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English for studies in economics and international policies


Bostock L.

Course director


Participants are invited to share their interests by selecting the themes we will be discussing, monitoring the media as the course progresses and making a group presentation on that theme.Themes covered in previous years have included:

The economic consequences of (and solutions for) climate change
AI and the future of work
The ageing population
Income & wealth inequality
Universal basic income
Food sustainability around the world
Economics, globalization and the pandemic

Language-related skills covered will include:

Interpreting and discussing graphic information
Active reading
Useful language for discussions
Disentangling (and writing) complex sentences
Academic writing in English: generating ideas; structures for writing; anatomy of a paragraph; plagiarism & citation
Presentations in English: introducing, signposting and sequencing; using graphics in a presentation
Listening skills 

No prescribed textbooks. Reading material will be made available by the teacher and course participants.

Recommended: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Macmillan 2018; Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, OUP; Hewings, M., Advanced Grammar in Use, Cambridge University Press 2013.


The objective of the course is to give students the opportunity to explore and discuss issues in Economics and International Policies in the English language through contact with a variety of material, and to encourage confident use of the language in various situations. In addition, students are provided with the advanced skills in English that they will need in the future, either in academia or in the working world.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Learning method

The content of the course is divided into two strands. Each week there will be a free discussion of input material, drawn from the current debate in the media (e.g. The Economist, The Financial Times, Business Week, Forbes, etc.), or recordings of lectures and news briefings (e.g. from, BBC Radio, NPR, etc.). In groups, students will be asked to prepare in advance a short talk on the issues raised in the input material so as to open up a discussion in class. This part of the session will include comprehension question-and-answer if necessary.

A second strand is devoted to a more focused exploration of the language, which is centered not on grammar, but on those skills that can be used to decipher the language on the fly or to produce strong language output such as essays, reports, presentations, etc.

As with all language courses, students will be expected to devote a fair amount of private study time to developing their vocabulary and communication skills, and to be able to demonstrate this work in progress.

Students should register on the iCorsi Platform, where slides, input material and practice exercises will be placed as the course progresses.

Examination information


Assessment is by final exam, which will include written and listening comprehension along with an essay or other written piece. Speaking skills will be assessed on final group presentation towards the end of the course. Consistent attendance and participation in class will also be reflected in the final grade.

Students from all Master’s programmes of the Faculty of Economics, as well as Erasmus or exchange students, are welcome to attend.