module specification

EC4006A - Principles of Economics (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Principles of Economics
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
90 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Learing Reflection
Group Coursework 20%   Group coursework portfolio (1,800 words)
In-Course Test 60%   In-class tests
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces and develops the principles of microeconomics providing a secure foundation for students pursuing specialist degrees in Economics and Business Economics. The module will examine supply and demand analysis, theories of consumer behaviour and theories of the firm. It will also introduce the distribution of income, market failure, and international trade.  

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with:

  1. a systematic knowledge and understanding of microeconomic principles, including a critical awareness of economic reasoning;
  2. an ability to apply economic principles and analysis in a variety of contexts;
  3. a range of transferable and subject-specific skills that will assist future study and personal development;
  4. an appreciation of the economic dimension of wider social, regional and political issues.

The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: academic study skills; IT; literacy; applied analysis; entrepreneurship, critical thinking; interpersonal and team-working; communication, including oral presentation; and problem solving.


HE Learning Development
Skills and personal development.  Academic reading, writing, critical thinking and analysis. Referencing and avoidance of plagiarism. Information search - software and techniques useful in research, use of library and online resources
Note-taking - how to get the most out of lectures. Writing economics essays and reports.

Skills development : Teamwork and Leadership

Introduction to Microeconomics
Key concepts in economics and an introduction to economic models
Supply and demand analysis, elasticity
Theories of consumer behaviour – economic rationality and its critics
Costs, revenues and profit maximisation
Theories of the firm: Perfect competition and monopoly
Introduction to imperfect competition
The distribution of income
Market efficiency and market failure
Introduction to international trade.

Learning and teaching

Formal teaching and learning sessions will consist of weekly lectures  and seminars. There will be a two-hour lecture which will be used to set out and explain the key topics of the module and will emphasise what students need to do to undertand the material fully. There will also be workshop activity in the lecture time in which students will solve problems in groups and will engage in a dialogue with the lecturer.

There will be two kinds of hour-long seminar on the module. One hour per week will be spent discussing class problems contained in the student handbook. Students will present solutions to problems in groups and these sessions will be student-centred.

The second seminar hour will be dedicated to skills development. There will be strong emphasis on academic reading and writing, especially early on. Students will be required to undertake some writing activities in one or two of these seminars and they will be introduced to personal development planning.

All workshop-activity and seminars will be highly interactive and will involve problem-solving, real-world data, team work and learning games both online and away from the computer. Students will be expected to present solutions to problems individually and in groups. Workshop activities will embed economic concepts, and support the development of student’s teamworking, leadership, and strategic skills. 

Students will be required to complement their 'formal' learning activity with further reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, by interacting with Web-based learning materials and by working on class problems both individually and in groups. These problems will be discussed subsequently in seminars.

Student contact time will be 4 hours per week. Seminars will be designed to provide swift formative feedback and to encourage active learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. apply knowledge of basic microeconomic concepts such as opportunity cost, elasticity, economic profit and marginal analysis in coursework and examination problems and be able to explain these concepts from first principles;
  2. analyse and evaluate policy responses to various kinds of economic problem,  recognising the existence of different theoretical approaches to policy questions;
  3. demonstrate learning strategies and methods which provide independent learning capabilities required for continuing professional development;
  4. research and write concise, well-structured essays on a range of economic topics;
  5. work effectively in groups and demonstrate good communication, self-management, time-management and self-presentation skills.

Assessment strategy

During the semester students will work in groups to solve a set of applied microeconomic problems, which will be submitted as a group portfolio in week 10. The groups will be required to present their work-in-progress in class and will receive feedback on it from their tutor and fellow students. The portfolio will include a short writing assignment carried out by each member of the group. The purpose of the development of the group coursework portfolio is to help students get to know one another at the beginning of their course and to develop their teamwork and leadership skills. The coursework will encourage students to apply simple economic concepts and models to possible real-world scenarios.

There will be a series of 30-minute tests throughout the semester so that students can monitor their progress and identify any weaknesses.

There will be a final unseen online test lasting one hour, which will test students understanding of core economic principles and the way they can be applied to economic problems.

Attendance data is collected by lecturers and tutors which is added to Evision and this information will constitute the main element of the attendance/participation mark. However there will also be a reward for active and constructive class participation.


Mankiw, N.G. and Taylor, M.P. (2011)  Economics, 2nd Edition, South-Western Cengage Learning
Sloman, J. , Wride, A and Garratt, D. (2012), Economics, 8th edition, Prentice Hall
Begg D., Fischer S, Dornbusch R., (2008), Economics, 9th ed., McGraw Hill
Frank, R.H.(2008), The Economic Naturalist: Why Economics Explains Almost Everything, Virgin
Akerlof, G.A. and Shiller, R.J.,(2009) Animal Spirits, Princeton

Online resources:  games / experiments  games / experiments film clips
Other online resources at