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ECON200 Economics: Policy Frameworks and Markets

Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Economics is fundamentally about everyday life and microeconomics analyses the decisions made by individuals, businesses, the government and society about resource use. Underpinning this unit is the important economics concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost. This unit will introduce students to the choices that are made, alternatives foregone and the consequences of these decisions. Students will address the current economic problems that the consumer and firm face in the microeconomy.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an introduction to neoclassical economics and an insight into how microeconomics terms and concepts can be applied to wide range of real-life scenarios.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe economic concepts and their application to contemporary microeconomic issues (GA5, GA7, GA8);

LO2 - Explain how the market system allocates scarce resources (GA4, GA8);

LO3 - Apply mathematical ideas and techniques using information technology (GA10);

LO4 - Investigate the economic behaviour of individuals, firms and institutions and communicate this in oral and written forms (GA2, GA4, GA9);

LO5 - Identify the role of the government, its policies and influence on markets; (GA4, GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics might include: 

  • The economic problem arising from scarcity, the issues of resource allocation and economic efficiency and the role of economics in personal and business decision-making;  
  • Economic systems (market economy, centrally planned economy, mixed economies, traditional and nomadic systems) 
  • Consumer and demand 
  • The factors affecting supply 
  • Market Equilibrium and the role of the price mechanism in the market; 
  • Elasticity 
  • Firm production, decisions and costs of the firm; 
  • Market failures (externalities, public goods, imperfect information and market power) 
  • The role of government in setting incentives and intervening the economy. 
  • Market structures  
  • Foundation techniques in microanalysis

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Attendance or Multimode 

This unit embraces a constructivist approach to learning where students are encouraged to acquire, assimilate and apply microeconomic economic terms and concepts to real-world issues. Lectures will provide relevant microeconomic theory and content and tutorials will incorporate scaffolded activities carefully designed by the lecturer to assist in the development of skills particular to the discipline such as applying economic models. Students will engage in a variety of tasks related to the constructing and applying of economic terms, concepts and models to real world scenarios. Tutorial participation will also provide an opportunity to improve group cohesion and collaboration.  

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Mode: Attendance or Multimode 

The assessment items have been particularly designed to cover a variety of tasks, support discipline standards, and enable a differentiation of levels of achievement. This assessment is designed for an attendance mode 

1.Skills Development Task 

This type of assessment has been chosen to effectively measure the learning outcomes LO1-LO2 and is scaffolded so that students undertake hands-on practical activities that include problem solving, economic simulation activities and games, discussion of case studies. These stages of the task develop and test knowledge of basic microeconomic theories and equip students with the discipline required skills in order analyse real world microeconomic situations at the basic level. In addition to teaching students to work both autonomously and collaboratively as a group, this style of assessment is excellent for encouraging the application, translation and interpretation of economics concepts learnt on the continuous basis. 

2.Research assignment 

This type of assessment is built upon the skills development tasks and has been chosen to effectively measure the learning outcomes LO2-LO4. The main virtues of this assessment are that it provides students with the opportunity to develop the capacity to interpret, translate, apply, critique and evaluate real world economic data and theories discussed in the unit applied to a particular microeconomic issue. 

3.Final exam  

This type of assessment has been chosen to effectively measure the learning outcomes LO2-LO5. This assessment offers the assurance that the work belongs to the student. The other main advantage of this assessment is that it provides assurance that students have attained the knowledge, skills, and depositions tested in the exam. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Skills Development Task 

The purpose of the task is to provide an opportunity for students to apply relevant microeconomic terms and models to real-world scenarios and build relevant skills on the basic level on the on-going basis 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Research assignment  

The purpose of the assignment is to equip students with basic knowledge of macroeconomic theories and develop skills of gathering real world economic data and sources, and using those to perform economic analysis of a particular microeconomic issue and communicate the finding on this issue on the basic fundamental level required by the discipline and profession.  


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Final exam 

The final exam will test students’ ability to apply relevant theories, ideas and concepts learned across the semester to a set of particular economic questions that require usage of critical thinking and other the skills learnt in the subject at the foundational level.  


LO2, LO3, LO5

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Acemoglu, D., Laibson, D., and List, J. (2018). Microeconomics, 2nd Edition, Pearson. 

Bajada, C. Jackson, J. McIver, R. and Wilson, E. (2011), Economic Principles. 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill, Sydney. 

Baumol, W. and Blinder, A. (2019), Economics - Principles and Policy. 13th Edition. Cengage Learning, Melbourne. 

Frank, R. Jennings, S., M., and Bernanke, B. (2011), Principles of Microeconomics.3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, Sydney. 

Gans, J. King, S. Byford, M. and Mankiw, N. (2019), Principles of Microeconomics. 7th Edition. Cengage Learning, Melbourne. 

Hubbard, G. et al. (2016), Essentials of Economics 3. Pearson Education, Sydney. 

Kolmar M., Hoffmann M. (2018) Workbook for Principles of Microeconomics, Springer Texts in Business and Economics.  

Miller, R.G, (2018) Economics Today: The Micro View, 19th EditionPearson Education, London. 

Parkin, M. and Bade, R. (2019), Microeconomics: Australia in the Global Environment, 2nd edition, Pearson Australia. 

Stiglitz, J. and Walsh, C. (2014), Principles of Economics. 1st Australian Edition. Wiley, Milton. 


Further references 

Australian Bureau of Statistics,  

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