Module code: ECOM025

Module provider


Module Leader

PASCOA M Prof (Economics)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 20

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module looks at the firm and the industrial environment in which it operates. It asks why the firm exists and how it chooses to organise itself, before considering some of the factors that affect its performance and how these are related to the market structure in which it operates.

An important influence on the firm is the structure of the market in which the firm works. This will affect the products and the process that the firm selects – and the profits it earns. At the same time, of course, the firm may take actions that affect this market structure to its advantage. Thus, we want to ask how the firm’s performance is affected by the market it is in. this has important competition and industrial policy implications.

Module aims

provide an economic approach to an understanding of businesses and their principal elements. Companies are complex organisations, their managers constantly make decisions that affect the economic viability of the firms in which they operate. Why do some companies succeed and others fail, how can management reverse the fortunes of declining firms, what allows emerging companies to be successful in highly competitive industries?

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Recognise of the importance of economics when considering business issues    P
Understand why firms exist and why they may operate under different market structures   C
Recognise the constraints of firm size   K
Know what price / non-price strategies can used by the firm  C

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Industrial organisation and the firm
Market structures and the firm; monopoly, competition and oligopoly
Firms’ price strategies
Product differentiation, horizontal integration and diversification
Vertical integration
Entry and exit
Corporate governance

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Usually, in the first hour of each lecture, the lecturer gives a formal presentation of a new topic, closely related but not entirely following what students may find in the recommended readings. Then, in the second hour, students have the chance to interact with the lecturer by solving together problem sets that were posted before on Surrey Learn. Such two sided way of organizing the lectures is intended to make students acquainted with the lecturer personal views on the different topics, reflecting his experience and research, while giving at the same time the opportunity to practise in class many relevant exercises and discuss with the lecturer and classmates some questions that may have come about while studying independently before the class. Thus, students have an incentive to keep up to date with the material by preparing for that second hour interactive session that takes place every week.

The learning and teaching methods include:

2 hour lecture per week x 10 weeks

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate they can handle the most important issues in Economics of the firm at an reasonably demanding analytical level.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of

A long piece of coursework - take home, individual, with 3 weeks to do it, with a recommended word limit of 3000 words. Typically due week 9.

An examination, consisting of essay and/or problem-solving questions, with a duration of 100 minutes, scheduled in weeks 13-15.

These assessments are designed to let the student demonstrate learning outcomes have been met.

Formative assessment and feedback

In every lecture, the second half is devoted to going over solutions to problems posted on Surrey Learn. The small dimension of the students class allows for solving these problems in an interactive way. 

Reading list

Reading list for ECONOMICS OF THE FIRM :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.