BUSI4468 Business Economics (Autumn 2023) Coursework Guidance
The only form of assessment for this module is an individual coursework, which will therefore form 100% of your mark. The deadline for you to electronically submit your work to Moodle will be 19th December 2023, 3pm. Student Services will set up the submission link, providing you with all necessary information (including how to use Turnitin and a video regarding Academic Integrity). See the Student Services website for further details of this process. Late submission will attract a mark penalty unless an extension has been approved by Student Services. Please familiarise yourself with the extenuating circumstances policy and process for submitting a claim. Provision for up to 5-day coursework extension without evidence, as per section 4.2.2. of the new EC policy is not permitted for this assessment. Your work must respect a maximum word limit of 2000 words. An accurate word count must be reported at the outset of your submitted answer. Graphs (if edited by you), short appendixes (optionally read by the reader/marker – see the general advice below) and bibliography do not count against the limit. Exceeding the limit will attract mark penalties.
General criteria and advice
1. Please read the guidelines on general essay writing from your course induction and handbooks. Markers will be expecting you to adhere to them.
2. The focus of this course is on basic economic principles and approaches, and a desirable outcome is that you gain and demonstrate a solid understanding of these, and the ability to apply them to different settings. The coursework is intended to give you scope to exhibit this ability, and this will be reflected in the mark you receive.
3. The coursework questions are all essay type questions on topics well covered and discussed in the course material. However, your answer should clearly reflect your independent elaboration on the topic, supported by you research of sources, and making use of the economics approach and logic. Critical assessment and observations are really welcome but must be grounded on robust economic logic and arguments.
4. Try to confine your research to texts, academic literature, and reliable sources of empirical evidence. A recent review article on the relevant subject matter is a good place to start – from that you can follow up on the useful-looking references. Please don’t include material from Wikipedia or blog posts – they are not generally reliable sources and you will be liable for errors which result.
5. The use of diagrams and numerical example is neither compulsory, nor prohibited. It is, however, often the case that diagrams and examples are the most concise way of getting an argument across. Drawing your graphs and inserting them as a picture in the document is fine.
6. You can of course use appendices, although it is unusual for this to be appropriate in assignments of this nature. They do not count against the word limit. But remember that the point of an appendix is to provide additional extraneous material outside the main scope of discussion, for the reader (and marker) to refer to optionally. So don’t use the appendix as a way of including material if you are over the word limit in the main text.
7. Please do not try to shy away from answering the topic set. You can only be awarded marks for the material which can be deemed relevant to the topic. Be clear that this is an essay in the discipline of economics; avoid straying into other territory.
Coursework question – Microeconomics
Read the following news articles carefully: 1. Aldi reports record UK sales as shoppers change habits in cost of living crisis. The
Guardian, September 2023 2. Lidl stokes looming grocery price war with claims to be “the destination for the lowest
prices”. Evening Standard, January, 2022. 3. Banana price war in UK supermarkets is hurting farmers, growers warn. The Guardian,
October 2021. Discuss the main characteristics of the UK supermarket industry and how they explain firms’ pricing strategies and profits. In particular, explain: • Which industry characteristics increase the likelihood of a price war and why? • Do price wars affect all the firms in the industry in the same way? Why? Why not? • How do industry characteristics and firms’ strategies affect the way in which they are
affected by exogenous shocks (like the cost of living crisis)? • Explain carefully why and how supermarkets price wars affect farmers. This coursework question is designed to assess your understanding of basic microeconomic concepts, as well as your ability to apply this understanding to real-world industries. Your answer should be well-organised, well-argued, and supported by evidence from academic and other sources.
Coursework question – Macroeconomics
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on economies around the world, both developed and developing. Governments and central banks have implemented a range of fiscal and monetary policy measures to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. Compare and contrast the fiscal and monetary policy responses of the UK and another developed country (of your choice) to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, you should:
• Discuss the different types of fiscal and monetary policy measures that have been implemented in the UK and your chosen developed country.
• Evaluate the impact of these measures on the economy in both countries.
• Discuss the challenges of implementing fiscal and monetary policy in a pandemic environment, and how these challenges may have affected the effectiveness of these policies in both countries.
• Draw conclusions about the overall effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policy in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and your chosen developed country. This coursework question is designed to assess your understanding of fiscal and monetary policy, as well as your ability to apply this understanding to a real-world economic event in a comparative context. Your answer should be well-organised, well- argued, and supported by evidence from academic and other sources.
Postgraduate Marking Criteria
Classification at degree
Mark Range Standard of Work
Distinction 80+ Outstanding piece of work All major and minor objectives achieved Excellent comprehension and informed criticism and analysis Evidence of outstanding work beyond question and some originality Free from errors and showing advanced analytical skills
Distinction 70-79 Excellent piece of work All major and some minor objectives achieved Very good comprehension and analysis of the issues involved Excellent familiarity with the source material No major errors and only occasional minor errors
Merit 60-69 Careful and clear piece of work Most major objectives achieved Good understanding of the topic Good grasp and analysis of major issues No major errors though some minor errors
Pass 50-59 Middle of the range piece of work Basic question answered with relevant analysis Discusses and understands most relevant issues Material a bit thin and/or poorly focused Possible major and some minor errors
Fail 40-49 Relatively poor piece of work Few major objectives achieved Demonstrates understanding of the general field Inadequate reading/preparation Occasional major and some minor errors.
Fail 30-39 A failed piece of work Not a full answer to the question set Still shows some understanding of the general field Inadequate reading/preparation Major errors
Fail 0-29 A badly failed piece of work No real attempt to answer the question Poor arguments and lack of relevance Completely inadequate reading/ preparation Generally unsound