EC1A1      Half Unit
Microeconomics I

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Dimitra Petropoulou


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics and BSc in Economics. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


Students must have completed Economics (EC1P1) and Elementary Statistical Theory I (ST109).

Students must also either have completed Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) (MA107) or else be taking Mathematical Methods (MA100) alongside.

Course content

This course introduces students to the principles of microeconomics analysis, including recent developments in thinking around decision-making. The first part of the course explores consumer rationality and decision-making under constraints and under uncertainty, including selected applications to savings and labour supply decisions. Students will also be introduced to behavioural economics and insights from psychology relating to consumer decisions. The second part of the course explores firm decision-making in different market structures. Insights from consumer and producer theory will be combined with evidence to address important policy-relevant questions and explore the role of government policy.

Students will make use of quantitative methods covered in MA107 and MA100. Appropriate quantitative tools will be reviewed or taught as required.

EC1A1, in combination with EC1B1, contributes towards certificate level exemptions from professional Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) examinations.

This course, combined with EC1B1, contributes to the CB2 Exemption of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of classes in the ST.

There will also be 10 hours of online Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions in the LT, to discuss student questions on the course content, to discuss course reading and go through examples.

There will be a reading week in Week 6 of LT (no lectures, classes or Q&A sessions that week).

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual classes, live streamed (recorded) lectures, and some flipped content delivered as short online videos.

Student learning will be supported through the EC1A1 Support Lab and through a dedicated discussion forum

Formative coursework

Students are expected to complete the weekly problem sets and any required reading before attending class and will be encouraged to work in small study groups. Two pieces of formative coursework will be marked by class teachers over the course of the academic year, and feedback provided. There will be varied opportunities to engage with the course material. The diversity of tasks will make the course more inclusive and help students develop a broader range of skills.

Indicative reading

There is no set textbook for this course. There will be required reading from journal articles or reports that will be made available as the course unfolds. Students will be expected to critically discuss the theoretical ideas and models taught by engaging with this required reading alongside working through microeconomic problems. The relevance of the readings will be discussed in the Q&A sessions and/or in weekly classes.

Students wishing to complement their study of the lecture material can consult, among others, the following textbooks (though this is not required and students need not purchase any textbooks). Any edition can be used.

  • Varian, H. Intermediate microeconomics: with calculus, W.W. Norton & Company
  • Perloff, J.M. Microeconomics: theory & applications with calculus, Pearson.

Students wishing to read further or refresh mathematical tools can consult:

  • Jacques, I. Mathematics for Economics and Business, Pearson.


Exam (85%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (15%) in the LT.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills