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Prashan Karunaratne


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Prashan Karunaratne
  • Title: Mr
  • Position: Adjunct Lecturer - Department of Economics
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Economics (Honours), Macquarie University, Master of Commerce-Actuarial Studies, University of New South Wales

Contact Details


  • Master of Commerce: Actuarial Studies (University of New South Wales)
  • Bachelor of Economics (Honours): Economics (Macquarie University)
  • PhD Student: Learning & Teaching and Economics (Macquarie University)

Professional Membership

  • Member of: Actuarial Students Society, Macquarie University Australia
  • Member of: Economics Society of Australia

Student information

  • Load: PhD Student Full Time
  • Principal supervisor:

    Dr Yvonne Breyer

  • Associate supervisor:

    Professor Leigh Wood

  • Date of submission: 01/10/2017
  • Thesis title: Transforming the Economics Curriculum by Integrating Threshold Concepts
  • Purpose: Economics, is catering to a diverse student cohort. This cohort needs to be equipped with transformative concepts that students can integrate beyond university. When a curriculum is content-driven, threshold concepts are a useful tool in guiding curriculum re-design. The evidence for this pedagogic need can be seen in the UK’s higher education economics curriculum framework which is formulated around the threshold concepts of economics.
  • Originality: This is the first comprehensive study that applies a curriculum re-sequencing based on threshold concepts across an entry-level economics course.
  • Design/methodology/approach: Through a literature review of the application of threshold concepts in economics, the researcher has systematically re-designed an entry-level economics course. This research has been applied to the course structure, the learning and teaching activities, as well as the assessments. At the end of the semester, students were given a survey, a ‘Learner Experience of Unit’ (LEU), which included questions on the student experience of the curriculum design and the learning activities.
  • Findings: This LEU had at least a 40% response rate per semester. When comparing the survey responses to the previous semesters, there is a significant improvement in student experience of the course curriculum.
  • Research limitations/implications: This research provides curriculum developers with a benchmark and the tools required to transform economics curricula.
  • Practical and social implications: An engaging, transformative and integrative entry-level economics course is often the only exposure most graduates have to the economics way of thinking and practice.
  • Keywords: Threshold concepts, Curriculum design, Learning and teaching, Higher education, Economics