ECN100 What is Economics?

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Erlend Dancke Sandorf

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:The course is open only for first year bachelor students in Economics.

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:125 hours: Compulsory participation 50 hours, 75 hours for reading and writing discussion note.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.

About this course

ECN100 provides a taste of several central topics in economics aiming to give students a good overview of the field and relevant courses at the School of Economics and Business and NMBU. The focus in the course is on neo-classical economics, but throughout the course we will point out areas where neo-classical economics is being challenged.

You will get a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts and terms in economics such as markets, agents, resources, rationality, equilibria, and models.

In ECN100 you will continue to work with questions raised in ECN180 Global Challenges I: Economics and Sustainability and you will learn how economics can be relevant to reach some of the UN’s 17 sustainability goals.

One of the goals of ECN100 is to build a professional and social affiliation and a safe learning environment. Therefore, learning activities will center around student involvement and group work. The course is evaluated "Pass/Not pass" based on a term paper written together with other students.

Learning outcome


  • Have a general overview of the field and knowledge about central topics in economics
  • Deep knowledge about at least one of the UN’s sustainability goals
  • Insight into important challenges related to this sustainability goal where economics is particularly relevant
  • Understand central economic concepts such as markets, actors, resources, rationality, equilibria, and models


  • Be able to use digital tools to collect information and critically assess different sources.
  • Be able to analyze and discuss a complex problem and demonstrate how economics can be relevant to deal with this new question
  • Be able to make a written and oral presentation of the analysis

General competence:

  • Be able to make a written and oral presentation of the analysis
  • Lectures, self-study using research papers and book, overnight field trip, group work, and writing course.
  • Lectures, supervision of term paper, course in academic writing, course in use of a reference manager and literature search, seminars.
  • Term paper (100%). Written in groups of 2-3 students. Assessed as "Pass / Not pass"

    Assignment Grading: Passed / Not Passed
  • An external examiner will control the curriculum and assessment method.
  • Mandatory class attendance in 90 % of all lectures and seminars. Attendance at the field trip. All mandatory assignments must be submitted and passed. 5 of 6 multiple choice quizzes must be passed. Group presentation of the term paper. All mandatory activities are only valid in the semester the course is taken.
  • The course is open only for bachelor students in Economics.
  • 2x2 hours of lectures per week.
  • ECN101 Economics for Environment and Development - 5 ECTS
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).