Basic Quantitative Methods

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sally Barton


This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance and BSc in Government and Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


GCSE or AS-level Mathematics (or equivalent).

Students with A-level Mathematics (or equivalent) should take MA107 Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) or MA100 Mathematical Methods.

Course content

The course is designed to provide students with the elementary mathematical tools that are needed to study Economics. Students will be introduced to basic mathematical concepts and manipulations. Examples of applying these techniques to a variety of economical and management problems are given throughout the course. Content - Part A: Arithmetic operations, powers and roots; basic algebra; introduction to linear programming; logarithms and exponential growth; sets, functions and graphs; differentiation of functions of one variable; marginal cost and marginal revenue; optimisation of functions of one variable; difference equations; equilibrium and stability in dynamical models. Content - Part B: Introduction to integration; consumer and producer surplus; matrix algebra; systems of linear equations; functions of several variables; partial differentiation; optimisation and the Lagrange multiplier method.


20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 10 hours of workshops in the MT. 22 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 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 will be mostly taught from the lecturers' notes. The following books can provide additional material: T Bradley & P Patton, Essential Mathematics for Economics and Business; E T Dowling, Mathematics for Economists (Schaum's Outline Series); I Jacques, Mathematics for Economics and Business; M Rosser, Basic Mathematics for Economists; M Anthony & N L Biggs, Mathematics for Economics and Finance: Methods and Modelling, CUP, 1996.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2018/19: 11

Average class size 2018/19: 11

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills