AF5042 - World Economy

What will I learn on this module?

The world economy continues to become more interconnected and many social and economic challenges are not limited to national boundaries but are global. This module will introduce you to the basic concepts, theories and methods used by economists to understand and explain the features of the modern world economy. The module will introduce you to international relations and develop your understanding of how they impact the world economy. You will begin to develop a critical understanding of the history and methodology of international economics and the winners and losers of globalisation. At the end of the module you will be able to apply the relevant theory and economic frameworks to critically analyse the macroeconomic landscape and alternative policy options available to governments across the world.

The module will cover:

The history of the global economy and international institutions.

The history and dynamics of international trade and foreign direct investment.

National and international policy approaches to sustainability and climate change and their implications for economic development.

The effect of innovation waves on the global economy.

Labour resources and the demographic factors of economic growth.

The geography of international migration flows.

The emergence of global value chains and the rise of China and India.

Understanding the role of trade in achieving the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development will be central to the discussion on this module. This module will help you explore and analyse the impact of globalisation and international macroeconomics on global poverty and inequality.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will explore the world economy and the effect of integration of world markets through a mix of lectures (24 hours), interactive seminars (12 hours) and web-based discussion groups and tutor support. Additional subject-area guest speakers may also come to present.

At the start of the module you will be provided with a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which will detail the structure and content of the module on a week by week basis and provide guidance on pre-seminar reading and research. The TLP will also provide suggested learning activities to guide your independent directed (82 hours) and self-directed (82 hours) learning. Independent learning is encouraged and will include reading newspapers, business journals and watching relevant international documentaries to broaden your knowledge of contemporary world economy issues.

Lectures will provide an in-depth introduction to foundational concepts and required quantitative techniques. Seminars will provide you an opportunity to enhance and explore your understanding of key concepts introduced in lectures, through case-studies, tutor guided discussion with other students and practical group activities. Throughout the module, there will be an emphasis on high levels of student participation, both individually and within small groups or teams.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning will be supported throughout by the module teaching team who are available to provide feedback and answer your questions, either in person or by email. During seminars your tutor will provide regular formative feedback to support your learning. Engagement with web-based discussion boards will be encouraged as an opportunity to collaborate and explore topics with peers and get informal peer review and feedback.

You will also be provided with access to a range of reading and visual materials, including journal articles, reports, international documentaries, newspaper and magazine articles, videos, blogs and company reports through the e-Learning platform (eLP). The teaching and learning plan (TLP) will provide a wide-ranging reading list of both core and supplementary materials to guide and support your independent learning and preparation for lectures and seminars.

Your lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the eLP which will give you an opportunity to review and consolidate your knowledge and develop your understanding at your pace.

To assist your learning and research, you will also have access to the University’s library facilities, including extensive electronic resources, eBooks and electronic academic journal articles.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

Understand the effect of globalisation on welfare and income distribution (MLO1).

Interpret the relationship between the global economy and national macroeconomic issues (MLO2).

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Develop and critically assess your interpersonal and communication skills (MLO3).

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

Develop and critique your research skills by investigating economic issues and synthesising the material into an evaluative research paper (MLO4)

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment will take place through applied individual and group activities in seminars. You will be encouraged to discuss your research through presentations, peer review activities and web-based discussion boards.

Summative Assessment

This module will be assessed through a combination of:

A 20-minute (plus 10-minutes of questions from the panel) group presentation in week 10 and an accompanying 4-page brochure (formatted using MS PowerPoint, Canva, MS Publisher, etc.) (50% weight).

A 2000-word individual research-based essay (50% weight) to explore the concepts surrounding the topics covered on the module.

Both assessment components will address MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4





Module abstract

Globalisation continues to have a significant impact on national economies and issues of poverty and inequality. This course will provide you with the theoretical tools to analyse the economic relationships between countries, covering both trade and welfare issues. The first half of the module will introduce you to the historical context of the global economy. You will explore important topics such as why countries trade with each other and the effect of international trade and investment on welfare and income distribution and analyse the role of the firm in the world economy.

The second half of the module will explore the process of global change. Key topics will explore the effect of labour resources and the geography of international migration flows. This will provide you with an introduction to the current international labour policy environment and its impact on international trade relations and foreign direct investment.

By reviewing historical events from the Great Depression of 1932 to the Covid-19 pandemic, you will be given frameworks for interpreting such events and their impacts on the world economy. By the end of the course you will be able to apply the theory and economic frameworks to analyse macroeconomic landscapes and policy options available to different governments. Particular attention will be paid to the role of the world economy in achieving the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Course info

UCAS Code L110

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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