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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Economics and Finance

ECON41115: PUBLIC ECONOMICS

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20
Tied to L1T109 Economics
Tied to L1T209 Public Economics
Tied to L1T309 Experimental Economics
Tied to L1T409 Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
Tied to N3K709 Finance (Economics and Finance)

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To provide students with advanced knowledge and critical analytical skills of the theory and practice of public economics.

Content

  • theoretical and practical issues in taxation and public expenditure;
  • second-best problems regarding taxation and public expenditure, and their applications;
  • political economy aspects of public economics, including the effects of government policy on, e.g., economic performance, distribution and welfare;
  • the normative theory of government policy, e.g., evaluation of tax systems on the basis of efficiency, redistribution, and correction of market imperfections.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the positive aspects of taxation and public expenditure policies;
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the normative aspects of taxation and public expenditure policies;
  • have an advanced understanding of second-best analysis;
  • have explored, understood and appreciated the complexity and diversity of the current academic literature and its implications for professional practice, and be able to identify open questions for their own research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • be able to apply their knowledge of public economics to the resolution of complex practical problems.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication;
  • Planning, Organising and Time Management;
  • Problem Solving and analysis;
  • Using Initiative;
  • Numeracy;
  • Computer Literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • A combination of lectures, seminars and guided reading will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module. The summative written examination will test students' knowledge and critical understanding of the material covered in the module, their analytical and problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 1 per week 2 hours 18
Seminars 4 fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation & Reading 126
Revision Session 2 1 hour 2
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Unseen written examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

Work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO; feedback on discussions with teaching staff during consultation hours, or via e-mail.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University


    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.