Business Economics: Module Study Guide

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Version 1.2 amended 22 September 2011

Business Economics

Module Study Guide
module code MS5003E

Level 5 (year 2) core module for students on all undergraduate business programmes taking the module from week beginning 26 September 2011 to 16 January 2012

all classes: Fridays

lecture: 11.00 to 13.00 in TC128

seminars:

Group A: 10.00 to 11.00 in TC262
Group B:14.00 to 15.00 in TC258
Group C:15.00 to 16.00 in TC258

You must stay with the group to which you are allocated.

|Andreas Kyriacou |Preethike Dias |Andrew Dunnett | |andreas.kyriacou@uwl.ac.uk |preethike.dias@uwl.ac.uk |andrew.dunnett@tvu.ac.uk | |0208 231 2962 | |andy.dunnett@tvu.ac.uk | |A300 |A300 |0208 231 2924 | | | |A300 |

Index

Welcome to the module3

Week by week in outline4

Overview5

Aims and Learning outcomes6

Assessment in outline7

Blackboard8

Core texts and other resources10

Library14

Assessment in more detail15

Welcome to the module

Look at the picture.

If you can look at it without feeling a sense of wonderment about our modern world – and perhaps a sense of disquiet – then this module is not for you. But if you look at it and ask the question “Why?” then it is for you. The module will give you insights into questions that perhaps you never even asked yourself until now. Why don’t we make things in Britain any more? (How many people do you know whose job involves making things?) Why do we prefer instead to buy things made in other countries, carried half way round the world on ships like this and transported to our supermarket shelves in standard containers? What on earth is in all these boxes? *

The international economic system is more closely integrated now than ever before. This is reflected in events such as the banking crises that started in the United States in 2008 leading to the near collapse of the world financial system. The global recession, the sovereign debt crises and the political turmoil that ensued provide clear illustrations of the relationship between governments, politics, international trade and finance, international institutions and private interests. Will the economy enter a second recession, triggered by the Greek government defaulting on its sovereign debt? Is global capitalism in crisis?

Economics is everywhere. You cannot make sense of business – or of the world you live in – unless you have an understanding of the economic imperative that shapes our daily lives. Economics is about decisions – individuals make decisions as consumers, firms make decisions as producers. These decisions are made in a world of scarcity – which simply means that we cannot have everything we want. So we have to make choices – and economics is ‘the science of choice’. But it’s not a ‘functional discipline’ like Accounting or Marketing. Firms have ‘accounts departments’ and ‘HR departments’ and ‘marketing departments’ but they don’t have ‘economics departments’. That’s because economics transcends all of these functional areas. It doesn’t mechanistically tell you how to do things but it gives you insights into how and why decisions are made. It doesn’t provide the answers, but at least it helps you formulate the question: why?

Enjoy the module.

*The answer, mostly, is “semi-manufactures”. That is, not final goods sold...
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