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ECON103 Macroeconomics 1 and ECON200 Economics: Policy Frameworks and Markets

Unit rationale, description and aim

Macroeconomic principles in everyday 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 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 policymaking (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Identify and discuss macroeconomic theories and concepts (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8)

LO3 - Evaluate, synthesise and apply mathematical ideas and techniques in macroeconomics using appropriate information technology techniques (GA4, GA7, GA8, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

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 will include:

  • What is macroeconomics?
  • 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; 
  • Australian government policy towards the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island people over time;
  • Alternative economic policy approaches.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is designed to be offered fully online and will include synchronous delivery of unit content, collaborative online learning activities and other technology-enabled learning synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to foster interaction between students.

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 use 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 provides 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 learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, videos etc.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment items have been particularly designed to cover a variety of tasks, support discipline standards, and enable differentiation of levels of achievement.

1. Skills Development Task

This type of ongoing weekly assessment has been chosen to develop particular skills required by the economics graduates at the fundamental level. It effectively measures on a 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 learned in the unit.

2. Research assignment

This type of assessment has been chosen to effectively measure learning outcomes LO2 and LO3 and focuses on students building practical skills of finding, analysing and evaluating macroeconomic data, synthesising and evaluating the 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, the balance of payments.

3. Final exam

This type of assessment has been chosen to effectively measure the learning outcomes LO2 and LO3 and focuses on students thinking critically and reflectively about macroeconomic data, concepts and analysis. This assessment tests the knowledge, skills, and depositions learned throughout the semester.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks 1: Skills Development Task

The purpose of the task is to provide an opportunity for students to apply relevant economic terms and skills to real-world macroeconomic scenarios.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2: 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

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Final exam

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


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

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

Australian Government (2019). Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018. Available online

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

Dillon, M.C. (2020). Evaluation and Review as Drivers of Reform in the Indigenous Policy Domain. ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) Policy Series. Available online:

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

Hubbard, G., Garnett, A.M., Lewis, P., and O'Brien, A. (2018). Essentials of Economics (4th ed.). Pearson Education, Sydney.

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

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

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

Stiglitz, J., Walsh, C.E., Guest, R., Gow, G., Tani, M., and Richmond, W. (2015). Principles of Economics (2nd Australian Edition). Wiley, Milton.


Further references

Australian Bureau of Statistics,

Reserve Bank of Australia,

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