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Title: Exploring an undergraduate economics curriculum : an investigation of lecturers in the UK and Singapore
Author: Patel, J.
Awarding Body: UCL University College London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This investigation of economics education in the UK and Singapore aims to explore an undergraduate economics curriculum. My premise is a belief that young adults have the right to access an excellent economics education at university so that they can better understand the world around them to make informed choices as participants in society. Although the 2008 global financial crisis and subsequent Euro-zone crisis have contributed to a resurgence of economics at both secondary school and university level, neo-classical economics was limited in its ability as to explain the crisis. Both students and teachers have since combined to synthesise and enact a change in the undergraduate economics curriculum. My thesis investigates one such curriculum innovation in undergraduate level economics; the CORE project, which has been piloted at UCL from September 2014. Taking an analytical approach, I investigate the CORE project and its implications on the teaching of undergraduate economics at a Singapore-based American University. I utilise qualitative data by way of primary data; collected using group interviews and email surveys with professors in economics and education and secondary data, by way of curriculum artefacts. I collected, transcribed, coded and analysed this qualitative data manually, allowing for a holistic discussion around the critiques, features and educational implications of the CORE project and non-CORE undergraduate economics curriculum. I observed that while the CORE project is a positive step, it represents an evolutionary change towards a revolution in undergraduate level economics. I argue that the ontological and epistemological basis of neo-classical economics is limited, needs critiquing and possibly reconceptualising. By challenging economics' reliance on over-simplified theories, concepts and economic models, teachers can create an engaging, dynamic learning environment where students' understanding of the subject can be deepened. My study recommends the incorporation of the Bhaskarian notion of 'critical realism' as the conceptual framework in Economics and in particular, the adoption of a 'retroductive' approach (Bhaskar, 1979) to improve the teaching of undergraduate level economics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available