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 levels 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, I aim 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 in 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 also have research interests in the links between digital learning (VLEs) and student performance. More recently, I have developed research on continuous economic impact assessment methodology within heritage organisations through an Innovate UK and ESRC-funded KTP with Chatsworth House.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications

Recent conferences

My recent areas of applied research presented at conferences include the role of product bundling in angel investment markets (BAAFA (NAG) Annual Conference 2019), linking VLE use to student performance, perceptions and engagement (CABS Online Festival of Learning, 2020), using value chains for in company economic impact assessments (BAM, 2021), and using Economic Impact Assessment to align UN SDG goals for heritage organisations (UoD International GCRF Education On-line Conference, 2021).

Experience in industry

I have experience in 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 supervised a graduate employee for two years 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 textbook 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.  We revise the book every 2 years and the latest edition is Parkin, M., Powell, M., and Matthews, K., (2021), Economics, 11th Edition, Pearson Education, Addison Wesley Longman, Harlow, ISBN 978-1-292-42475-0.

In the media

I have made many contributions to BBC radio and television broadcasts on economic issues, written many blogs for the University on the Budget and economic issues in the news and engaged with regional business in media debates such as the Derby Telegraph Round Table Debates, published in the Agenda magazine.  I have also participated in national think tank webinars (Politeia) on issues including regulation of banking and finance and economic issues in social care. I have a blog where you can visit some of my writing. 

Recent publications