ECON 7011 - Intermediate Microeconomics A IID

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This postgraduate course is an introduction to intermediate-level microeconomic theory and analysis. Students will develop their abilities to analyse, evaluate and synthesize economic information. The skills developed in this course will help students make informed, responsible and critically discriminating judgements about current economic and social policy issues. Intermediate Microeconomics A IID will put an emphasis on the mastery of theoretical concepts and analytical tools that will form a strong basis of further study in economics courses. Real world applications will be provided where possible, and further readings will be suggested to expand the ability of students to relate the basic theoretical concepts to applied contexts.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 7011
    Course Intermediate Microeconomics A IID
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Assumed Knowledge Introductory level microeconomics
    Restrictions Available to MFin&BusEc, MHealthEcPol, GradCertEc, GradCertIntEc, GradDipIntEc, & GradDipAppEc students only
    Assessment Typically assignments, mid-semester exam, participation & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Sujiphong Shatragom

    Office hours: Thursdays 2pm - 3pm
    Office location: Nexus 10, Level 4, Room 4.08
    Telephone: 8313 4930

    Preferred method of contact: email. Please do not call unless absolutely necessary.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.


    Thursday, 4pm-6pm, Physics, 103, Kerr Grant Lecture Theatre


    Wednesday, 10am-12pm, Nexus 10, UB 35
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course you should be able to:
    1 Explain consumers’ and firms’ behaviour using mathematical tools
    2 Understand the advantages and limits of economic theory
    3 Develop communications skills through the presentation of your work, interactions during tutorial sessions, and appropriate use of the discussion board
    4 Apply economic theory to diverse real-world situations
    5 Analyse economic problems and prescribe solutions
    6 Model economic situations in a logical, rigorous, and precise manner
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4, 5, 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4, 5, 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 4 , 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3, 4, 5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Intermediate Microeconomics: A Modern Approach. Hal R. Varian. 8th Edition. W.W.Norton

    Exercise Book:
    Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics. Theodore C. Bergstrom. 8th Edition. W.W.Norton
    Recommended Resources

    Microeconomic References

    The following textbook cannot be used as a substitute for the Varian book. But it may be used as a complement to it, providing further examples and explanations.

    "Microeconomics and Behavior", by Robert H. Frank, McGraw-Hill, 7th Edition

    Math References

    “Mathematics for Economists”, by Carl P. Simon and Lawrence Blume (Norton), 2nd Edition

    “Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics” by Kevin Wainwright and Alpha C. Chiang, McGraw-Hill, 2004 Edition.

    “Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics” by Alpha C. Chiang, McGraw- Hill, 1993 International Edition.

    "Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis" by K. Sydsaeter and P. Hammond, Prentice Hall, 2006 Edition.

    Online Learning

    This course uses MyUni intensively and you are required to check the website regularly. 

    Course material such as lecture notes, lecture recordings, quiz answers and supplementary material for developing your mathematical skills are available on MyUni. Also, a discussion board will be available for questions you may want to ask the lecturer, tutors or other classmates.

    The lecture recordings should be used as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, attending lectures, as lectures will be interactive. Be aware that sometimes due to technical problems recordings may not be available.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The lectures will provide you with the necessary understanding of the material to be able to solve the exercises you will be given during tutorial, assignments or exams. Some examples will be given to illustrate the concepts presented in this course.

    The tutorials will be organised as follows:

    • Your tutor will present the solutions for one of the tutorial exercises you were asked to prepare to illustrate what is expected from you in solving these kinds of problems.
    • Students will then be asked to come to the board and present their work and answers to some of the tutorial exercises. Your tutor will provide assistance if needed and questions and comments from other students are strongly encouraged.
    • At the end of the tutorial, you will be given a short quiz that lasts about 15 minutes.

    Diverse learning styles will be supported by the provision of course materials in a variety of formats. The lecture sessions will be recorded providing an audio-visual resource that can be utilized by students, as well as the written resources of the lecture notes and the textbooks.

    The practical learning approach will be incorporated through the tutorials as described above, as well as through the provision of additional resources such as past-semester assessment tasks. The online discussion board will also provide a dynamic forum for students to share and develop their ideas.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This translates to 12 hours per week for a semester course.

    Learning Activities Summary

    The tentative lecture schedule is presented below. Any major changes to this schedule will be announced in class and on MyUni.

    The text chapters given are for the main text by Varian. The chapter numbers given here are only an indication of relevant readings.

    Week Lecture Topic Text reference
    1 Budget Constraints, Preferences, Axioms Chapter 2,3
    2 IC, MRS and Utility Chapter 3,4
    3 Specific Cases of Utility Chapter 4
    4 Choice Chapter 5
    5 Demand Chapter 6
    6 Slutsky Equation Chapter 8
    7 Mid-semester Test
    8 Technology
    Profit Maximization
    Chapter 18
    Chapter 19
    9 Cost Minimization
    Cost Curves
    Firm Supply
    Chapter 20
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    10 Monopoly
    Monopoly Behaviour
    Chapter 24
    Chapter 25
    11 Oligopoly Chapter 27
    12 Game Theory Chapter 28
    Jun 9 to Jun 13 ‘Optional Teaching Week’ – no classes scheduled for this course
    Jun 16 to Jun 20 SWOT VAC
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course is closely associated with an undergraduate course, ECON2506 Intermediate Microeconomics IIA. The lecture sessions will be shared between students of both courses, however the tutorial sessions will be separate for this course ECON7011 Intermediate Microeconomics IIA D.Although the core material covered in the lectures will be the same for you, there are differences in the expectations for the depth of understanding of the material. Assessment tasks, although similar to the tasks of the undergraduate students, will be different. Make sure that you check you have received the correct documents for the postgraduate class for any assessment task. If you have any queries or concerns about the distinction between your course and the undergraduate course, please raise them at your postgraduate tutorial, or contact the lecturer.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Mid-Semester Test: 20%

    Tutorial Participation: 10%

    Tutorial Quizzes: 20%

    Final Exam: 50%
    Assessment Related Requirements

    1 - Failure to sit the midterm examination will result in receiving zero points, whether amedical certificate is provided or not. The grade of the final examination will then account for 70% of the overall grade.

    2 - To gain a pass, a mark of at least 45% must be obtained on the final examination as well as a total of at least 50% overall. 

    3 - If you are not able to attend tutorials for some medical reasons, you must provide your tutor with a medical certificate. If the medical certificate covers a period longer than a week, you will need to organise some other arrangements with the lecturer in charge.   The same applies if you provide more than two medical certificates  during the semester.The only medical reports that are acceptable are from the Australian registered medical practitioners. The list of these practitioners are at

    4 - Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the midterm and final examinations because of poor hand-writing.

    Assessment Detail
    Mid semester test (Week 7) -- 20%
    Date: Thursday MAY 1st – During lecture time, same locationThis test will assess the topics of Weeks 1-6 (inclusive). It will be 1 hour 50 minutes in length.No calculators are allowed in the midterm test. It
    will consist of mathematical problems and short answer questions, and will also include multiple choice questions. Past mid semester test papers will be available on MyUni, for which no answers will be

    The midterm test is redeemable, which means that if the grade you obtained for the final examination is higher than the one you obtained for the midterm, the final examination grade will account for 70% of your overall grade.

    Failure to sit the midterm test will result in receiving zero points, whether a medical certificate is provided or not. The grade of the final examination will then account for 70% of the overall grade.

    Final Exam -- 50%
    There will be a 3 hour exam. The final exam is comprehensive, i.e. it can cover ALL the topics of this course. It will consist of mathematical problems and short answer questions, and may also include multiple choice questions.

    Tutorial Quizzes -- 20%
    Weekly – except week 1
    The tutorial quizzes component of the assessment will be based on marks  received for short quizzes that will occur in each tutorial (except for the tutorials in week1). Only the best nine of eleven quizzes will
    count.If there is a public holiday on a tutorial day, for that tutorial’s students, the best 8 of 10 quizzes will be counted, due to a public holiday reducing the number of classes.If you provide an appropriate medical certificate to justify your absence in one of your tutorial quizzes, your grades will be adjusted accordingly.

    Tutorial Exercises -- Non-graded
    Weekly – except week 1
    Tutorial exercises will be made available on MyUni during the week prior to the tutorial. You will be asked to prepare some exercises before going to your tutorial. Please be aware that this preparation is important as it will improve your learning during the tutorial and will contribute towards a dynamic environment where students and tutor will interact more actively with one another. These exercises are not to be submitted or graded.

    Tutorial Participation -- 10%
    Weekly Opportunities (To be done once throughout the semester by each student)
    You are required to present the solution to one of the tutorial exercises on the board to receive a grade of up to 5%. You will receive the following marks according to your performance, based on effort and presentation, as well as correctness: 0-no participation, 1-poor, 3-fair, 5-excellent. And furthermore you will be allocated up to 5% for your active participation in the tutorial throughout the semester.

    Here is some clarification on how the tutorial participation marks are to be assessed. The tutor will solve one assigned question for each week (which I will choose). For each additional question, the tutor asks for a volunteer to solve it on the board. After each student presents the question in the tutorial, the tutor will record the student's grade in his/her grade book, and also write the grade on a piece of paper to show the student her grade when the student is done solving on the board. Suppose no student who has not yet presented volunteers to present a question. Only in this case will we allow a student who has already presented to volunteer and come up to the board. The student then has a chance to raise her grade. This is due to time constraints, as we may not have enough questions for every student in the class to present multiple questions for the chance to raise her grade. In general, it is voluntary for students to come and solve a question. However, if there is absolutely no student who wants to solve a particular question (either has or has not presented before), then the tutor will arbitrarily pick a student who HAS NOT  presented before to solve the question.
    1 - Extensions and alternative assessment conditions for students with disabilities: It is your responsibility to contact lecturer, in the first 2 weeks of the semester and provide them with a copy of your Access Plan.

    2 - Quizzes will be handed back during tutorial times. If you were not present during that time, please email your tutor to arrange the collection of your quiz.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.