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The University of Southampton

ECON2039 Intermediate Microeconomics

Module Overview

This module will familiarise students with the central concepts of microeconomics, building on the foundations laid in ECON1001/ECON1003. Students will gain a clear understanding of the role of the price mechanism in organising economic activity and of choice in strategic situations. To this end the module will offer a rigorous treatment of supply and demand in markets, individual choice and strategic behaviour, concepts of market equilibrium and the evaluation of equilibrium outcomes in terms of social desirability and possible roles for policy intervention, Throughout the module will focus on examples and applications such as the free rider problem.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the central theoretical and practical concepts of microeconomics.
  • core analytical methods in microeconomics and fundamental concepts in game theory.
  • applying central microeconomic concepts to specific topics and questions.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • abstract essential features of economic systems to provide models for assessing policy and other exogenous events.
  • apply logical analysis to assumption-based models and make use of inductive reasoning through solving microeconomic models.
  • recognise what should be taken as given for addressing microeconomic questions and the role of resource and informational constraints for policy implementation.
  • derive optimal and predict actual behavioural in economic environments
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • collaborate with others and recognise problems and possible solutions associated with team work


This module starts with explaining individual behaviour of consumers and firms in the market place to derive supply and demand and the equilibrium formation of prices within markets. It then considers strategic behaviour and how to model it to derive predictions and policy implications. This module builds on the material covered in first year modules, and therefore some concepts and ideas will be familiar, but the method of analysis is more rigorous in this module. Course Outline: - Consumer Theory - Theory of the Firm - Competitive Equilibrium - Choice under uncertainty - Strategic Behaviour

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, tutorials, classroom experiments.

Independent Study122
Problem Classes8
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Hal Varian (2014). Intermediate Microeconomics with Calculus. A Modern Approach. 


Assessment Strategy

Coursework (two problem sets distributed during the semester) and written final examination at the end of the semester, supported by continuous formative assessment in form of problem sets. This is the same for internal repeats. Referral and external repeat assessment are through 100% final exam.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 10%
Coursework assignment(s) 10%
Final Exam  (2 hours) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisite ECON1XX3 Foundations of Microeconomics or ECON1XX5 Principles of Microeconomics

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