8: Support and Personal Development
Personal DevelopmentWe want to provide you with opportunities outside of the curriculum to develop your skills and provide good preparation for your future and so we invest resources in your personal development.
Personal Development Module (PDM)
For BSc Economics, BSc Economics and Industrial Organisation, and BSc/BA Economics, Politics and International Studies students, in the First Year you will be required to take a compulsory skills development module, called the Personal Development Module (PDM). With the graduate job market becoming more competitive than ever, it is crucial that you are active in enhancing your personal and professional development. Having an excellent academic record is essential for your future career, but you will also need to demonstrate active engagement in developing your personal and professional skills.
The aim of this module is to provide you with opportunities to take part in a wide variety of activities that will help you to develop and apply your academic knowledge and enhance your CV, by demonstrating an active engagement in becoming an effective learner. There will be opportunities to attend sessions that prepare you for interviews and assessment centres, and a chance to engage with senior academics and top names in a range of areas.
This is a non-credit bearing module, which is made up of three different areas: Economics-based activities; Careers activities; and Skills-based activities. The module is compulsory and in order to pass it, you must attend a sufficient number of compulsory and optional sessions within each area. The result of this module will appear on your official University transcript. Further information is available on the Personal Development Module webpage. You will also receive information about this module during the student experience presentation during induction.
Skills acquired through your modules
During your study at Warwick, you will be able to gain some key skills which you might be able to cite in your job or further study applications and/or interviews. More importantly, we hope that these varied range of skills will help you to reflect on your journey: what your studies mean to you and how you have grown personally, academically and professionally during your time at Warwick.
In the Module Skills mapping section of our Careers webpage, we have provided you with a range of skills that you can potentially acquire from the different modules over your degree course. As you go through your degree course and consider the various skill sets, you may want to think about how your capacity to approach complicated problems, to reason and to communicate your answers and views have evolved over the years. It is useful to relate this to the context of the teaching and learning environment you have experienced, as well as how they would help you in your future endeavours.
- In what ways has your degree challenged you?
- How have you risen to the challenges?
- Are you able to impress potential employers or course selectors, not just with the knowledge you have gained, but also with your development as an independent learner?
- Are you ready to tackle the challenges ahead with a good set of skills and capacities?
- What features of your particular specific degree course at this particular University have enabled you to grow and develop?
- What are the skills that you have garnered in the various modules in your degree?
In designing and delivering your degree course and modules, considerable importance has been assigned to embedding employability skills in the curriculum and assessments in order to prepare you for the real world. In particular, we have introduced a compulsory Personal Development Module (PDM) for first year students which will provide you with opportunities to take part in a wide variety of activities. These will help you to develop and apply your academic knowledge and enhance your CV, by demonstrating an active engagement in becoming an effective learner as well as strengthening your team working skills.
We recognise and celebrate the fact that you are all different and will develop differently through study. We try to offer a learning framework which permits and encourages this. Our Support and Feedback classes and different types of assessments across modules will enable you to gauge your progress over time from the comments and marks you receive at regular intervals. Having compulsory module Support and Feedback classes and a regular timetable of strict submission deadlines over your degree course is an important signal to potential employers that our graduates are conscientious and work well under the pressure of deadlines.
Given the diversity, we also hope that by the end of your time at Warwick, you will have developed some common skills and characteristics that will ensure a smooth transition for you as you move into the increasingly competitive world of jobs. You will be equipped to approach complex problems in a rigorous, careful and analytical way, interact with people from different backgrounds, think on your feet, and come up with solutions within a very short span of time. The opportunity to develop transferable skills within the process of your degree will enable you to become more competitive in the job market.
Skill Set A: Cognitive skills
- Analytical thinking and communication: Your study of Economics requires you to develop a deep understanding of often complicated issues using a variety of analytical frameworks, tools and approaches and to communicate your understanding in a variety of ways, including through verbal, graphical, mathematical and statistical techniques. You have to demonstrate your ability to understand formal analysis and communicate your understanding through: engagement and contributions in module Support and Feedback classes and group project presentations, completion of exercise sheets, problem sets, and non-assessed essays, and through tests and formal examinations.
- Analytical reasoning: Some key concepts in Economics have wider significance in aiding analytical reasoning: e.g., the ceteris paribus method, counter-factual analysis, the concepts of opportunity cost, trade-offs, and comparative advantage.
- Critical thinking: Developing the habit of questioning received ideas, forming judgements and making evaluations, e.g. comparing Keynesian with neo-classical approaches to macro; evaluating the case for or the efficiency of government interventions.
- Creative thinking: e.g., if there is no model to explain some observed behaviour, we need to develop an appropriate model. Economics provides tools with which to build models of behaviour.
- Strategic thinking: e.g., through game theory with multi-agent decision making where payoffs depend on the endogenous actions of others.
- Problem solving: Knowing how to approach various types of problem, determining whether a solution exists.
- Abstraction: Judging how to balance simplification against ‘realism.’ Knowing how to isolate separate effects of different factors — as with marginal or ceteris paribus effects.
- Policy evaluation: Being aware of the policy context and also of methodological issues involved in evaluation — such as with the identification of causal effects of policy interventions.
- Analysis of institutions: Understanding the roles of institutions and through political economy analysis of the origins and behaviour of these institutions.
- Analysis of incentives: Understanding economic motivations of individuals and the limits of economic explanations.
- Concepts of simultaneity and endogeneity: Understanding complex inter-reactions between economic variables and behaviours.
- Analysis of optimisation: Understanding choice and decision-making based on analysis of the interplay of preferences, objectives and constraints.
- Understanding of uncertainty and incomplete information: Probability, expectation and risks asymmetric information.
Skill Set B: Subject-specific and professional skills
- Research skills: Use of library and internet as information sources. Knowledge of how to locate relevant data, extract appropriate data and analyse and present material.
- Numeracy and quantitative skills: Use of mathematics and diagrams; statistical analysis of data.
- Data-based skills: Downloading, filtering, managing, coding and analysing data.
- IT skills: Word processing, spreadsheets, specialised econometric and statistical packages, drawing and equation-writing skills and internet applications.
Skill Set C: Key general skills
- Written communication skills: Through submission of essays, problem sets, module Support and Feedback class work, tests, projects and examination scripts.
- Oral communication skills: Through participation in module Support and Feedback classes and group work.
- Team work skills: Through engagement in group project work and in module Support and Feedback classes.
- IT skills: as above under Skill Set B(4).
- Mathematical, Statistical, data-based research skills: As above under Skill Set B(1), B(2), and B(3).
Skill Set D: Subject knowledge and understanding
- Economic Principles: Knowledge and understanding of core concepts and methods in micro and macro economics.
- Applied Economics: Knowledge and understanding of standard economic models and quantitative techniques with application to problems arising in public policy and the private sector.
- Economic information: Knowledge of economic trends and patterns; understanding of problems and solutions in economic measurement.
- Research and debate: Familiarity with contemporary theoretical and empirical debates and research outcomes in some more specialised areas of economics. Understanding of how to approach an economic problem from the perspective of a researcher in economics.
A useful exercise you might want to conduct is that of identifying how your different module choices contribute to the acquisition of these different skills.
Undergraduates as Researchers
We pride ourselves on the excellent research-led teaching you receive as an Economics student at Warwick and we strive to encourage this same passion for original and impactful research in our undergraduates. As an economics student, you will have opportunities to carry out your own original research, particularly as part of the final year EC331 Research in Applied Economics module. We are incredibly proud of the involvement of our students in prestigious competitions, both nationally and internationally.
The Carroll Round
The Carroll RoundLink opens in a new window is an annual international economics conference at Georgetown University that provides a unique forum for research and discussion among the world's top undergraduates. The goal of the Carroll Round is to foster the exchange of ideas among leading undergraduate international economics and political economy students by encouraging and supporting the pursuit of scholarly innovation in the field.
We have a strong track record of supporting exceptional final-year students to participate in this conference, usually in connection with their final projects for the EC331 Research in Applied Economics module. The work produced by our students is of such high calibre that since 2007, 38 of our students have presented papers at the Carroll Round, with a Warwick Economics undergraduate being awarded the prize for Outstanding Participant and Paper in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016Link opens in a new window and 2017Link opens in a new window, 2019Link opens in a new window. You can read some of the past reports from Carroll Round attendees on the Carroll Round website.
Those eligible to be considered for participation in the Carroll Round will be contacted in the Autumn term.
The International Atlantic Economic Society (IAES)
The International Atlantic Economic SocietyLink opens in a new window holds two conferences and has two refereed publications each year. It has a 'Best Undergraduate Paper' competition and provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to submit their work and if successful, present their work and network with top economic researchers in the North American Conference. Warwick Economics has a fantastic history of past winners of this prestigious award, including winning it in 2015Link opens in a new window and 2016Link opens in a new window.
British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR)
The British Conference of Undergraduate ResearchLink opens in a new window is an annual conference for undergraduate students held at different universities across the UK. Students submit papers, posters and other work, which is peer-reviewed and authors of accepted papers are invited to the conference. Each session at the conference is delivered by undergraduate students and it provides a fantastic opportunity for students to network with students from other disciplines, universities and countries. Papers and posters from Warwick Economics students have been accepted regularly since the conference began in 2010.
The International Conference of Undergraduate Research
The International Conference of Undergraduate ResearchLink opens in a new window was launched in 2013 and is an annual two-day conference run and sponsored by the University of Warwick and Monash University. It provides undergraduate researchers with a unique opportunity to present and discuss their own research – in any discipline in real-time, without having to leave their home university, through an advanced video-conferencing system. It provides a fantastic opportunity for students to consider perspectives from around the world and in different cultures and contexts and to consider global and regional trends in a range of research fields.
The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS)
The URSS offers you the opportunity to:
- take part in original research
- achieve substantial outcomes
- develop a range of research and transferable skills
- work as a member of a research team or department and develop an awareness of the research environment
- enhance discipline-specific skills or knowledge
- where possible, participate in interdisciplinary work.
- The URSS opens for applications in December, in preparation for projects undertaken in the summer, and is open to all undergraduates, usually non-finalists. The scheme provides living expenses (check the URSS website for more information) and skills development training. You will be supervised by an academic member of staff throughout the project.
Warwick Internship Scheme for Economics (WISE)
This is a complementary scheme to the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) that normally runs in the Department of Economics. In the academic year 2022-23, we hope to advertise a number of opportunities.
It provides students within the Department of Economics with opportunities to undertake a variety of projects or internships within the Department over the summer vacation and throughout the year. The internships are in a range of areas, including supporting staff with research, teaching related projects, administrative projects and many more. Staff advertise the projects that they require support with, together with the skills that they are looking for and students are able to apply for them. The successful applicants are paid for their work. For more information please go to the WISE webpageLink opens in a new window.
Cross-Faculty Research Scheme
This provides an opportunity for Undergraduate Studies to engage in research with other students within the Faculty of Social Sciences. You can apply for this scheme and identify areas of interest and successful applicants will then be matched with students wanting to conduct in research in related areas who may be based in different departments. This allows you to consider research areas and questions from different perspectives. Within your group you will develop your own research question and conduct your research, with some support from supervisors based in the Faculty of Social Sciences. This scheme normally takes place over the summer. For more information, please contact Professor Jo AngouriLink opens in a new window, within CAL.
Warwick-Monash Paper Series
The Economics Undergraduate degree course at Warwick is tailored to produce `students as researchers'. To illustrate this, undergraduate students get the unique opportunity to showcase their final year research project in the Warwick Monash Economics Student Papers (WM-ESP), an exciting international collaboration between Warwick and Monash University. The published papers will be hand-selected by an academic editorial board and publicly viewable on the Warwick Economics website. The published papers will be those by students who are able to illustrate their independent research skills together with techniques learned during their degree with us. This is one way the department signals its belief in creating credible independent researchers.
Reinvention: A Journal of Undergraduate Research
Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research is an online, peer-reviewed journal, dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate student research. The journal welcomes academic articles from all disciplinary areas. All articles in this journal undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by two or three anonymous referees.
Reinvention is published through the Institute for Advanced Teaching & Learning, a Warwick department designed to support commitment to teaching and the development of innovative courses and modes of delivery which have a real impact on student experience. Find out more on the Reinvention website.
Student Opportunity - Skills & Student Development
From the time you arrive at Warwick, Student Opportunity can help you think about yourself and your future. We enable you to develop a global perspective, become culturally aware, and have confidence in achieving your vision of career success. We do this by supporting you to engage with a rich and varied range of experiences and opportunities to help you to achieve your full potential.
Higher education is about developing your academic capability and your personality, experience and skills - and though the future may seem far off, employers like to hear what students have done with their time at university and place great emphasis on the development of skills. Economics students are offered plenty of opportunities to develop skills through workshops and initiatives offered through Student Opportunity. Many of these activities can count towards your Personal Development Module which you complete during your first year of study.
The Student Opportunity Careers Team can enable you to devise and implement plans which will help you get where you want to be in terms of work and careers once your studies here are over. Support is available to you regardless of which year you are in (and indeed after you graduate), whether your ideas are common or unusual and wherever you are in your career thinking, from being extremely focused to having no ideas at all. Support includes:
- Stephanie Redding is the Economics Senior Careers Consultant. You can make a 30-minute appointment to talk through your ideas, or attend one of the workshops organised specifically for Economics students.
- The Student Opportunity – Careers website contains up-to-date careers information and resources designed specifically for Warwick students, and our popular Careers blog is at careersblog.warwick.ac.uk
- A huge range of opportunities and events to meet organisations and employees, from large careers fairs to alumni meetings to employer-led skills events.
- Support with finding internships and other work experience and access to work experience bursaries.
- Skills development opportunities including the Sprint Personal Development Programme for female students
- Support with the practical process of making applications, including CV reviews and interview support via Careers Drop-In sessions
Details and booking for events and appointments run by Student Opportunity are at myAdvantage.
An Economics Careers Facebook Group is maintained by your Careers Consultant to keep you up to date.
Careers and Skills support within the Department of Economics
Our aim is to support your career planning by offering you a range of opportunities to develop self-awareness, acquire new skills and help you have confidence in achieving your vision of career success.
The Department Academic Careers Coordinator Dr Atisha Ghosh leads a team within the Department looking at careers, employability skills and a range of unique opportunities for our students to support them with acquiring skills relevant for economists and with their career planning. Her role involves:
- Providing students with updated information about exciting opportunities in different sectors for students to explore during and after their degree in economics.
- To support students in developing their employability skills. This involves providing a clear link between the different modules offered by the Department and the relevant employability skills students can acquire through taking these modules.
- To work with Student Opportunity to help support students in transitioning into the labour market or further educational opportunities.
- To work with the Director of Student Engagement and Experience, module leader of the Personal Development Module and Department's Marketing and Communications Manager to ensure the scheme delivers relevant employability skills.
- To work with student societies to foster a joined-up approach to employability support.
- To analyse Graduate Destinations data in order to provide current students with information and support regarding their career options.
On the Department's Careers & SkillsLink opens in a new window online portal you will be able to find a range of useful resources tailored to the needs of Economics students. The website has a host of resources for you to engage in:
- It provides you with information on a range of exciting job roles in various sectors, which are not only in banking and finance.
- There is a section which maps skills that you will acquire in different modules to employability skills. This will enable you to consolidate and communicate your profile to prospective employers.
- You will be able to access important tips from past students who have secured roles after graduation and via Spring and insight weeks and also those who have opted to go on to further studies. This is in addition to information about a host of services provided by the various student societies in supporting your career goals.
- Information and recordings of career webinars where we have hosted alumni from a broad range of careers.
- Access the University's central careers resources and events via Student Opportunity, which supports students with developing the skills that key graduate recruiters look for and provides advice and guidance on career options.
- Browse the Skills Zone because whilst you are at Warwick where you have the opportunity to develop your personal and professional skills, join societies, become a volunteer and find part-time work.
- Find out about the Warwick EnterpriseLink opens in a new window team, who can help you develop entrepreneurial skills and try out new business ideas and social enterprise.
The University Library
The main Library provides you with a wide range of resources to support you with your studies, including printed and electronic books, journals and subject databases. These will all help you find research in your area.
Here are a few quick tips to help you get started in the Library:
- Use the Get Started online Library orientation programme to find out how to use the library effectively.
- Use the Library Catalogue to find what you need, using the “Library Search” textbox on the Library home page. The Catalogue contains details of the books and journals (print and electronic) held by the Library.
- Most electronic resources are available from any PC with internet access, so you can use them from home. Usually, you’ll need your University username and password (the one you use to login to a PC on campus) to access these.
- Use My Library Account to renew and reserve items via the internet. You will find the link to your Library Account near the top of the Library home page.
- The Library webpages for Economics contain high-quality information relevant to your area of study. A good way to get started on a topic is to use Key Electronic Resources for Economics. The Library also provides useful online tutorials for Economics students and a guide to databases.
- DataStream is one of the main sources for finding macroeconomic time series or data on equity markets, bonds, futures, exchange rates and interest rates. DataStream is only available at a dedicated PC on Floor 1 in the Library. At busy times you may need to book to use the terminal. You will also find a very wide range of international macroeconomic time series, plus UK social survey data, on the UK Data Service (UKDS), available online through the Library’s list of databases.
- If you are seeking a useful book or journal article that Warwick does not have, we can often obtain it for you from another library. The Article Reach scheme allows you to obtain journal articles from some other libraries. Document Supply is a more comprehensive scheme for borrowing books or obtaining articles from academic and national libraries in the UK. Collect a form from the Library or download it from the Document Supply section of the website, under ‘Using the Library’, and obtain your supervisor’s signature.
- If you are having trouble finding what you need, there is an Economics Academic Support Librarian to help you. Library contact details appear below.
- The Library manages a range of learning and study spacesLink opens in a new window which offer a range of resources, including access to IT facilities and a collection of reference-only key textbooks.
Contacting the library
The Library help desk is available from 8.30 am to 9.30 pm, seven days a week.
t: +44 (0)24 7652 2026
e: Library@Warwick.ac.uk/emailLink opens in a new window
Your Academic Support Librarian is happy to help you find the information you need for your research, show you how to use specific resources, or discuss any other issues you might have.
Jackie Hanes can be contacted by email or telephone, 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.00am - 4.00pm on Fridays.
t: +44 (0)24 7657 2588
The general Library email address may also be used and your enquiry will be dealt with by Academic Support colleagues, or passed on to the specialist.
Information Technology (IT) Services
Your email address
Once you have registered with IT Services and your account has been activated you will have a usercode, password and an email address which is usually in the format email@example.com
This address will be your ‘official' University email address which we will use, in the future, for all email communications. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you check this email account. You can access this account via Insite or via webmail at warwick.ac.uk/mymail.
IT Services Help Desk
IT Services provide a dedicated Help Desk to assist with IT-related issues. You can contact them online, via email, by phone or by coming to the drop-in centre on the first floor of the Library. Further information on how to contact IT Services can be found at warwick.ac.uk/helpdesk
Any computer attached to a network is susceptible to attacks from viruses and spyware. IT Services provide free anti-virus and firewall software to help keep your computer safe.
Open access areas
There are many open access areas operated by IT Services. (You will need your University ID card to enter some of the open access areas.) The computers are all connected to the network and the internet, and provide access to printers, the Library online catalogue and a wide range of software applications. All computers in open access areas run on the Windows 10 operating system (except room A0.01 - SUSE Linux). Further information can be found at warwick.ac.uk/workareas
To print from printers in the University, you will need to register your University ID card with the printing system (you only need to do this once). To do this, visit a Kyocera printer (situated on all floors in the Library and in other IT Services work areas) and swipe your University ID card against the printer card reader. Press Cancel at the PUK screen. Type in your IT Services username and password on the printer screen and press OK.
You will also need enough credit in your printing account to print to other printers in the University. You can buy printer credits online with a debit or credit card or check your credit at warwick.ac.uk/printercredits. Any credit remaining in your printer account will be lost when you leave the University. No refund of remaining credit will be given.
Printing costs are as follows:
A4 black and white (per sheet): 5p single sided, 8p double sided
A4 colour (per sheet): 15p single sided, 28p double sided
A3 black and white (per sheet): 9p single sided, 16p double sided
A3 colour (per sheet): 30p single sided, 58p double-sided
Further details can be found at: warwick.ac.uk/studentprint
The University has a wide range of software for economists. Besides generic software, such as Microsoft Office, email and web browsers, the econometric software we use includes Stata, Eviews, and SPSS. You will be given appropriate guidance on software use when the time comes. It is very important that you download and have access to STATALink opens in a new window.
Other software which may be of particular interest to students in Economics are described below:
The Department has three Bloomberg Terminals in room S0.84. The Bloomberg Terminal is a computer software system which provides access to current and historical financial information on individual equities, stock market indices, fixed-income securities, currencies, commodities and futures for both international and domestic markets. It also provides company profiles and financial statements, analysts' forecasts, news on worldwide financial markets and audio and video interviews and presentations by key players in business and finance.
You can book the use of one of the terminals in half hourly sessions from Monday-Thursday 9-4.30pm and Friday 9-3.30pm. They can be bookedLink opens in a new window here. Note that due to current Covid-19 restrictions, only one person is permitted to use this room at any one time. Please note that there are restrictions in the amount of data you are permitted to download. This is imposed by Bloomberg and further information is provided by the terminals. You will only be able to use the terminal if you have pre-booked.
Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac software
GiveWin (win), Maple (win/mac), Mathematica (win/mac), MATLAB (win/mac), NVIVO (win), SAS (win), Scientific Word / Workplace (win), SPSS (win/mac), S-PLUS (win), Statistics for the Terrified (win) and WinEcon (win) are all available for use. The majority of this software is available from the University network, although some titles will need to be installed onto your computer. STATA is available university wide and is paid for by the Department of Economics. For assistance with locating and installing software, please contact the IT Services Help Desk: warwick.ac.uk/helpdesk
Software to download
It is now possible to download several of the software package offered by IT Services. Details can be found at warwick.ac.uk/software/list
If you have general problems logging in to IT Services open access areas you should contact the IT Services Help Desk. If you have specific problems relating to the computers or printers in S2.81a you should contact the Economics Computer Support Staff on extension 23501 or visit room S0.83.
Private Tutoring Policy
Purpose of Policy - To clarify our position on private tutoring arrangements between Graduate Teaching Assistants and undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Applicability - Applicable to all undergraduate and postgraduate students based within the Department of Economics and all Graduate Teaching Assistants employed to teach on Economics modules.
- We actively discourage private tutoring arrangements between undergraduate/postgraduate students and class tutors who are completing their PhDs, but do not prohibit it. Other staff employed in the Department are not permitted to engage in private tutoring with students from Warwick.
- If you are experiencing study difficulties you are encouraged to make full use of University and Departmental resources, such as advice from your Personal Tutor, Year Tutor, and other academic staff, Study Support Sessions on year 1 and 2 core modules, Revision Sessions and the guidance provided by the Student Opportunity, Careers, which should be sufficient to meet your needs.
- However, we recognise that private tutoring arrangements are likely to persist; hence the Department imposes the following regulations:
- A tutor employed in the Department of Economics is not permitted to tutor privately on an undergraduate or postgraduate module on which they are employed to teach or have previously been employed to teach.
- A tutor undertaking private tutoring is not permitted to access any materials not available to other students registered for the module.
- Any private tutoring arrangement must not be conducted on University premises, with the exception of within campus student accommodation.
- The tutor must assume responsibility for ensuring the tutee is aware that the tutoring arrangement does not form part of the tutee's Warwick degree, that it is not governed by any of the University's or Department's quality assurance mechanisms, and that the Department will not be accountable for any misinformation given out as part of the private arrangement.
Point of Contact for Policy Queries - Head of Administration (Teaching and Learning) and Exams Coordinator in Department of Economics.