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Online course materials for ECON10221

Microeconomics 1

Unit code: ECON10221
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 1
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit?: Y



Additional Requirements

NOT available to students who have previously taken ECON10041/42 or ECON10081/82.


It is the aim of this course unit to introduce students to applying economic thinking and analysis to relevant contemporary economic issues. To do so it will introduce students to microeconomic concepts and tools.

The unit will also prepare students for the further study of economics at an intermediate level.


See course Blackboard pages.

Teaching and learning methods

The material is delivered via the online (Blackboard) provision of material (readings, clips) and Lectures.

The learning process of students is supported by tutorials (exercise questions and discussion based questions) and the provision of further online material (such as discussion boards and practice quizzes).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding:  

Make appropriate use of core microeconomic concepts such as opportunity cost; elasticities; and marginal/average relationships, causality, theoretical insights and empirical evidence in analysing economic behaviour.

Understand the core organisational principles of modern economies.

Develop a basic understanding of how economists model the behaviour of individual consumers and firms

Understand the power and limits of markets, the role of public policy in shaping these markets and  the possibility of market failure


Intellectual skills:

Students will develop skills in applying basic economic analysis in a variety of contexts.

Students will develop expertise in evaluating the experience of a diverse range of economies taking into account the historical context.


Practical skills:

Students will develop their ability to read economic literature; process and evaluate different sources of information;

Students will demonstrate that they can communicate (verbally and in writing) basic economic concepts and ideas to a non-expert audience.

Students will demonstrate that they can use library and other online resources under guidance and will begin to develop independent research skills  


Transferable skills and personal qualities:   

Students will develop presentation and interpersonal skills through participation in tutorial sessions.

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving

Assessment Further Information

  • Mid-Term Test, multiple choice questions (20%).
  • End of Term Test, multiple choice questions (20%).
  • Essay (60%).

For information about feedback please follow this link:


Capitalist Revolution:

  • The need for economic analysis.
  • Different varieties of capitalism.
  • Measuring our well-being.
  • GDP and alternative.
  • Technology.
  • Productivity and growth.

Key Economic Concepts:

  • Scarcity.
  • Opportunity cost.
  • Efficiency.
  • Conditional vs. unconditional.
  • Marginal vs. average.
  • Causality.
  • Distributions.
  • Surplus.
  • Rent.
  • Optimization.
  • Elasticity.
  • Empirics and theory.
  • The use of models.
  • Pprices as sources of information.
  • Normative vs. positive.


Choice Theory:

  • Introduction to the modelling of individual decisions (including the classic paradigm of rational agents and deviations from this paradigm).


Understanding Firm Behaviour:

  • Firms and workers.
  • Wage setting.
  • Productivity and wages.
  • Principal-agent problems and efficiency wages.
  • Monopsony model of labor markets.
  • Minimum wage - theory and Evidence.
  • Polarization.


Firms and Their Customers:

  • Revenue, costs and profits.
  • Technologies and productivity.
  • Production functions.


Understanding Markets:

  • Market failure due to market power. 

Recommended reading

The Core Project, 2016, The Economy (http://www.core-econ.org/ebook/).

Feedback methods

  • Tutorial feedback.
  • Office hours.
  • Discussion board.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 1.5 hours
  • Lectures - 16 hours
  • Tutorials - 5 hours
  • Independent study hours - 77.5 hours

Teaching staff

Daniel Rigby - Unit coordinator

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