This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

Module Co-ordinator

Dr Michelle Gilmartin





Credit value


Contact hours

25 hours


Assessment is 100% coursework


In this module students will be introduced to the key economic principles that help us to understand and learn from real-world business events.  We will demonstrate how economic reasoning and analytical economic tools can help us make better decisions in business. 

The objective of this module is to provide students with a working knowledge of economic fundamentals and an ability to use analytical economic tools to make better business decisions in the real world. Students will learn about how markets work, how firms achieve gains from trade, how to predict the responsiveness of consumer demand to price changes, firms’ profit maximisation criterion, the impact of booms and busts on firm performance, and how to assess macroeconomic risk.  The material covered will be a balance of theoretical principles, analytical tools, and applications to real-world economic and business scenarios.  Students will also learn how the relevance of traditional economic thought has been challenged in recent years in response to global financial instability, the data revolution, and advances in behavioural science.  We will explore how these new developments in economic thinking can help us to better understand and respond to new business problems and opportunities.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • How economists think: understanding scarcity, the benefits of trade, and the importance of economic rather than accounting costs
  • How firms grow and sustain competitive advantage: the rules of profit maximisation, economies of scale, and how to expand production possibilities
  • How consumers reveal preferences and how firms can predict responses to price changes
  • How markets work: demand and supply, “perfect” competition and the efficiency of markets
  • What happens when markets fail: monopoly power and non-clearing markets
  • How managers can anticipate and prepare for the future: understanding the macroeconomy and how it affects business performance, lessons in moral hazard from the banking crisis
  • How challenging traditional economic thought can make for better business decision-making: predicting biases in managers’ and consumers’ choices, creating incentives for employee productivity, and the value of new “big data” sets for firms



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