ECON 7238 - Challenges in Economic Policy and Applied Research

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

The course deals with controversial aspects of economic policy faced by governments, focusing on real-world applications of economic insights. Policy challenges addressed in the course will range across different areas of policy. Issues of relevance to both domestic and international policy will be explored as will topics of particular importance in developing countries. This exploration also involves the development of relevant research skills and students undertaking individual research projects that exhibit original investigation, critical reflection and interpretation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 7238
    Course Challenges in Economic Policy and Applied Research
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week, including individual meetings
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ECON 7001 or ECON 7243
    Incompatible ECON 7220
    Assumed Knowledge 12 units of Economics PG or higher courses
    Assessment Assessment will typically include the following components: class participation, literature review and a policy paper
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Kostas Mavromaras

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Acquire economic insights relevant to policy issues.
    2. Apply economic analysis to local, state, national and international policy issues.
    3. Prepare material on and present economic insights with policy relevance.
    4. Provide and respond to constructive criticism of economic policy analysis.
    5. Evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature.
    6. Demonstrate specialist knowledge in an area of economic policy and research
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Access to textbooks from Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics may be helpful: The content of these two courses is the assumed knowledge of this course.

    Additional material will be provided during the course.
    Online Learning

    This course will be delivered face-to-face.

    The course will make extensive use of MyUni to post notes, task assignments, and student project papers, and for communication with the students.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The contact time in this course is made up mainly of one three-hour lecture per week. Given the small class size and important role of student projects, the "lecture" time will have significant student input, including presentations and discussions of projects. In addition to the lecture, individual guidance is provided to the students as they work on their projects. A workshop may also be offered to the students to help them develop their research skills, writing skills and presentation skills. Information about the workshop will be provided on MyUni. Participation in the workshop is optional.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This translates to 24 hours per week for a 6-unit semester course.

    Learning Activities Summary

    Teaching & Learning Activities Related to Learning Outcomes
    Lectures 1, 2, 5
    Workshop (optional) 3, 4, 5
    Presentation 2, 3, 4, 6
    Peer discussion 2, 4, 6

    Students are guided step by step in preparing and providing informed policy advice.
    The week-to-week agenda of lectures is fine-tuned to student needs - depending on class size and the students' interests.

    In the first weeks, principles of economic policymaking are introduced, and students learn to think about real-world economic policy challenges. For each student, a key policy issue is identified that suits the student's interests. Your aim is to become a "house expert" (author/presenter) on that particular issue.

    The first step in developing your expertise is your Literature Review Assignment - a review of the relevant theoretical and applied literature on your topic. Lectures and individual guidance support you in your Literature Review. You learn to find out “what is out there” striking a pragmatic balance introduced by time constraints: the objective is go deep enough but not deep and at the same time to cover adequate ground but not go too wide including material less central to your topic. You will deliver a written Literature Review during the course. Details will be discussed in the first lectures.

    Your second step builds on your Literature Review. You undertake a Research Project which focuses on one of the policy problems your Literature Review identified in need of further information. Your Research Project will be presented (written and oral presentation) as if a policy maker requested a written policy report with specific policy advice. Your objective is to advise your “client”, as clearly as possible, about specific action on a specific problem that concerns them. Exactly how these two tasks can be conducted simulating a real life policy environment will be part of the discussions in the lectures, recognizing that the success of a report does not only depend on the research effort, but also on the way the research effort is tailored to the actual problems and the way this can be clearly communicated to the policy maker.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Due Date/Week Weighting Learning Outcomes
    Literature Review Draft - Individual essay Week 5 0% 1, 2, 5
    Literature Review Final - Individual essay Week 8 45% 1, 2, 5
    Policy Paper Draft - Individual essay Week 10 0% 3, 4, 6
    Oral Presentation early draft - Policy Paper Week 11-12 0% 3, 4, 5, 6
    Participation, contribution (incl. paper oral) Weeks 1-12 10% 3, 4, 5, 6
    Policy Paper Final - Individual report Week 14 45% 2 - 6
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process, and may affect marks. Marks cannot be awarded for answers that cannot be read or understood.
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    All deadlines and milestones will be detailed in MyUni.

    Written submissions will be made electronically via MyUni.

    Dates for oral presentations will be coordinated by the lecturer, and will occur during scheduled class time.

    Students are expected to meet all deadlines as clearly detailed on MyUni. Late submissions will not be accepted. Exceptions may be made in line with the University's Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessments Policy.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.