Basic Quantitative Methods

Module description


This module aims to bring students without A level Mathematics - or equivalent - up to a sufficient level to enable you to become familiar with those mathematical tools and methods which are used frequently in the economics programmes and modules. In particular this module will show you how they are applied and you will be able to practice this in lectures and tutorials. This is a compulsory module for Business Economics and Economics and Politics students without A level or equivalent. Please check with the module convener if you are unsure whether you need to take this module. This module is only to be taken by first year students.

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:Basic Quantitative Methods
Module code:BEE1035
Module level:1
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Ms Juliette Stephenson - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






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


Module aims

Economic problems are often expressed using mathematical models which are to be formulated, analysed and then confronted with real-world data. In particular we address economics problems with optimisation techniques which require a basic knowledge of calculus. This module aims to bring non-Mathematics A- level students up to a sufficient level to then be able to continue on to BEE1024. The module is therefore the first step in enabling you to become familiar with those mathematical tools and methods which are used frequently in most economic modules and to show they are applied. This module is therefore intended for first year students only.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate developed or improved (revisited) skills in basic arithmetic
  • 2. carry out algebraic manipulations and demonstrate the ability to solve simple optimisation problems.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. demonstrate developed or improved skills including differentiating functions in one or several variables
  • 4. process algebraic manipulations and solve simple optimisation problems specifically with application to economics.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. demonstrate significantly improved numeracy and general quantitative skills;
  • 6. demonstrate 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 & Teaching activities (timetable contact hours)28Lectures (22 x 1 hour) and tutorials (5 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study45Completing and submitting weekly homework exercises
Guided Independent Study73Reading and research including reviewing lectures (using Echo 360) and completion of mock exam paper

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly exercisesTo complete in tutorials and also for homework1-6Written and verbal

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
Examination1002 hours1-6Exam Results

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExam (100%) 2 hours1-6August re-assessment period

Syllabus plan

  • Review of basic arithmetic and algebra - this includes fractions, order of operations, powers, factorisation, solving equations/inequalities, simultaneous equations.
  • Geometric properties of functions, sign diagrams.  
  • Calculus for functions in one variable, differentiation and integration
  • Optimisation with economic applications
  • Revision

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The textbook:

  • Geoff Renshaw 'Maths for Economics'(3rd edit) Oxford, 2012 (comprehensive but also straightforward);
  • Knut Sydsaeter and Peter Hammond 'Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis' (4th edit) Prentice Hall,2012 (this is an excellent text, well written and covers all the maths you need throughout UG courses);
  • Another to consider is Ian Jacques 'Mathematics for Economics and Business'(6th edit), Prentice Hall 2009 (Very accessible and clearly written but lower level). 
  • All are available in the library (if you want to take a look first). However the materials for this course are very comprehensive (plus websites see below) so it is not necessary to buy a textbook.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE –
  • There are companion websites to most of the textbooks you will use in the first year which typically  include relevant Maths Case studies.
  • There is a huge range of self-study resources etc (including links to a range of topics relevant to Economics) at
  • The METAL project (Mathematics for Economics: enhancing Teaching and Learning) have produced videos, guides and question banks

Origin date


Last revision date