module specification

EC5001 - Business Economics (2016/17)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2016/17
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Business Economics
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Essay (1500 words) and presentation
In-Course Test 20%   Short In-class tests (40 mins)
Unseen Examination 50%   Part seen, part unseen exam (3 hours)
Running in 2016/17
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Morning

Module summary

The course introduces students to the core economic principles necessary for the understanding of modern businesses. It main aim is to provide a sound grounding in the fundamental concepts of microeconomics as the basis for more advanced microeconomics studies in the future. Microeconomic topics to help students understand firms’ business environment include: consumer demand analysis, the theory of the firm and its costs and market structures including monopolistic competition and oligopoly. In recognition of the fact that modern business strategies and outcomes are largely determined by macroeconomic policies, the tail-end of the course introduces students to the interface between business and some key macroeconomic issues with emphasis on business applications. Macroeconomic topics will include: macroeconomic policy and business, Economic growth and business cycles, internationalisation of firms and business in the global economy. 

Prior learning requirements

EC4006 Principles of Economics, or equivalent

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with:

  1. a broad based knowledge in economics and business;
  2. ability to apply their knowledge and skills in examining issues and find solutions to problems in the context of business, industry and economic policy;
  3. the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue business economics and related subjects at a higher level;
  4. transferable skills that will adequately prepare them to take advantage of future employment opportunities;
  5. generic skills – in particular, in analysis and problem solving and communication.
  6. The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: communication, including oral presentation; applied analysis; quantitative analysis; entrepreneurship; academic study skills; data analysis; interpersonal and team-working; and career development


Introduction: Micro- and macroeconomic context of business.
Markets and Prices.
Consumer behaviour.
Uncertainty and consumer behaviour.
The cost of production.
Profit maximization and competitive supply.
The analysis of competitive markets.
Market power: Monopoly and monopsony. Pricing with market power.
Applications of pricing models: price discrimination, peak load pricing, two-part tariffs and bundling Game theory and competitive strategy.
Markets for factor inputs. The market for labour. Job search, matching, pay and career development. The graduate labour market.
Investment, time and capital markets. General equilibrium and Economic efficiency
The economics of trade. Comparative advantage. Welfare analysis of trade and trade restrictions  Markets with asymmetric information.
Externalities and public goods.
Pollution. The economics of the environment.
Macroeconomic policy and business. Economic growth and business cycles.
Internationalisation of firms. Business in the global economy.

Learning and teaching

The method of teaching will be interactive. Lectures will provide students with the basic concepts and theories and will emphasise the micro foundations of business which is necessary to appreciate and understand the  content of the module. The lecture slides will be uploaded on Weblearn with supplementary learning materials. Also, class activities/questions/case studies will be made available on Weblearn so as to enable students to prepare effectively for seminar meetings. The role of the seminar teacher is to facilitate discussions during the seminar. Case studies/review questions will be discussed in the seminar with emphasis on student participation.

Seminars will also include ‘live’ economics games and simulations. These activities will embed economic concepts, and support the development of student’s teamworking, leadership, and strategic skills. 

Graduate career development will also be examined and practical guidance will be provided with support from the University careers service. The development of career awareness is promoted within the module by introducing students to career development opportunities such as, internships and work experience, job search techniques, employer recruitment strategies, self presentation together with a review of skills sought by prospective employers. Written presentation including CVs and personal statements, networking, job application, interviews, and inter-cultural communication are also discussed. 

Learning outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate a broad knowledge and a systematic understanding of business economics covering theory, policy and application;
  2. critically apply knowledge to comment on and evaluate real world facts and business economic policy;
  3. apply a range of specialist skills to the organisations in which they as specialists may operate, including the application of analytical or quantitative techniques;
  4. be competent communicators of complex ideas and analysis in business, economics and finance through written and oral expositions;
  5. work effectively in groups and demonstrate team-working, planning, conflict resolution, communication, self-management, time-management, and self-presentation skills.
  6. demonstrate life and career development awareness, including vision and personal awareness, presentation, and development.

Assessment strategy

The coursework will require students to write answers to questions addressing the underlying principles or issues of the subject matter or provide solutions to technical questions.

The presentation will enable students to further develop their ability to work effectively in groups, undertake team activity, plan and allocate functions, seek to resolve any conflict, communicate effectively, work under binding time constraints, and undertake a presentation). Students will individually and independently produce an essay from the titles offered. Students doing the same essay will be placed in groups of typically 4 in number and will, based on their individual essays and feedback, work as a group to prepare and do a group presentation.

Two in-class tests will require an in-depth understanding, analysis and application of economics to problems set in the context of businesses. The examination will be 3 hours and will require students to write detailed and critical answers to a range of questions addressing the underlying principles and issues of the subject matter or provide solutions to technical questions.


The main recommended text is:
Pindyck, R., and Rubinfeld, D. (2013) Microeconomics, 8th edition, Pearson Education.

Other texts are:
Begg, D., and Ward, D. (2006) Economics for Business, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill.
Besanko, D.,  Dranive, D., Shanley, M., and Schaefer, S. (2007) Economics of Strategy, 4th Edition, Wiley.
Brewster, D. (2006) Business Economics, 2nd Edition, Thompson.

De Wit, B., and Meyer, R. (2007) Strategy – Process, Content, Context,  3rd Edition, Thompson
Fisher, A., (2006) Managerial Economics, Routledge.
Hornby, W., et al (2006) Business Economics, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education.
Moschandreas, M. (2005) Business Economics, Thompson.
McAleese, D. (2005) Economics for Business, 3rd Edition, Pearson Education.
Ricketts, M. (2005) The Economics of Business Enterprise, Edward Elgar.
Sloman, J., and Hinde, M. (2007) Economics for Business, 4th Edition, Pearson Education.
Varian, H. R. (2010) Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach, Norton.
Worthington, I., et al (2005) Economics for Business, 2nd Edition, Pearson Education

Indicative online resources
Instructional videos on relevant microeconomics can be accessed via YouTube. Example links include: