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Student and tutor module reviews

Doing economics: people, markets and policy

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: DD309
  • Level: 3
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Student reviews

Challenging and interesting module focusing on microeconomics. Maths or stats students will be at home with the economic equations, statistical analysis and use of econometric modelling tools. However, there is more than enough focus on other aspects of economic theory and the impacts on society and individuals of economic policy to enable those, like me, with no maths or stats background to do well, managing to achieve a distinction.
Hard work but worthwhile.

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: July 2021

I actually enjoyed doing this course mainly because I was allowed to incorporate my experience and knowledge from the industry I work into some of the TMAs and final project.

The tutors were aware that some of the economic theories are open to being contested due to the economic crisis that has happened. This is unlike the other OU courses I have done where tutors have been dogmatic in ensuring you only used course material to illustrate your answers even if more recent research shows these materials are out of date.

It is a relief having a project instead of an exam to show your understanding of the course material.

Economic principles are used in all industrial and welfare areas not just finance, so this gives you wide scope in choosing a project. On the other hand this makes it hard to come up with a viable idea for a project that could be researched in the limited time available.

The course only focuses on micro economics as the level 2 course focuses on macro economics. I personally would advise someone to study the level 2 course then the level 3 course immediately the next year to get a full overview of economics.

I did not attend any face-to-face tutorials apart from ones on the project, due to illness making walking painful and did not feel I lost out due to this.

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: May 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and as someone who wishes to go on to further study and a career in finance/economics I found it very worthwhile and helpful.

The workload is manageable and my tutor was excellent and always happy to help if needed.The best thing about the course is the final project, which allows you to choose an area of interest and write a primary research project(amongst other options). Ample time is given for preparation and it ended up being enjoyable.

I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in Economics, it certainly improves understanding of key concepts and the project is certainly it's best feature and unique selling point.

Neil Richard Wilson

Course starting: January 2013

Review posted: May 2014

I agonised long and hard about this course. I undertook the OU primarily to study Philosophy. Unfortunately, the course I really wanted to do Political Philosophy was discontinued before I had the opportunity to do it.

I decided to take this course because I have an interest in economics. I also took the view that economic thought is closely linked to philosophy.

I decided to go for this course but unfortunately for several reasons the course did not meet my expectations. I did not enjoy it and as it was the last course for my degree it ended my OU experience on a very bad note.

The main criticism of this course is that the focus is very limited. Essentially, you are looking at micro economics. There is a heavy focus on learning neo-classical theory even though its limitations are well known. There is little opportunity to discuss the criticisms of this approach given that the reputation of economics is very much in doubt. Another thing that was missing was that there was no coverage of macro economic issues.

There are also criticisms about the delivery of the course. Although some of the course materials were good Eg I enjoyed the online tutorials on game theory, there was very limited assistance from tutors. The feedback from assignments was disappointing.

Unlike other courses there were fewer face-to-face tutorials. I understand from other students that the OU is reducing the number of face-to-face tutorials in place of online tutorials but this reduces the student experience. In addition, the online tutorials did not work due to technical difficulties.

Finally, the end-of-course assessment was a major disappointment. In my view, it was not a good way to measure someone's performance. THe ECA created an illusion of choice because there were three types of report that could be written. You could not for example question the foundations of economic theories. At this point in the course, I completely lost my motivation and unfortunately it showed in the final outcome.

As a result, I did not enjoy this course at all and I would not say that I would recommend it to others.

Dirghayu Patel

Course starting: January 2012

Review posted: April 2013

Great course and great course structure, no final exam but your very own economic project! So not only you won't have the stress of writing a +-3000 words paper in 3 hours *by hand*, but more importantly it will be you who decides what the topic will be.
Personally, after 8 final exams I was kind of tired of sitting exams, I needed something different and with DD309 I got what I was looking for. If you've done a lot of study with the OU as I did, you will like it too.

Fabio Ghirardello

Course starting: April 2011

Review posted: January 2012

The first presentation of this course seemed quite different to what I expected from a third level Economics course. Although daunted with the first three TMAs, I am pleased that I persevered to the end, and thoroughly enjoyed the powerpoint presentation part of the course. The choice in submitting project themes is recommended rather than being forced to do a subject on which there is no particular need or preference.

Dawn Naylor's online contribution was excellent and so different in its application to the course, in ensuring that the concept was fully understood. More should be done in this manner as I have never before encountered such thoroughness. In addition, I enjoyed working on the project and learnt a great deal.

Course starting: January 2010

Review posted: December 2011

This is a fairly intense but interesting new course that requires focus and commitment. It provides you with an understanding of the economic undercurrents and dynamics within the home and market place.

The TMAs are challenging but not difficult although the end-of-course project (instead of an exam) requires preparation, forethought and careful selection in order to have a polished end product; my view is that this should be integrated earlier on in the course for adequate development of a thesis.

I felt the development of this module (at the time) seemed to be keeping pace just ahead of the course progression (which might be a slightly unfair observation), but did not remove from its quality. Whilst my online tutor was excellent, I would have preferred some face-to-face tutoring contact.

Course starting: January 2010

Review posted: September 2011

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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