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Philip Hedges & Peter Urwin, Department of Economics & Quantitative Methods Westminster Business School, UK 09/09/09

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Presentation on theme: "Philip Hedges & Peter Urwin, Department of Economics & Quantitative Methods Westminster Business School, UK 09/09/09"— Presentation transcript:

1 Philip Hedges & Peter Urwin, Department of Economics & Quantitative Methods Westminster Business School, UK 09/09/09 FIFTH INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS IN ECONOMICS EDUCATION CONFERENCE Designing a new Masters in Applied Economics

2 Aims To consider the factors taken into account during the design process for a new PG qualification in Applied Economics within a post 92 university 1.Briefly set out some of the key factors driving the setting up of the new course 2.Flag up key issues of debate during the process of validation – for exploration with todays participants 3.Consider ideas for curriculum content & design

3 Drivers of the design process A Market Opportunity? –Employability in Professional Practice –Employability in Academic Practice Internal Process –School and Department –University Validation and Review Process Subject Benchmarks, the GES & the Economics Network Marketing, Recruitment & Brand

4 A Market Opportunity? Buscha, Latreille and Urwin, 2007

5 A Market Opportunity? Colander (2004) and ODoherty, Street and Webber (2007) highlight qualitative evidence of skills gap in the typical Economics graduate Shortage of application & communication skills However this is reflection of wider mismatch –Application and Appraisal in Professional practice –Econometric Evaluation in Academic careers For example, Business Studies takes Appraisal (Strategy) and is able to recruit students with less technical ability RAE drives recruitment in Economics departments

6 Internal Process & Constraints Department and School Wholly new programmes a rarity - University modular system (8 modules full-time) allows courses to be launched with less risk – but also downside to this MSc App Econ - 2 Economics Dept.; 2 School-wide and 4 new modules Economics staff interest, experience & availability University Validation System First Filter 18 to 24 months in advance Curriculum Enhancement Workshop & Action Plan event Then Validation Documents for Validation Panel: –Programme Specification –Course Handbook –Course Diagram, Module Specifications, Assessment Regimes etc.

7 Marketing & Recruitment Economics social networking site used from Feb 2009 Economics Forum & Jobs Open evenings on campus Respond to enquiries Advertise in The Guardian (PG Course Listings)? Entry Points (Oct & Jan FT & PT) Potential students –BA Business Studies graduates who want less technical & mathematical Economics –Eastern European students –GES staff for particular modules –Practising consultants with only a first degree

8 Issues for Consideration Is there a market opportunity in the way we perceive? More of a focus on Evaluation at the expense of Application and Appraisal A&A module able to tackle cross cutting issues (decisions at the margin), without Macro/Micro distinction? How do we teach this? Assumed knowledge of new students and tapping into other modules; Inductive/deductive? Communication (assessment by Viva and tech briefing) Examples of Application and Appraisal

9 Application Use of scenarios in problem based learning setting of A and A: –Public smoking ban –Congestion charging –Handheld mobiles & driving –Low emissions vehicles & govts role –Should the company sell in ? –Imposing regulation on food standards


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