ECM101-Microeconomic Policy

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Vivien Burrows


Summary module description:

This module is intended to form a basic master’s level understanding of the core theories necessary to understand microeconomic policy. The module is divided into two parts: the first part provides an introduction to the core elements of microeconomic theory, which are applicable to a range of decision-making and policy problems in the public and private sectors. The second part introduces more advanced topics in microeconomic theory, including decision-making under uncertainty and intertemporal choice, imperfect competition and general equilibrium and welfare.


This module aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the main microeconomic theories and models which are used to analyse individual and firm behaviour. The module combines analytical material and examples of applications to a range of policy and decision-making issues.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a sound understanding of microeconomic principles, theories and methods of analysis;

  2. apply microeconomic principles and theories to describe how individuals and firms make decisions and explain the impact of these decisions on consumer welfare and firm profits;

  3. assess the impact of changes in the economic and policy environment on individual and firm behaviour;

  4. apply microeconomic concepts and methods to analyse and interpret real-world phenomena.

Additional outcomes:

Problem sets and articles for discussion will be provided during the module. These will provide an opportunity for students to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as their ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real world situations.

Outline content:

Core topics to be covered include: the theory of consumer choice; the theory of production and costs; supply in perfectly competitive markets; decision-making under uncertainty and intertemporal choice; imperfect competition; general equilibrium and welfare. Additional topics may include: behavioural economics and consumer choice; household decision-making models; asymmetric information; missing markets.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Detailed guidance on the topics covered will be provided in the weekly lectures, together with handouts covering the material discussed, examples, exercises and solutions to facilitate understanding of key concepts. Seminars will provide an opportunity to explore applications of the theory in more depth. Students will be expected to supplement the lectures with the recommended reading and to do some research using the library, internet or other resources. Office hours are available for students to consult the lecturer on an individual basis.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Seminars 4
Guided independent study 154 20
Total hours by term 178.00 2.00 20.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Set exercise 40

Other information on summative assessment:

Coursework will count for 40% of the overall mark and comprises two set exercises to be submitted in the Autumn term. The final examination for the module will take place in the Summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Two one-hour unseen written exams, corresponding to each of the two parts of the module. Postgraduate examinations are held in the Summer term.

Requirements for a pass:
A minimum weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination for all modules takes place in August/September of the same year.
Re-assessment is by examination only; coursework is not included at the second attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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