Microeconomics for MRes students

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michele Piccione 32L.4.07 and Prof Balazs Szentes 32L.4.05


This course is compulsory on the MRes/PhD in Economics and MRes/PhD in Finance. This course is not available as an outside option.


A good undergraduate knowledge of economic theory and calculus is required.

Course content

The aim of the course is to:

i.    introduce the basic analytical tools that are necessary to conduct theoretical research in many fields in economics.

ii.   give the students a full understanding of the classic Microeconomic Theory and of the modern developments of Microeconomic Theory

iii.  enable students to address a microeconomic problem by structuring it as a mathematical model and enhance the understanding of economic issues though the use of mathematical tools.

Topics include:  Consumer theory, producer theory, general equilibrium, welfare, choice under uncertainty, game theory, economics of information, agency theory, contracts, topics in mechanism design.


30 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the MT. 30 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the LT.

This year, at least for Michaelmas term, some or all of the lectures and classes may have to be delivered through a combination of virtual webinars, online videos and virtual classes.  Attendance at lectures and classes is compulsory.

Formative coursework

Compulsory exercises are set for each class.

Indicative reading

The main text is Mas-Collel, Whinston & Green, Microeconomic Theory, OUP.

Other sources include:

D Fudenberg & J Tirole, Game Theory, MIT Press; D M Kreps, A Course in Microeconomic Theory, Harvester Wheatsheaf; H R Varian, Microeconomic Analysis (3rd edn), Norton; M J Osbourne & A Rubinstein, A Course in Game Theory, MIT Press; G A Jehle & P J Reny, Advanced Microeconomic Theory, Longman.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2019/20: 30

Average class size 2019/20: 14

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information