics covered include: advanced models in macroeconomics with special emphasis on explanations of business cycles, theories of economic growth, the relevance of different assumptions and approaches taken, and theoretical policy implications in advanced and emerging economies.

Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  • Understand how macroeconomic theory and method has developed from the Keynesian revolution until its current state, with a special focus on short-run fluctuations;
  • Understand the consequences of the increasing dependence upon general equilibrium modelling and other relevant underlying assumptions;
  • Understand how theories of economic growth have evolved;
  • Understand the relationship and tensions between the short run and long run, microeconomics and macroeconomics, real and monetary spheres;
  • Develop the ability to critically assess different theoretical stances and their implications in contemporary theory and policy contentions

Students will be expected to be familiar with the main schools of economic thought to be found in the literature and to answer questions on these in essays and examination both expositionally and critically, whilst displaying an understanding of the technical, theoretical and conceptual content of macroeconomics at the level of academic journal publications.

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 60% /Coursework 40% (one essay of 2,500 words 30%, one essay outline 10%). All coursework is resubmittable.

Suggested reading

This preliminary reading list provides a choice of introductory and more advanced readings. Further guidance on reading, and an extended list of material, is provided in the module outline on ble.

  • Fine, B., Dimakou, O. (2016). Macroeconomics. A critical companion. London: Pluto Press
  • Snowdon, B. and Vane, H. (2005). Modern Macroeconomics: Its Origins, Development and Current State. Edward Elgar
  • Taylor, L. (2004). Reconstructing Macroeconomics. Structuralist Proposals and Critiques of the Mainstream. Harvard University Press, Cambridge
  • Blanchard, O., D. Romer, M. Spence and J. Stiglitz (eds) (2012). In the Wake of the Crisis: Leading Economists Reassess Economic Policy. Cambridge: MIT Press.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules