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NBS8608 : Microeconomics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ian Gregory-Smith
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


Microeconomics aims to provide an introduction to graduate level microeconomic theory. The module aims to prepare graduate students, with a strong technical background in economics, for further study in microeconomic topics. The module will serve as a foundation ahead of doctoral research in economics and for taught courses on a economics PhD programme.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover essential topics in microeconomics, consistent with a master's level introduction to microeconomic theory.

Microeconomics models economic activity as an interaction of individual economic agents. These agents can be individual consumers, households or firms. Accordingly the module will cover:

Consumer theory
- Axioms of preferences
- Marshall & Hicksian demand
- Uncertainty and Expected Utility Theory
- Risk aversion
- Insurance markets
- Adverse selection
- Moral hazard

Producer theory
- Classical analysis - production functions, cost minimisation, profit functions
- Entrepreneurial firms and agency theory
- Competition (partial equilibrium) and monopoly

Game theory
- Equilibrium concepts
- Imperfect competition
- Mixed strategies
- Nash bargaining

The course is predominately theoretical taking a mathematical approach to modelling economic behaviour. Where relevant, empirical applications will be introduced.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion164:0064:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture142:0028:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge learning outcomes will be achieved by
1. Lectures. This is the most efficient way to expose multiple students to microeconomic theory
2. Small group teaching. This will reinforce the knowledge introduced in the lectures.
3. Independent study. This is where the bulk of knowledge learning occurs.
4. Assessment preparation and completion. Students will need to practice recalling their knowledge learned ahead of the unseen exam.

Skills learning outcomes will be achieved by
1. Lectures. Students will see skills 1 through 6 demonstrated in the lectures.
2. Small group teaching. Skills 1-6, and skill 9 in particular.
3. Independent study. All skills, particularly skills 7 and 8.
4. Assessment preparation and completion. Skills 1-8.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A100N/A
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MN/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Unseen written exam is the only way to assess graduate level microeconomic theory in a manner that is consistent with the market practice among economics departments. The learning outcomes can not be achieved via alternative methods of assessment.

The formative assessment will give students the opportunity to receive feedback on exercises that will help guide their exam preparation.

Reading Lists