EC1A1      Half Unit
Microeconomics I

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Dimitra Petropoulou 32L 4.27


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 6 hours of online interactive Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions in the LT, to discuss go through further examples, discuss related reading and tackle student questions.

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

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term. 

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 are encouraged to work in small study groups. Two pieces of work will be marked by class teachers over the course of the academic year, and feedback provided. 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. There will be opportunities to discuss the readings 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. 

Agreed t committee meeting


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

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2021/22: 204

Average class size 2021/22: 19

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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