Module code: ECO1018

Module Overview

This module builds on the Introductory Economics module by extending the analyses of microeconomic concepts. In particular, it looks at the firm’s supply decision (involving cost and production), and the effect of market structure on the firm’s demand, studies labour markets and explains the constrained optimisation model of labour supply, introduces students to how to model risk and information problems, and covers aspects of welfare economics and market failure (with an application to the environment). The module uses maths from the Quantitative Methods and Maths for Economics modules to demonstrate the role maths can play in economic theory; and makes use of examples from empirical research, reports and news media to illustrate some of the concepts covered. By doing this, the module provides a firm foundation for more advanced microeconomics as the programme proceeds, and for optional modules that apply microeconomic principles.

Module provider


Module Leader

RICKMAN Neil (Economics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 68

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 27

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Costs functions and production functions

  • Market structure

  • Labour supply and labour demand

  • Risk

  • Welfare economics, market failure and government failure

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test CLASS TEST 1 Online Test within a 4hr window 10
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test CLASS TEST 2 Online Test within a 4hr window 20
Examination FINAL EXAM (120 MIN) 70

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of basic Microeconomic principles following on from the Introduction to Economics module. Students who complete the module successfully will have demonstrated an ability to answer analytical questions using a mixture of maths, diagrams and prose. They will have demonstrated an understanding of all the topics in the module.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Two coursework tests 

  • Final exam 

which, between them, cover the whole module and involve a mixture of written answers, MCQs, simple mathematics, and an ability to discuss both abstract problems and discuss applications of the material covered in the module.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive verbal feedback during lectures (in which multiple questions and real-world examples of the use of economics are covered) and in fortnightly tutorials. For the latter, students are  provided with a set of exercises relating to the lecture material which they solve independently or in study groups. The tutorials cover the solutions to (some of) the questions, and guideline solutions are provided for the remainder. After each coursework test written answers are provided.  At the start of the module, the previous year’s tests and exam are made available (on SurreyLearn) and students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these so as to appreciate the style of questions involved and the setup of the tests and exam.  One (or two) final revision sessions help with preparation for the exam.  In addition, students have access to lecturers during published student consultation hours (and otherwise by appointment), to a Discussion Forum on SurreyLearn, and there are two one-hour online ‘open forum’ sessions for students to come along and discuss the module openly with each other and with the relevant lecturer (who is also in attendance).

Module aims

  • Build on the Introductory Economics module by showing how firms can be analysed and how the models of perfectly competitive product and labour markets are altered when their key assumptions change, and lay a firm foundation for later microeconomic and applied microeconomic modules as the programme proceeds.
  • Introduce the concept of Pareto optimality and discuss both market and government failure in the context of environmental policy.
  • Apply the concept of constrained optimization to an individual's labour supply decision.
    Introduce the idea of risk and study how this affects individuals' decisions, in the presence and absence of full information.
  • Demonstrate the link between the Mathematics for Economics module and microeconomic analysis.
  • Introduce the use of published research, policy reports and news media to help assess microeconomic analysis.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the linkage between production functions and cost functions, be able to draw both and to work with simple mathematical examples. KC
002 Understand how market structure affects a firm's demand curve and how this, along with production conditions affect profit maximising output, using both diagrams and maths. KC
003 Understand the role played by substitution and income effects in an individual's labour supply decision, and the role played by market conditions in the overall labour market equilibrium. KC
004 Appreciate the concepts of risk aversion, risk neutrality, and risk loving; understand how these link to utility functions, and be able to analyse simple market outcomes where risk is present. KC
005 Understand Pareto optimality and how this relates to perfect competition and market failure. KC
006 Apply basic mathematical concepts to basic microeconomic models. KCT
007 Appreciate the role that economic research can play in helping to evaluate problems in microeconomics. KCPT

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 enhance skills in microeconomic analysis, and develop an appreciation of the role for maths, diagrams, written description and research findings in economics.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • In person lectures

  • In person tutorials

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: ECO1018

Other information

The School of Economics is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities particularly in the following areas: 

Sustainability: The trade-off between equity and efficiency lies at the heart of microeconomics and, as such, the module touches upon a number of important tools for analysing inequality, as well as some explicit examples of relevant policy (such as the effects of the minimum wage).  An appreciation of these tools is essential to a wider understanding of the sustainability of some of the key institutions of market economies.

Resourcefulness and Resilience:  The module’s mixture of analysis, mathematics and real-world data and policy reports offer a challenging introduction to microeconomics and require students to demonstrate considerable resourcefulness – not least when working in tutorial questions.  Resilience is necessary to respond to results and feedback from one class test to the second, and then to the exam.

Employability: The module promotes applications of theory (often in topical settings) awareness of data, the use of mathematics and analytical tools and a wider understanding of topical issues in social and public policy.  Building on the foundations these provide as the programme proceeds, offers the chance to acquire skills that are highly valuable in the workplace.  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Economics and Data Analytics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics and Finance BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Financial Mathematics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Economics and Mathematics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2025/6 academic year.