EC1A5      Half Unit
Microeconomics I

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alan Manning 32L.2.36A


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Economic History. This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course cannot be taken with EC1A3 Microeconomics I.

Course content

This course offers a conceptual introduction to microeconomics principles and uses these to shed light on important contemporary economic questions across a range of fields. You will study consumers and producers, competitive and monopolistic markets, inequality and taxation, market failure and what can be done about it. The ideas of microeconomics will be used to analyse a variety of topics including climate change, the minimum wage, universal basic income, the impact of technology on work, immigration, discrimination the gender pay gap and what we should do about the tech giants. You will develop the skills and intuition to tackle important microeconomic questions using a minimal amount of mathematics (in particular, without the use of calculus).

This course, in combination with either EC1B3 or EC1B5, exempts those who complete them from BA1 Fundamentals of Business Economics of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

This course, combined with EC1B5, contributes to the CB2 Exemption of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

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

Formative coursework

Students will submit weekly problems sets, and feedback will be provided on two pieces of work. Solutions will be available for both problem sets and weekly Moodle quizzes.

Indicative reading

The course will loosely follow the following textbook. Any edition can be used.

  • Microeconomics – Daron Acemoglu, David I. Laibson, and John A. List (note the content is also part of the textbook Economics by the same authors).

The following source will be useful for applications and discussion of core microeconomic issues:

  • The Economy, Economics for a changing world. The Core Team.


Exam (90%, duration: 2 hours) in the January exam period.
Coursework (10%) in the MT.

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