MA108      Half Unit
Methods in Calculus and Linear Algebra

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

To be determined


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Finance. This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Philosophy and Economics and BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

This is an introductory level course for those who wish to use mathematics seriously in finance or economics. A range of basic mathematical concepts and methods in calculus of one and several variables and in linear algebra are covered and some applications illustrated. It is an essential pre-requisite for any mathematically orientated economics options and for many further mathematics courses. Topics covered: One-variable calculus including inverse functions, local inverses, critical points, optimisation, integration and differential equations, Functions of several variables including derivatives, gradients, tangent hyperplanes, directional derivatives, classification of critical points, convexity, concavity, unconstrained optimisation and Lagrange's method, Matrices including determinants, reduced row echelon form and rank, Systems of linear equations including Gaussian elimination and analysis of solution sets, Vector spaces including subspaces, linear independence, linear span, basis and dimension, Linear transformations including diagonalisation. Some applications of the above topics.


20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 10 hours of workshops in the AT.

This course is delivered through a combination of lectures, example sessions (workshops), and classes, totalling a minimum of 40 hours across Autumn Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to attempt a number of weekly self-study exercises (and check their answers using solutions provided) in preparation for their classes. Homework will be submitted weekly to the appropriate class teacher for marking and feedback. In addition, Home Assignments with Exam-Style Questions will be submitted for marking and feedback at regular intervals throughout the year. Success in this paper depends on dealing with the written work as it is assigned, in a regular and systematic manner.

Indicative reading

Ken Binmore & Joan Davies, Calculus, Concepts and Methods; Martin Anthony & Michele Harvey, Linear Algebra, Concepts and Methods.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the January exam period.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Capped 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills