MA107      Half Unit
Quantitative Methods (Mathematics)

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr James Ward


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Management and BSc in Social Policy and Economics. This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics, BSc in Geography with Economics, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Philosophy and Economics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and Diploma in Accounting and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available to General Course students.


A-level Mathematics (or equivalent).

Students with A-level Mathematics who are confident of their mathematical skills may also consider the full unit MA100 Mathematical Methods.

Course content

The aim of this course is to develop the basic mathematical tools necessary for further study in economics and related disciplines. To this end we focus on: techniques of calculus (differentiation, partial differentiation, optimisation and integration), methods of linear algebra (use of matrices), and the solution of difference and differential equations. The ideas are taught systematically, with emphasis on their application to economic problems. Examples are used throughout the course for motivation and illustration.


Specific topics are as follows: sets, functions, equations, graphs. Difference equations, sequences, limits. Differentiation, inverse functions, exponential and logarithmic functions. Partial differentiation, chain rule, homogeneous functions. Optimisation in two variables: unconstrained and constrained. Lagrange multipliers. Vector notation and convexity. Matrix notation, systems of linear equations, inverse matrices. Integration. Differential equations.


20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 10 hours of workshops in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Written answers to set problems will be expected on a weekly basis.

Indicative reading

The course follows M Anthony & N L Biggs, Mathematics for Economics and Finance: Methods and Modelling, CUP, 1996. A useful background text which is the basis of a follow-on course is A Ostaszewski, Mathematics for Economics: Models and Methods, Blackwell, 1993. There are many other books with titles like Mathematics for Economists but none of them are close enough for use in this course. Further information will be provided in the lectures.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2015/16: 409

Average class size 2015/16: 17

Capped 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

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