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Unit information: Principles of Economics in 2014/15

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Principles of Economics
Unit code EFIM10050
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Huxley
Open unit status Open

A in GCSE Mathematics. Students that have completed A Level Economics are NOT permitted to take this unit.

This unit is NOT available to students taking degrees in the School of Economics, Finance and Management.



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The aim of the course is to teach a set of core economic principles to help you apply these principles to a variety of economic problems. The course is particularly suited to students who wish to acquire analytical writing skills.

The unit is divided into two parts: The first section covers the core principles of economics. The second section uses the tools developed in the first part of the course to analyse a range of topical economic problems.

Part 1: Why markets work: demand and supply; competition and monopoly; trade. Why markets fail: externalities; public goods; common resources; welfare.

Part 2: Globalisation and inequality; economics of global warming and climate change; the economics of Higher Education (student loans and incentives in HE); the London congestion charge.

NB These topics may change.

Intended learning outcomes

  1. To develop understanding of basic microeconomic concepts and techniques
  2. To apply these concepts to economic problems
  3. To increase student ability to write clearly and analytically

Teaching details

Lectures (22) plus two hours for revision in the summer term. Plus 11 classes of roughly 14 students.

Tutorials make extensive use of interactive whiteboards (where this is appropriate).

All the lectures are podcast.

Assessment Details

Summative Assessment

This is a three-hour closed book exam, consisting of three essays. All sections require the student to demonstrate all the intended learning outcomes given above.

Formative Assessment

Students prepare fortnightly exercises which are gone over in class. In addition to this they write three short essays. Students receive a mark and feedback on all three essays.

Reading and References

Recommended text:

Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, Microeconomics, Worth Publishers

Students are also referred to blogs and websites where microeconomic issues are discussed.