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Cursus: ECB1IEBE
Introduction to Economics and Business Economics
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (EC)7,5
Learning objectives 
At the end of the course you have acquired:

•         Basic knowledge of economic concepts;
•         An overview of explanatory strategies of economists compared with other social sciences;
•         Insight in theoretical and methodological connections between economics and other disciplines.
After the Second World War, economics developed from a largely verbal discipline that shared theories, methods, and approaches with other social sciences, such as history, sociology and political science, into a highly mathematical discipline that seemed to no longer share theories and methods with its ‘sister-social-sciences’. Mathematical models, tested on statistics, became a distinguishing feature of economics, to such an extent that some contemporary economists came to identify economics with its methods, rather than its theories, and the economics discipline as an insular tribe with little or no points of contact with the other social sciences. However, because economics became a method-based discipline, it actually is not a unified discipline, but rather a patchwork of several fields, where each field has its own favoured methods to investigate its own specific phenomena.

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the various economic fields by investigating these fields in their historical and methodological context and the linkages between these different fields and to other related sciences. In this way, this overview will provide a reflection of the bachelor’s curriculum – the way it is built up and how the several courses are connected – such that this course will function as an introductory course to the bachelor of USE. It will also give us the opportunity to have brief excursions into the different dedicated minors offered at USE: law, social science, geography, and data analytics.

Parallel to this, the course includes a training in basic academic skills. This academic skills part teaches how to write a short scientific literature review. Step by step you learn how to find the relevant literature, to write a bibliography, an abstract, an introduction, a conclusion, and a literature review. You learn how to use academic language, to support your arguments, to paraphrase, to avoid plagiarism, to evaluate research papers, and to synthesise research. Moreover, attention will be paid to study skills which will help to make your study a success.

Academic skills
This course focuses on the following academic skills:

Analytical skills:
•        Being able to identify, interpret and critically evaluate the main line of reasoning, for specific questions. 
•        Being able to evaluate evidence in text and presentations for specific questions. 

​​Communication skills
•        Being able to prepare - in a structured assignment - an abstract, an introduction and a conclusion of an article. 

Information processing
•        ​​Being able to make use of the UU library sources (using Libguides).
•        Understanding the definition and the importance of avoiding plagiarism.
•        Being able to select a style of referencing and to apply the style instructions for references in text, and for a reference list.

Academic reasoning
•        ​Thinking conceptually, thinking in terms of theory.
•        Asking critical questions, having a curiosity-driven and critical attitude. 
•        Analysing questions from different perspectives. 
•        Identifying links between problems. 

Academic research
•        Being able to search and select (additional) sources for the research. 
•        Being able to apply theoretical concepts in research. 
•        Being able to use correct references. 
•        Being able to draw clear and correct conclusions. 

Social responsibility
•        Develop a scientific and professional integrity.
•        Being able to reflect critically on the position and ethics of economic theory, institutions and behaviour. 

Lecture, tutorial, feedback, library instruction.

Effort requirements
•         80% attendance of all tutorials;
•         Timely handing in of answers to weekly reading questions.

Assessment method
  • Individual writing assignments and group presentation (40% of the final grade)
  • Final test (60% of the final grade)

Course repeaters 
Students who signed up for the course in (one or more of the) previous years, and did not drop the course in time, or failed the course, may participate in the course repeaters programme. Repeaters are not entitled to follow the regular tutorials.

With respect to the teaching format, this implies that course repeaters:
•         Can follow the regular lectures;
•         Can subscribe for the five special repeaters tutorials (group size 50). The precise conditions are described below; 
•         Do not have special tutorials just before each exam; 
•         And do not have to fulfill the effort requirements

For all repeaters it is necessary that they have to register for the course to be able to do the exams.

Participation in the special repeaters tutorials is only possible if:
1.       You have registered yourself in time in Osiris student for this course. Only then you are entitled to do the exams.
2.       You have registered yourself in time for the special repeaters tutorials via a reply on the mail of the student desk.
3.       You show commitment by doing your homework every week. We will check it at the start of every tutorial.
4.       You show commitment by preparing yourself for each tutorial. If not, you will be excluded immediately of participation in the special repeaters tutorials. A hardship clause is provided. 
5.       You show commitment to devote enough time to this course.
6.       Work is no reason to dismiss classes.
Given these rules, you are entitled to full commitment of the teacher, including support by e-mail.

With respect to the assessment method, this implies that course repeaters:
•         Have an end-term exam (100%);
•         Can do a supplementary or replacement exam.
In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.

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