The module is designed to equip students with the key principles necessary for the analysis of a range of basic economic problems and policies. It seeks, in particular, to increase the students’ abilities to, independently, pose and solve economic questions, especially those relating to policy issues.
This module emphasises the fundamental conceptual foundations in microeconomics and key tools of microeconomic analysis, and provides concrete examples of their applications.
Students will develop understanding of how decisions by consumers, firms and government are interlinked, and impact on the overall level of economic activity. Analysis of contemporary economic events will be a key feature of the module, enabling the procurement of skills to assess the likely trends in economic variables that will facilitate decision making.
This module covers economics from a business and policy point of view and incorporates many international examples and the world economy.
You will gain an awareness of the economy and economic laws and the effects this has on the decision making, which is a key skill required by company managers.
You will improve your analytical, logical, quantitative, and communication skills. You will cultivate the ability to apply tools and approaches from the Economics discipline to real-world problems in business and government policy, and to communicate these approaches to non-specialists. This module emphasises several skills noted as highly valuable according to the Economics Network Research: Employers’ Survey 2014-15, including ‘the ability to analyse economic, business and social issues’, ‘the ability to simplify complexity while still retaining relevance’ and ‘communication of economic ideas.’
You are encouraged to attend the open lectures from visiting speakers in the Business School.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Intermediate Microeconomics|
BEE1029 or BEE1034 OR BEE1036 and BEE1037
Cannot be taken with BEE2025 and BEE2026
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
The module focuses on microeconomic issues. The module builds on first-year economics and aims to both deepen and widen your formal knowledge of economic theory and its application.
The module is designed to equip you with the key economic principles necessary for the analysis of a range of economic problems and policies. It seeks, in particular, to increase your abilities to independently pose and solve economic questions, especially those relating to policy issues. It emphasises the fundamental conceptual foundations in microeconomics and provides concrete examples of their applications.
Analysis of contemporary economic events will be a key feature of the module, enabling the procurement of skills to assess the likely trends in economic variables that will facilitate decision making.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Explain and apply intermediate microeconomic theory and apply economic reasoning to the analysis of economic questions and policy;
- 2. Identify and explain the value of using economics in assessing the external environment for business decision-making.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. identify, present and explain standard theoretical economic models and apply them to analyse economic questions and policy issues;
- 4. think analytically and interpret economic data.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 5. develop the capacity for analytical thought and reasoned discussion;
- 6. develop independent study skills.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||22||Lectures, where key concepts are introduced|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||5||Seminars, where problem sets are worked through and discussed|
|Guided independent study||123||To be divided between background reading (e.g. 40 hrs), solving/reviewing problem sets (e.g. 40 hrs) and exam revision (e.g. 43 hrs)|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Bi-Weekly problem sets||1 hour every two weeks||1-6||Oral in tutorial class and formative feedback.|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Coursework||30||Up to 700 words||1-6||Final grade; Exams indicative answers and common errors/corrections will be posted on ELE.|
|Final Examination||70||2 hours||1-6||Final grade; Exams indicative answers and common errors/corrections will be posted on ELE.|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Coursework (30%)||Coursework (30%)||1-6||August/September Reassessment Period|
|Examination (70%)||Examination (2 hours, 70%)||1-6||August/September Reassessment Period|
Subject to adjustments to accommodate pacing and student interest
- Module outline and background
- Utility and choice (Utility, preferences, indifference curves, budget constraints)
- Demand curves: Individual and market demand
- Production functions, costs, profit maximisation and supply
- Welfare outcomes of market systems
Extensions to the model
- Uncertainty (basic concepts, EU, risk aversion, investment choices)
- Game theory; experimental evidence on choices in strategic situations
- Behavioural economics; Limits to cognition, willpower, self-interest; applications and evidence
How the market can go wrong (and how to fix it)
- Market failures: Public goods
- Monopolies, pricing and price discrimination
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Readings and materials to be linked via the ELE
Varian, Hal R., Intermediate microeconomics: a modern approach. 9th edition: New York, NY: WW Norton & Company
(Earlier editions are also acceptable)
Nicholson, W. & Snyder, C. M. (2015) Intermediate Microeconomics and Its Application, 12th edition, Cengage Learning.
Online version should be freely accessible at https://www.vlebooks.com/vleweb/Product/Index/1010262; use Shibboleth login
(Earlier editions are also acceptable)
Note that any intermediate or advanced textbook in Microeconomics will cover virtually the same material, with varying degrees of mathematical rigour. There are now texts available for free, legally, online, such as “Introduction to Economic Analysis”, by Preston McAfee, Caltech and Tracy Lewis, Duke University, available at https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/BookDetail.aspx?bookId=47
Module has an active ELE page?
Last revision date