The CORE Project, the open-access economics curriculum reform initiative based at University College London, has been granted £340,000 by the Nuffield Foundation to develop a new course in which social science students will learn economic methods by grappling with policy issues concerning inequality, climate change and innovation.

The course, “Economy, Society, and Public Policy” will be delivered through a free-to-access online text. It will introduce students who do not intend to specialise in economics to the discipline as a method of social enquiry, and encourage the development of quantitative social science. It will build on the existing success of The Economy, CORE’s introductory course for economics undergraduates,

Professor Wendy Carlin CBE, the head of CORE’s steering group, says:

“Our motto is ‘Economics for a changing world’, and this grant is a wonderful opportunity to bring the power and excitement of economics to a wider audience who are investigating the important social questions about how we live today.”

Josh Hillman, Director of Education at the Nuffield Foundation says:

The Nuffield Foundation is delighted to fund the development of Economy, Society and Public Policy, which will bring the quality and insights of the exciting CORE course to a wide range of social science students and other non-economics specialists. At a time of unprecedented change, it is vital that more people are better informed and actively involved in discussion of economic issues. “

Carlin adds:

“From day one we have been committed to building interdisciplinary links in the social sciences, and we’re delighted the Nuffield Foundation, with its unrivalled reputation and experience in curriculum innovation, has backed our approach.”

Funding CORE is a good fit with Q-Step, says Hillman:

“The new course will complement Q-Step, our programme that is promoting a step-change in quantitative social science training for undergraduates, and some of the Q-Step Centres will be partners in developing and testing the content.”

The grant, which covers the period 2017 to 2019, will be used to create the course materials that students and teachers will use. During this time courses will be developed and tested with partners, including the UCL Institute of Education and Q-Step Centre, University of Bristol Q-Step Centre and Department of Economics, Birkbeck, University of London Department of Politics, Bangor University Business School and Cardiff Metropolitan University Management School. As with all CORE materials, the course will be delivered online, and will be open-access for individuals and institutions anywhere who wish to use it.