Business Economics MA(SocSci)

Labour Economics ECON4054

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide a background of the main theories in labour economics and their empirical applications. There will be some limited technical aspects and some mathematics is required, but the focus will be on applying these theories to relevant real-world questions that one may be able to see discussed in a newspaper. Topics of the course will include the determinants of wages, education and training, labour demand and vacancies, gender issues in the labour market, migration, discrimination, unemployment.


Lectures: 10 x 2-hour lectures; 1 x 1-hour revision lecture.

Please refer to MyCampus for timetable.

Excluded Courses




Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to core material in the area of labour economics, including exposure to the core theories in the field as well as to empirical regularities. The course also teaches important skills that are relevant for policy evaluation, focusing on research design and on the limitations of different approaches. The acquired skills can be beneficial for students who would like to further specialise in economics and also for students who are thinking about other professional directions.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

1. Explain the key assumptions and the main insights of theoretical models relevant to labour markets and apply them to understand empirical findings.

2. Carefully evaluate challenges and limitations around the empirical evaluation of the effects of labour market policy interventions.

3. Communicate knowledge acquired on both theoretical and empirical issues concerning labour markets effectively, orally, visually and in writing.

4. Collaborate effectively with others and work in teams to deliver a shared output that evaluates and critiques existing research on labour markets.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.