CP0133 - Economic Principles For Urban and Regional Studies

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0133
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Peter Feindt
SemesterDouble Semester
Academic Year2013/4

Outline Description of Module

Economics provides systematic explanations for why individuals, firms and governments behave in the way they do. It is the science of scarcity and provides thinking tools for understanding how scarce resources are allocated and should be allocated in society. Planning is generally concerned with fostering economic prosperity and societal harmony often by modifying people’s behaviour to alleviate undesirable effects of wealth-generating activities. Understanding basic economic principles is therefore of crucial importance for all planning and policy making activity, whatever the focus of intervention – land and land use, transport, natural environment, housing, employment and so on. This module introduces the foundations of applied economic thought, covering the foundations of micro and macro economics, welfare economics, as well as the role of economics in a globalised economy. It aims to deepen students’ understanding of how individuals make decisions, how markets operate, how economies work and how they may be managed in various ways.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

On completion of the module a student will be able to:


  1. identify and describe typical micro-, macro- and welfare economic problems;
  2. explain how individuals and firms make basic economic choices;
  3. explain the determinants of supply and demand and the operation of markets;
  4. discuss typical welfare economic problems;
  5. understand the role of value judgements in economic policy prescriptions;
  6. assess the general allocational and distributional consequences of market outcomes and government interventions and explain how policies which raise total incomes may nevertheless not benefit certain groups;
  7. understand the determinants of economic prosperity and evaluate monetary and fiscal policy choices, with a particular view to contemporary issues;
  8. diagnose social dilemmas which arise from strategic interdependence;
  9. analyse economic issues facing contemporary policy makers.
  10. derive solutions for contemporary micro-, macro and welfare economic problems and social dilemmas;
  11. develop and present diagnostic and explanatory arguments about contemporary economic problems, based on the application of economic principles and the adoption of  a rigorous approach to problem-solving.

How the module will be delivered

The module content will be delivered through lectures and a comprehensive set of lecture handouts. These will be supported by tutorials where the students can engage with the course content in an interactive way. Students are given questions and analytical problems for discussion in the tutorials in order to allow them to apply the course content. Students will also be guided to web access to economic information. 

Skills that will be practised and developed

Students will have an opportunity to develop and will be expected to demonstrate the following skills through contributions to debates and written assessments and exams:


Academic skills:


Subject-specific skills:


Employability skills


Communication: an ability to communicate ideas clearly and succinctly.

How the module will be assessed


How the module will be assessed


Students receive formative feedback during the tutorials every teaching week.


The summative assessment – two written essay assessments and two exams - is timed in a way that students can benefit from feedback thourghout the two semesters. Students are required to achieve an average pass mark of 40% across all four assignments and pass at least three of them.


Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment





Middle of the first semester



Welfare economics

60 minutes

Exam period at the end of the first semester





Shortly after the final lecture in the second semester



Economic Principles

60 minutes

Exam period at the end of the first semester



The potential for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.


Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 25
Coursework - Micro-economics
N/A 1 N/A
Examination - Autumn Semester 25
Economic Principles For Urban And Regional Studies 1
1 1 N/A
Examination - Spring Semester 25
Economic Principles For Urban And Regional Studies 2
1 1 N/A
Written Assessment 25
Coursework - Macro-economics
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

After a general introduction to the principles of economic analysis, the first third of the module provides an introduction to micro-economic analysis:


The second part of the module introduces the students to the foundations of welfare economics:


The third part of the module covers the principles of macro-economics:


The final  part of the module addresses ‘real world’ examples of economics in action and introduces the students to concepts and ideas relating to:

Essential Reading and Resource List

Required text book is:



Key online sources:


© Cardiff University