Microeconomics: An Introduction (Online)


Students on this course will develop their understanding of the technical aspects of Microeconomics such as opportunity cost, supply and demand, consumer and firm optimisation, market power and market failure.

Listen to Dr Sangaralingam Ramesh talking about the course

Microeconomics: an introduction will equip students with the technical skills with which they will be able to understand how consumers and firms make everyday consumption and production decisions. In this case the course will ensure that students are able to relate fundamental microeconomic theory with daily economic activity. The course will also allow students to develop critical thinking skills by considering the case of market failure which occurs in sharp contrast to traditional microeconomic theory. In this case students will learn that despite the notion that supply and demand are determined by the market, there are cases of missing markets where government intervention is required to substitute for the price mechanism. Students will also be able to use the knowledge gained on this course to everyday circumstances. Furthermore, this course will give students a solid foundation which they can use to progress to higher level studies in Microeconomics as well as being able to apply knowledge gained on the course to other online courses such as Globalisation, the New Economic Powers and Introduction to Macroeconomics.

For information on how the courses work, please click here.

Programme details

Unit 1: Market Institutions

  • The meaning of markets
  • The development and expansion of markets
  • The institutional requirements of markets
  • Types of markets

Unit 2: Supply and demand

  • The theory of supply
  • The theory of demand
  •  The theory of market adjustment
  • Topics in market analysis

Unit 3: Working with supply and demand

  • How much money will sales bring in?
  • The price elasticity of demand
  • The price elasticity of supply
  • Income, price and buyer behaviour

Unit 4: Production costs

  • The production process
  • Economic costs
  • The production function
  • Costs of production

Unit 5: Product decisions

  • The nature of capital stocks
  • Marginal thinking
  • Discrete decision making
  • Financial capital as an input to production
  • Competitive equilibrium

Unit 6: Perfect competition

  • Understanding market power and competition
  • Perfect competition
  • Efficiency and equity in the case of perfect competition
  • Deadweight loss

Unit 7: Markets and market power

  • The production process
  • Economic costs
  • The production function
  • Costs of production

Unit 8: Markets for labour

  • Thinking about markets for labour
  • Labour supply
  • Explaining variation in wages
  • Labour in the traditional neoclassical model

Unit 9: Market failure and government policy

  • Market failure
  • The economics of the environment
  • Regional and urban policy
  • Social policy

Unit 10: Monopoly and mergers policy, competition policy and regulation

  • Mergers and the public interest
  • The control of mergers and acquisitions
  • Privatisation
  • Regulation and deregulation

We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.


Credit Application Transfer Scheme (CATS) points 

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £30 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £30 fee. 

See more information on CATS point

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education, you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee. 


Digital credentials

All students who pass their final assignment, whether registered for credit or not, will be eligible for a digital Certificate of Completion. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so. 

Please note that assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail. 


Description Costs
Course Fee £385.00
Take this course for CATS points £30.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:


Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Sangaralingam Ramesh

Sangaralingam Ramesh is an Economics Tutor in the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford and a Senior Teaching Fellow in Economics at University College London, UK. He has been an Associate Professor in Economics at the Université Paris Dauphine GBD and Economics Module Leader at Kings College London

Assessment methods

You will be set two pieces of work for the course. The first of 500 words is due halfway through your course. This does not count towards your final outcome but preparing for it, and the feedback you are given, will help you prepare for your assessed piece of work of 1,500 words due at the end of the course. The assessed work is marked pass or fail.

English Language Requirements

We do not insist that applicants hold an English language certification, but warn that they may be at a disadvantage if their language skills are not of a comparable level to those qualifications listed on our website. If you are confident in your proficiency, please feel free to enrol. For more information regarding English language requirements please follow this link: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/english-language-requirements


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an Enrolment form for short courses | Oxford University Department for Continuing Education

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.