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Economic Models

Admission Requirements
Bachelor’s degree in any academic subject

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student is able to:


  • Describe the history of economics, its principles and core policies;
  • Explain with a critical approach how the economy is interrelated and interdependent to sustainable development;
  • Identify the different economic models, traditional and new approaches.


  • Analyze economic and environmental research;
  • Use and understand the functioning of the Sustainable Development Planning & Action Cycle method;


  • Implement new analysis methods on economic models for sustainable development
  • Write scientific reports and proposals on economic models for sustainable development
  • Communicate and present research findings on economic models for sustainable development


Aim of the course

The aim of this module is to explore the issues associated with economic development and to provide students with various alternative models of economics which highlight new approaches to sustainable development. Students will understand and develop a critical approach to the role of economic policies, incentives, and instruments in the running of a sustainable economy, while assessing the potential of new economic thinking in pursuing sustainable development objectives. This module operates in a way to help students critically analyze the different approaches to sustainable development, referring to systems thinking and the state of the economy.

The “Economic Models” module examines the history of traditional economics and assesses new approaches which acknowledge the environmental constraints of a limited biosphere. It investigates the sustainable development planning and action cycle as a method for organizations to engage with the principles of different economic models, such as ecological economics and doughnut economics, while using case studies to explore sustainable development at the micro and macro levels.

This module focuses on the role of the economy in sustainable development and gives good opportunities for the critical analysis of different approaches to sustainable development. The method that has been taken for this module is to encourage self-directed learning, along with taught classes, and research materials that students can find in the online (Moodle) platform for their use.

The “Economic Models” course is composed of two different sections. The first part of this course is the “Traditional Economics and Alternative Models” course, which is divided into the following sections:

  • History, principles & policies of economics;
  • Alternative economic models for a sustainable future (ecological economics, doughnut economics, natural capital accounting);
  • Differentiating between neoclassical and ecological economics;
  • Assumptions in neoclassical economics on human nature and its relevance to resource allocation.

The second half of this module is the “Case Studies of Sustainable Development” course. This part is also structured into different lessons, which are:

  • Selection of case studies (including agricultural) to explore sustainable development-based solutions at micro and macro levels;

The Sustainable Development Planning & Action Cycle, incorporating the VISIS (Vision, Indicators, Systems, Innovation, Strategy) methodology as a means of case study preparation and analysis.


Mandatory readings

  • Costanza, R., Cumberland, J.H., Daly, H., Goodland, R. and Norgaard, R.B., 1997. An introduction to ecological economics. CRC Press.
  • Daly, H.E. and Farley, J., 2011. Ecological economics: principles and applications. Island press.
  • Raworth, K., 2017. Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist. Chelsea Green Publishing.
  • Todaro, M.P. and Smith, S.C., 2009. Economic development. Pearson education.

Teaching Methodology

The teaching methodology to be used for this class are:

  • Lectures;
  • Independent Study;
  • E-learning.

ECTS Credits
4.5 ECTS

I semester

Examination methodology

Assessment will take the form of:

  • A 1000-word Research Proposal;
  • A 5 slides presentation on a particular topic chosen by students;
  • Continuous assessment in class though multiple choice and open questions tests.

The “Economic Models” module aims to give a basic knowledge on sustainable development related to the world economy. Exploring the different economic models is vital to understand how sustainability can be achieved in different contexts. Therefore, this course is developed as an introductory module to sustainability and economy, key knowledge which is required by students that are approaching systems thinking and sustainable development.

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