First Year Challenge

The First Year Challenge  is a multimedia assignment designed to introduce first year undergraduates to independent research and to academic collaboration. Small groups of students are assigned to specific locations in Central London. In their groups they are asked to produce a 3 minute multimedia clip which relates to their meeting point and the theme “Capitalism, Growth and Inequality”, which is discussed in Unit 1 of The Economy, the free online textbook produced by the CORE project.


The pictures on this page show some of the groups at their assigned FYC locations. Some of the locations are associated with someone who has contributed to the study of growth and inequality. These include Florence Nightingale’s workplace on Harley Street, the British Library which houses many of Adam Smith’s writings, and Charles Dickens’ house on Doughty Street. Other locations had more general links to the overall theme, for example, a local primary school, the Wellcome Trust and the office of the Guardian.

FYC- TUT U(SubgroupB) Group Photo

The main motivation behind the First Year Challenge was to introduce students to research-based education as a prelude to the empirically-focused education they would receive in their first year in the economics department. We also wanted to create bonding opportunities among our large (~300 students) cohorts which included students from around the world and across the UK, and to highlight the diverse skills that this varied study body brings to the table.

This project is easily adaptable to other contexts and fields. Read our paper which has been published in the first issue of the Journal of Economics Teaching for more details.

Some of the best submissions from 2020-2021 are below:

The Winner:

The Runners-up:

This year’s shortlist can be found on YouTube.

Previous Years:

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