Mathematics for Economists

Module description


This module aims to make you familiar with those mathematical tools and methods which are used frequently in most economics courses and to show you how they are applied.


Additional Information:


Mathematics is a global language, so the technical skills students acquire in this module can be used internationally.


By solving statistical mathematical problems and exercises, students are equipped with practical problem-solving skills, theoretical skills, and an understanding of mathematical relationships. All of these are highly valuable to employers.


All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

Full module specification

Module title:Mathematics for Economists
Module code:BEE1024
Module level:1
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Giancarlo Ianulardo - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEE1035 or A-level Mathematics (or equivalent)


Non-Req - Cannot be taken with BEA1010 or at the same time as BEE1035.

Not available to 2nd year AF students or Maths students

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

Economic problems are often expressed using mathematical models. Therefore we introduce models which are to be formulated, analysed and then confronted with real-world data. This module aims to make students familiar with those mathematical tools and methods which are used frequently in most economic modules and to demonstrate how they are applied.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. develop the skills to differentiate functions in several variables and solve definite and indefinite integrals;
  • 2. solve basic systems of equations using matrix algebra;
  • 3. apply mathematical tools to solve economic optimisation problems.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. formulate microeconomic problems in a more rigorous formal language;
  • 5. translate in a formal language microeconomic and macroeconomic problems;
  • 6. manipulate and solve systems of equations using matrix algebra techniques that are essential for econometrics;

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. be numerically confident and have the ability for logical and structured problem analysis.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity10Tutorials
Guided Independent Study118Reading, research, reflection; Preparation for assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
ExercisesWeekly1-7In-class solutions and posted feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mid-Term Exam3040 minutes1-7Exam result
Examination7090 minutes1-7Exam result

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Mid-Term Exam (30%) & Final Examination (70%)Examination (100%), 90 minutes1-7August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

This is an indicative outline (further details will be available in lecture 1)
• Partial derivatives for multivariate functions (week 1)
• Unconstrained optimization and applications (week 2-3)
• Constrained optimization and applications (week 4-5)
• Second order conditions (week 6)
• Logarithms and exponential functions (week 7)
• Vectors and matrices (week 8-9)
• Determinants (week 10)
• Revision (week 11)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Sydsaeter K. and P. J. Hammond, (2016), Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis 5th ed., Prentice Hall.

Geoff Renshaw, (2016), Maths for Economics 4th ed., Oxford University Press.

Jacques I., (2018), Mathematics for Economics and Business, 9th ed., Addison-Wesley. 

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Origin date


Last revision date