EC206NU-Intermediate Mathematics for Economics

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Simon Burke


Type of module:

Summary module description:

NUIST Module Lead: Dr. Yan Li           Email:

The module will make use of the introduction to mathematical techniques covered in Part 1 and present a further range of methods and their economic applications. Other core and elective modules in the various Economics programmes will make use of this material and provide further applications in their own context.


Students will become familiar with the idea that mathematics can be used to describe and extend economics in a rigorous fashion. The precision of this approach and the breadth of application to economics of the different mathematical techniques will be emphasised throughout.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module students should be able to: understand economic theory which makes use of basic mathematical techniques involving, e.g., optimisation under constraints, linear algebra. They will solve a range of economic problems which are formulated in mathematical terms.

They will be able to follow the mathematical content of the core modules in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, and those electives that are more mathematical in content.

Additional outcomes:

Students will have a better-developed sense of the precision involved in formulating economic models rigorously. Weaknesses in their numeracy and mathematical skills should have been eliminated through practice with class exercises.

Outline content:

The module concentrates on those areas of calculus and linear algebra that are widely used in economic applications. The topics covered may include, but are not limited to: Economic applications of differentiation and integration. Optimisation with several variables. Revision of properties of the exponential and logarithm functions and their use in economics. Constrained optimisation in economics and Lagrangian techniques. The use of matrices to describe economic systems, matrix multiplicatio n, inversion, the eigenvalue problem and the spectral decomposition of a matrix. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The lectures are a formal presentation of mathematical techniques and their economic applications. Handouts are distributed to assist students, and lecture slides are available in advance. Classes review a series of exercises and economic applications of the material.  These must be attempted beforehand. The class tutor and lecturers are available in their feedback and consultation hours to provide further assistance.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 64
Tutorials 16
Project Supervision 16
Guided independent study: 104
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour unseen written paper.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There will be one Mid-term test (20% of overall mark) and 4~8 progress tests held in the term in which the module is taught (20% of overall mark).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum overall mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-assessment is by examination only; coursework is not included at the second attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.

Last updated: 25 January 2021


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