An undergraduate Economics student discusses how guest lecturers, such as Professor Al Roth, can enhance the student experience.
Economics is a department within Birmingham Business School, which has many strong links with industry. As well as exploring theoretical aspects, you’ll find that your degree has a strong practical focus, and this is reflected in the way you’ll be taught.
Learning from experts in their field, you will be encouraged to think for yourself and will experience a number of different learning settings, including lectures, tutorials and even the opportunity to be involved in our Economics Laboratory.
Our aim is to equip you with specific skills in economics, but also generic skills that can be applied right across the job spectrum, such as analytical and data analysis.
As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts.
How will I be taught?
During your time at the Business School you will experience teaching through a mixture of lectures and tutorials. Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.
Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject and allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.
You are assessed mainly through examinations, with some assessed assignments for more practical modules. Whilst abroad you will complete an essay, which is to be examined for both language and economics content, and you will also write an extended essay in your fourth year, allowing you to consolidate the wide range of your acquired skills.
At the end of this degree, you should have a good appreciation of economics relating to financial markets and institutions; quantitative techniques for empirical analysis of economic and financial data; accounting concepts relevant to financial market analysis; the legal aspects of financial services; and the history, culture, political structure and economy of the relevant European country, allied to a high level of linguistic skill.
As well as time with your lecturers and personal tutor, academic and professional services staff (like our dedicated Careers Network team) will be available to offer individual and group support throughout your time here at Birmingham.
Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).
Click and drag in the image above to take a virtual tour of our campus.
You’ll find our Economics department staff here at Birmingham located in a building at the heart of our world famous main campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The main Edgbaston campus is close to the city centre but has all the amenities of a small town, as well as its own railway station.
In 2012, Birmingham Business School founded and invested in The Birmingham Experimental Economics Laboratory (BEEL) which enables economics experiments to take place on campus. The laboratory focuses on research into individual and strategic decision making and students are actively encouraged to participate in these experiments.
To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.
Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.
Virtual and enquiry based learning
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an excellent tool for supporting our academic courses, allowing you to share thoughts on assignments with other students via the discussion group facilities, and even submit your work electronically.
Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) is a group activity which requires you to work in a team, with a variety of assessment methods; in either a group or individually, by written reports and sometimes as a presentation. Based on techniques used in research-led organisations like the University of Birmingham, EBL gives you a research-orientated approach to a problem and helps you to gain essential skills that are highly valued by employers.
Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.
You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams.
During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.
At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.