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Unit of study_

ECOS2901: Intermediate Microeconomics Honours

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit is comprised of lectures based upon the curriculum for ECOS2001 Intermediate Microeconomics, supported by a seminar for one hour a week. The content of lectures reflect a more analytical and critical treatment of the topics than ECOS2001. The topics, which build on the theory of consumer and firm behaviour and market structure, include game theory, oligopoly, general equilibrium and welfare, externalities and public goods and the economics of information.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ECOS2901
Academic unit Economics
Credit points 6
ECOS2001 or ECON2001 or ECON2901
(ECON1001 or BUSS1040 or ECON1040) with a minimum Distinction grade (75%)
Assumed knowledge

ECOS2903 or MATH2070 or MATH2970

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Murali Agastya,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Final exam
Online Final Exam
45% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Online Quiz 1
Online Quiz delivered via Canvas. Check course Canvas site for details
5% Week -03 Over a weekend
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
In-semester test Mid-semester (take home exam)
Take home exam
35% Week 08
Due date: 20 Apr 2020 at 14:00

Closing date: 20 Apr 2020
2.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Online Quiz 2
Online Quiz delivered via Canvas. Check course Canvas site for details
5% Week 11 Over a weekend
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Participation Participation
10% Weekly Weekly
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary


Detailed information for each assessment can be found on the Canvas site for this unit.

Assessment criteria


The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Failure to sit the Midterm or the Final Exam are subject to the usual Special Consideration Policy. Failure to submit the Online Quiz 1 will simply mean that its 5% weight will be transferred to the Midterm Exam making that worth 40% of the final grade. Failure to submit the Online Quiz 2 will simply mean that the 5% weight will be transferred to the Final Exam making that worth 50% of the final grade.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Consumer theory: budgets and preferences Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 02 Consumer theory: utility and choice Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Demand and comparative statics Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Choice over time, expected utility Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 Exchange economy Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 1. Exchange economy, technology; 2. Cost functions, profit maximisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Monopoly and price discrimination Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 08 Game theory Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 Oligopoly Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Externalities Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Public goods Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Asymmetric information Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 13 Asymmetric information and mechanism design Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Recommended Text: 

Intermediate microeconomics: a modern approach by Varian, Hal R. Publisher New York: W.W. Norton & Co.  Edition 8th ed. (or a later edition) 
Students will find it useful to have ready access to this textbook. (You may wish to search for a used copy first)  Some copies are on reserve in the Fisher Library. Library Link: to an external site.  

Other Texts & Readings: 

The core material being taught in the course can be found in any good Intermediate Microeconomics text, of which there are several. A good alternative to the above is  Samiran Banerjee (2015), Intermediate Microeconomics: A Tool-Building Approach (First edition), London: Routledge.

Other prescribed readings are listed progressively on the Canvas website during the course. 

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. have a sound understanding of the structure of major microeconomic models of the decision problems facing individual consumers and firms, and the formal techniques commonly applied to solve them
  • LO2. have both a formal and intuitive understanding of the results generated by these models, how they relate to underlying assumptions, and how they may change as a result of varying those assumptions
  • LO3. understand the limitations of various models, and be able to critically evaluate competing explanations of economic behaviour
  • LO4. possess a solid foundation for the application of microeconomic theory to problems in the real world, and in subsequent studies in specialist and applied fields of economics.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


Work, health and safety




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