Principles of Economics - EC304

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
4 30 (15) DR J Peirson




Only open to students taking single honours or joint honours programmes in Economics. EC302, EC313 and MA309 cannot be taken with this module



The module provides students with a thorough understanding of economics at an introductory level and provides the basis for all subsequent study that is taken on economics degree programmes. It is designed to teach students how to think as an economist and how to construct and use economic models. It also shows them how to be critical of economic models and how empirical evidence can be used in economic analysis.

The module explores how people make choices about what and how to produce and consume. It looks at the differences in economic outcomes between firms, people and countries and how they can be related to the effects of choices they, and others, make. It builds on the very simple and plausible assumption that people make decisions in their own interests and subject to constraints.

The first term covers the principles of microeconomics and shows how they can be applied to real-life situations and economic policy. The second term develops a framework for understanding macroeconomic events and macroeconomic policy. The emphasis throughout both terms is to demonstrate the usefulness of economics as an analytical tool for thinking about real world problems.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

40 lectures
20 seminars
12 workshops


This module is compulsory for all students studying single and joint honours Economics programmes.
This module is not available to students across other degree programmes.

Method of assessment

In Course Test 1 (45 minutes) (10%)
In Course Test 2 (45 minutes) (10%)
In Course Test 3 (45 minutes) (10%)
In Course Test 4 (45 minutes) (10%)
Examination (3 hours) (60%)

Indicative reading

D Begg, R Dornbusch and S Fischer, Economics, Mc-Graw-Hill, (11th ed) 2014
Steven Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, Freakonomics, Allen Lane, 2015
T Harford, The Undercover Economist, Abacus, 2007

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:
* demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics
* understand the way in which economics can be used to analyse the decisions of individuals, households, firms and governments.
* apply relevant knowledge and understanding of economic theory to contemporary economic issues and debates.
* demonstrate analytical, graphical and numerical skills to address economic problems.
* utilise and solve simple economic models that explain economic behaviour and phenomena.

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