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Course units

Course unit - The UK Economy - Microeconomics

Code : ECON10081
Credit rating: 10
Semester : 1

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Aims | Objectives | Assessment | Information * | Course unit content |
Course unit materials | Tutors | Timetable | Teaching methods | Keywords


To develop a knowledge of a) firms and industries within the UK economy, b) UK microeconomic policy and c) a theoretical understanding of firm and industry behaviour and an appreciation of the interaction between theory and practice.

Objectives (learning outcomes)

a) demonstrate knowledge of the recent behaviour of UK firms and industries;
b) demonstrate an understanding of key theoretical explanations of firm and industry behaviour; c) relate theory to recent UK experience; d) demonstrate knowledge of UK microeconomic policies e) critically evaluate recent UK policy.


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Summative Assessment (Formal assessment):
Assessment will be via a multiple choice examination of 40 questions to be answered in 1.5 hour (90
minutes). This will carry 80 per cent of the overall mark.
In additiona 20 per cent of the overall mark will be awarded for one 1000-word
assessed essay.

Formative Assessment ( does not count towards final grade):
Preparation for 5 tutorials including completing 6 Multiple Choice Quizzes and one 1000-word non-assessed essay.

Information *

Length of course: 12 weeks

First Year Students: A-Level Economics or equivalent
Second Year Students: ECON10041, A-Level Economics or equivalent

All students without A Level Economics should take ECON10041 & ECON10042. Students with A Level Economics should take ECON10081 & ECON10082.

Course unit content

Topic 1 Firms’ Objectives and Behaviour (G&W C3, Sloman C8)
• Optimisation (inc. alternative maximands)
• Behavioural Theories
• Implications of Alternative Objectives
Topic 2 Market Structure and Oligopoly (G&W C6, Sloman C6 and C7)
• Standard Theory of the Firm and Market Structure
• Concentration
• Collusion
• Strategic behaviour: Oligopoly in Theory and in Practice
Topic 3 Pricing in Theory and Practice (G&W C9, Sloman C8)
• Standard Price Theory
• Mark-up Theory of Pricing
• Pricing in Practice
Topic 4 Mergers, Acquisitions and Competition Policy (G&W C5, Sloman C8)
• Trends in Merger Activity
• Different Types of Mergers
• Recent Changes in Competition Policy
Topic 5 Economics of the Environment (G&W C10, Sloman C11 and C12)
• Sustainability and Cost-Benefit Analysis
• Market and Non-market Incentives
• Analysis of Local and Global Pollution Problems
Topic 6 The Distribution of Income, Wealth and Poverty (G&W C14, Sloman C10)
• Income Distribution
• The Distribution of Wealth
• Poverty

Course unit materials


Backus, Peter
Russell, Dr N.


Lectures (Both):
Monday 1-2
Thursday 2-3

Tutorials: Please see intranet timetable:

Teaching methods


Preliminary reading

Up to date texts which cover the material are: Griffiths, A. and Wall, S. (2007), Applied Economics (11th edition), Longmans. Sloman, J. (2002) Economics, Prentice Hall. Sawyer, M. (ed.) (2001) The UK Economy: A Manual of Applied Economics, 15th edition, Oxford University Press. A number of further, more specific readings may be given as the course unfolds.



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