Module code: ECOM025

Module Overview

This module looks at the firm and the industrial environment in which it operates. It asks why the firm exists and how it chooses to organise itself, before considering some of the factors that affect its performance and how these are related to the market structure in which it operates.

An important influence on the firm is the structure of the market in which the firm works. This will affect the products and the process that the firm selects – and the profits it earns. At the same time, of course, the firm may take actions that affect this market structure to its advantage. Thus, we want to ask how the firm’s performance is affected by the market it is in. this has important competition and industrial policy implications.

Module provider


Module Leader

PASCOA Mario (Economics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 130

Lecture Hours: 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Industrial organisation and the firm

  • Market structures and the firm; monopoly, competition and oligopoly

  • Firms’ price strategies

  • Product differentiation, horizontal integration and diversification

  • Vertical integration

  • Entry and exit

  • Corporate governance

  • Entrepreneurship

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate they can handle the most important issues in Economics of the firm at a reasonably demanding analytical level.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of

  • A long piece of coursework - take home, individual, with 3 weeks to do it, with a recommended word limit of 3000 words. Typically due week 9.

  • An examination, consisting of essay and/or problem-solving questions, with a duration of 100 minutes, scheduled in weeks 13-15.

  • These assessments are designed to let the student demonstrate learning outcomes have been met.

Formative assessment and feedback

In every lecture, the second half is devoted to going over solutions to problems posted on Surrey Learn. The small dimension of the students class allows for solving these problems in an interactive way. 

Module aims

  • Provide an economic approach to an understanding of businesses and their principal elements. Companies are complex organisations, their managers constantly make decisions that affect the economic viability of the firms in which they operate. Why do some companies succeed and others fail, how can management reverse the fortunes of declining firms, what allows emerging companies to be successful in highly competitive industries?

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the importance of economics when considering business issues KP
002 Critically evaluate why firms exist and why they may operate under different market structures KC
003 Demonstrate a critical awareness of the constraints of firm size K
004 Apply economic knowledge to analyse what price / non-price strategies can be used by the firm KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Usually, in the first hour of each lecture, the lecturer gives a formal presentation of a new topic, closely related but not entirely following what students may find in the recommended readings. Then, in the second hour, students have the chance to interact with the lecturer by solving together problem sets that were posted before on Surrey Learn. Such two sided way of organizing the lectures is intended to make students acquainted with the lecturer personal views on the different topics, reflecting his experience and research, while giving at the same time the opportunity to practise in class many relevant exercises and discuss with the lecturer and classmates some questions that may have come about while studying independently before the class. Thus, students have an incentive to keep up to date with the material by preparing for that second hour interactive session that takes place every week.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2 hour lecture per week x 10 weeks

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ECOM025

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Economics MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Economics and Finance MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Economics MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.