AF4041 - Introduction to Microeconomics

What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces you to the basic principles of microeconomics and their applications at a practical level, giving you a robust platform for subsequent study of economics modules in more advanced contexts. The module aims to provide students with the necessary skills and techniques to analyse economic problems from a mathematical, graphical and intuitive perspective. At the end of the module, you will be able to apply your newly acquired knowledge of microeconomics theories to a range of real-world scenarios. The topics covered in the module include:

• Fundamental Microeconomic Principles;
• Choice in the World of Scarcity;
• Building Blocks of Supply And Demand;
• Elasticity of Demand;
• Introduction to Labour and Financial Markets;
• Cost and Industry Structures;
• Perfect Competition;
• Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition and Oligopolies;
• Introduction to Public Goods.

How will I learn on this module?

How will I learn on this module? (SRS 0002)
You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP), which outlines the lecture and seminar sessions, together with tutor-directed study and independent reading. The module will be taught through a combination of lectures (24 hours) and seminars (12 hours). The lectures will focus on the core principles and theories of microeconomics. Lectures will be research-led with a significant practical component in order to stimulate students’ participation and engagement, with the objective to enhance and expand their understanding of theories and frameworks applied to real world economic issues.

Seminars will be used to deepen your knowledge base by reinforcing subject material and exploring the practical application of the principles and theories of microeconomics. These small group seminar sessions will provide you with an opportunity to interact and discuss the material with the members of the teaching team as well as other students. They will include a range of activities such as group work, classroom quizzes, group presentations, case studies and solving numerical problem sets.

The module will involve both directed and independent learning. Directed learning plays a key part in the achievement of the module learning outcomes and provides an opportunity for self-assessment of your progress throughout the semester. Directed learning may include a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for seminars and discussion boards on the e-learning platform. Independent learning will be stimulated by in-class discussions and debates aimed at enhancing critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Formative assessment will take place throughout the semester through group work, solving numerical problems, classroom discussion and feedback surgeries. The summative assignment will expect you to effectively engage with a wide range of academic sources. It will include an individual inquiry-based assignment and an end of semester exam; both assessment components will cover the key learning outcomes of the module. Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the teaching and learning philosophy of this module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is supported by the e-learning portal, which includes the Teaching and Learning Plan, lecture materials, seminar tasks, detailed guidance on the assessment, as well as additional material for independent study. The module tutor will ensure that all relevant materials and instructions are readily accessible to you. All lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the e-learning portal which you will be able to access to consolidate your knowledge and develop understanding. An electronic reading list includes core material to support your lectures/seminars and a comprehensive range of academic journal articles relevant to your studies.

Lectures and seminars are designed to be interactive and will utilise the latest educational technology to ensure your learning experience is useful and enjoyable. Seminars are also designed to provide you with continuous relevant and timely feedback to support your learning. In addition to the lectures and seminars, the teaching team will maintain dedicated office hours where you can drop in and ask any questions pertaining to the module.

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:
• Develop knowledge and understanding of basic microeconomic principles and theories (ML01)
• To effectively analyse and apply key microeconomic concepts and theories to real world economic problems and related policy issues (ML02)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will acquire analytical as well as problem skills through application of microeconomic principles to a range of numerical questions and case study scenarios (ML03)

Personal Values Attributes:

• Develop economic reasoning, and become proficient in communicating economic ideas and principles to a specialist as well as a non-specialist audience (ML04)

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment will take place through discussion questions/ case studies and solving numerical problems during seminars.
There will be a discussion of substantive areas in the seminars after each lecture so that you can obtain direct feedback on any questions you may have on the module content and the assigned tasks. Three of the seminar sessions will comprise of “feedback surgeries”, where in students will get the opportunity to receive one to one feedback on pre-assigned work. This pre-assigned work will include a mix of numerical problem sets, and open ended questions.

Summative Assessment:

The module is assessed by:
1. A 2,000 words inquiry-based assignment (50% weight) in which students will conduct independent research on a contemporary issue in microeconomics. The topic will be assigned to students in Week 2 and the assignment would be due for submission in Week 10. The assignment will require students to analyse a real world economic problem using the microeconomic theories discussed in class, and engage with broader academic literature on the subject. (MLO1, MLO2, MLO4)

2. An end of the semester, 2 hour-open notes exam (50% weight) in which students will be required to answer a mix of multiple-choice questions and two open questions. The multiple-choice question will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of basic concepts and principles of microeconomics; while the open questions will test student’s ability to apply these concepts to economic problems using a mix of graphical and mathematical techniques (50%) (MLO1,MLO2, MLO3)





Module abstract

The module introduces students to the core theories and principles microeconomics and helps them to acquire a comprehensive understanding of introductory microeconomic analysis. They will be exposed to a range of topics including consumers and producer theory, firm behaviour, market structures and market failure and the theory of public goods. The focus will be on providing a critical awareness of application and limitations of microeconomic models in relation to real world policy issues. The various models will be covered using a mix of graphical and mathematical approaches. The module will help students to develop a thorough understanding of producer and consumer theory. They will explore how markets function, the strategic behaviour of firm, examining various models under which firms might behave. Principles and theories of microeconomics will be used as analytical tools for thinking about real world problems. This will help students to acquire both numeracy and problem solving skills, as well as providing a thorough theoretical grounding in microeconomics.

Course info

UCAS Code L110

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 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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