EC1A5      Half Unit
Microeconomics I

This information is for the 2022/23 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, EC100 Economics A or EC102 Economics B.

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.

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, reading time: 15 minutes) in the January exam period.
Coursework (10%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2021/22: 144

Average class size 2021/22: 14

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (MT)

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