Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Firms, Markets and Pricing
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 one hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 5 one hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Unseen written examination  80%
Semester Assessment Coursework assignment 1500 words  20%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Unseen written examination  Repeat failed element  80%
Supplementary Assessment Coursework assignment 1500 words  Repeat failed element  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Demonstrate understanding of the meaning of production costs and their derivation and graphically represent and interpret cost curves;

* Distinguish between short-run and long-run production decisions and understand the relationship between short-run and long-run costs;

* Identify the characteristic features of market structure;

* Demonstrate understanding of and analyse the determination of firm price and output in various market structures;

* Demonstrate understanding of the profit maximisation motive and distinguish between various explanations of firm motivation and behaviour;

* Demonstrate understanding of what is meant by competitive strategy, and identify various forms and their implementation;

* Demonstrate understanding of the need for, and design and implementation of, various pricing strategies.


This module develops the analysis of the external environment introduced in the first year (MM11220) and provides an economic perspective on the interaction between the external and internal environment of the firm.

Brief description

This module develops the economic environment component of the first year Business Environment (MM11220) module, to cover firm production costs and supply decisions, price and output decisions in different market structures, firm objectives, competitive strategy and pricing behaviour.


  • Production, costs and supply
  • Production decisions in the short-and long-run
  • Variable costs and fixed costs
  • Economies and diseconomies of scale
  • The relationship between short-run and long-run costs
  • Experience curve
  • Optimal scale
  • Deriving a firm's supply curve
  • Market analysis
  • Market structures
  • Perfect competition
  • Monopoly behaviour
  • Monopolistic competition
  • Oligopoly behaviour
  • Firm behaviour
  • Profit maximization
  • Managerial theories
  • Behavioural theories
  • Competitive strategy
  • Firm mission and objectives
  • Environmental scanning
  • Industry analysis
  • Strategic positioning
  • Formulation and implementation of competitive strategy
  • Pricing strategies
  • Price takers v price makers
  • Generic pricing strategies
  • Marketing mix and the product life cycle
  • Price discrimination
  • Bundling
  • Two-part tariffs
  • Peak-load pricing
  • Multi-product pricing

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Demonstrate numeracy. Treatment of numerical problems in tutorial exercises.
Communication Communicate effectively, orally in tutorials, and in writing for assignment, using a range of media and formats which are widely used in business.
Improving own Learning and Performance Demonstrate effective self-management in terms of time, planning and behaviour; in preparation for attending, participating in, and reflecting on tutorial classes, and preparing for the assignment, and its production, and the examination.
Information Technology Demonstrate effective use of communication and information technology appropriate for presentation of assignment. Appropriate accessing of electronic material for reference material. Accessing course information from ALTO.
Personal Development and Career planning Development of various personal and interpersonal skills, generally transferable in career terms, including initiative, independence and self awareness.
Problem solving Effective problem solving using appropriate qualitative and quantitative skills, including data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation and making use of models. Treated in lectures and applied in tutorials.
Research skills Conduct research into business and management issues in support of assignment. Obtaining, selecting, assimilating information from a variety of sources for use in tutorials, and production of notes and expansion of lecture material.
Subject Specific Skills Interpret graphical data in the context of the firm, apply theoretical models to the business context, and ability to think in the abstract.
Team work Various group orientated tutorial tasks.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Nellis, J G and D Parker (2006) Principles of Business Economics 2nd Edition Pearson Education Primo search Sloman, J and K Hinde (2007) Economics for Business 4th Edition Financial Times Press Primo search Worthington, I; Britton, C and A Rees (2005) Economics for Business: Blending Theory and Practice 2nd Edition Prentice Hall Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6