Posted: June 4th, 2015

The UK supermarket sector has been described as oligopolistic. Show that this is true (or otherwise) by using appropriate concepts.

Coursework assignment 2 – an individual written report worth 70% of your total module mark.



Essential Reading


Curwen J and Slater R   (2002) Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions, 5th ed, Thompson


(Referred to as C&S in the teaching plan)


Begg D, Fischer S, Dornbusch R (2010) Economics 9th ed. Mc Graw-Hill


Library reference: 330BEG/ 2103185961


(Referred to as B in the teaching plan)


Sloman J, Hinde K and Garrett D (2010) Economics for Business, 5th ed, FT/Prentice Hall


An Online version is available in the University


Library reference: 330.024658


(Referred to as S in the teaching plan)



Key journals

The Economist                                 



Web references

            Office of National Statistics (UK)  

            Bank of England:                            

            European Central Bank                 

            The Financial Times                        

            International Monetary Fund       





The following table is the teaching plan including the topics and references from the recommended texts.


Learning Week Topic Chapters
1 The market; demand, supply and price B 3&4, S 4&5
2 Market structures and their measurement B 8&9, S 11&12
3 Making sense of Data
4 Index numbers, correlation and regression C&S 7&8
5 Probability, expected values and decision trees C&S 8
6 Assignment preparation  
7 Business objectives/ principal agent theory S 3&14
8 The macro-economy and GDP B19&20, S26,
9 The circular flow of money B19,20&21, S26, 30
10 Inflation and Unemployment B26&27, S 29
11 Supply side policies B16&17, S18,20, 21&31
12 Assignment preparation and feedback  






Analysis of the Business Environment

Coursework Assignment


Submission of Coursework


Unless explicitly stated otherwise in writing by the module leader, all coursework on this module is submitted via Blackboard only. It will automatically be scanned through a text matching system (designed to check for possible plagiarism).








Advice for Coursework Preparation


Suggested Structure:


  • Very short introduction outlining what your assignment contains
  • Answer the questions and draw the conclusion for each question set.
  • Include any excel work as a numbered appendix which can be referred to in the text. Include any relevant graph/ table in the text (but no excel work)
  • All graphs must have labelled axes, abbreviations must be explained
  • References/ bibliography





No need for “Executive Summary”, “List of Contents”, “Objectives”, etc.




Use Arial font type at size 11. Double-space each line (select “Format”, select “Paragraph” and change from “Single” line spacing to “Double”).



Submission Checklist:


Have I provided a word count (select “Tools”, select “Word Count”)?

Have I numbered the pages of my assignment (select “Insert”, select “Page numbers”)?



The following is a guide relating to how the assignment will be assessed in terms of the mark awarded.



80%+ An outstanding answer in every regard, with exceptional command of the material.   Nothing more could reasonably be expected of the student within the constraints under which work was prepared
70 – 79% An excellent answer with a high level of critical analysis, excellent referencing and evidence of wide knowledge of the subject, sound and original conclusions and high quality presentation.
60 – 69% A sound answer to the set question showing good knowledge of the subject and displaying a well-rounded and critical understanding of the issues involved.   Detailed mark depends on how well the criteria have been met and the standard of presentation
50 – 59% The answer tends to be more descriptive than analytical and while the information is provided it is not always relevant to the question. A basic understanding of the subject is however still shown but there is little critical discussion. Again, detailed mark depends on how well the criteria have been met and the standard of presentation
40 – 49% Some information and discussion relevant to the question provided, but the approach is muddled or incomplete. While some elements of the question are answered, the basic knowledge level is insufficient. However, in some cases, a pass standard could be reached with relatively slight improvement. In others, fundamental aspects of the question may be missed or major areas of the subject may be absent with no indication of a real grip of the issues involved.
Less than 39% An outright fail due to failing to understand or answer the question set.   The work provides little relevant information and is unstructured.










Analysis of the Business Environment referral coursework (2014-15)


This assignment is worth 70% of the overall module mark


Q1: The recent fall in oil prices has been described as either a big tax cut or a contributor to potential deflation in the UK. Using the attached Economist article (15th Feb 2015) “British Monetatary Policy/ The Wrong Target?” as a starting point, evaluate both arguments and present your conclusions.




Q2: The UK supermarket sector has been described as oligopolistic. Show that this is true (or otherwise) by using appropriate concepts.


Oligopolistic markets often suffer from collusion. The attached article from the Economist (15th Feb 2015), “Guaranteed profits” suggests that price matching is a form of tacit collusion. Using this article as a starting point, research this and present your case.




Total = 100%


Word count limit Q1: 1750

Word count limit Q2: 1750


The answers should be in the form of a short report and should be quite separate, therefore they should include an introduction and conclusion but an executive summary is not required. Any charts or graphs should be in the body of the report and not in appendices.


The answers should be fully referenced (referencing may be either Harvard or “footnotes” in Word). You may include a Bibliography.


Both questions 1&2 require you to do your own research and to provide substantial original work in the answers. Quotations are acceptable but must not be extensive. Wholesale copying from texts (even when referenced or as quotations) will result in failure.

The assignment must be submitted electronically on Turnitin (same instructions as assignment 1).


  1. I have uploaded the instruction and 2 websites ( these websites you have to read and study carefully) that my tutor has provided to me. Also all lecture slides that I have learnt


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