ECON10720 Microeconomics for Business

Academic Year 2023/2024

The aim of this module is to introduce students to core microeconomic principles and how they can be used to help understand decision making and behaviour in a business environment. The module focuses on markets as the principle arena where these decisions are made and stresses that both firms and consumers make choices under conditions of scarcity and do not have unlimited resources. A model of consumer demand is presented showing how consumers respond to changes in prices, incomes and other factors. On the supply side, a model of the production decisions of firms is presented and the roles of costs and technology are explored. Market structure is also explicitly considered ranging from perfect competition to monopoly and the strategic interaction of firms is also addressed. Finally, it is stressed throughout the module that markets often fail and in those cases some form of intervention, typically but not exclusively provided by government, to correct these failures is warranted. The impact of Covid-19 will also be integrated into the analysis showing how it can impact decisions of consumers and firms and also its relevance for social interactions. The module assumes no previous knowledge of economics.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. understand how economics views the concepts of scarcity and choice and how consumers make decisions regarding consumption, work and lesiure
2. understand the role of markets in co-ordinating decisions of buyers and sellers
3. understand the different factors affecting markets and the usefulness of concepts such as elasticity
4. understand the concept of efficiency and how economic surplus is divided between agents
5. gain a knowledge of concepts vital to firm decision making such as production, costs, revenues and profits.
6. describe profit maximization and price/ouput decisions under conditions of perfect and imperfect competition
7. understand interactions in the form of altruism and trust between agents such as consumers and firms
8. understand how and when markets can fail and how government intervention may correct such failures.

Indicative Module Content:

The module assumes no prior knowledge of economics and so initially some introductory material is provided. The module then discusses how economics models the decisions made by consumers in areas such as work/leisure and consumption. Concepts such as supply, demand, markets and elasticity are introduced at this stage. The module then models decisions made by firms in areas such as technology, costs , output and pricing. The module then discusses market structure covering the spectrum from perfect competition, to monopolistic competition to oligopoly and monopoly. The final two parts of the course examines (a) strategic interactions between consumers and firms not always covered in traditional models of economics and (b) how markets can fail and how interventions, sometimes but not always by governments, can attempt to correct for these failures. The Covid-19 pandemic will not be explicitly modelled but account will be taken of how such events may impact upon decisions of consumers and producers. It becomes particularly relevant in the final section of the course when examining social interactions, externalities and market failure.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
For the most part teaching is lecture based. Models of economic behaviour are presented and the advantages and also limitations of the model approach is explained. Throughout the course applied examples from the real world are presented in order to ground the models in reality. Weekly problem sheets and discussion points are provided to students and these are covered in a class tutorial. These problems are also indicative of material which is likely to appear in the assessments.

At present, the intention is to provide lectures face-to-face in person, subject to public health advice. If face-to-face lectures are not possible then online lectures will be provided via Brightspace. Online consultation hours will also be held regularly and extensive effort will be made to ensure that students have access to the lecturer via the various facilities available on Brightspace. Zoom meetings are also available on request. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
ECON10010 - Principles of Microeconomics, ECON10770 - Introduction to Economics, ECON10780 - Business Microeconomics (NUin), ECON20010 - Intermediate Microeconomics I, ECON20180 - Intermediate Microeconomics II

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: Assessment will be based on MCQ exams to be held online throughout the term. Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

On request, individual feedback will be provided to students. The class will also be updated with their progress in the MCQs which will be held through the term.

Name Role
Mr Gavin Cassells Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33 Fri 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 16:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 15:00 - 15:50