SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Business Mathematics

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2022/2023
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2

This module provides an introduction to the use of mathematics in the study and practice of finance, business and management.  The module begins with a review of basic mathematical operations and then covers the following topics: summarising and analysing data, including sales revenue, income and bank balance sheets; the use of percentages, calculations of discounts and sales growth, indexes, compound interest and discounting, net present value, graphs and charts (including quadratic functions), probability and frequency distributions, basic statistics, using mathematics to model business and economic relationships e.g. costs, revenue, demand and profit. 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Solve fractions, decimals and percent problems
  • Apply basic mathematics to solve business application problems
  • Be able to calculate basic economic indexes
  • Apply a variety of interest formula for investment appraisal
  • Graph a linear equation and solve a system of simultaneous linear equations
  • Graph functions and explain graphical results
  • Comprehend probability, discrete and continuous probability distributions
  • Explain the normal distribution, empirical rule and z­score tables
  • Apply business statistics where applicable to back up your arguments
  • Accurately translate descriptive problems into mathematical formulas; and
  • Increase economic and financial literacy toward basic business studies and real-life issues


The course is taught via a two-hour Lecture and a one-hour Tutorial each week during Term 2 and a Revision Class in Term 3. Learning mathematics is like learning a language; it requires constant practise.  It is very important to attend the lectures and tutorials and complete the weekly exercises.  Doing so will stand you in good stead for the coursework tests and the exam.  Please note that attendance at tutorials and the completion of tutorial exercises are compulsory.

Method of assessment

  • Unseen examination paper (60%)
  • Two tests tailored after CIMA professional exams (40%)

Suggested reading

Core Reading
  • Francis, Andre and Mousley, Ben (2014) Business Mathematics and Statistics, Cengage Learning, UK
  • Jacques, Ian (2013) Mathematics for Economics and Business, 7th Edition, Pearson, England.
  • Clendenen, Gary and Salzman, Stanley (2015) Business Mathematics, 13th Edition (Global Edition), Pearson, England

All set texts are available in the SOAS library as E-Books.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules