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2: Diploma Course

Getting started

Induction and enrolment

Enrolment and registration at the University is a two-step process. By now you should have already completed step one by enrolling online and submitting a photo. It is important that you do this so that you will have a University card which will enable you to use the Library and computing services, including email, both of which you will need right from the start of the course. Step two involves collecting your University card once you arrive here. Find out more details about enrolment at www.warwick.ac.uk/study/welcome.

Our Induction Programme begins in the Welcome Week (28 September - 2 October 2020) and includes a range of important academic and social activities including: departmental welcome and registration, introductory meetings and your pre-sessional classes for Econometrics, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. Details of your induction timetable will be available via https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/current/dip/induction and will also be sent to you prior to your arrival.

Introduction to computing

There will be a presentation by IT Services staff during your induction to introduce you to the computer network at Warwick.

Find out more about the various facilities and further general information provided by the University IT Services at: warwick.ac.uk/services/its/servicessupport.

In addition to the induction mentioned above, IT Services also provide further training courses to students at various levels (www.warwick.ac.uk/services/its/servicessupport/training).

Introduction to the University Library

You will have a Library Introduction meeting and a Database Training session to acquaint you with the University of Warwick library facilities.

Please refer to the Diploma Induction Timetable for dates and times of these sessions.

More information about the Library can be found on the University Library website. Helen Riley is the Economics Support Librarian - her email address is: Helen.Riley@warwick.ac.uk

English Language Help

If English is not your first language and you wish to improve or are having problems, consult the Centre for English Language Teacher Education. View a list of the in-sessional courses that are provided at: www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/study/learn-english/in-sessional

You can attend these courses even if you have already taken the pre-sessional courses. Please note that approved bilingual dictionaries are now allowed in University examinations (see page 34 for more information).

Course overview

The Diploma programme is quite demanding because it consists mainly of second-year undergraduate modules designed primarily for students who have already done one year of economics. Although there is additional teaching for Diploma students, you will find that there is a lot to learn very quickly. You will have received an email over the summer with further details on preparing for the Diploma programme in Economics, together with some preparation exercises. These are not tests, but are designed to prepare you for the level of the Diploma programme. Spending time thinking about the answer to an exercise is valuable even if you don’t come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Once the academic year begins, you will have to take three core modules and will have a choice of optional modules.

The most likely module choices are listed below. However, variation is possible and if you want to choose a combination of modules to meet your own particular circumstances you may be allowed to do so. Please talk to the Diploma Course Director about this. It is possible that some modules may be amended or withdrawn because of staffing changes. However, the modules that run will not be radically different from what is described.

The core modules are the main core modules from the second year of the BSc Economics degree. The lectures are taught jointly with the undergraduates, but as a Diploma student you have separate module Support and Feedback classes for your core modules.

Pre-sessional classes

Students on the Diploma in Economics come from a variety of backgrounds in terms of their academic preparation. In order to assist in the adjustment to the level of the core modules Macroeconomics 2, Microeconomics 2, and Econometrics, we provide pre-sessional classes to prepare you for the material taught in these core modules. The pre-sessional classes will start on Tuesday 29 September 2020 and will cover basic exercises in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Statistics. You are required to go to all pre-sessional classes. There are also some introductory videos on core modules. More information on the Diploma Induction page.

Diploma course modules

You will normally take the following core modules:

Code Module CATS Credits
EC201 Macroeconomics 2 30
EC202 Microeconomics 2 30
EC226 Econometrics 1 30

In addition, you need to select a further second- or third-year undergraduate module to the value of 30 CATS (or two 15 CAT modules) approved by the Department of Economics.

Full details of the core and optional modules we are intending to offer Diploma students can be found at: www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/current/dip/modules

However, the information given is indicative rather than definitive. Final decisions on whether any option will actually be taught will be taken by the Head of Department and will depend on the numbers who choose it and staff availability.

Additional Module Support

The Department is committed to providing support for any student who is finding module content difficult. While you can gain help during online module Support and Feedback classes and can access Advice and Feedback online sessions for further guidance, the Department also provides Study Support Sessions for the core modules. These are optional sessions, where students who are struggling with module content can obtain additional support on the module work from the previous week. Prior to tests on core modules, the Department also puts on Revision Sessions, where you can go along and get help from module tutors and gain a better understanding of the marking criteria and expectations of the assessment.

Online module registration

At the beginning of the Autumn term you will be asked to register your final module choices on the University-wide eMR system. You must do this irrespective of whether your module choices have changed since pre-registration and irrespective of whether your module is approved.

Please note that you cannot take an external option unless you have been accepted on the module concerned by the department that offers it. When you have been accepted by the outside department, registered with them and checked that you have fulfilled any conditions they set, you must also complete your online eMR. If you do not do this, you will not have fully registered for that module.

Timetable

Please note that the timetable is always subject to change at short notice so we do not print it in this handbook.

The lecture timetable can be viewed on the Department of Economics website. Your personal timetable can be viewed through Tabula. It will be complete when you have registered for all modules, core and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, module Support and Feedback classes and other small group classes. You are able to view and link your personal lecture and class timetables to your phone/outlook calendar via the Tabula calendar. Instructions can be found at: www.warwick.ac.uk/services/its/servicessupport/web/tabula/manual/profiles/timetables

Reading lists, lecture handouts and exam papers

Reading lists, lecture slides and all lecture resources will be available on the module's Moodle page. Content for module Support and Feedback classes will also be available on the individual module pages on Moodle. Copies of past examination papers are also available. You can access each module's reading list through the Talis Aspire system. 

How we teach and how you learn

Teaching and Learning

We will be offering a blend of online and in person learning this academic year, with teaching mainly carried out through lectures and classes. You will also be expected to undertake your own independent study. In the summer term, your independent study time will increase as you revise for exams and for our final year students, complete your research dissertation. Further information on contact time is given in the Study Hours Statement.

We have always been focused on enhancing teaching and learning and the main elements of the teaching process in our Department are lectures, module Support and Feedback classes, assessed work, examinations and Advice and Feedback hours. Through the richness of the curricula and syllabi, you are able to develop a range of skills, capacities and capabilities, which are designed to meet the aims and learning objectives of the courses and modules. It is appropriate that different learning objectives are assessed in different ways and this is reflected in a wide variety of types of both formative and summative assessment.

As a Department we are mindful of the different academic backgrounds of our students, particularly those who come to us from outside of the EU. We are aware that the UK higher education system may be very different to systems in which you have previously studied. With this in mind, we do our best to help familiarize you with the academic culture in the UK, particularly around how learning takes place in lectures and classes, approaches to assessment, expected standards of work, marking and plagiarism.

Pre-Recorded (Asynchronous) Lectures

Most modules will have the equivalent of 2 hours of pre-recorded lectures each week. These are likely to take the form of a number of shorter videos as it is much easier to pay attention and absorb information over a shorter period of time. The pre-recorded content will cover the key topics and content that would normally be covered during the 2 hours of lectures each week.

The recordings will be posted in advance of the week in which they should be watched and guidance will be provided by module teaching teams as to the order in which you should watch them. These pre-recorded lectures will transmit information and define the syllabus and it essential that you watch and take notes in the pre-recorded lectures each week. They will provide you with the core content and concepts that you need to know for your module and you are encouraged to watch these prior to the live lecture each week so that you get the most out of them. They will also help you in ensuring that you are prepared for the Support and Feedback classes each week. You will be able to access the pre-recorded lectures via the Lecture Capture system, which is accessible on the module's moodle page. Lecture Capture, which is supported via IT Services, allows you to download and/or view an mp4 file which should include sound from the relevant lecture and may show accompanying projected images used in the lecture (slides and/or visualizer). The recordings will be published in Moodle as soon as possible after the lecture and will be retained until the end of the academic year.

Taking notes in lectures will help you stay alert; the experts call this “promoting concentration.” Studies show that going over your notes later on the day of the lecture produces a significant improvement in understanding and retention. But attending lectures alone is not sufficient for you to acquire an active grasp of economics.

Recordings in the lecture capture system are intended for use by students registered on the relevant module and should be clearly marked as Warwick resources. Access is limited to the staff and students of the University and you are not permitted to share recordings further. The continued provision of lecture recordings on any given module are contingent on attendance at lectures remaining sufficiently high.

We do not permit personal capture of lectures or classes without explicit approval of the lecturer or tutor concerned.

The University's Lecture Capture Policy and Policy on Recording of Lectures by Students provides further information on recording lectures.

Live Lectures (Synchronous Lectures)

In addition to the pre-recorded (asynchronous) lectures, most modules will also have a 1 hour live lecture each week and this will timetabled on Tabula, but it will be held online via Microsoft Teams. You will be sent a link to the lecture.

These live lectures will take many new different forms, depending on how the lecturer wants to organise the module. It may take the form of a workshop, where the lecturer goes through applications of the pre-recorded content, perhaps through solving exercises. The lecturer may also draw on questions posted within the module's forum and answer these during the live lecture. In some live lectures, there may also be an opportunity for students to ask questions via the 'Chat' feature within Microsoft Teams and these will be answered in the live lecture, in future pre-recorded lectures, via the forum or via other mechanisms.

These live lectures will be recorded, so you can review them at a later date, but you are still encouraged to attend them at the time they are taking place, as despite being online, lecturers will try to make them interactive. The recordings or Lecture Captures will be available to view via your module's Moodle page. Lecture Capture, which is supported via IT Services, allows you to download and/or view an mp4 file which should include sound from the relevant lecture and may show accompanying projected images used in the lecture (slides and/or visualizer). The recordings will be published in Moodle as soon as possible after the lecture and will be retained until the end of the academic year.

A brilliant lecture, delivered by an academic who is a leading researcher in their field can be a wonderful experience: you are strongly encouraged to listen to the live lecture at the time of delivery, so that you can experience the benefits of being taught by academics whose work is at the cutting edge of research.

Recordings in the lecture capture system are intended for use by students registered on the relevant module and should be clearly marked as Warwick resources. Access is limited to the staff and students of the University and you are not permitted to share recordings further. The continued provision of lecture recordings on any given module are contingent on attendance at lectures remaining sufficiently high.

We do not permit personal capture of lectures or classes without explicit approval of the lecturer or tutor concerned.

The University's Lecture Capture Policy and Policy on Recording of Lectures by Students provides further information on recording lectures.

Module Support and Feedback Classes

'Module Support and Feedback classes,' 'seminars,' 'classes,' 'tutorials' and 'supervisions' are all different names for essentially the same thing; compulsory teaching in small groups. This year some of these classes will be online, while others will be a mixture of online and face to face classes. Some modules do not have Support and Feedback classes, due to their small size, whereby live lectures themselves provide the same purpose. Other modules will have these classes every week, while some will have fortnightly classes. Module Support and Feedback classes allow for more informal, less scripted interaction to occur. Each of these classes is managed by a tutor who will:

  • invite you to raise problems
  • provide feedback on your understanding of material
  • lead discussion
  • invite you to lead discussion, usually after some preparation
  • assign and grade coursework
  • record your attendance, participation and marks
  • offer you any individual advice, in or out of the module Support and Feedback class.

Your preparation for module Support and Feedback classes and participation in the class discussions are essential to your economics education. Here are some reasons for this:

  • through your independent reading and discussion with others you will be exposed to a variety of viewpoints, learn to choose among them, and you will be better prepared to develop your own distinctive ideas
  • by discussing the module materials with other students you will identify common problems and misunderstandings and overcome them
  • studies show that students remember a far higher proportion of the material they have actively discussed, compared with the proportion of material they have heard passively
  • by preparing presentations, collaborating with others, and engaging in debate you will develop your own transferable skills which will prove invaluable in post-university employment.

Feedback

Learning is a dynamic process and feedback plays an important role in helping you to develop your knowledge and build confidence in your own abilities. Our aim, therefore, is to provide you with as much feedback as is reasonably achievable, given the volume of students taught on any module. You will receive various forms of feedback throughout your Diploma course, including:

Written comments

The annotations and constructive comments provided when marked work is returned to you, which should guide you as to improvements you can make and allow you to reflect on your performance.

Generic feedback

The performance of previous cohorts is given on the Student Performance and Feedback page of each module webpage. You should use this information to reflect on your performance and how you ranked relative to your peers in previous years. For each assessment, you will also receive a set of generic comments on how well your cohort performed, together with a distribution of marks so you can consider your performance against your current cohort.

Solutions

All tests/problem sets will have a set of written solutions, which should be used by you to work back over the test paper and learn from any mistakes.

Module Support and Feedback classes

These feedback sessions are a prime opportunity to ask questions and generate discussion. Solutions will be provided to some of the exercises that are completed in class, but in other cases, solutions will be discussed only in class. Any solutions that are provided, whether written or verbal are an invaluable source of feedback.

Advice and Feedback hours

These are an opportunity for you to meet online with your lecturers and tutors on a one-to-one basis and receive invaluable feedback and guidance or simply discuss interesting topics.

Forums

The online forums for each module allow you to raise questions and ideas for further discussion with your peers, module leaders and class tutors.

Feedback from module evaluations

In the Autumn and Spring Terms you will be asked to fill in an online evaluation questionnaire for each economics module that you take. This gives you the opportunity to express your views on various aspects of the module.

Our module evaluation form is online and includes space for written comments.

  • The written comments are retained by the module leader, though they are also read by the Head of the Department.
  • Each module leader writes a response to the main points raised in the module evaluation. These responses are shared with students via module webpages.
  • A summary of the responses to module evaluations is shared with the SSLC.
  • At the end of the year each module leader writes an annual module report, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative feedback results.
  • These reports are reviewed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who summarises the main issues for the Department’s Undergraduate Management Committee. This identifies causes for concern, suggests action to overcome problems, and monitors trends from year to year. Reports may also be made available to outside agencies such as QAA subject review assessors.
  • At the end of the year we produce an annual course report covering all the modules within the degree courses, identifying any positive features and issues for action where improvement is needed.
  • Finally, sections of both module and course reports will be made available to your Student-Staff Liaison Committee and will be uploaded to module web pages.

The feedback you provide is an essential input into our quality management process. It will help to improve the teaching and learning environment for yourselves and for future students. We ask you to take part in it thoughtfully and seriously.

    Undergraduate Student Staff Liaison Committee

    The Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) is an important platform to have your say and provide feedback to us. Students get together with departmental staff to discuss issues that concern the learning experience. Even in the best departments, there are always some issues that deserve to be addressed, yet the SSLC is more than just a ‘complaint box’. The Committee has been very useful in the past simply to ask questions that were unclear to many students. This makes the SSLC a good opportunity for you to communicate with us.

    The committee is led by an SSLC Chair and Secretary, elected from amongst and by the student SSLC representatives. For a full list of the duties of the Chair and Secretary of the SSLC see the SSLC webpage and Handbook.

    Issues that have been raised in the past include access to materials in the Library, questions concerning the Department’s IT facilities as well as aspects of students’ learning experience and examinations, even ranging to more long-term matters such as curriculum development. At the same time, the SSLC is not intended to address special problems that concern only one individual student. Often these issues can be more efficiently resolved if the student speaks to the Undergraduate Office or to the module lecturer concerned. That is, SSLC items should only be the ones that concern a wider population of students. Also, the SSLC should generally not be a channel for evaluation of individual modules. This should be done via the module evaluation forms. However, if the representatives feel that there are some issues about individual modules that are not addressed via the module evaluation form they are free to raise these in the SSLC meetings.

    During the Diploma course, the representatives will meet with staff and students in other degree programmes within the Department five times. That is not very often. So to future representatives: make sure you prepare for the meetings and have a list of issues that you want to bring to the Department which can be put on the agenda. If you put just a little preparation time into it, it will be much easier to address them.

    There are various members of staff who attend the SSLC to make sure every aspect of student life is represented and to respond to issues raised in an effective way. The Director of Student Engagement and Progression (also the SSLC Convenor); the Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies; Undergraduate Programmes Manager; Undergraduate Coordinator or Secretary and one of: the Head of Department, Head of Administration (Teaching and Learning), the Director of Studies or the Director of Undergraduate Studies, together with any other relevant member of staff.

    Information about the Economics SSLC can be found on the SSLC Webpage.

    How SSLC Representatives are elected

    There is one main SSLC for all undergraduate level degree courses within the Department. There are a maximum number of student SSLC members per year and per degree course based on the total number of students that are part of the course. Students in the Department of Economics elect their SSLC student representatives. The elections are based on a simple majority i.e. the student with the highest number of votes is declared to have won. In the event of more than one available seat, the candidate with the next highest votes is elected i.e. a linear progression is followed.

    New student representatives from the Diploma course are elected during the first two weeks of the Autumn term. We encourage you to take part in the elections, either by voting or by standing as a candidate and to be aware of who your representatives are. The Students' union conducts elections online and then membership will be confirmed.

    Some useful things to know if you become an SSLC representative

    • There will be 30 or so representatives from the different courses.
    • Out of these, a Chair will be elected whose main task it is to chair the SSLC meetings.
    • The Secretary has to take minutes of the meetings and replaces the Chair in her/his absence. The minutes are circulated to all students so you know what’s going on.
    • The first thing to do for the representatives is to look at last year’s SSLC annual report to get a feel for what has been discussed.
    • It is also useful to begin each meeting with an update on how the issues of the last meeting have been addressed since then.
    • Before each meeting, the UG Office will ask you to prepare a list of items to be discussed. All the representatives, and the Chair and Secretary in particular, are responsible for collecting these issues and sending them in on time.
    • Ask your fellow students what they think about the courses.
    • Your job is to help the students and the Department to communicate. If you are willing to listen carefully to both parties, and if you like to communicate and to analyse problems you will be able to make a great contribution indeed.

    Monitoring points

    We want to be sure that you are coping with your work, engaging with your course, and not falling behind and so we ask that you meet 13 ‘Monitoring Points’ throughout the academic year.

    As you progress through the academic year you will be able to see on your Tabula page how many Monitoring Points you have successfully attained and how many you have missed. Please inform the Undergraduate Office as soon as possible should you believe a mistake to have been made in your Monitoring Points record. You will also be prompted at various points to check your monitoring points record on Tabula for accuracy, and it is important that you respond to this before the given deadline or it may not be possible to make any amendments.

    L1P5 / L1PA
    Autumn term
    Contact Point Description Timing
    1.
    Attendance recorded at online Department Welcome Session
    Week 0
    2. Attendance at EC202 online synchronous Lecture Week 3
    3. Attendance at EC201 online synchronous Lecture Week 5
    4. Attendance at EC202 online synchronous Lecture Week 7
    5. Attendance at EC202 Test Week 9
    6. Submission of economics module evaluation Week 10
    Spring Term
    7.

    Attendance at EC202 Lecture

    Week 15
    8. Attendance at EC226 test Week 17
    9. Attendance at EC201 Lecture Week 19
    10. Attendance at module support and feedback class for EC201 Week 21
    11. Submission of economics module evaluation Week 24
    Summer Term
    12. Attendance at Exams and Beyond session Week 30
    13. Attendance at an examination Between Weeks 36-38

     
    Please be aware that you will be contacted should we become concerned about your missed Monitoring Points.

    Tier 4 visa students should be particularly aware of the consequences of missing Monitoring Points: the Academic Office is obliged to report to the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration (formerly the UK Borders Agency) if any Tier 4 students have been found not to be engaging with and attending their degree course. This will normally lead to the curtailment of their visas.

    1. After three Monitoring Points are missed we will contact you to investigate whether you are having any problems that are preventing you from fully engaging with your course.
    2. After four Monitoring Points are missed, we will contact you again and we may refer you to the relevant professional within the University welfare system who could help you, such as the Dean of Students, the Disability Coordinator or Mental Health Coordinator, as appropriate.
    3. After five Monitoring Points are missed you will be contacted to make you aware that you are at serious risk of being recommended for termination of your registration at the University.
    4. After six Monitoring Points are missed the Department is able to invoke Regulation 36 to begin termination of registration proceedings and your case is handed over to the Academic Office.

    Monitoring class absences

    You are required to attend all of your allocated module Support and Feedback classes, whether they are held online or in-person. You can see which module Support and Feedback class you have been allocated to or have signed up to by logging into Tabula. In order to keep module Support and Feedback class sizes stable, you are not permitted to swap your group unless you have the prior express permission of the UG Office and you have a compelling reason, like a timetable clash. If you attend a different group from the one to which you have been allocated, you will simply be marked as absent from your group. Module Support and Feedback class tutors do not have the authority to give permission for students to swap between classes.

    If you are taking a module in another department, you should make sure you are aware of that particular department’s procedures regarding class absences. However, you should note that it is still the Department of Economics (your home department) who will either condone or uphold your absence accordingly.