SM9628 - Advanced Business Economics

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will develop your microeconomic skills and analytical reasoning through the analysis of strategies firms use to compete and maximize their profit. The role of government regulation and competition policy on markets with imperfect competition will also be examined.

Topics to be covered are as follows:

Market boundaries, market power, and market structure
Monopoly, regulation
Price discrimination, bundling, tying, refunds, other pricing techniques
Oligopoly – basic models, practice, and implications for competition policy
Collusion in theory and practice
Vertical relationships
Entry barriers and entry deterrence
Competition in quality, advertising, and other non-price product characteristics
Mergers, their costs and benefits
Evaluation of mergers and collusion by the competition authorities
Public policy towards external effects: pollution, research and development, education

After this module, you will be able to both understand how firms compete, and how the regulatory framework the firms operate in shapes their strategies and tactics, demonstrating:
1. An appreciation of the core economic principles relevant to the analysis of competition and competition policy.
2. An ability to apply economic principles to problems and policy issues related to competition.

How will I learn on this module?

Your module delivery will include lectures and seminars. Lectures will be used to introduce economic theories, methodologies, and related concepts. Seminars will be devoted to reviewing business cases as they relate to the lecture material, and solving problems to help students prepare for assessment.

Your module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. You can therefore expect the reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all workshop/seminar sessions through undertaking activities which facilitate them to apply theory to ‘real-life’ situations, critically analysing and making recommendations for appropriate ways forward for the organization/individual.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.

Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc.

Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy along with the explicit development of competence.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the main lecture input. A team of staff will be allocated seminar groups, which provides a closer, more personal academic support.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal maintaining lecture materials, seminar worksheets, links to external data and files, alongside assessment details and various useful facilities. Tutors will also respond to questions via the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal so that the whole class can benefit.

You will be provided with a wide-ranging reading list that comprises of various academic reports, conference papers and journal articles that document the original research presented in the module as well as associated applications and extensions.

The module assessment consists of a coursework that will require you to work throughout the semester; problems similar to those in the assignment will be reviewed in detail during seminars to help you. This will encourage your active participation in the learning process throughout the semester. The eLearning portal will be used to permanently host these tasks after release to ensure that you can access the information required at all times.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Understand and critically assess the core economic principles relevant to the analysis of competition and competition policy. (MLO1)
• Assess the role of competition authorities in maintaining consumer confidence as well as controlling anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of dominant positions in the context of appropriate decision making. (MLO2)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Ability to apply and critically assess empirical economic methodologies to problems and policy issues related to competition. (MLO3)

How will I be assessed?

The module will be assessed through a combination of written coursework (40%) and a closed book examination (60%).

Individual assignment: 40%, 2000 words
Examination: 60%, 2 hr closed book examination.

Both assessment components will address MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.


Completion of Level 5 modules



Module abstract

The module develops your microeconomic skills and analytical reasoning through analysis of firm strategies and performance. The role of government intervention in markets with imperfect competition will also be discussed.

You will be exposed to a wide range of teaching and learning methods, some of which will involve you in research activities.

Your will be supported by staffs who are subject experts and have access to a variety of case study materials and to data bases via the e-learning portal.

You will have the opportunity to work on a coursework throughout the semester during which you investigate real cases. All seminar questions will aim to enrich your understanding of the coursework and end of semester examination.

Your knowledge on firm theories and industries, analytical reasoning skills, and your training in empirical economics methods will all be useful in your entire working life and in your academic career development.

Course info

UCAS Code N1L1

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

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