AF6041 - Contemporary Issues in Economics and Finance

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn about contemporary research issues in economics and finance. The module expands from key economics concepts and financial theories addressed in previous years by focusing on the latest developments in the global economic world, enabling students to develop a deep understanding of current economic and finance issues and arguments that dominate contemporary debates and
policy making. The module is research-led; the knowledge conveyed in the lectures serves as a stimulus for students to conduct their own research by addressing a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to):
• Macroeconomic Information and its Impact on Financial Markets;
• Investment Strategies Based on Information Transmission Processes;
• Financial Markets Based on New Asset Classes e.g. the Emergence of Cryptocurrencies;
• The Role of Governments for National Economies and Financial Markets;
• Public Policy and Externalities: Effects on Research and Development, Education and Welfare;
• Regional Economies, Trading Blocks and the Economics of Development;
• Agglomeration Economies and Globalisation;
• Effects of Economics Crises e.g. The Euro Zone and Sovereign Debt Crisis;
• Impact of Policies and Political Changes on Economic Systems e.g. the Brexit Process.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP), which outlines the formal sessions, together with tutor-directed study and independent reading. The module will be taught through lectures (24 hours) and seminars (12 hours). The lectures are the primary medium used to deliver the basic knowledge input and subject material required to enable students to meet the module learning outcomes. Lectures
will be research-led with a significant practical component attached to them, while seminars will be used to develop understanding and deepen knowledge by reinforcing subject material and exploring relevant issues with material distributed in advance. It will involve individual and group work, presentations and discussion to develop students' skills in these areas. In particular, seminars will provide an opportunity for students and lecturers to interact, discuss and debate the materials addressing diverse issues from around the world. The emphasis will be on high levels of participation both individually and within small groups or teams.
The module will involve both directed and independent learning.

Formative assessment will take place through individual and group activities, assignment discussions, case study activities and theory/practice related discussions. The module will be supported by the use of e-learning portal. The assignment requirements will expect you to engage with a wide range of scholarly sources to evaluate their effectiveness and currency and subsequently communicate them in written format. This will be an individual written assignment covering the learning outcomes of the module. Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is supported by the e-learning portal, which includes lecture and seminar materials as well as additional material for independent study. All lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the e-learning portal which you will be able to access to consolidate your knowledge and develop understanding. An electronic reading list includes core material to support your lectures/seminars and a comprehensive range of
professional accounting reports/articles and academic journal articles relevant to your studies.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

At the end of the module:
Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will develop knowledge and understanding of how economic concepts, principles and tools, play a
key role in issues of decision and choice affecting economic and financial processes (MLO1)
• You will be able to critically evaluate the Interdependency of financial markets, the relationships between principals and agents and economic welfare. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will develop the the ability to produce reports and conclusions that are well evidenced by empirical analysis (MLO3)
• You will enhance your skills with regard to communicating technical analysis and results to various non-economist audiences; knowledge of economic history and its context (social, technical and political), pluralistic perspectives and interdisciplinary (MLO4)

Personal Values Attributes:
• You will be able to abstract the essential features of complex systems and provide a useable framework for evaluation and assessment of the effects of policy or other exogenous events. (MLO5)

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will take place through group work, assignment discussion and reflection, discussion board activity on the elearning platform, case study activity, and theory/practice related discussions.
Criteria will be provided to enable participants to understand what is expected of them and how they will be assessed on their performance. Participants are required to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective
practice where appropriate.

Summative Assessment:
The summative assessment for this module will be a 3,500 words data analysis/commentary report (100% weight). Students will be required to work on this assignment throughout the semester; problems similar to those in the assignment will be reviewed in detail during seminars. The assignment will be released in Week 3 and due at the end of the module. (MLO1, MOL2, MLO3, MLO4, MLO5)





Module abstract

In this stimulating module, you’ll be introduced to the various issues in contemporary economics and finance. You’ll examine the multiple topics that dominate current debates and policy-making process at a global level, including the impact of public policy, the role of governments, the effects of economic crises and how political change can alter economic systems. The module is designed to help you deepen your knowledge and become a critical thinker. Drawing on a wide range of research sources, the course content is also there to encourage you to develop key independent research skills, and to consider the crucial role economics and finance play in the world today.

Course info

UCAS Code L101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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