ECM101-Microeconomic Policy

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Dr Vivien Burrows

Email: v.e.burrows@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is intended to form a basic master’s level understanding of the core theories necessary to understand microeconomic policy. This module provides a theoretical basis to understanding economic issues and policies.

Aims:
This module aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the factors that influence the decision-making processes of individuals and firms, and how these decisions interact with economic policies at the national and international level.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to describe how individuals and businesses make decisions and the impact these decisions have on profits and consumer welfare. In addition, they should be able to relate how policy choices at the national, and even international, level impact the various constituents of an economy. Finally, students should be able to apply these concepts both to their personal lives and also in the context of a business setting.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be required to complete coursework such as problem sets, tests, essays, presentations, etc. In the process of completing these types of assignments, they must learn skills required to do relevant research, write reports, produce concise relevant presentations, understand technical articles, and apply theoretical knowledge to real world situations.

Outline content:
Core topics to be covered include: the theory of consumer choice; the theory of the firm; supply in perfectly competitive markets; imperfect competition; asymmetric information; public goods and externalities.
Additional topics may include: behavioural economics and consumer choice; individual wellbeing and happiness; alternative objectives pursued by businesses.

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 contemporary microeconomic policy issues 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 1
Tutorials 3
Guided independent study 156 20
       
Total hours by term 179.00 1.00 20.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 25
Set exercise 15

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework will count for 40% of the overall mark and comprises:
one set exercise to be submitted in the Autumn term (15%)
one 2,000 word essay to be submitted by the end of the first week of the Spring term (25%).

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
One 2-hour unseen written paper, intended to be comprehensive of everything covered in 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.

Last updated: 10 July 2015

Things to do now