Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Economics 1A ECON1001

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Economics 1A, together with Economics 1B, teaches the basic principles of economics. Economics 1A focuses on the fundamental principles and microeconomics, i.e. the role of the market mechanism for resource allocation followed by considerations of its limitations. In addition, an optional mathematical component is delivered as part of this course. Students who have not studied Maths to Higher/A Level or equivalent (typically 5-6 years of secondary education) and intend to pursue the subject at level 2 are recommended to complete this optional component.


Lectures: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays (and occasionally Wednesday) 2.00-3.00pm and repeated at 3.00-4.00pm.

Tutorials are held at various times and can be selected on MyCampus.

The course also includes 6 hours of lectures and 3 seminars on Introductory Mathematical Economics (IME). This component is optional and will be particularly important for students who have not studied Mathematics to Higher, A Level or equivalent. Following enrolment, students will be able to take a short test which will help them to decide whether or not to attend classes for this component.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses



1-hour In-course examination (25%) and 2-hour degree examination (75%). The In-course examination assesses the Microeconomics component of the course. The Introductory Mathematical Economics (IME) component is optional in Economics 1A and is not formally assessed.





Word length/duration


In-course examination


1 hour

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The general aims of this course are to:

■ provide an overall introduction to economics as being principally concerned with dealing with the problems of the allocation of scarce resources and insights into how the concept of 'opportunity cost' is reflected in economist's view of the world;

■ to enhance the understanding of the economic aspects of current affairs; 

■ provide a foundation for further study of economics;

■ encourage you to take responsibility for your own learning (self-directed learning), and to acquire skills relevant to a wide range of situations beyond this course: how to think analytically, to express yourself clearly and directly.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. analyse and explain opportunity cost and how the market mechanism allocates scarce resources  i.e. supply and demand analysis; 

2. explain consumer behaviour utilising the framework of budget lines and indifference curves;

3. deploy graphical techniques and basic algebra to illustrate analyse and explain economic phenomena e.g. the interpretation of the different market conditions under which companies decide upon their optimal pricing and output decisions;

4. explain the role and function of the main factor markets;

5. explain the various forms of market failure and the role and rationale for government intervention and its impacts;

6. demonstrate an ability to construct a focused argument based on coherent general economic principles that address contemporary microeconomic issues;

7. demonstrate skills based on data interpretation and numeracy;

8. explain economic issues, problems and solutions to non-economists.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits