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ECON200 Economics: Policy Frameworks and Markets , ECON104 - Business Economics, ECON105 - Economics for Business

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit aims to develop an understanding of the key principles and tools that economists use to interpret the role of economics in business, and critically analyse economic policies that impact on Australia and the global economy. 

All economic questions arise because societies and individuals want more than we can get. Economics therefore is the study of how to use scarce resources in the best way possible to meet our needs and wants. Economists study the decisions and interactions of individuals and businesses in markets, and how they allocate those scarce resources. Economics also examines how governments can either obstruct or improve market outcomes, and how government decisions effect the overall well-being of society and the common good. Other issues that economists examine are unemployment, inflation, economic growth and international trade.

As individuals, we are always making decisions on a wide variety of economic problems of personal, local, state, national and international significance. By studying economics, students will gain knowledge and skills that are relevant for living in modern Australian society and are useful for a range of careers including those in commerce, industry, education and government.

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 - Identify and explain economic systems and the concept of resource allocation, including the role of ethical values and human dignity in economic decisions (GA1, GA5)

LO2 - Describe the fundamental principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics collaboratively (GA5, GA7)

LO3 - Identify and explain the role of individuals and businesses in different types of market structures, including perfect competition, monopolistic competition, monopoly, and oligopoly (GA5, GA6)

LO4 - Analyse the effect of changes in macroeconomic indicators on business activity (GA5, GA8)

LO5 - Compare and contrast economic theories and concepts with contemporary social and environmental issues as well as formulation and analysis of policy taking local and global perspectives into account (GA4, GA5)

Graduate attributes

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

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 


Topics will include:

  • markets, demand, supply and price including elasticity
  • comparative advantage
  • market structures, including perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly
  • market failures and government intervention
  • government allocation of resources to areas such as health services and the environment
  • GDP, income, economic growth, and employment
  • fiscal and monetary policy
  • international trade and organisation
  • balance of payments and exchange rates
  • financial markets.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is predicated on an inquiry approach model. Through the processes of inquiry students develop Economic literacy, i.e. Economic knowledge and the skills of communication required to comprehend, analyse, synthesise and evaluate economic data, use economic reasoning, including cost/benefit analysis, and to report findings on a range of increasingly complex economic issues and propose possible and preferred responses and policy options. Developing skills in information communications technology will help students to use the processes of inquiry more effectively.

Mode of delivery: This unit is offered mainly in ‘Attendance mode’ with aspects of ‘Multi-mode’ incorporated into the delivery to maximise the learning support offered to students. Students will be required to attend face-to-face workshops in specific physical location/s and have face-to-face interactions with teaching staff to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is also structured with some required upfront preparation before workshops – learning materials and tasks set via online learning platforms. This will provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for students to prepare and revise.

Further to this, to ensure students are ready to transition from the Diploma and articulate into the second year of undergraduate study, transition pedagogies will be incorporated into the unit as the key point of differentiation from the standard unit. This focuses on an active and engaging approach to learning and teaching practices, and a scaffolded approach to the delivery of curriculum to enhance student learning in a supportive environment. This will ensure that students develop foundation level discipline-based knowledge, skills and attributes, and simultaneously the academic competencies required of students to succeed in this unit.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be in accordance with a rubric specifically developed to measure student levels of achievement of the learning outcomes for each item of assessment. Students will also be awarded a final grade which signifies their overall achievement in the unit. The assessment strategy for this unit allows students to sequentially develop their knowledge and skills in Economics to the point where they can effectively analyse modern issues from an Economist’s perspective.

In order to develop this level of capability, students will demonstrate their knowledge of microeconomics in a portfolio of engagement (Assessment 1), further develop their understanding of macroeconomics through an open book exam (Assessment 2), and then apply their knowledge and understanding of both micro and macroeconomics in the final assessment task, an individual presentation.

Strategies aligned with transition pedagogies will be utilised to facilitate successful completion of the unit assessment tasks. For each assessment, there will be the incorporation of developmentally staged tasks with a focus on a progressive approach to learning. This will be achieved through activities, including regular feedback, particularly early in the unit of study to support their learning; strategies to develop and understand discipline-specific concepts and terminology; in-class practice tasks with integrated feedback; and greater peer-to-peer collaboration. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Portfolio of Engagement

From Week 4–9, students will actively participate in online discussion forums and online activities. Students will be evaluated on a combination of their real-time engagement in the unit via discussion board questions, responses to postings and evidence of successful engagement in online activities.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment method: Online engagement and completion of regular learning tasks

Artefact: Portfolio evidencing engagement


LO1, LO3, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2: Open Book Exam

This task requires students to undertake an invigilated examination. Students will be provided an article or case study ahead of time with questions on the day.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment method: Invigilated examination

Artefact: Written response


LO1, LO3

GA1, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 3: Individual Presentation

This task requires students to present on contemporary economic issues. Students will apply their knowledge to a real-life case study considering relevant economic theories in their invigilated presentations during the exam period.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment method: Presentation

Artefact: Presentation (equivalent 1500 words)


LO2, LO4

GA5, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Allen, WB, Weigelt, K, Doherty, N & Mansfield, E 2012, Managerial economics: Theory, applications and cases (International Student Edition), WW Norton, New York, NY.

Baye, MR 2017, Managerial economics and business strategy, 9th edn, McGraw Hill, New York, NY.

Faarnham, G 2014, Economics for managers, 3rd edn, Pearson Education, London.

Gans J, King S, Stonecash RE & Mankiw N 2018, Principles of economics, 7th edn, Cengage Learning Australia, Melbourne.

Gerber, J 2018, International economics, 9th edn, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Hubbard, G Lewis, L 2019, Essentials of economics, 4th edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest.

Keat, PG & Young, PK 2014, Managerial economics, 7th edn, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Layton, A, Robinson, T & Tucker, IB 2018, Economics for today, 6th edn, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne, VIC.

Salvatore, D 2018, Managerial economics in a global economy, 9th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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