IC103-Introductory Economics for Business and Finance

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Lazaros Symeonidis
Email: l.symeonidis@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module provides an introduction to micro- and macroeconomics for business students. It assumes no prior knowledge, instead providing a grounding in the subject enabling students to see how businesses are affected by developments in specific markets as well as by changes at the level of the entire economy. Students who have studied the subject before have the opportunity to stretch themselves in the discussion-based activities included in the seminars. 

This module is delivered at University of Reading, University of Reading Malaysia and Beijing Institute of Technology. 


The module aims to provide an introduction to both microeconomics and macroeconomics sufficient to help students of business and finance understand the economic forces at play and the economic framework that underpins their specific field. In microeconomics, students will become familiar with the ideas of optimising and non-optimising behaviour by consumers and producers and will learn how market structure affects corporate behaviour.  Their study of macroeconomics will enable students to consider the economy as a system and to understand how and why governments intervene to achieve system-wide change.

Assessable learning outcomes:

This module will cover the major concepts in both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Upon completion of the module, students should be able to: 

  • Analyse the forces of supply and demand in the determination of prices 

  • Explore the economics of consumer behaviour;

  • Compare and contrast the characteristics and variability in economic output and profit under different forms of competition (perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition)

  • Outline the theory of production and the factors underpinning short- and long-term costs;  

  • Explain the methods for calculating national income for closed and open economies and discuss the practical limitations connected to the resulting estimates;

  • Discuss the determinants of business cycles  

  • Explain the economic effects, interactions and policies connected to inflation, unemployment, interest rates and foreign exchange rates  

  • Describe the banking sector and money markets

  • Reflect on the importance of economic growth and how it should be encouraged

  • Evaluate the impact of fiscal, monetary and supply side policies

Additional outcomes:

The module will enhance students' critical thinking, quantitative and analytical skills. It will enable students to understand and take  a view on government policy.


Outline content:


Demand and supply

Consumer theory

Producer theory

Market structure

Wage determination



Aggregate demand and economic growth

Money, banking and interest rates

Relationships between money and goods markets

Unemployment and inflation

Balance of payments


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be primarily lecture based with directed textbook based supplementary reading. There will be a number of tutorial/seminar sessions to aid students in developing more depth and in understanding the linkage between topics.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 50
    Exam revision/preparation 20 20 30
    Preparation for tutorials 30
    Reflection 20
Total hours by term 150 20 30
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour unseen paper in Summer term (50 multiple choice questions covering micro and macroeconomics) 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One 1-hour in-class test (6 questions requiring short answers) held in week 10 or 11 of the autumn term.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will complete individual exercises and group reports for discussion at the tutorials.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.

The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;

  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination for Part 1 modules takes place in August/September of the same year. 

Reassessment is by examination only (coursework will not be included in the re-assessment). 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: Sloman, J., Garratt, D. and Guest, J. (2018) Economics Pearson (10th edition), £44.99 as eText, £59.99 as print copy 

Last updated: 11 October 2022


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