UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)



Find out more about the Economics foundation module on the UPC. Learn about what you will study, teaching methods, assessments and recommended reading.

Key information

Module Title: Economics

UPC Pathway: Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Humanities (UPCH) - optional module

Module Leader: Dr Nalini Vittal

Number of students on module in 2021/22 academic year: 27

Module description

The Economics foundation module is an optional part of the UPCH course. You’ll have a thorough introduction to Economics theory and applications. You’ll learn economic reasoning to analyse simple real-life questions.

UPCH Economics aims to prepare you for a Single Honours degree in Economics at UCL or another leading UK university. The module will also provide strong training for other social science degrees.

Topics include:

  • Production possibility frontier and opportunity cost
  • World economic systems
  • Supply, Demand, Equilibrium, Elasticity
  • The production function, cost function and technical ratios
  • Profit maximisation: equilibrium of the firm under perfect competition
  • Profit: nature and measures
  • The circular flow and the goods market
  • Aggregate expenditure, fiscal policy
  • The assets market, monetary policy
  • Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
  • Applied economics: the financial sector, intermediation
  • Other applied topics if time permits, including the financial crisis of 2008.

How we teach Economics

You’ll attend lectures and seminars throughout the academic year. Lectures are one-hour long and take place twice a week. Seminars are two hours long and occur once a week, in the week following the lecture.

You’ll have exercises to carry out independently for the seminars. This is to check you’ve understood the material included in the lecture the previous week.

You’ll complete an essay to introduce you to the requirements of academic writing in a technical subject. This essay will form the basis of an Oral Exam you’ll take before your written ‘Final’ Exam. You’ll learn to present your work to examiners and answer questions on your chosen topic.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the Economics foundation module, you should:

  • know and understand basic economic concepts, components of economic activity, ‘command’ and other systems [this is the framework of the module]
  • understand supply and demand under perfect competition, equilibrium, and the effect of government in the market, alternative market structures [microeconomics]
  • understand national income measures, the ‘Keynesian cross’, goods and assets markets, and the role of fiscal and monetary authorities in the macroeconomy [macroeconomics]
  • understand and consider daily events using economic theory the theory [applications]
  • apply economic reasoning to simple questions from real life and solve simple numerical problems
  • feel comfortable with the specialised terminology and vocabulary for economics
  • confidently speak, write and read in Economic contexts, including work with diagrams
  • prepare, revise, present and explain a technical essay [oral examination].

Overview of Summative Assessment

OneEnd of Term Test (2 hours)5%
TwoEnd of Term Test (2 hours)5%
 Essay Coursework (c. 2000 words)10%
ThreeOral Exam (20 mins)10%
 Final Exam (3 hours)70%
  100% Total 

Assessment weighting is for the current academic year. This may change for 2022/23 entry.

Recommended reading

There is no required reading before you start this module. However, you should practice high-school level mathematics and writing before starting the module. We also recommend reading and summarising articles from international newspapers; this would be better preparation than working through an economics textbook.

Module selection guide

Please check out our optional module selection guide for information on suitable modules for your future degree plans.