Skip to main content

Course Content and Format


Course format

The three day course will be delivered via a mixture of lectures and supervised interactive model-based exercises. The course will include time for simulations and scenario analysis from the models.

Each day will be broken into four 90 minute sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

In addition to your intensive teaching sessions, there will be plenty of opportunities to network and get to know fellow participants which is a valuable part of the course. We are also excited to be able to offer several guest lectures as part of the course. The course includes:

  • a welcome dinner as part of the course in the vibrant and lively area of the Knowledge Quarter
  • a guest lecture on the first evening
  • a practitioners’ panel during the final session
  • a celebration reception on the last evening. You will receive a University of Warwick certificate of attendance on completion of the programme.

We will also send you detailed joining instructions in advance of the programme. There will be no need to prepare anything in advance. Once completed, participants will be welcome to maintain links with NIESR and attend our public events.

If you would like to extend your visit by spending the weekend in London, please let us know and we can recommend some hotels. Christmas in London is certainly worth experiencing.

Course content and schedule

  • Session 1: The Use of Models. Why we use models, what they can and cannot say. Whether forecast accuracy is a reasonable way to examine performance. Why models are imperfect and yet still useful.
  • Session 2: An Overview of a Global Model: NiGEM We will explain how a global econometric model can help us frame and understand key questions. The model will be briefly outlined and some forecasting examples explained e.g. we will look at the impact of changes in Chinese growth on the rest of the world and the impact of equity and house price shocks on the global economy.
  • Guest lecture: from Professor Ron Smith, Professor of Applied Economics at Birkbeck College, University of London.
  • Course dinner and special lecture: from Professor Jagjit Chadha, Director of the National Institute.
  • Session 3: Simulations: Fiscal, Monetary, and Oil Participants will be given the opportunity to run the model with their own monetary and fiscal parameters. We will run a monetary policy game with participants to see how well they can control the economy.
  • Session 4: The View from the Frontline Policymakers are both consumers and producers of model forecasts. We will outline the way that we learnt about the emerging financial crisis in 2007/8 and how policymakers responded.
  • Session 5: Modelling the Unknown: Brexit. The announcement in February 2016 that was to be a referendum on UK membership of the EU allowed NIESR to formulate views about the impact of a possible exit on the UK economy. We will explain how those scenarios were constructed and we evaluated the impact of a future shock on current activity.
  • Session 6: Pulling it all together. This session will describe how ‘density forecasts’ – a description of the range of possible outcomes and their likelihood – can be constructed and communicated. The use and construction of density forecasts give the decision-maker a problem. Do they use the central forecast or act to minimise the probability of the largest error. Do they treat the forecast as derived with error and what role then is there for judgement? Does the availability of instruments to offset undesirable outcomes change the policy choice?
  • There will also be a Practitioners’ Panel. In this final session we will try to understand how HM Treasury develop a view based on many models, how these views are communicated to decision-makers and also how the Bank of England uses a suite of models to understand better macroeconomic developments. We are fortunate to be joined by Matthew Weston from HM Treasury and Ryland Thomas from the Bank of England.
  • Graduation: drinks reception
09:30 – 09:45
Morning refreshments
09:45 – 11:15
Morning Session 1
11:15 – 11:30
Mid-morning refreshments
11:30 – 13:00
Morning Session 2
13:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 15:30
Afternoon Session 1
15:30 – 15:45
Afternoon refreshments
15:45 – 17:15
Afternoon Session 2

In addition you can look forward to a guest lecture at 5.30pm and welcome dinner at 7pm on day one and a graduation ceremony and celebration reception on day three from 5.30-7pm.