Course title

Microeconomics: Organisations and Institutions.

Module overview

The module selected for the project was an intermediate microeconomics course that is a core module for economics students on the BA programme in UCC. It is also taken by students from across a range of other programmes, including students from China who study on joint degree programmes with UCC’s partner institutions in China. The course, which I have taught previously, is a typical second year microeconomics module that, until now, has focused on orthodox economic models and frameworks.

I chose this module because of its typicality in economics programmes. It is also a large class, with about 150 students, and this posed particular issues that I wanted to explore with the anonymity of students in a large class setting. I wanted to explore how I could engage with and get to know students’ concerns when the primary mode of delivery was the typical model of lecture in a large theatre.

Module Aims

Economics is not a subject typically associated with social justice. Indeed, many would use economics and its dominant liberal discourse as antithesis to the idea of social justice. In my view this misrepresents much of economics, though the mainstream (and most significant policy influences) remains dominated by neo-classical, rationalist approaches.

I also wanted to bring ethical considerations into a core economics course to present students with alternative approaches and considerations to those which they will encounter repeatedly over their programme. I also wanted to demonstrate that economics can contribute to the important social issues that students care about and will need to address as professionals and citizens.

The course had four elements. These were:

  1. ethics and economics;
  2. social economics (fairness and interdependence);
  3. climate and economics; and
  4. economic inequalities.

If you would like to view the full course outline, please click here.