This module is designed to teach students to start thinking like an economist at a very introductory level. This will help students in making basic decisions about economics and in understanding the world of economics. It examines microeconomics which will include the analysis of consumer behaviour, supply and demand analysis and market outcomes. It also examines macroeconomics, eg the circular flow of income, unemployment and inflation, macroeconomic policymaking and money and banking.
The aims of the Economics module are:
- To acquaint students with the fundamentals of economics;
- To enable students to apply theory to a range of weekly coursework material;
- To enable students to express economic concepts in essay form and enable them to give an introductory level of explanation and justification;
- To enable students to express and analyse fundamental economic concepts in an exam situation;
- To familiarise students with the method of instruction at the University.
Learning outcomes - coursework
On successful completion of the module a student will demonstrate:
- the ability to absorb large quantities of information rapidly over a short period of time;
- the ability to apply appropriate and effective study skills and strategies;
- an ability to develop the necessary skills to express complex concepts using accurate terminology in an appropriate academic style;
- an ability to improve on current level of performance by responding appropriately to feedback over the period of the academic year;
- knowledge of the fundamental principles of economics;
- awareness of sources of information;
- awareness of the relative merits of a range of theories, techniques and tools needed to solve a problem or present an argument;
- the ability to synthesise and interpret information from a range of sources - lectures, classes, textbooks, the Web etc.;
- the ability to take notes and organising material from lectures and reading in a systematic form;
- the ability to present ideas and arguments coherently in writing;
- the ability to work with a group of fellow students and to contribute to class or tutorial.
Learning outcomes - examination
On successful completion of the module a student will demonstrate:
- the ability to work to a satisfactory standard under examination conditions;
- effective time management skills;
- the ability to express complex concepts intelligibly without immediate recourse to source material;
- the ability to work autonomously during revision periods;
- the ability to absorb and retain knowledge of the fundamental principles of economics;
- the ability to demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the fundamental principles of economics by clearly communicating ideas in writing.
The syllabus covers the following topics:
Autumn Term (Microeconomics)
1. Introduction: What Is Economics? First Principles; Economic Models; Using Models.
2. Supply and Demand: Construction of Demand and Supply Curves; Market Equilibrium; Price and Quantity Controls; Elasticity.
3. The Consumer: Preference; Budgets and Optimal Consumption; Indifference Curve; Consumer Surplus; Making Decisions;
4. The Producer: Inputs and Costs; Production Function; Perfect competition and the Supply Curve; Profit Maximisation; Competitive Market Equilibrium in the Short and Long Run.
5. Market Structure: Non-Perfect Competition, Monopoly; Monopoly Profit Maximization; Regulation of Monopoly; Monopolistic Competition; Oligopoly.
6. Externalities: Production, Consumption and Externalities. The Economics of Pollution; Policies towards Pollution.
Spring Term (Macroeconomics)
1. Macroeconomics: Circular Flow of Income; National income, Expenditure and Output.
2. Short Run Economic Fluctuations: Income and Expenditure; the Multipliers; Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand (AS-AD) Model.
3. Unemployment and Inflation: the Phillips Curve; Unemployment and Business Cycle; Wage and Price Adjustment; Inflation, Disinflation and Deflation.
4. Fiscal Policy: the Budget Balance; Fiscal Policy and the Multiplier; Long-run Implications of Fiscal policy.
5. Monetary Policy: Money and Banking; Determining the Money Supply; The Demand for Money; Money and Interest Rate; Monetary Policy and Aggregate Demand; Money, Output and Prices in the Long-run
6. The Open-Economy Macroeconomics, Capital Flows and Balance of Payments; The role of Exchange Rate; Exchange Rate Policy.
Coursework is comprised of:
One in-class test in week 9 (30%). Feedback provided in week 12.
One in-class test in week 19 (30%). Feedback provided in week 22.
One individual 1,000 word essay (40%) - Titles given out in week 19. Assignment handed in during week 21. Feedback provided in week 24.
End-of-the-year three-hour exam.
Learning & Teaching Methods
The module will run for a period of 23 weeks. Students are expected to attend four hours of teaching per week.
Each week's instruction consists of a lecture, a class session and a tutorial. The lecture will run for two hours. Classes and tutorials will be 50 minutes each and will discuss the content of the lecture in more detail.
Lecture: The two-hour lecture will explain the topics covered in the syllabus and will identify the key concepts and points for discussion.
Class: During these sessions students will be given the opportunity to discuss any problems relating to the module material and will work together in small groups on a range of class exercises.
Tutorial: The main aims of these sessions are to promote interaction among students, familiarise them with the usage of English economic terminology and also to identify any problems at the individual level.
Summarised lecture material will be presented using PowerPoint and they will be posted in Moodle as lecture notes. All lecture notes will include chapter references of the textbook. Class exercises will be distributed to students in advanced to reinforce the material covered in lectures. Students will also be given exam type questions/case studies to work during the tutorials and encouraged to work in groups. Any problems that might arise during the tutorials will be addressed directly with the students. The classes and tutorials will encourage debate on relevant topics as well as discuss solutions to past tests and past exam papers.
50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark
Exam Duration and Period
3:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.
Required course textbook:
Sloman, J (2006) Economics. (6th ed) Prentice Hall.
Suggested additional reading
Mankiw, N G (2004) Principles of Economics. (3rd ed) Thomson/South Western.
Samuelson, P and Nordhaus, W (2001) Economics. (17th ed) Mc Graw Hill.
Stretton, H (2000) Economics: A New Introduction. London: Pluto Press.
Witztum, A (2005) Economics - an analytical introduction. Oxford University Press.