Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Macroeconomic principles in every day life is the introductory unit in the Economics sequence which provides students with an introduction to key macroeconomic concepts, theory and policies in Australia. This involves students discussing key economic policy objectives such as low inflation, low unemployment, economic growth and external stability and evaluating the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policy in achieving these objectives. Throughout this unit students will also analyse how these objectives may conflict and the challenges the government faces with trying to achieve a sustainable economic development and a more equal distribution of income and wealth.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the foundation knowledge and understanding of fundamental macroeconomic concepts, tools and ideas, and equip them with practical skills that have a wide range of applications in economic analysis.

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 - Explain the structures and institutions of the Australian economic system and their role in policy making (GA4, GA5);

LO2 - Discuss microeconomic theories and concepts covered in the course and apply them to contemporary macroeconomic issues (GA5, GA7, GA8);

LO3 - Apply mathematical ideas and techniques in macroeconomics using appropriate information technology techniques (GA10).

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


Topics might include: 

  • What is macreconomics? 
  • Macroeconomic challenges and choices;  
  • Key macroeconomic objectives 
  • Business cycles; 
  • Economic growth and productivity; 
  • The role of government intervention in the economy;  
  • The nature of conflicting policy objectives;  
  • Phillips Curve; 
  • Fiscal Policy;  
  • Monetary Policy;  
  • Alternative economic policy approaches. 

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 economic terms and concepts to real-world issues. Lectures will provide relevant economic theory and content and tutorials will uses scaffolded activities carefully designed by the lecturer to assist the development of literacy and numeracy skills in economics. Students will be encouraged to engage in a variety of tasks including visual, aural, reading and hands-on skills-based activities such as reading and analysing contemporary economic issues, essay writing, discussion and problem-solving. This promotes analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. Tutorial participation 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

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 or multimode. 

1.Skills Development Task  

This type of on-going weekly assessment has been chosen to develop particular skills required by the economics graduates at the fundamental level. It effectively measures on the continuous basis the achievement of the learning outcomes LO1, LO2, LO3 and focuses on students working both autonomously and collaboratively. This style of assessment is excellent for encouraging the application, translation and interpretation of macroeconomics theories, concepts and ideas learnt in the unit. 

2.Research assignment 

This type of assessment has been chosen to effectively measure the learning outcomes LO2-LO3 and focuses on students building practical skills of finding, analysing and evaluating macroeconomic data, synthesising and evaluating information’ on a particular macroeconomic issue. 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 macroeconomic data such as inflation, unemployment, economic growth, balance of payments. 

3.Final exam  

This type of assessment has been chosen to effectively measure the learning outcomes LO2-LO4 and focuses on students thinking critically and reflectively about macroeconomic data, concepts and analysis. This assessment tests the knowledge, skills, and depositions learnt throughout the semester.

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 economic terms and skills to the real-world macroeconomic scenarios


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Research assignment 

The purpose of the assignment is to develop students’ ability to apply skills of sound economic reasoning and basic economic analysis to a particular macroeconomic issue. This will also develop students’ ability to present economic arguments and analysis clearly in the written form.


LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Final exam 

The final exam will test students’ ability to critically think and apply the skills learned across the semester.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Acemoglu, D., Laibson, D., and List, J. (2018). Macroeconomics, 2nd edition, Pearson Education.  

Antonovics K., Heffetz O., Frank R., Bernanke B. (2015). Principles of Macroeconomics, 6th Edition McGraw-Hill Education 

Bade, R., and M. Parkin. (2013). Essential Foundations of Economics, 7th Edition, Prentice Hall, Boston, Mass. 

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

Gans, J. King, S. Byford, M. and Mankiw, N. (2018), Principles of Macroeconomics. 6th Edition. Cengage Learning, Melbourne. 

Hubbard, G., Garnett, A.M., Lewis, P., and O’Brien, P. (2018). Essentials of Economics, 7th Edition, Pearson Education, Sydney 

Lipschitz, L. and Schadler, S. (2019).  Macroeconomics for Professionals: A Guide for Analysts and Those Who Need to Understand Them Paperback, Cambridge University Press.   

McTaggart, D. Findlay, C. and Parkin, M. (2013), Economics. 7th Edition, Addison-Wesley, Sydney. 

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

Williamson S.D. (2017). Macroeconomics, 6th Edition, Pearson Education. 


Further references 

Australian Bureau of Statistics,

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