Module Catalogue 2023/24

POL1131 : Studying Political Economy: Ideas, Theories and Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard Dodgson
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

Please note this module is only available for students on programme LL21.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

Please note this module is only available for students on programme LL21.


The aims of this module are twofold:

1.       To introduce students to the study of Political Economy
2.       To highlight and develop the skills that students require for effective study and learning
Related to these aims, this module seeks to:
1.       Examine and discuss key thinkers, theories and ideas in Political Economy
2.       Develop students' knowledge and understanding of fundamental questions and arguments in Political Economy
3.       Make students aware of the skills that are required for effective study and provide opportunities for further skills development
4.       Provide students with a foundation in knowledge and skills from which they can go on to take further modules in Politics, Economics and Political Economy

Outline Of Syllabus

The module introduces students to the study of Political Economy as it examines the life, ideas and legacy of key political economists, as well introducing fundamental concepts relevant to Political Economy. The module also discusses more contemporary ideas related to Political Economy. The module focuses on developing key study skills, including time management, critical thinking, note taking, and finding appropriate literature.
Topics to be covered may include:
capitalism, mercantilism, neoliberalism, globalisation, austerity
Key political economists explored in this module may include:
Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Ludwig Von Mises, David Ricardo, Friedrich Hayek

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students that successfully complete this module will have knowledge and understanding of:

1.       The fundamentals of Political Economy as an area of study
2.       The contribution of ‘key thinkers’ to the study and development of Political Economy
3.       Contemporary issues and debates in Political Economy

Having developed their knowledge of key thinkers and current debates, students will be able to reflect ‘critically’ on the continuing relevance of ‘key thinkers’ and their ideas in the contemporary world.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will have developed their skills in:

-       Time management
-       Searching for and identifying literature
-       Reading and note taking
-       Essay writing and referencing

In addition, students will have gained experienced of:

-       Critical thinking
-       Independent learning
-       Synthesising information

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities51:005:00Various guided tasks with a cumulative written word count of 1500 words.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Annotated/Guided reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PIP Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00PIP Lectures
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1140:00140:00Assessment preparation and completion
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide students with an introduction to the subject of Political Economy and an overview of the key thinkers, issues and debates in Political Economy. This will provide the basis for self-directed study and small group teaching.
Small group teaching provides an environment in which students can explore and deepen their understanding of the issues raised in the lecture material and discuss essential readings relevant to the module. Small group teaching also provides the context in which students will develop many of the skills outcomes associated with this module.
Structured, guided learning activities will allow students to check their understanding of the topics covered in lectures and small group teaching, foster a deeper understanding and reflection on the issues and debates in Political Economy, whilst simultaneously encouraging independent learning and effective time management.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M752500 word essay
Prof skill assessmnt1M25Quizzes and Guided Tasks
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The professional skills assessments foster engagement with the module through the duration of the semester and provide students with the necessary opportunities for skills acquisition, thereby enabling students to successfully continue their university studies.

The essay will be evaluative in nature, requiring students to engage with higher order learning by evaluating a particular economic theory as expressed in multiple sources, assessing the current economic situation in the UK and developing recommendations for adoption of said economic theory in the UK. The essay is intended to be flexible in style, allowing students to access a variety of material, including websites, texts and blogs, beyond the traditional reading list.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Please note this module is only available to students on programme LL21.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.