SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Intermediate Mathematics for Economists

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1 or Year 2
Taught in:
Full Year

This module offers a survey of applied mathematical analysis useful for intermediate and advanced economic theory.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • demonstrate understanding of derivatives, rules of differentiation, partial derivatives, differentials and total differentials, higher order derivatives, their uses and applications.
  • find unconstrained and constrained optima for multivariate functions and use these techniques to solve problems in economics.
  • understand indefinite integrals and apply them to economic problems.
  • understand differential equations and difference equations and apply them to economic problems
  • apply matrix and vector operations.
  • solve systems of equations using matrix algebra.
  • use Jacobian determinants to test for functional dependence

Scope and syllabus

1. Derivatives

2. Multivariable Optimisation

3. Multivariable Constrained optimisation

4. Integration

5.-6. Differential equations

7.-9. Matrix algebra

10. Hessian and bordered hessian

Method of assessment

Formative Assessment

Weekly online quizzes accessible via Moodle and weekly tutorial exercises solved in small tutorial groups

Assessment weighting: Exam paper (80%), mid-term assignment (10%), end of term assignment (10%)

Suggested reading

Core Reading:

Chian, A.C. and K. Wainwright (2005) Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics, Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill.

Additional Reading: 

Jacques, I. (2009) Mathematics for Economics and Business, 5th Edition, Prentice Hall.

Wisniewski, M. (2003) Mathematics for Economics, 3rd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.  


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules