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Fundamentals of Economics

Develop your knowledge of key economic concepts and learn how to analyse the financial markets and global economic issues.

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Discover the economic theories that can lead to a better economy

Understanding at least the basic mechanisms of a nation’s economy is essential if we are to be better-informed citizens and voters.

On this four-week course from Sentinel|9, you’ll learn about the fundamental principles of economic theories, models, and tools employed by the government, firms, and other stakeholders to manage the economy.

Explore key concepts of micro- and macroeconomics

The study of economics can be broken into two major areas: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics looks into issues of the individual people and firms within the economy. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, looks at the total output of a nation and the way the nation allocates its limited resources.

You’ll look at the principles of economics and the various theories before learning the concepts and tools of both macro- and microeconomic analysis. You’ll then learn how to apply these to relevant industries by examining real-world case studies.

Delve into monetary policy and fiscal policy and how they affect the economy

This course will guide you through both monetary and fiscal policy, why they are both important, who determines them, and the effects they can have on each other and the economy. Through this, you’ll also gain insights into the relationship between the bank and the government and market failures.

Examine the causes and effects of trade barriers

Trade barriers are measures that governments or public authorities introduce that prevent or restrict overseas trade and investment. As a result of these measures, domestic companies receive a competitive advantage.

During the final week of this course, you’ll explore the different types of trade barriers, from tariffs to taxation. You’ll also look at how exchange rates work and the effect they can have on the economy.


  • Week 1

    General concepts and microeconomics

    • General concepts and microeconomics part 1

      Explore concepts around economics, and microeconomics in particular.

    • Equilibrium and elasticity

      What do we mean by equilibrium and elasticity and what is disequilibrium?

  • Week 2

    Micro and macroeconomics

    • General concepts and microeconomics part 2

      We continue our exploration of the general concepts of economics, as well as microeconomics.

    • Gross Domestic Product and macroeconomics

      Delving deeper into this topic.

    • Macroeconomics

      Explore concepts around macroeconomics

  • Week 3

    Economic policies - natural market failure

    • Economic policies / natural market failure part 1

      We explore the monetary policies set by different regulatory bodies, as well as natural market failure.

    • Economic policies / natural market failure part 2

      We continue our exploration of the monetary policies set by different regulatory bodies, as well as natural market failure.

  • Week 4

    Exchange rates, trade barriers and sub-branches of micro- and macroeconomics

    • Other economics - exchange rates and trade barriers

      An exchange rate is a rate at which one currency can be exchanged for another.

    • Sub-branches of micro- and macroeconomics

      Financial economics is the branch of economics characterised by a "concentration on monetary activities".

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop a high-level understanding of the basic principles of economics and international trade.
  • Assess and use theories, concepts and tools of economic analysis for applications in the relevant industries.
  • Assess and evaluate the complex forces that affect the economic wellbeing of consumers, producers and the community in the market system.
  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge of economics in investigating the issues related to organisations and countries and the formulation of appropriate economic solutions and economic policies.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about economics. It will be especially useful for students, business professionals, and those working in local or national government.

Who developed the course?


Sentinel|9 is an education content provider. They provide university-level content independently to offer a different pace of learning for individuals and institutions. They have a dynamic content library and Learning Management System (LMS) which is suitable for online, blended and face-to-face delivery.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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