The course aims to provide you with the skills and competence needed to be able to apply economic principles to the solution of business problems. The course concentrates on applied aspects of economics, rather than the theoretical approach. You will study eight taught units, followed by a dissertation, all contained within the 12 month duration of the course. This course will enable you to understand the fundamental principles of economic theory and evaluate that knowledge in the context of individual, business and public-sector decision-making. You will gain an understanding of business decisions and strategy, particularly in connection with corporate finance, pricing, product analysis and advertising. The principles of investment appraisal are also covered, as applied to investment projects in both the developed and developing countries.
The course is arranged in three consecutive stages consisting of various units of study, operated through a credit accumulation scheme, under which each unit attracts a specific number of course credits. The course has been designed to give you the maximum amount of flexibility in terms of study and to make it possible for you to acquire a qualification over an extended period by accumulating the necessary course credits until the required total has been reached.
Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) – four units from October to January provides the principles and theories needed for this level of study of business economics. Emphasis in stage one is divided between the academic rigour of the main theory and the development of more applied courses, designed to develop relevant economic and business skills.
Principles of Economic Theory
This unit introduces the fundamental concepts, approaches and analyses used by economists in both the local context (individual or business) and in the wider national or global environment. These principles are developed so that you can appreciate their relevance to individual, business and public sector decision-making.
The economic approach to investigating a problem or assessing a situation so as to make a balanced decision frequently involves collecting and analysing appropriate data. This unit introduces you to the essential quantitative techniques and methods used in business economics. At the end of the unit, you should be able to collect and analyse appropriate data, applying the techniques to business related problems, as well as understanding the limitations of, and constraints on, the use of these techniques.
The aim of the unit is to equip you with an understanding of the principles of managerial economics and the relevance and application of economic theory to the solution of business problems. On its completion, you should be able to apply economic theories and principles to decision-making in the areas of product pricing, product analysis, and promotion and advertising. You will also appreciate the context of mergers and takeovers, and foreign investment.
This unit introduces the concepts, methodologies and basic methods of undertaking and implementing research in economics and the social sciences.
Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) – (three compulsory units and one optional unit) from February to June. This stage is designed to introduce more advanced aspects of economic decision-making and finance.
This unit aims to introduce you to the basic principles of investment appraisal and to apply these principles to investment projects in developed and developing countries. The first part of the course focuses on standard cash flow manipulation techniques, such as discounting and choosing between mutually exclusive projects. The second part of the course considers the determination of appropriate cash flows that satisfy alternative objectives of the decision-making unit, including the firm/individual and the public sector.
Applied Corporate Finance
Whether from an investment bank perspective or from within the finance (treasury) department of a corporation, an assessment of the financial health of a company is paramount. This unit introduces and exposes students to corporate financial management, valuation and investment, with the emphasis being on corporate risk analysis. The unit is an applied course equipping students with the tools necessary to critically analyse, evaluate and offer recommendations on firm specific financial and business data.
International Trade and Finance
You will develop an understanding of how economic principles can be applied to international economic and financial issues. In particular, you will develop appropriate critiques and evaluate the theoretical basis of international economic problems so as to assess the impact of economic policies within an international context.
There are a range of postgraduate units available, from which you select one. The choices currently offered, subject to demand and lecturer availability, are:
-Futures and Options Markets
-Economics of Insurance
-Economics of the Internet and the Digital Economy
-Advanced Topics in Business Economics
Master (MA) – from June to September (leading to MSc) consists of a 14,000 word dissertation.
You will undertake an investigation of an appropriate, closely specified topic, using the skills you have learnt. You will have the opportunity to initiate, design and conduct a piece of research using original thought and independent judgement. You will have a supervisor from a member of the academic staff who will be available to advise you at regular meetings. The dissertation is normally completed over the summer months, allowing a 12-month phase from start to finish.
Successful students may either terminate their studies at the end of a stage or proceed onto the next stage of the course. Successful candidates leaving the course at the end of stage one qualify for the award of Postgraduate Certificate. Successful students leaving the course at the end of stage two qualify for the award of Postgraduate Diploma. Students successfully completing stage three qualify for the award of Master of Arts degree.
The part time mode for the course (available to home/EU students) has the same philosophy and sequence of subjects as the full time mode and students may alternate between the full and part time modes if such a pattern is best suited to their circumstances.