Foundation degrees

Course Information

Economics, Agriculture and Marketing

Module summary

Module code: ECON1111
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Hilary Claire Coote



The course is about increasing students’ economic literacy, particularly pertaining to agricultural development and marketing and the tools used to support these. Under liberalised production and trade systems, farmers and market actors have to be much more proactive about finding markets for their produce. Technical innovation can lead to greater volumes of agricultural production but unless markets are available produce can go to waste and farmers’ incomes reduced. With rising need for food, it is important to have an understanding of economics and marketing issues, challenges and potential solutions.

The course aims to:

• Introduce key elements of market economics
• Consider the constraints and opportunities that affect marketing and agricultural development
• Highlight possible interventions using a value chain approach
• Enable students to become more aware of the ways in which marketing can be supported, that are economically viable and likely to have a positive and sustainable impact on farmers.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

1 Clarify basic premises in agricultural development and main constraints
2 Appreciate and use key economic concepts and tools used by economists
3 Recognise what is meant by a marketing system and the processes and services involved in efficient agricultural marketing that add value
4 Identify the types of organisations and institutions that operate in the marketing chain and their advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses and the marketing support functions vital to a well-functioning and efficient market.

Indicative content

Basic economic concepts and how these can be used to understand the operation of economies, agricultural markets, formation of prices, investment, imperfect competition, reasons for marketing intervention and opportunities for upgrading and improving market access.
The global agri-food system
Key issues and stakeholders in agricultural development and marketing of agricultural produce.
Tools for value chain and economic analysis.
Cost concepts
Understanding consumer demand
Material from NRI research will be used to provide practical examples and case studies of economic and marketing issues in developing countries and how these can be addressed.

Teaching and learning activity

Material will be delivered in interactive lectures. Students will be expected to give a short presentation during the course.


Method of summative assessment: Presentation
Outcomes assessed:1,2
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :25%
Passmark: 50%
Word Length:15 minute presentation (10 minute presentation and 5 minutes of questioning).
Outline Details:An aspect of organising production using economic principles.

Method of summative assessment: Essay
Outcomes assessed:2,3,4
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :75%
Passmark: 50%
Word Length: 3,000
Outline Details:A critical review of the value chain of an agricultural product in the student’s country with consideration of economic aspects and recommendations on how improvements could be implemented.