Threshold concepts ‘bind a subject together, being fundamental to ways of thinking and practising in [a] discipline’ (Land et al, 2005: 54). This paper reflects upon the use of a central ‘threshold’ concept within a postgraduate course on consumption, political economy and sustainability. ‘PDEC’ refers to four interconnected economic processes (Production, Distribution, Exchange and Consumption) which together constitute economies (Harvey, 2007; Polanyi, 1957). It was used to ‘constructively align’ teaching and learning objectives with assessment (Biggs & Tang, 2007). This session considers the possibilities and problems of using PDEC as an integrative module design feature within economic sociology courses.