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Economics > Interdisciplinary study

1. How does the Economics Department define interdisciplinary study?


Keywords: Diverse, Flexible and Interdepartmental

From its website, the Economics Department seems to define interdisciplinary study in its undergraduate study as the provision of a flexible, diverse and interdepartmental curriculum that complements its core economic teaching.

  • Diverse:

All undergraduate degrees in the Department are based on a structure involving core modules in economic analysis and quantitative techniques, other required modules (according to the degree course selected), and diverse optional modules.

  • Flexible:

Great flexibility in the choice of optional modules permits students to either specialize or diversify. Flexibility is greater in single Honours courses than in those leading to joint Honours.

Studying at Warwick: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/

  • Interdepartmental:

A wide choice of optional modules is available in Economics and modules may also be taken in other departments such as Languages, Politics and International Studies, Law, Mathematics, Statistics and the Warwick Business School.

The Economics Department works closely with the Mathematics, Statistics and Philosophy departments to contribute to the provision of three other honours degrees involving combined courses:

BSc. Mathematics and Economics

BSc. MORSE and MMORSE

B.A./BSc. Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Degrees: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/#degrees



2. In what ways do single, combined and joint honours courses claim to be interdisciplinary?


KEYWORDS: SINGLE COURSES, COMBINED COURSES, OPTIONAL MODULES, MULTIDISCIPLINARY


The Economics department undergraduate courses can be put into two categories: single honours and combined honours degrees. These are degrees in:

BSc. Economics (single)

BSc. Economics and Industrial Organization (combined)

BSc. Economics and Economic History (combined)

BSc./B.A. Economics, Politics and International Studies (combined)

Degrees: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/#degrees


Single honours:

The single honours BSc. Economics degree claims to be interdisciplinary in the following ways:

  • It has a wide choice of optional modules available in other departments such as Languages, Politics and International Studies, Law, Mathematics, Statistics and the Warwick Business School.

Studying Economics at Warwick: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics

  • In both Year One and Year Two students can select an optional module from a long list of modules offered by departments such as Economics; Business Studies; Politics and International Studies; Law; Mathematics; Statistics. Examples of interdisciplinary modules taken up include Mathematical Economics 1; Russian Industrialisation; Management Accounting; Financial Theory; Industrial Relations; Marketing Analysis; Politics in the UK.

  • In Year Three students can select three modules chosen from a long list including many Business Studies and Politics and International Studies options, as well as modules in Law and from other Social Science and Arts departments. Examples of Year 3 interdisciplinary modules include Mathematical Economics 2; Financial Analysis; European Integration; Political Aspects of Environmental Planning; International Law.

  • In addition to the above, students in Year One can take up an optional module in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Russian languages at beginners’ or intermediate level. Year Two and Year Three students can also select the above languages as optional modules at a specified level.

Page 2 – 3: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/economics.pdf


Combined Honours:

The combined courses administered by the Economics Department claim to each offer multi-disciplinary courses that combine key economic concepts with other fields such as history, business, politics and international studies.

  • The BSc. Economics and Industrial Organization degree is designed for students who are looking for an Economics degree more specifically directed at business and industry-related issues. The individual modules stress the applied aspects of Economics and include a range of options offered by the Warwick Business School including business and finance related modules.

Economics and Industrial Organization: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/l112/

  • The BSc. Economics and Economic History degree aims to combine an understanding of economic concepts with a grasp of historical sources. It has similar modules to the BSc. Economics degree, however students can select certain history optional modules in each of the three years of study.

Economics and Economic History: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/lv13/

  • The B.A./BSc. Economics, Politics and International Studies degree claims to offers students a challenging multi-disciplinary course in economic and political analysis at the national and international level. The First Year consists of a foundation year in three disciplines (Political Science, Economics, and International Studies). In the Second and Third Years students may specialise in Politics and International Studies (leading to the degree of BA) whilst continuing with Economics as a minor subject, or in Economics (leading to the degree of BSc) whilst continuing with Politics and International Studies as the minor subject.

Economics, Politics and International Studies: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/lld2/



Conclusions:


The single honours (BSc. Economics) degree claims to be interdisciplinary by its provision of optional modules from other social sciences, mathematical and business related departments that students can select from in all their years of study. The courses' interdisciplinary nature is also reflected on the provision of optional language modules for students in all years.

The combined courses offer interdisciplinary studies by combining several fields into one degree. These degrees have core and optional modules from several disciplines and departments. This allows students to learn both economic concepts and other fields of interest such as politics, international studies and history. However, it can be argued that the disciplines combined in the courses above are somewhat of a similar nature and may easily be categorized within the same discipline rather than being desciribed as interdisciplinary e.g. economics and economic history.



DISCOURSE ANALYSIS

Reference: How does the Economics Department define interdisciplinary study?

Although the department does not explicitly stress the word ‘interdisciplinary’ in its literature it uses the terms flexibility and diversify in defining the interdisciplinary nature of its undergraduate curriculum.

The phrase ‘Great flexibility in the choice of optional modules permits students to either specialise or diversify’ is used to describe the opportunity for students to use optional modules as a tool to diversify their individual course across disciplines if they wish to do so.

‘Flexibility is greater in single Honours courses than in those leading to joint Honours’ creates an impression that the interdisciplinarity and flexibility of economics courses is mainly as a result of the diversity of optional modules rather than the combination of certain disciplines in joint Honours courses.

The Economics department also lists other departments, whose modules its students can choose, as evidence of the interdepartmental nature of its curriculum: 'A wide choice of optional modules is available in Economics and modules may also be taken in other departments such as Languages, Politics and International Studies, Law, Mathematics, Statistics and the Warwick Business School'.

Studying at Warwick: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/


‘It combines economic analysis with historical knowledge to advance understanding of such issues as Britain’s position in Europe and the determinants of economic growth’

‘It combines economic analysis with historical knowledge to advance understanding of such issues as Britain’s position in Europe and the determinants of economic growth’

Economics and Economic History: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/lv13/

‘This degree is for students who wish to follow a challenging multi-disciplinary course in economic and political analysis at the national and international level.’

Economics, Politics and International Studies: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/depta2z/economics/lld2/