Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Understanding the Economy
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Semester Assessment Written essay  (1,500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment Class test  (1 hour)  20%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   60%
Supplementary Assessment Written essay  (1,500 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Class test  (1 hour)  20%

Learning Outcomes

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

Describe optimizing behaviour by households and firms, and explain how markets coordinate economic activity and produce equilibrium prices and quantities.

Assess the mutual benefit from trade between individuals and between countries.

Discuss the effects of alternative market structures and evaluate market outcomes for policy purposes.

Analyse the composition of the main macroeconomic aggregates, how they are measured and appreciate the various determinants of economic activity.

5. Relate the impact of changes in macroeconomic activity on the business sector.

Brief description

This module introduces the theoretical foundations of microeconomics and macroeconomics, the two main pillars of economics. Microeconomics involves the study of the individual components of the economy: individuals, families, firms, and their interactions. Macroeconomics involves the study of the behaviour of economic aggregates: consumption, expenditure, investment expenditure, gross domestic product, inflation and unemployment.


• Introducing economics as a way of thinking, and the nature of economic reasoning
• Demand and supply, elasticity
• Markets in action
• Government intervention in markets
• The Tax System
• Measuring efficiency and equity
• Trade and Comparative Advantage
• Households’ choices, and consumer behaviour
• Short-run and long-run production and costs
• Perfect competition and monopoly
• The national economy, and measuring economic activity
• The determinants of macroeconomic activity
• Inflation, deflation and unemployment
• Aggregate demand and aggregate supply
• The long-run versus the short-run macroeconomic equilibrium

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Use mathematical reasoning and analysis to handle quantitative relationships and apply formulae underlying problems of consumer choice, cost analysis, elementary game theory, inflation-unemployment trade-offs, monetary and fiscal policies.
Communication Develop written communication skills when submitting written coursework and in examinations. Listen effectively in lectures and participate in tutorial classes in preparation for assessments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Cultivate preferred learning styles through self-management; develop a structured approach to learning through efficient time management.
Information Technology Use word-processing software to prepare written work; use spreadsheet software to complete elements of tutorial questions; use e-mail and Blackboard for coursework submission and keeping in touch with the module.
Personal Development and Career planning Acquire critical self-reflection capacity to develop knowledge and communication skills relevant to career planning.
Problem solving Improve analytical skills to select and apply appropriate methods for solving set problems in tutorial classes and some lectures.
Research skills Develop library and other basic information accessing and researching skills, for use in writing coursework and for preparation for assessments.
Subject Specific Skills Develop knowledge and understanding of economics, including standard approaches to consumer decision-making, production theory, and firm strategies in different market contexts; and how an overall economy works in practice.
Team work Team working skills through self-study working groups.


This module is at CQFW Level 4