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ECO1010 : Mathematics for Economics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Robert Anderson
  • Lecturer: Dr Grega Smrkolj, Dr Chris Walsh
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To develop students ability to apply basic mathematical techniques in economic analysis.

Economics is an essentially quantitative subject. If we are to have a significant understanding of how individuals, corporations and societies confront the problems posed by the scarcity of resources, then it is essential that we should be in a position to analyse the quantitative relationship between key economic variables. In turn, this means that in order to be able to conduct this sort of quantitative analysis we must have access to a basic kit of mathematical tools. This course therefore aims to provide students with such a kit. In particular, the course covers essential mathematical topics such as sets, functions and equations, as well as differential and integral calculus. The focus throughout is on the application of mathematical methods in the analysis of economic problems.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline of syllabus:
1. Numbers and sets
2. Linear functions
3. Quadratic and polynomial functions
4. Limits and inequalities
5. Differentiation
6. Univariate optimisation
7. Exponents and logarithms
8. Natural numbers
9. Growth and discounting
10. Integration
11. Matrix algebra
12. Partial Derivatives
13. Multivariate optimisation
14. Constrained optimisation

Note: A revision of arithmetic, algebra, and the basic mathematical principles of linear, quadratic and polynomial functions will be covered in the not-for-credit module ECO1910. Students who are uncomfortable with maths or who have not studied mathematics in the last two-years should attend this partner module.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading170:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00PiP seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study148:0048:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide a detailed development of key mathematical ideas and techniques along with their application to the analysis of economic problems. Small-group seminars provide an opportunity to discuss and demonstrate the application of these key mathematical tools. The feedback opportunity these seminars provide is vital to ensuring a solid foundation of the key topics on which the module builds as it progresses. Given the nature of economics as a largely quantitative subject, a sound grounding in mathematics provided by both lectures and a number of topic specific small-group sessions is therefore essential to achieve the learning outcomes of the module.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1802A80Invigilated exam. If PiP activity is problematic, will be 24-take home paper.
Digital Examination601A16NUMBAS online exam - invigilated on campus
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M2Seminar problem sets
Prob solv exercises2M2Seminar problem sets
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MN/A
Prob solv exercises2MN/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In addition to the examples given in lectures, additional problem solving exercises are available on Canvas, together providing formative assessment and feedback for students to engage with as part of their learning, and in preparation for the seminars.

The continuous summative assessment component not only provides additional practice of important concepts learnt throughout the course, but enables students' to gauge their understanding and encourage self-study of the course material, as the difficultly level builds through the course.

The semester one online PC examination is used as a temperature check, and also a consolidation point, for students understanding, prior to the more advanced material developed in semester two.

The final written exam tests the overall knowledge learnt and allows students to demonstrates their ability in applying the mathematics skills learnt to a range of economic problems. This is undertaken in a timed invigilated examination environment, as this is best suited to assessing the learning objectives so ensuring the required standard of mathematics is achieved to enable completion of later stages of an economics related degree programme.

In the case of an alternative assessment for semester 2 (80% of the module mark) being necessary due to circumstances, the Module Leader will in discussion with the DPD and the University, discuss possible acceptable online alternatives, such as a take home exam delivered online with a set time limit to complete (24 hours or less as deemed appropriate).

Standard resits will be 100% exam.

Reading Lists