Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Economics of Labour and Industrial Relations
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Unseen written examination  40%
Semester Assessment Essay  2,000 words  30%
Semester Assessment Group work (debate)  40 minutes  30%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Unseen written examination  Repeat failed element  70%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2,000 words  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Describe, illustrate and discuss the determination of wage levels and employment levels through the interaction of supply and demand for labour;

* Critically analyse and evaluate the empirical evidence relating to the relationship between human capital characteristics and income;

* Understand and be able to demonstrate the purpose, design and implementation of investment on human capital, with particular regard to the UK;

* Discuss and demonstrate an understanding of the form, implications and limitations of interventions in the labour market;

* Explain the causes and reasons for wage inequalities between workers and examine empirical evidence on wage discrimination;

* Evaluate how "impositions" such as minimum wage laws or "imperfections" such as sex and race discrimination or segmentation of workers affect outcomes;

* Identify and critically assess the impact of international trade and competition on labour demand and welfare.

Brief description

The module aims to present the economic study of the labour market and issues in the economics of human resources in a policy oriented context. It examines labour demand and supply, investment in human capital, frictions in the labour market, and discrimination.


  • The basis of labour supply and its applications
  • Long-run influences on labour supply, especially that of education and training
  • The basis of labour demand and its applications
  • The matching of workers to jobs in the labour market
  • Wage determination: incomplete pay adjustment and pay rules such as minimum wages
  • Wage inequalities between workers and the importance of compensating differentials
  • Investments in Human Capital: Education and Training
  • Pay and hiring discrimination

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Treatment of numerical problems in tutorial exercises, and appropriate examination question.
Communication During tutorial class discussion and production and presentation of group assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance In preparation for, attending and participating in and reflecting on tutorial classes. Preparing and producing essay and eventual assessment in examination.
Information Technology Appropriate accessing of the internet for reference material, and use of word-processing skills in essay production.
Personal Development and Career planning Development of various personal and interpersonal skills, generally transferable in career terms, including initiative, independence and self-awareness - in addition to skills listed above.
Problem solving Treated in lectures and applied in tutorials.
Research skills Obtaining, selecting, assimilating information from a variety of sources for use in tutorials, essay preparation and production and expanding on lecture material.
Subject Specific Skills Government policy making issues and impact treated in lectures and tutorials.
Team work Group oriented tutorial tasks.


This module is at CQFW Level 6