Principles of Economics - EC304

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
4 30 (15) DR JD Peirson




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



Economics is about 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 have made. It builds on the very simple and plausible assumption that people make decisions in their own interests and subject to constraints. Studying economics entails both gaining an understanding of the economies in which we all live, and developing skills to think logically about economic situations. The emphasis in this module is on how economics can help us to understand the society we live in.

The module aims to provide a thorough understanding of economics at an introductory level and provides the basis for all subsequent study you may undertake in economics. It is designed to teach you how to think as an economist and how to construct and use economic models. It also shows you how be critical of economic models and how empirical evidence can be used in economic analysis.

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. Throughout the module and in the seminars in particular, we demonstrate the usefulness of economics as an analytical tool for thinking about real world problems.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

40 lectures and 21 seminars

Method of assessment

20% coursework consisting of two class tests and two timed essays; 80% end-of-year exam

Preliminary 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
The Economic Review (quarterly periodical)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Successfully completing this module will:
improve your understanding of economic problems confronted by individuals, firms, governments and countries
provide an understanding of how economists tackle economic problems
improve your analytical skills
improve your ability to develop a logical, coherent argument
improve your ability to communicate logical, coherent arguments by means of essay-writing
develop your knowledge of economics to the level required for continued undergraduate study

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