module specification

EC5006A - Microeconomics (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Microeconomics
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Essay (1500 words) and group presentation
In-Course Test 20%   In-class test (50 mins)
Seminar 50%   Unseen exam (1.5 hours)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Monday Morning

Module summary

This module provides a basic grounding in intermediate microeconomics. It covers the constituents of markets and demand (consumer theory). The module also discusses departures from the theoretical predictions of how rational consumers behave (behavioural economics).

Prior learning requirements

Equivalent of 15 credits in level 4 Microeconomics

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of a range of microeconomic principles, and to foster an ability to apply those principles to practical economic policy and business issues. The module focuses principally on consumer choice in various theoretical contexts.

The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: subject research; interpersonal and team-working; academic study skills; literacy; communication, including oral presentation; applied analysis; data analysis; quantitative analysis; IT.


Individual consumer demand, preferences and utility functions; budget constraint
Hicks and Slutzky income and substitution effects. The Slutzky equation. Revealed preference
Market demand. Consumer surplus. Network externalities.

Inter-temporal consumer choices
Production function
Cost minimisation and cost curves

Choice under uncertainty. Insurance. Market failure. Asymmetric information. The market for lemons. The demand for risky assets.
The market for labour. Job search, matching, pay and career development. The graduate labour markets.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is structured around three hours of weekly contact time with the students. The three hours of contact time are structured as follows:
Lecture – two hours per week. The lecture will discuss the week’s topic by presenting the main theoretical analysis. Lecture materials will be available on Weblearn. Typically, students will be given time to engage in an activity based upon what has been presented in each lecture. The in-class test will take place during two of these sessions.

Tutorial - one hour per week. The tutorial will go through problem sets available on Weblearn. Students are expected to prepare for these tutorials and will lead the presentation of answers to the problems and subsequent discussion. The group presentations will take place during some of these sessions.

Students are expected to complement this 'formal' learning activity with further reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, solving problems using economic analysis, writing, planning and preparation for group presentations, essay, in-class test, and the final exam.

Professional and transferable skills are developed in lectures and seminars, and through independent directed learning and assessment. Skills development is enhanced through problem solving practiced in seminars, preparing for the in-class tests and exams and working co-operatively for group presentations. Inititative and independance is developed progressively throughout the modulesuch that students are required to take greater responsibility of their work.

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. 

Both lecture and seminar activities are structured to enable students to initially develop basic knowledge and  then to progress to develop higher order skills of synthesis and critical evaluation.Class exercises require students to carry out independent work prior to seminars while the group presentation requires groups of students to work collectively prior to making their presentation.

The module uses blended learning through the virtual learning environment, WebLearn, in which the materialsupplied for the module is placed. Examplelinks to complementary web resources, such as subject relevant Youtube videos, are also provided.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. explain and apply a range of key concepts of economic theory, sometimes making use of simple mathematical techniques; 
  2. to analyse the news, current events and policy issues using basic economic concepts;
  3. carry out independent and scholarly research, including to investigate and use knowledge to provide analysis and evaluation of specific issues and problems related to the analysis of economic, business and financial problems
  4. work effectively in groups and demonstrate team-working, planning, conflict resolution, communication, self-management, time-management, and self-presentation skills;

Assessment strategy

The 50-minute in-class test will require students to write answers to questions addressing the underlying principles or issues of the subject matter and provide solutions to shorter technical questions.

Students choose an essay from a list of titles. Those choosing the same essay will be placed in groups of typically 4 in number and will work as a group to prepare and give a group presentation. Feedback from the group presentation will enable students to revise their individual essays prior to final submission.

The group presentation will also 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.

The essay and final exam assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of microeconomics covering theory, issues, policy and application; and ability to apply and to critically assess what they learn.


Ha Joon Chang (2014) Economic: Users' Guide. London: Penguin.
Pindyck, R. S. and Rubinfeld, D. L. (2013). Microeconomics, 8th ed., Pearson/Prentice-Hall international edition.
Perloff, J. M. (2012). Microeconomics, 6th ed., Pearson.
Perloff, J. M. (2014). Microeconomics with calculus, 3rd ed., Pearson.
Varian, H. (2010). Intermediate Microeconomics: a modern approach, 8th ed., Norton.
Frank, R. H. (2010). Microeconomics and Behaviour, 8th ed., McGraw-Hill.
Jechlitschka, K., Kirschke, D. and Schwarz G. (2007). Microeconomics using Excel, Routledge.
Wilson, D. and Dixon, W. (2012). A History of Homo Economicus, Routledge.

Journal articles
Akerloff, G. A. (1970). “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 488 – 500.
Hoel, Michael (1998) “Emission Taxes Versus Other Environmental Policies.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 100, 1, 79 – 104.
Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation (2010), Vol.73, Issue 1. Special issue: experiment.
Kolay, Sreya and Shafer, Greg (2003). “Bundling and Menus of Two-Part Tariffs.” The Journal of Industrial Economics, 51, 3, 383 – 403.
Neumark, David and Wascher, William (2000). “Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment.” American Economic Review, 90, 5, 1362 – 1396.
Oi, Walter Y. (1971). “A Disneyland Dilemma: Two-Part Tariffs for a Mickey Mouse Monopoly.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 77 – 96.
Wilson, D. and Dixon, W. (2010). Performing the Recession. Studi e Note di Economia 15:3.

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