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23000 Principles of Microeconomics

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2018 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Economics
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject provides students with an understanding of the fundamental economic problem of choice under constraints. It introduces the problem of consumer choice and the factors influencing consumer decisions and examines firm decision-making in competitive and non-competitive settings. The subject emphasises the role of economics in solving real-world problems and effects of government policies on market outcomes.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Understand and explain the factors influencing consumer choices
2. Analyse the impacts of market structure on firmís production and pricing decisions
3. Understand the causes of market failure and explain the impacts on efficiency
4. Understand the economic rationales for government policy in response to market failures
5. Interpret and critically evaluate economic arguments

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject contributes to the Bachelor of Economics learning goals. It introduces students to the power of economic tools and the importance of economic ideas and provides students with an understanding of important concepts and analyses necessary for students in an introductory economics course. The subject material addresses current policies and economic issues, such as climate change and resource taxation.

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Critical thinking, creativity and analytical skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Attitudes and values

This subject also contributes specifically to introduce the following Program Learning Objectives:

  • 2.1: Critically analyse economic problems in Australian and global society using and justifying appropriate economic concepts and frameworks
  • 3.2: Use oral communication to present economic concepts and solutions in an appropriate form for different audiences
  • 4.1: Critically analyse the role of assumptions and value judgments in economic analysis and discuss the implications of their adoption

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is taught through a combination of in-class (face-to-face) activities and flipped learning activities. In-class activities include weekly 2-hour lectures and 1-hour tutorials. Flipped learning activities include practice activities such as online problem sets as well as readings and media watching in preparation for in-class activities. The section "Program" of this guide provides the detail of the weekly activities students are expected to engage in.

Lectures, tutorials and case studies. Lectures present key economic concepts and real world applications.To facilitate engagement, mobile–based audience response systems are used to ask students questions related to the material covered during the lecture. Students are encouraged to discuss the questions with their peers prior to submitting the answers. Students’ answers are anonymously collected, presented to the class and then discussed by the lecturer to provide immediate feedback.

Tutorials. Tutors discuss short problems and real-world case studies related to lecture material. Students are expected to read and attempt both the problems and the case studies before attending each tutorial in order to actively participate in the discussion.

Case Studies. Each fortnight a case study is discussed in the tutorial. Prior to the tutorial, some students working in a group will post a video discussing some aspects of the case study, while every student and for every case study will have to answer some multiple-choice questions. Students can use the video presentations to help with answering the questions. The students will then discuss the case study in class, also using the video presentations, while the tutor will provide the solutions and feedback. These case study discussions are used to illustrate economic techniques and the relevance of economics to society. Groups are allocated to video discussions on a rotating basis.

Lectures’ and tutorials’ material is made available to students via UTSOnline on a weekly basis.

Online Problem Sets. Each week, students are provided with online problem sets via UTSOnline to test their understanding of the subject material. These online problem sets include a detailed explanation of each answer and thus provide students with immediate feedback.

UTSOnline. UTSOnline is a web-based tool used at UTS to provide online learning to students. UTSOnline is accessible by most web browsers, and provided you have access to an Internet connection you can access UTSOnline anywhere. From the UTSOnline main page, you can access the course page by clicking on the Principles of Microeconomics link. In the course page, you will be able to:

- Download course material (e.g. lecture notes, tutorial material, case-studies, etc.);

- Access the Online Problem Sets;

- Interact with peers (via Discussion Board);

- Keep up to date (via Announcements).

We expect that students browse the UTSOnline page of the subject on a regular basis (at least twice a week).

Content (topics)

  • The consumer’s problem
  • Firm behaviour
  • How markets work
  • Market structure
  • Markets and welfare
  • Market failure and government policy


Assessment task 1: Portfolio (Individual and Group)


This addresses program learning objectives(s): 2.1, 3.2 and 4.1


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Online Problem Sets (Individual)


The aim of the Online Problem Sets is to help students develop study habits and understand key concepts and theories by answering a set of questions on a regular basis.


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 3: Final Examination (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Weight: 60%

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

Joshua Gans, Stephen King, Martin Byford, N. Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Microeconomics (6th Edition, 2014, Cengage Learning, Australia).

Other resources

The subject material is based on the main textbook. However, if you find the book unclear, feel free to browse other books about Principles/Introductory Microeconomics (or even Principles of Economics). For the most part you will find that the contents are almost the same although they might use different examples and style. Cengage also publishes a book called Principles of Economics (Edition 6). This book covers both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, but the Microeconomics part is identical to the main textbook for this subject. So if you already have that book, there is no need to buy the the Principles of Microeconomics textbook. If you have neither, than I would suggest you get the Principles of Microeconomics version, since the coordinator for 23001 Principles of Macroeconomics might choose to use a book from a different publisher.