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Generating the Wealth of Nations (UNIB10010)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeUNIB10010
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides an introduction to the development of economic activity in the world in the past 300 years. The main objectives are to present an overview of the main phases and episodes in the evolution of the world economy in the past 300 years, and to develop an understanding of the role of factors such as geography, institutions, technological change and culture in explaining economic development. Through study of the evolution of the world economy knowledge of key economic concepts and ideas will be developed, as well as an understanding of how economics and history can be applied to analyse the economic performance of different countries. The subject will emphasise how an understanding of the history of the world economy can be used to analyse current global economic developments. Main topics that are covered include: Early development of economy; European colonial expansion and the rise of trading economies; in the Industrial Revolution; the rise of the American economy in the twentieth century; the Great Depression; World Wars and economic activity; the eras of globalization in the world economy; evolution of international trade and finance; the Golden age and the era of stagflation in European economies; the rise of the Japanese economy, the Asian miracle, and the development of market economies China and Russia; and Australia's role in the world economy.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Explain how resource allocation can be considered the central economic problem, and the importance of economic activity for the well-being of societies;
  • Explain the nature and role of theory and models in economic analysis, and explain the roles of economic theory and analysis of historical data and records for understanding the causes of events and patterns in the world economy;
  • Explain key economic concepts such as comparative advantage, international trade, and economic growth, and key ideas such as the role of trade and markets in promoting well-being
  • Describe the main phases and episodes in the history of the world economy over the past 300 years
  • Explain the role of factors such as geography, political and legal institutions, technological change, culture, immigration and foreign investment, economic policy, in the development of the world economy
  • Use their knowledge of the history of the world economy to inform analysis of current developments in economies in different countries

Generic skills

  • High level of development: written communication; application of theory to practice; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas.
  • Moderate level of development: oral communication; collaborative learning; problem solving; team work; statistical reasoning.
  • Some level of development: use of computer software

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • Written work due in-semester of not more than 4,000 words (40%)
  • A 2-hour final exam (50%)
  • Tutorial participation (10%)
  • To pass this subject students must pass the end of semester examination.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorJohn Tang
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    No prescribed text.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 14 August 2019