Introduction to Economics

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
07 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC N401 Accounting (Including Foundation Year),
BSC NN43 Accounting and Finance (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N4L1 Accounting with Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N391 Banking and Finance (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N201 Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA L102 Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L103 Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LG18 Economics and Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LL14 Economics and Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L1G8 Economics with Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N301 Finance (Including Foundation Year),
BSC GN18 Finance and Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L118 Financial Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L117 Financial Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV18 History and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N124 International Business and Entrepreneurship (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N124CO International Business and Entrepreneurship (Including Foundation Year),
BA L160 International Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L161 International Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N2N5 Management and Marketing (Including Foundation Year),
BA L190 Management Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L191 Management Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N505 Marketing (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N505CO Marketing (Including Foundation Year),
BA L0V2 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA LX14 Financial Economics and Accounting (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LG04 Economics with Data Science (Including Foundation Year),
BA LX10 Business Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C817 Psychology with Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C149 Economics with Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BA R113 Economics with Language Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is designed to introduce and build an understanding of economics at the foundation level. The module covers basic but essential elements in microeconomics and macroeconomics. There is no assumption of any prior knowledge of economics or mathematics.

Microeconomics includes supply and demand, consumer and producer problems, and the market structure. On the other hand, macroeconomics includes aggregate economy, short-run economics fluctuations, macroeconomic policies and the open economy.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to the main economic principles, theories and concepts at the foundation level.

  • To introduce students to the main conclusions derived from economic analysis and develop students’ understanding of economic implications.

  • To enable students to develop analytical skills using simple mathematics techniques and economic diagrams.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Define and discuss the main economic principles, theories and concepts at the foundation level.

  2. Use relevant economic diagrams to support arguments or complement with the analysis.

  3. Solve economic questions mathematically and interpret the results.

  4. Apply and use the main economic models to explain case studies and real-life situations

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will have been offered opportunities:

  1. To improve your literacy and numeracy skills, particularly in the interpretation of Maths.

  2. To develop your analytical and critical thinking skills by applying economics concepts to explain and evaluate real-world situations.

  3. To develop your IT skills by learning to work in word processing software and presenting digital photos on Moodle.

  4. To enhance your communication and teamwork skills in class discussions.

  5. To develop your personal plan of setting targets and time management to undertake coursework and exam.

Module information


Autumn Term (Microeconomics)

  • Introduction: What Is Economics? First Principles; Economic Models; Using Models.

  • Supply and Demand: Construction of Demand and Supply Curves; Market Equilibrium; Price and Quantity Controls; Elasticity.

  • The Consumer: Preference; Budgets and Optimal Consumption; Indifference Curve; Consumer Surplus; Making Decisions;

  • The Producer: Inputs and Costs; Production Function; Perfect competition and the Supply Curve; Profit Maximisation; Competitive Market Equilibrium in the Short and Long Run.

  • Market Structure: Non-Perfect Competition, Monopoly; Monopoly Profit Maximization; Regulation of Monopoly; Monopolistic Competition; Oligopoly.

  • Externalities: Production, Consumption and Externalities. The Economics of Pollution; Policies towards Pollution.

Spring Term (Macroeconomics)

  • Macroeconomics: Circular Flow of Income; National Income, Expenditure and Output.

  • Short Run Economic Fluctuations: Income and Expenditure; the Multipliers; Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand (AS-AD) Model.

  • Unemployment and Inflation: The Phillips Curve; Unemployment and Business Cycle; Long-run Economic Growth; Wage and Price Adjustment; Inflation, Disinflation and Deflation.

  • Fiscal Policy: The Budget Balance; Fiscal Policy and the Multiplier; Long-run Implications of Fiscal Policy.

  • Monetary Policy: Money and Banking; Determining the Money Supply; The Demand for Money; Money and Interest Rate; Monetary Policy and Aggregate Demand; Money, Output and Prices in the Long-run

  • The Open-Economy Macroeconomics, Capital Flows and Balance of Payments; The role of Exchange Rate; Exchange Rate Policy.

Sustainable Education

Some topics taught in the Economics module lend themselves to the discussion on sustainability:

  1. Food production and rising population via supply and demand analysis.

  2. Economics of pollution and policies towards pollution.

  3. Sustainable economic growth and sustainable energy resources.

  4. Sustainable banks versus cryptocurrency.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week, including interactive activities.
  • One 2-hour class per week.

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competencies to study at the undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

The lecture will explain the topics covered in the syllabus and will identify the key concepts and points for discussion. The class aims to promote interaction among students, familiarise them with economic terminology and also identify any problems at the individual level. It also aims to provide the opportunity for students to work in pairs or as a group to discuss economic problems and apply economic theories to real-life examples.

Learning support

Summarised lecture material will be presented using PowerPoint and will be posted on Moodle on a weekly basis. These lecture notes will include chapter references from the required textbook. Class exercises will be published to students in advance to reinforce the material covered in lectures. Students will also be given exam-type questions/case studies to work on during the classes and encouraged to work in groups. Any queries that might arise during the classes will be addressed directly with the students.

Students will be encouraged to discuss and apply problem-solving skills on relevant economic topics. Students are encouraged to see the Module Leader and/or the tutor during the weekly academic support hours to discuss practical ways of making an improvement in learning Economics. Students can find all of this information on Moodle.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   IA106 In-person, Open Book (restricted) Test 1 - 30/11/2023     33.33% 
Coursework   IA106 In-person, Moodle Test 2 - 08/03/2024    33.33% 
Coursework   MCQ homework    33.34% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 150 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 150 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

  • Every student is expected to take a Moodle diagnostic test in economics by the end of week 4. This will enable the Module Leader to assess each student's background in economics.
  • There will be four Moodle mock tests that are released in stages leading up to the summative tests. These mock tests will help students to familiarise themselves with the question format and level of difficulty similar to those in the summative tests. Students are encouraged to complete each mock test in the specified period in order to spread their workload over the term. They will have the opportunity to submit the mock tests and receive formative feedback and marks if submitting the mock tests by the given deadlines. Any students who missed the submission deadlines of these mock tests would still have access to marking schemes and solutions to study in their own time. This is part of students' self-evaluation mechanism and a way for the tutor to identify if extra support is required.

Summative assessment

  • In-person, open book (restricted) test 1 (1.5 hours) - the test questions will cover topics in microeconomics learnt in the autumn term. The test format will be a combination of MCQ, true or false statements, short answer questions and filling up missing answers or values.
  • In-person, open book (restricted) test 2 (1.5 hours) - the test questions will cover topics in macroeconomics learnt in the spring term. The test format will be a combination of MCQ, true or false statements, short answer questions and filling up missing answers or values.
  • Five MCQs homework on Moodle - the homework will cover the topics taught in the syllabus. The questions are taken from ‘Achieve’ which is an e-learning platform linked with the essential textbook. This homework is designed to help students regularly revise and practise on economics questions and to use them as knowledge checkpoints. Marks will be awarded based on the number of homework completed and the accuracy of answers.
  • In-person, open-book (restricted) examination (2.5 hours) - the exam includes questions covering all topics taught in the module. The exam format will be a combination of true or false statements, short answer questions and filling up missing answers or values. The exam covers questions from both the microeconomics and macroeconomics areas of the module.

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed Exam - Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with the existing coursework mark to create a new module mark.
  • Failed Coursework - Resit the exam which counts as coursework and is then re-aggregated with the existing exam mark to create a new module mark.
  • Failed Exam and Coursework - Resit the exam which will count as 100% exam mark. The exam will cover all the learning outcomes.

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
60% 40%


Coursework Exam
60% 40%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Anyarath Kitwiwattanachai, email: akitwi@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Anyarath Kitwiwattanachai
Helen Hearn (hhearn@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872842)



External examiner

Miss Jan O'Driscoll
University of Chester
Dean of Lifelong Learning and Director of Foundation Years
Available via Moodle
Of 181 hours, 176 (97.2%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
5 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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