Staff profile

Melanie Powell

Senior Lecturer Economics, Course Director Postgraduate Programme Leader for MSc International Business and Finance, MSc International Business and HRM, MSc International Business and Marketing

Mel Powell


Economics and Finance


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Derby Business School

Research centre

Centre for Business Improvement


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



As a member of the Derby Business School, I am the DMS Course Director with responsibility for taught Postgraduate programmes and Collaboratives. I am also a programme leader for several MSc programmes in international business, actively involved in new programme development, programme leadership and scholarship. I teach economics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and am active in research and scholarship. I have also taught at other Universities including York, Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan Universities. I have extensive experience as a British and international External Examiner in my subject area.

As an applied economist, my aim is to make my students as enthusiastic about economics and applied analysis as I am. I believe that economics should form part of the thinking toolkit that everyone uses in business and management and the best way to learn is to take some risks and have a go. I put this into practice in my teaching and programmes, but also as the joint author of a major European Economics textbook. Our undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in International Business have a strong core in economics and we encourage all our students to enter external competitions, meet professional economists and business leaders, and challenge themselves to expand their employment potential. 

As an applied economist, I do a lot of radio and TV work to raise the profile of the Derby Business School and write economics commentary for local and national media. I use my contacts in the City of London to bring professional economists and finance specialists into our classrooms, one example of which is our current Visiting Professor of Banking and Financial Economics, Prof. Trevor Williams, who was Chief Economist of Lloyds Bank Corporate and now runs his own consultancy.

Teaching responsibilities



Professional interests

I have wide experience of validations as a proposer of new programmes and as a member of internal and external validation panels.  I also have wide experience as an external examiner both nationally and internationally. For example, Chief External Examiner Arab Open University, Economics/statistics External Examiner Arab Open University, External Examiner Economics/International Business at Stafford, Leeds Beckett, Manchester Metropolitan, Worcester and Leeds Trinity.

Reviewer for new statistics books for Macmillan Publishers (2009 ongoing)

Journal referee for journals including Journal of Neuroscience, Economics and Psychology, the International Journal of Applied Economics; Risk, Decision and Policy; Journal of Behavioural Decision Making; Economic Psychology.

Research interests

My main research focus is understanding how people behave when dealing with risk in personal, business and financial decisions. I have published widely in the areas of risk behaviour in health and finance, and more recently in the area of behavioural finance and behavioural economics, issues around knowledge transfer and cultural differences in behaviours.  I am also working on student perceptions of the value of digital learning resources. I am keen to engage my students in more general applied research in international business and have produced joint authored conference papers with my students based on the research data in the areas of trust, employee commitment and knowledge transfer, and have been successful in University funded projects to engage students with my research (URSS and OCIS).

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications

Recent conferences

My recent areas of applied research presented at conferences include analysing student use of digital resources and its impact on peformance (UoD Teaching and Learning Conferences 2017 and 2019, and CABS Learning and Teaching Conference 2020), international knowledge transfer through training in organisations (UFHRD International Conference 2016), cross cultural differences in employee organisational behaviour (UFHRD International Conference 2014 & 2017) and the role of product bundling in angel investment markets (BAAFA (NAG) Annual Conference 2019).

Experience in industry

I have experience of knowledge transfer with regional organisations through an ERDF funded Knowledge Exchange for Innovation project with TBAT Innovation Ltd, where I worked with the company and one of our graduates to develop a new innovative revenue stream through private investors.  I recently designed and won an ESRC and Innovate UK funded Knowledge Transfer Project with Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.  Within that KTP, I am supervising a graduate employee at Chatsworth to design and implement an Economic Impact Evaluation methodology directly linked to Chatsworth's strategic growth plan, and their social and environmental strategy, to enhance productivity.

I am a trained journalist and spent several years as a journalist before becoming an academic and still provide economic commentary for the media.

International experience

Additional interests and activities

I am also keen to engage all students in the subject, not just my students at Derby. I have been part of an innovative team of passionate economists producing a leading text book for the European market since 1997, when we produced the 3rd European edition of Economics. The book has led the way in web-learning and student support. Parkin, M., Powell, M., and Matthews, K., (2017), Economics, 10th Edition, Pearson Education, Addison Wesley Longman, Harlow, ISBN 978-292-14782-6.

In the media

I make regular contributions to BBC radio and television broadcasts on economic issues, write blogs for the University on the Budget and economic issues in the news and engage with regional business in media debates such as the Derby Telegraph Round Table Debates, published in the Agenda magazine. Visit some of my writing here

Recent publications