Name of the participant and other supporting staff if relevant Catarina Marvão
Name of the module and discipline, level and  year of study and any useful background info Economics of Strategy module, on 2nd year of the BSc (Hons) Economics and Finance
Name of community partner and/or any other supporting partners (public or private sector) St John Bosco GAC, Newry
CERL project title(s)  Economics students developed ideas for new opportunities for Gaelic Athletic Clubs to generate revenue.
What you changed about your programme/course in relation to CERL A CERL project was built into the continuous assessment component of the module, which was worth 20% of the module grade. This CERL project took the place of the previous assignment, which was an in-class tests.

Can you provide any tangible info – e.g. module descriptor, learning outcomes, assignments, assessment criteria


The module descriptor is as follows:

Co-Requisite Modules code(s) ECON2018

ISCED Code 343

ECTS Credits 5

NFQ Level (CPD)# 8

Module Overview

 Economics of Strategy is the application of the economics way of thinking to management issues. In such an application not only are there challenges in developing and applying the economics tradition but also in seeing its limitations and interactions with other traditions within management learning.   This module aims to develop the participant’s ability to understand, evaluate and apply economics concepts, acquired in this and earlier courses, in a focused and critical way in the context of analysis of particular sectors and their firms.

Learning Outcomes (LO):

 ·        Apply economic analysis to particular industries or sectors

·        Appraise the appropriateness of particular models, and indeed the economic paradigm itself, in analysing business issues

·        Analyse, interpret and apply data and information and present reasoned conclusions

·        Undertake a detailed and critical analysis of a firm’s activities

Indicative Syllabus

1.      Review of Micro Principles

2.      Horizontal Boundaries of the Firm

3.      Vertical Boundaries of the Firm

4.      Competitors and Competition

a.      Perfect Competition

b.      Monopoly

c.      Monopolistic Competition

d.      Oligopoly – Cournot and Bertrand models

5.      Entry and exit

a.      Limit Pricing

b.      Predatory Pricing

c.      Frequency Analysis

6.      Competition Policy  and Regulation

a.      Government Intervention

b.      Collusion

c.      Mergers

d.     State Aid

 Learning and Teaching Methods: Lectures, class discussions and online exercises using Webcourses.

Total Teaching Contact Hours      36

Total Self-Directed Learning Hours            64

Assessment: Continuous Assessment Exercises  20% & Final Examination   80%

 The grading for the new CERL project as the continuous assessment component was as follows:

20% – mid-point presentation to community partner on work in progress

75% – final presentation to community partner

5% – individual reflection (pass/fail)

How was it taught:

·        number of students

·        student groupwork or individual,

·        how they worked with the partner,

·        how the project proceeded,

·        any reflection done with students,

·        evaluation or formal assessment of their learning,

·        tech used

·        Anything else interesting?

55 students worked in 9 small groups. They each completed an economic analysis of new opportunities for Gaelic Athletic Clubs post-Covid, working with St John Bosco GAC. The club had lost many of their revenue streams due to Covid restrictions, and they wanted the students to explore alternative revenue sources.

The students met the community partner 3 times:

–        at the start where he introduced the club, the context and the project brief in a 20 minute presentation, followed by questions and answers

–        secondly in the middle where each group presented on their work in progress, and their ideas for what the club could do. At this stage they received feedback from the community partner on their ideas.

–        finally at the end of the project the students presented their final analysis of how the club could actually implement one of their ideas.



What did your students learn or how will they benefit?

Students’ learning and motivation was significantly enhanced by working with a real organisation. They also learned a lot about the motivations and goals of not-for-profit organisations, which was an unintended consequence of the project. They really liked the fact that it was a live project with outcomes that the partner could use.

1 work in a group

2 work with a firm

3 Apply concepts developed in class

4 Define market, competitors and analyse competitors

5 Understand motivations of not-for-profits

6 Develop presentation skills (written and oral)

Some quotes from student reflections:

This project I learned more than I expected. I didn’t realise that there were barely any foreign nationals in GAA around the country. I learned how to take the knowledge of economics and use it in the real world. I struggled at the start with this as I didn’t fully understand how to see the elasticity etc. But after spending time I managed and was very happy with the project we did.

How to effectively use the skills I learned in class and put them to use for a community partner. I learned how to work in a group and take charge in certain segments of the project. My research skills also improved when studying the club’s market and dividing it into sub sections. My presentation and power point skills also improved while doing this project.

 I learned how to access census records to find information regarding population and demographics. Applying a demand curve and its elasticity to a realy life example helped me to learn and enforce my knowledge in this area.

 I learned

  • how to work effectively as a group as we were under time constraints.
  • How to develop a solid business plan and not just have ideas, really decide on how you will carry though the idea effectively.
  • How to actively search for information that may be difficult to find.
What do you think the benefit was to the partner? Do you have any feedback from the partner? The partner received lots of ideas to generate new revenue streams, and detailed guides on how they could implement these. They also received analysis of their competitors’ activities. In addition they increased their learning in relation to using social media, in particular Tiktok.
How could/will you improve your CERL teaching practice next time? Start planning the project further in advance of the module starting. Clarify plans and details of the project with the community partner ahead of time, to make sure everyone is clear as to what will happen, including the students.

Any challenges and how you overcame them


–        The collaboration with the partner was a bit challenging because the project planning was slightly rushed taking place right before the module began.

–        Small issues emerging between the lecturer and partner were addressed promptly through clear communication.

–        Because the project planning was rushed, some details weren’t clearly agreed – e.g., getting access to financial data that was needed for the students: this hadn’t been discussed in the planning stage and wasn’t something the organisation normally shared, even with members – the students and lecturer found a way to work around the missing data.

–        It was hard to assess individual students in such a big class through the group presentations, because each student spoke so briefly, so Catarina used peer evaluation as a way to help assign grades.

Advice you would give to someone starting a CERL project with students?


1)     Clear guidelines for students: what is expected, etc.

2)     Peer evaluation worked really well.

3)     Discuss details of project with partner before it begins.

4)     Be upfront with partner regarding any issues.