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ACE2006 : Agricultural Economics and Policy

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Francisco Areal
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To understand the economics of agricultural and the rural economy sectors in the UK context, and of market failure. Examining frameworks within which agricultural economics and policy in the UK and EU can be analysed. Focus will be on developing and understanding key supply and demand analytical frameworks typically used in neoclassical economic theory.

Outline Of Syllabus

-Introducing and explaining "the farm problem"
-Explaining the difference between technical and economic efficiency (using production function and cost curve approaches)
-deriving a demand curve from production functions and cost curves
-an introduction to consumer theory - indifference curves and budget constraints
-the economic benefits of free trade, and distinguishing between custom unions and free trade areas
-the evolution of the Common Agricultural Policy, and a consideration of a UK Domestic Agricultural Policy
-the economics of farm land values, and the use of discounting
-the theory of technological change and diffusion
-market failure and environmental economics:
the economics of pollution
the form and function of marginal abatement cost curves (MACC)
What are "public goods"
-revision lecture: review of module and exam structure

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Student revision for examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Completion of examination
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading19:009:00Preparation of trial exam answers
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study133:0033:00research and reading beyond the taught material
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00Lecture follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will have full access to all reading materials in advance of classes. Class discussion, Q/A sessions etc. encouraged during class. Lecture material is comprehensive and extensive, and requires substantial student study outside the classroom. Students will not be given prior warning of examination questions. Exam questions set specifically to test learning objectives, and to encourage students to practice their skills and extend their knowledge and understanding to be able to achieve these outcomes.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A100Unseen questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MSubmission of trial examination answer
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Understanding is assessed through a final assessment under controlled University examination conditions. The exam questions are unseen - however students are encouraged to write a trial answer for appraisal and feedback prior to the final examination, to allow development of ideas and understandings and rehearsal of knowledge, argument and reasoning during the course, but prior to examination - thereby encouraging co-operative effort during the course, but testing individual grasp and expression of their own understandings. A (practised) written examination is both an effective and efficient method of testing the learning outcomes and the development of the associated skills.

Reading Lists