Principles of Economics - ECON3040

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 4 30 (15) Irma Clots-Figueras checkmark-circle


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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 72 hours
Private study hours: 228
Total study hours: 300


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

Autumn Moodle Quiz 1 (10%)
Autumn Moodle Quiz 2 (10%)
Spring Moodle Quiz 1 (10%)
Spring Moodle Quiz 2 (10%)
Examination, 3 hours (60%)

Reassessment Instrument: 100% exam

*Exams will be in-person*

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.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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