Module BIC-1005:
Introduction to Economics

Module Facts

Run by Marketing: Bangor International College

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Laura McKenzie

Overall aims and purpose

This module is designed to introduce microeconomics and macroeconomics principles, concepts and models of analysis. It aims to provide students with a basic understanding of different economic systems, basic economic problems, concept of scarcity, economic resources and other economic concepts. This unit focuses largely on the working of free market and demonstrates how economic decisions in respect of resource allocation are based on market demand, supply and prices. The role of government to safeguard the interest of the consumers and producers and to improve the economic efficiency of the free market outcome is examined. The level of competition and efficiency of the free market equilibrium under the different market structures are investigated.

The module will assist students to develop basic mathematical skills through solving simple market demand and supply equations to find market equilibrium and applying simple calculus to estimate the elasticity of demand and supply; It will develop basic mathematical skills through solving aggregate demand and aggregate supply equations to find macroeconomic equilibrium;

The module will help develop team work, group skills and verbal communication skills through group discussion, presentation and other group activities; analytical and decision making skills through case study assignments; research skills through collecting, collating, analysing and interpreting data for case study analysis and written report; and planning and writing skills through essay style exam questions and written report.

Course content

Introduction to microeconomics Basic economic problems, scarcity, choice, opportunity costs, economic resources, production possibility frontier

Demand, supply and market equilibrium Demand for goods, determinants of demand, demand curve, supply of goods, determinants of supply, supply curve, price and output determination, market equilibrium, consumer surplus, producer surplus, interrelationship between markets: joint demand, competitive demand, composite demand and joint supply

Elasticity Price elasticity of demand and its determinants, cross price elasticity of demand, income elasticity of demand, supply elasticity and its determinants, relationship between price elasticity of demand and consumer expenditure

Types of goods Normal goods, inferior goods, luxury goods, necessary goods, Giffen goods, Veblen goods and quality goods

Price control, indirect tax and subsidy Minimum price, maximum price, indirect taxes and subsidies, relationship between tax, subsidy and elasticity

Economic efficiency and market failure Role of the market and function of prices, economic efficiency: productive efficiency and allocative efficiency, market failure and reasons for market failure: externalities, public goods and merit goods, government intervention to correct market failure

Theory of production Short run production, fixed factors and variable factors, diminishing marginal returns, long run production, returns to scale; constant, increasing and decreasing returns to scale

Cost of production, revenue and profits Economic costs and opportunity costs, short run cost of production: fixed costs and variable costs, total cost, average cost and marginal cost, diminishing returns and short run average and marginal costs, long run cost of production: economies of scale and long run average cost, revenue: total revenue, average revenue and marginal revenue, profit maximization, normal profit and economic (super normal) profit

Introduction to market structure Key characteristics of a market, competition and market structure, types of markets: perfect competition, monopoly, imperfect competition: monopolistic competition, oligopoly

Introduction to macroeconomics Overview of macroeconomics, macroeconomic objectives, business cycles, circular flow of income, measures of national income

Economic growth Measure of economic growth, output gap: potential and actual output, causes of economic growth, costs and benefits of growth, UK economic growth

Unemployment Measure of unemployment, types of unemployment, costs of unemployment, UK unemployment

Inflation Meaning of inflation, measure of inflation, causes of inflation, costs of inflation, UK inflation

Balance of payments Definition, components of balance of payments, current account deficit and surplus, factors affecting current account balance, policies to reduce a current account balance, UK current account

Aggregate demand Meaning and components of aggregate demand, aggregate demand curve, shifts in aggregate demand curve, multiplier

Aggregate supply and equilibrium national output

Meaning of aggregate supply, short run and long run aggregate supply curves: Classical and Keynesian models, macroeconomic equilibrium, equilibrium national output in the short run and long run, shifts in aggregate demand and aggregate supply on equilibrium national output, economic growth, unemployment, inflation and current account balance.

Macroeconomic policy: Fiscal policy, monetary policy and supply side policies Definition, fiscal policy instruments: government spending, taxation and borrowing, budget deficit, government borrowings and crowding out effect, expansionary and contractionary fiscal policy, automatic fiscal stabilisers, monetary policy instruments: interest rate and money supply, loose and tight monetary policy, supply side policies: market oriented and interventionist, effects of fiscal policy, monetary policy and supply side policies on aggregate demand and aggregate supply, effects of macroeconomic policies on macroeconomic objectives

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Threshold (D- to D+) (40-49%) Student has shown sufficient grasp of some of the topics studied to have achieved the lowest level of pass which allows progression onto an undergraduate degree programme

excellent

Excellent (A- to A*) (70-100%) Student has demonstrated consistent engagement with all topics and issues studied in the module and attained a grade which shows the ability to study effectively at undergraduate degree level.

good

Good (C- to B+) (50-69%) Student has demonstrated a sound, basic knowledge of most of the topics and issues covered in the module and achieved a grade showing clear suitability for study at undergraduate degree level.

Learning outcomes

  1. Analyse the macroeconomic policy objectives and ways in which governments use macroeconomic policy instruments to accomplish macroeconomic policy objectives

  2. Collect and collate data and information, and analyse data and information to present in a written format

  3. Demonstrate understanding of key concepts within the subject area and, use oral, written and presentation skills to explain and make effective arguments on critical issues

  4. Apply knowledge and understanding of key theories to practical situations using a range of problem solving skills.

  5. Use economic concepts of opportunity costs, optimization, and cost and benefit analysis to make rational business and economic decisions

  6. Apply knowledge and understanding of key theories to practical situations, problem solving and complete formal assessments successfully

  7. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the scope and concepts of macroeconomic and microeconomics theories and models

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CASE STUDY Term 1 - Case Study Analysis

Students are provided with two unseen case studies related to an area of microeconomics. Students must produce an analysis of the variety of factors that affected the information in the case study utilising all module learning up until this point.

20
GROUP PRESENTATION Term 2 - Presentation and Discussion

In small groups, students present an analysis of macroeconomic policy based on a subject of their choosing, in conjunction with their tutor. Each student will present a different aspect of their chosen macroeconomic policy for 10 minutes. A group mark is awarded for this assessment.

20
EXAM Term 1 - Exam

A 2-hour closed-book unseen examination consisting of a combination of short answer and longer answer questions testing the student’s understanding of all module content covered to this point based on microeconomics. Answer key and specific and task relevant assessment criteria.

30
EXAM Term 2 - Exam

A 2-hour closed-book unseen examination consisting of a combination of short answer and longer answer questions testing the student’s understanding of all module content covered to this point based on macroeconomics. Answer key and specific and task relevant assessment criteria.

30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

5 hours a week

100
Lecture

1 hour a week lecture of key concepts.

20
Seminar

4 hours a week of seminars.

80

Transferable skills

  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  1. Managing people through group work tasks. Participating in listening and sharing information to reach an outcome
  2. Problem solving by analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting a possible solution.
  3. Research to analyse some business data
  4. Numeracy. The use of quantitative skills to manipulate data, evaluate, estimate and model business problems, functions and phenomena.

Resources

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/bic-1005.html

Reading list

John Sloman, Alison Wride and Dean Garratt (2018), Economics, 10th edition, Pearson education Ltd

Paul Krugman and Robin Wells (2018) Economics, 5th edition, Worth Publishers

Courses including this module