Theory of Industrial Organisation

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
02 May 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC LN1412 Financial Economics and Accounting,
MSC L10312 Financial and Business Economics,
MA L10512 Management Economics,
MSC L10412 Management Economics,
MSC L104EB Management Economics,
MSC L104JS Management Economics,
MECNL133 Management Economics,
MECNL134 Management Economics (Including Placement Year),
MECNL135 Management Economics (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module examines strategic interactions between firms and the determinants of industrial structure.

Recent developments in industrial organisation and regulation are incorporated into the material.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide students with a working knowledge of current thinking in industrial organisation, and its application to competition policy, regulation and business strategy.

  • To prepare students who wish to embark on research in this field, or to pursue careers in business, consultancy and government.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. To apply analytical models of firm behaviour and strategic interactions to evaluate various practical situations.

Skills for your Professional Life (Transferable skills)

By the end of this module, students will be expected to gain the following transferable skills:

  1. Abstraction.

  2. Deduction and inducation.

  3. Numeracy.

  4. External awareness.

  5. Decision-making skills.

  6. Knowledge of work and organisational cultures.

Module information

Real-life Competition Law cases involve hundreds of pages of document describing the behaviour of firms in the industry. Through studying theory in the context of cases, students learn how to identify the key aspects of such behaviour and how to build and use models that focus on these aspects.

Economic models involve a systematic use of deduction as they proceed from assumptions to logically proceed to conclusions. Induction is also essential when testing economic models empirically. Deduction is emphasised via the presentation style.

Students learn how to obtain information about industry behaviour and how to use it, either informally or through linkages to systematic econometric techniques developed elsewhere in the curriculum. Our emphasis is on choosing the right technique.

Students become aware of the various constituencies that need to be addressed when presenting an economic analysis of competitive behaviour via our use of cases and emphasis on different types of arguments made and their sources.

The stakes involved in industry analysis are often high. Competition cases can involve mergers worth billions of pounds or charges of abuse that can lead to fines of more than a billion pounds. In such a context the role of the economic analyst goes well beyond listing the pros and cons of various arguments: the analysis must lead to a concrete unambiguous recommendation. This involves difficult choices as to which arguments should be given most weight. Moreover, the conduct of a competition case involves crucial choices of strategy as to which argument to advance at which stage of the project and how to react to the moves of the other party.

Students learn about the objectives and constraints faced by government agencies as well as the challenge of communicating with legal experts and business people.

While the exam allows students the opportunity to develop and exhibit all these skills, students are encouraged to write an assignment to pursue creative and research-based applications. The assignment also serves as an output that can be presented as part of either a research proposal for further study or their portfolio for job search. The assignment is an opportunity to tailor the skills delivered by the module to their interests and future plans, be that a business plan, or a preliminary proposal for a more developed research paper.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • One 1-hour class per week.

Feedback for this module will occur through class meetings where we will go over the answers to problem sets and where you will be able to ask questions about your own method of solution; answers that will be posted on the website for the module that will give you written guidance on the appropriate method to approach the problems, assignments, and tests; and office hours where any additional questions can be addressed. You should be sure that you use these methods to understand how to improve your own performance.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Term Paper     
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr George Symeonidis, email:
Lectures & Classes: Dr George Symeonidis
For further information, send an email message to



External examiner

Dr Domenico Moro
university of Birmingham
Available via Moodle
Of 295 hours, 29 (9.8%) hours available to students:
266 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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