Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module ECON2291: Economic Theory

Department: Economics

ECON2291: Economic Theory

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to LL12
Tied to LL02
Tied to LL01
Tied to VL52
Tied to VLL6
Tied to VLLA
Tied to CFG0
Tied to FGC0
Tied to FGC1
Tied to CFG1
Tied to CFG2
Tied to LA01
Tied to LA02
Tied to LMVA
Tied to LMV0


  • Principles of Economics (ECON1011) AND EITHER Economic Methods (ECON1021) OR Calculus I (MATH1061) AND Linear Algebra I (MATH1071) AND Probability I (MATH1597) AND Statistics I (MATH1617)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Macroeconomics (ECON2011), Microeconomics (ECON2021)


  • To have an intermediate understanding and applications of topics in both microeconomic and macroeconomic theory
  • To develop an understanding of policies and empirical applications of economic theory
  • To build on the material of Principles of Economics and Economic Methods and prepare students for their level 3 studies


  • Topics, relflecting on the current state of the field, may include:
  • Consumer theory
  • Game theory
  • Firm theory
  • Markets and allocative efficiency
  • Imperfect markets: Sources of monopoly power, strategic interactions in oligopoly, competition policy
  • Risk and Uncertainty: Expected utility theory and its applications
  • Moral Hazard and Adverse selection
  • Consumption and savings
  • The open economy
  • Economic growth
  • Economic fluctuations
  • Aggregate demand
  • Aggregate supply
  • Money supply, money demand and inflation
  • Business cycle theory
  • Fiscal policy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon completion of the module, students should:
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the core theoretical models and key practical issues in Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Theory.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the areas of the applications of Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Theory.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationships between different economic models and apply the knowledge in policy discussions.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon completion of the module, students should:
  • Be able to analyse real world problems from a theoretical microeconomic and macroeconomic perspective.
  • Be able to demonstrate proficiency in critical discussion of the relevant literature and empirical evidence.
  • Be able to apply mathematical techniques in economic analysis and understand statistical analysis of data.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication - by completing the summative assignment
  • Planning, Organisation and Time Management- e.g. by preparing for examinations
  • Problem solving and Analysis - by applying the necessary analytical and quantitative skills to identify and empirically test theoretical relationships
  • Initiative - by collecting information for the summative assignment, searching relevant literature and information in preparation for the summative assignment.
  • Numeracy - e.g. by applying an array of core mathematical-statistical skills to answer a range of examination questions;
  • Computer Literacy and Information Retrieval - by word-processing the summative assignment.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures provide an introduction to the key theoretical and empirical issues.
  • Seminars give the students an opportunity to discuss theoretical concepts and their applications.
  • Formative assessment is by means of an assignment.
  • Summative assessment is by means of an in-person exam and an assignment.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 40 2 per week 1 hour 40
Revision Lectures 2 1 per week 1 hour 2
Tutorials 8 4 in Term 1, 4 in Term 2 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 150
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One in-person written examination 2 hours 100% Same
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written assignment 1500 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

One written piece of work to prepare students for the summative exam.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University