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Mathematics for Economists - ECO00020C

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  • Department: Economics and Related Studies
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jorgen Kratz
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module introduces key topics and methods in mathematics that are relevant to the study of economics.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

To introduce some of the ways in which mathematics is used in the study of economics, and to ensure sufficient grounding for the mathematical aspects of core economics modules in Stages 2-3.

Module learning outcomes

Familiarity with and understanding of the main mathematical techniques used in economics and their typical applications.

Module content

  • Set theory and logic

  • Sequences

    • Difference equations

    • Geometric progressions

    • Discounting and present value

    • Continuous growth

    • Convergence and oscillation

  • Linear algebra

    • Vector and matrix operations

    • Solving systems of linear equations using Gaussian elimination and inverses

    • Linear independence

    • Linear transformations

    • Determinants

    • Eigenvalues and eigenvectors

  • Optimisation

    • Quadratic forms, definiteness and convexity

    • Extreme points and stationarity

    • Gradients and level sets

    • Unconstrained optimisation

    • Constrained optimisation with multiple equality and inequality constraints (Kuhn-Tucker)

  • Additional topics required for 2nd and 3rd year modules


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Mathematics for Economists
3 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

1 formative assessment due in Week 10. It consists of a problem set to which students must submit solutions. The problems will be designed in a way that prepares students for the exam.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Mathematics for Economists
3 hours 100

Module feedback

The students will receive marks on the summative assessment.

They will also be provided with a mark breakdown on the summative exam and worked solutions. Students will be provided with problem sets which they can use to evaluate how well they have understood the materials. There will also be a formative assessment where students will submit solutions to a problem set and receive feedback.

Indicative reading

“Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics” by Alpha C. Chiang. Ideally the 4th edition (2005), but the 3rd edition (1984) would work as well.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.