A Simple Introduction to Economic Facts and Theories
Whether as producers, consumers, savers, taxpayers or beneficiaries of various state expenditures, we are economic actors. Most of us however have a superficial understanding of the economy. What is money? Does work produce value? Can a price ever be just and trade fair? Why globalisation? And does the jargon we hear: hedge funds, quantitative easing, fractional reserve banking, relate to anything we should be concerned with?
Who is this course for
Whether as producers, consumers, savers, taxpayers, and beneficiaries of various state expenditures, we are economic actors. We are inescapably engaged in the creative act of production, and the darker destructive side of consumption. Most of us, however, have a superficial understanding of the economy. What is money? Does work produce value? Can a price ever be just, and trade fair? Why poverty? And does the jargon we hear: 'hedge funds', 'derivatives', 'short sales', relate to anything we should be concerned with?
The course is designed to give an introduction to economics, so no prior knowledge of the discipline is assumed. No mathematics, statistics or accounting notions will be called for.
What does this course cover
The course is divided into two sections. The first one covers how economic actors deal with the fundamental necessity to overcome scarcity; the requirement to work, to trade, to defer gratification and invest; we will look at issues such as competition, monopolies, protectionism, taxes, regulation, before discussing ethical and environmental issues. The second section will make more technical aspects easy to understand: how banks create money, the function of stock and commodity markets; managing risks through esoteric (and now problematic) instruments: hedging, derivatives, short sales, etc.
Throughout the course we will apprehend the economy both as an exercise in humility and as a call to transcendence.
At the end of the course students will have a clearer view of their own positions as producers and consumers in the larger order of economic life. They should fully understand the medias' economic sections, make a better informed judgment of politicians' proposals, understand the practical dimension of ethical issues, and generally possess the background knowledge to act as more responsible human beings and citizens.
What will it be like
The course will include tutor presentations and lively discussions
Students should establish what they hope to gain from the course and evaluate their own progress in understanding the issues debated by politicians and experts, and in their discussions with friends and colleagues. Detailed feedback will be privately given on class contributions, and assessed against stated objectives.
What else do you need to buy or do
Pen and paper, together with a curious and open mind, are the only requirements.
Reading the economic sections of your favourite newspaper demonstrates general interest for our subject. It will also bring material for discussion by the class.
What this course could lead to
The course is intended for anyone who wishes to gain an insight into the economic life of the country and the world. It will place into this wider context any further study in philosophy and social issues.
I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.MWC student
Got a Question about this Course?
Contact The Departmental Administrator.
Why come to Mary Ward Centre?
Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.
Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’