Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introductory Economics for the Spatial Planner

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit will introduce the students to the following themes:

- Demand and Supply and market equilibrium
- Theory of costs, with special issues on returns to scale
- Theory of market structures

- How GDP is measured
- Factors affecting consumption and investment
- Valuation techniques for environmental assets
- The meaning of sustainable economic development

Spatial planning is an aspect of public policy through which:
(i) economic, social, cultural, infrastructural, and environmental strategies, policies, plans, and programmes, which have a spatial dimension can be implemented,
(ii) national, regional, and local governments exercise control over how development takes place within the territories falling under their jurisdictions.

For this reason, it is essential for students of spatial planning to be familiar with the issues and problems which economic policy is formulated to address, and to recognise the connection between economic and spatial development.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit is designed to introduce the students to:
(i) certain fundamental concepts and principles of economics developed and used by economists;
(ii) the study of the workings of competitive markets, and the role of government intervention;
(iii) aspects of human behaviour through which individuals and firms react to changes and developments in market conditions;
(iv) the economic performance of regions and nations with reference to concepts like economic growth and development, inflation, employment and under-employment;
(v) ways through which limited resources of land, labour, and capital are allocated.

The unit shall therefore enable the students to develop an understanding of the economic context in which spatial planning is practised, as well as the (i) role of spatial planning within socio-economic development processes, and (ii) the impact of spatial planning on economic behaviour and economic systems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- recognise and discuss certain fundamental tenets of economic thinking, with specific reference to the inter-relationship between:
(i) human activities through which wealth is created and distributed on the one hand; and
(ii) the location of such activities within specific national, regional, and local jurisdictions, together with the implications of location decisions, on the other.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- assess the economic advantages and disadvantages of different types of human activities connected with the the use of the resources of land, labour, and capital, with reference to the location of such activities within national, regional, and local jurisdictions.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts:

- Briguglio, L. (2016). Small States and the European Union: Economic Perspectives. Routledge.
- Sloman, J (2015). Economics (9th Edition). Pearson.

Supplementary texts:

- Farrugia, N. (2007). The ESDP, Spatial Development and Territorial Cohesion: Malta University Publishers

The students will be given additional notes on VLE by the lecturer.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment No 30%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Lino Briguglio

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.