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10cp from 100-level units in Economics or ECON200 Economics: Policy Frameworks and Markets


ECON203 Macroeconomics 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

Economists need solid understanding of macroeconomics to be able to analyse how governments use fiscal and monetary policies to influence a country's economy. In this unit students will study the foundations of economic policy making and problems of the policy implementation, as well as economic models such as aggregate demand and aggregate supply in the open economy. Through case studies and economic theory, students will critically evaluate a wide range of economic indicators that can help us to examine the health of the economy, understand the part of the business cycle we are currently in, and understand feedback effects of policies on economic growth, inflation, unemployment and exchange rates. The aim of this unit is to provide students with knowledge and skills in understanding business cycles, economic indicators, and the role of aggregate demand and supply in the open economy. 

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 business cycles, economic indicators, and the role of aggregate demand and supply in the open economy (GA4, GA6, GA8)

LO2 - Discuss the Australian economy and its operation in an international environment. (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO3 - Apply macroeconomic concepts, mathematical ideas and techniques to economic analysis (GA3, GA4, GA10)

LO4 - Critically evaluate the issues underlying important contemporary policy debates in Australia and overseas (GA4, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO5 - Analyse and evaluate Reserve Bank Act, Chapter of Budget Honesty, current Australian Federal and State Budgets, government reports and economic data and their implications (GA3, GA6, GA7, GA8)

Graduate attributes

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

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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 will include:

  • An overview of economic problems and issues;
  • Unemployment, indigenous unemployment.
  • Income and Expenditure Analysis;
  • The Role of Fiscal Policy in the economy;
  • The Chapter of Budget Honesty and Australian budget;
  • Government benefits and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples;
  • Money supply, interest rates and inflation;
  • Modern money (cryptocurrencies, gold and credit money);
  • Reserve Bank Act, Reserve Bank and the Role of Monetary Policy in the economy;
  • Aggregate demand and aggregate supply;
  • Aggregate Supply and Economic Growth;
  • IS – LM - BP Analysis and economic policies;
  • Open economy macroeconomics;
  • Business cycles;
  • Economic indicators;
  • Techniques in locating economic information, critically analysing economic sources and data.

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.

To achieve the learning objectives outlined above, the unit will be based on active learning teaching activities such as reading, writing, discussion and problem-solving to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. Students encounter ideas through online lectures and discuss and assimilate material through online tutorial classes. In addition, students will analyse case studies to explore how what they have learned applies to real-world situations. Students in this unit will be encouraged to develop specific skills in locating economic information, critically analysing economic sources and indicators, and confidently carrying out research-based writing.  

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, videos etc.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessments in this unit encourage students to develop a range of skills related to becoming an economics professional working in different real-life areas such as arts, teaching, law, commerce and criminology. Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Graduates in economics are required by employers to possess superior critical thinking and analytical skills, communication skills, research skills including locating economic data, and other relevant skills. Therefore, students in this unit are encouraged to develop specific skills in locating economic information, critically analysing economic sources and data including indicators of economic wellbeing and confident research-based writing. Thus, the unit includes three assessments with the following rationale:

1. Designated skill development activity (through tutorial-based materials, economic policy outcomes simulation activities and case study analysis): this assessment is scaffolded to develop fundamental content knowledge and critical thinking and analytical skills in students’ analysis of macroeconomic issues at the intermediate level.

2. Research assignment essay (evaluative task): this provides a context for students to locate economic data, apply economic theories to real-world policy issues in the Australian and international context. 

3. Final exam (Application of skills task): The exam encourages broad engagement with the content of the unit and will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the different topics covered as well as the application of relevant skills. During the exam, students will be asked to analyse a particular case study, critically evaluate and comment on a particular fiscal or monetary recent policy issue in Australia or overseas and offer recommendations on this policy issue for different market participants

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Designated Skills Development Activities

This assessment will allow students to obtain critical thinking skills, analytical skills, communication skills, research skills, and other designated skills, through discussion of real work case studies of economic policymaking and working through allocated problems.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Research Assignment Essay


  • foster students to obtain superior research skills on locating and using primary and secondary economic data and sources
  • encourage students to obtain critical thinking skills through analysing monetary and fiscal policies and economic data
  • teach students to communicate clearly in written form to construct an evidence-based economic case with appropriate referencing.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Final Examination

The closed-book final examination will allow students to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the unit in performing an analysis of case studies and particular recent policy issues in Australia and overseas.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7 GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Barbosa F. H. (2018). Macroeconomic Theory: Fluctuations, Inflation and Growth in Closed and Open Economies, Springer International Publishing.

Blanchard, O. (2017). Macroeconomics (7th ed.). Pearson Education, Sydney.

Colander, D. (2017). Macroeconomics (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Frank, R. Bernanke, B. Antonovics, K., and Heffetz, O. (2016). Principles of Economics (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Greene J. (2018). Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy: A Systematic Approach. World Scientific Publishing.

Karlan, D. Bajada, C., and Melatos, M. (2016). Principles of Economics. McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Littleboy, B. Taylor, J., and Weerapana, A. (2017), Macroeconomics - Principles and Practice (2th ed.). Cengage Learning, Melbourne.

McConnell, C. Brue, S., and Flynn, S. (2015). Macroeconomics (20th ed.). McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Parkin, M. and Blade, R. (2015). Macroeconomics: Australia in the Global Economy. Pearson Education, Sydney.

Sloman, J. Norris, K., and Garratt, D. (2016). Essentials of Economics (7th ed.). Pearson Education, Sydney.

Further references

Australian Bureau of Statistics,

The Reserve Bank Act 1959,

Chapter of Budget Honesty Act 1998,

Australian Federal Budget,

Victoria State Budget,

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