Economics (ECON) 248

Macroeconomics (Revision 9)

ECON 248 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online, with (eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Centre: Faculty of Business

ECON 248 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Télé-université du Québec equivalency: ECO 2400.

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**Note: Students registering in grouped study mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


ECON 248 (Macroeconomics), in conjunction with ECON 247 (Microeconomics), provides a basic introduction to the entire discipline of economics. The study of macroeconomics, microeconomics, or both can help all students understand our society better. While microeconomics deals with individual decision makers in households, firms, and governments, macroeconomics deals with aggregates. ECON 248 looks at economy-wide variables, such as inflation, unemployment, balance of international payments, and how government policies affect these variables. If you have never taken a microeconomics course, you should be particularly diligent in studying Unit 1 of ECON 248. It not only provides you with a brief overview of microeconomics but is essential to your understanding of what follows.

ECON 248 deals with both economic theory and policy. For the future economist, theory is absolutely essential because senior economics courses will assume that you have already mastered certain analytical tools routinely used by economists. However, you should not take the parts of this course that deal with current economic issues or policies lightly. Rather, you should see those sections as opportunities to test your new analytical skills. Although you may find the discussion of current economic problems and policies more interesting than abstract theory, you should remember that even simple theoretical tools can help develop your understanding of the solutions to real-world problems.

In order to develop this understanding of economic issues and theories, you will need to learn the following:

  • Economic definitions, such as how economists use terms like investment, money, and unemployment.
  • Economic facts, such as what the powers and responsibilities of the Bank of Canada are.
  • Analytical tools, such as how economists determine the relationship between investment and unemployment.

Finally, economics is a quantitative discipline. By its very nature, it deals with numbers and requires some understanding of mathematics. There are no prerequisites for ECON 248.


  • Unit 1: Introduction to Economics
  • Unit 2: Monitoring Macroeconomic Trends and Fluctuations
  • Unit 3: Macroeconomic Trends: The Real Economy
  • Unit 4: Macroeconomic Trends: The Money Economy
  • Unit 5: Macroeconomic Fluctuations
  • Unit 6: Macroeconomic Policy


To receive credit for ECON 248, you must receive a grade of 50 percent or higher on the final examination and achieve an overall grade of at least D (50 percent) for the entire course. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on the activities listed below. These activities are weighted as follows:

Activity Weighting
6 Quizzes worth (5% each) 30%
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Final Exam 50%
Total 100%

In response to COVID-19 containment directives, temporary online exam(s) are available for this course.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Parkin, M. & Bade, R. (2016). Macroeconomics: Canada in the global environment (9th ed.). Toronto: Pearson Canada Inc. ISBN: 9780321931207

You can acquire a print version of the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the ECON 248 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 9, December 7, 2016.

View previous syllabus