EC115-4-FY-CO:
Methods of Economic Analysis

The details
2020/21
Economics
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Current
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
30
24 August 2020

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
EC100 or EC111
(none)
MA101

 

EC251, EC262, EC322, EC368, EC371, EC372, EC383

Key module for

BA 0F66 Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA L100 Economics,
BA L102 Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L106 Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC 0E45 Economics (Including Placement Year),
BSC L101 Economics,
BSC L103 Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L107 Economics (Including Year Abroad),
MECNL130 Economics,
MECNLA30 Economics (Including Placement Year),
MECNLA31 Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA 5A84 Financial Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA L111 Financial Economics,
BA L118 Financial Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L195 Financial Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC 0Q64 Financial Economics (Including Placement Year),
BSC L114 Financial Economics,
BSC L117 Financial Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L194 Financial Economics (Including Year Abroad),
MECNL131 Financial Economics,
MECNLB31 Financial Economics (Including Placement Year),
MECNLB32 Financial Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA 9O47 International Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA L115 International Economics,
BA L160 International Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L163 International Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC 5H18 International Economics (Including Placement Year),
BSC L116 International Economics,
BSC L161 International Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L162 International Economics (Including Year Abroad),
MECNL132 International Economics,
MECNLC32 International Economics (Including Placement Year),
MECNLC33 International Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA 9L11 Management Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA L108 Management Economics,
BA L190 Management Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L192 Management Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC 5M00 Management Economics (Including Placement Year),
BSC L109 Management Economics,
BSC L191 Management Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L193 Management Economics (Including Year Abroad),
MECNL133 Management Economics,
MECNL134 Management Economics (Including Placement Year),
MECNL135 Management Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA L1R0 Economics with a Modern Language,
BSC LG01 Economics with Computing,
BSC LG02 Economics with Computing (Including Year Abroad),
BSC LG03 Economics with Computing (Including Placement Year),
BA C841 Economics with Psychology,
BA C851 Economics with Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA C861 Economics with Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C148 Economics with Psychology,
BSC C158 Economics with Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C168 Economics with Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA R112 Economics with Language Studies,
BA R113 Economics with Language Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

The module teaches the necessary mathematical techniques required for a modern degree in Economics. It focuses entirely on economics examples so that students not only learn important mathematical skills but also learn how to apply those skills to problems of economic interest. The module starts at a basic level and so is ideal for students with a weak background in mathematics.

The module, however, progresses fairly quickly so that, by the end of the year, the student has the tools to attack relatively sophisticated economics problems. Throughout the year an extra remedial class is provided to help the weakest students keep pace with the module.

This module is an economics course not a mathematics course. It only uses those mathematical techniques which are essential for a modern degree in Economics.

Module aims

The module aims are threefold:

1. To teach students the core mathematical techniques required for a modern degree in Economics;

2. To show how those mathematical techniques can be usefully applied to the analysis of economics questions of interest;

3. To develop and deepen student economic insight.

Module learning outcomes

Successful completion of the module will provide the student with a strong grasp of fundamental mathematical concepts. Students will be able to solve elementary economics problems and so obtain a more sophisticated understanding of economic principles. The test and assignments will allow students to demonstrate their problem-solving skills to solve real economic problems.

Key Skills
Analytical reasoning, conceptualisation, model building, mathematical operations, interpretation of maths.


Employability Skills
Key employability skills include improved numeracy and analytic talents, numeracy, adoption of new techniques, decision making skills, reflection and evaluation[!].


Module information

This course is designed to complement, EC114, Introduction to Quantitative Economics

First year students with a background in mathematics may substitute EC115 for a more advanced course, MA101, offered by the Department of Mathematical Sciences with permission from the department.

Students at Essex only for the Autumn term only are assessed on the basis of at least two pieces of work (assignments or tests), the average of which is the final mark for the course.

The module provides two sets of lectures.

One set is a series of one-hour lectures which is compulsory for those students without A-level Mathematics (or equivalent). These lectures will start at a very basic level and offer ideal maths tuition for students with a weak maths background. Associated with this lecture series is a voluntary support class for students who would like more help with their mathematical skills. The support class operates a bit like "school" where students work through math exercises at their own pace and ask for help when stuck.

The second series is a set of 2-hour lectures which are compulsory for all Ec115 students. These lectures focus more on economic applications. It will consider many of the same issues also taught in the core Microeconomics modules, but with a more mathematical approach. Students with A-level mathematics should find the mathematics simple but the focus on economic applications makes the module important for developing economic insight. Associated with these lectures is a one hour class which all students are required to attend. The class will work through a problem set which sets questions based on the material taught in the previous week's lecture.

After each lecture, the lecture notes are posted online at moodle.essex.ac.uk [Economics Ec115], along with a problem set which students must attempt for class the following week. Answers to the problem sets are also posted online but only at the end of the class week.

The voluntary support class is open to everyone but is intended for those who find the material difficult and for those without A-level mathematics. The support class works through the Jacques textbook (described below). The support class will also provide additional preparation for the Midterm tests.

By the end of the module the successful student will not only have a good grasp of fundamental mathematical concepts but also a sophisticated understanding of economic principles. Students who do not attempt the problem set questions, however, and instead just "learn" the posted answers typically not do well in the final exam. Students who find the material challenging really should attend the voluntary support class [sooner rather than later]. Forming study groups is also highly recommended.

Learning and teaching methods

Reading Materials. There are two recommended textbooks. The voluntary support class will be working through the Jacques textbook which is pitched at a more accessible level for those without A-level maths (or equivalent qualification). The one-hour lecture series is based on this book [any second hand edition is fine - maths at this level has not changed in 200 years]. The two-hour lecture and associated problem sets are self-contained and do not follow any particular book. Those with A-level mathematics might find the Renshaw book useful for support and additional practice questions with worked answers. More extensive (advanced) supporting textbook is Geoff Renshaw Maths for Economics, Oxford University Press. Textbook for student without A-level maths is : Ian Jacques Mathematics for Economics and Business, [currently Pearson]

Bibliography*

This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Test 01 - Timetabled for Monday 02 December 2019 (week 10)    50% 
Coursework   Test 02 - Timetabled for Thursday 20 February 2020 (week 21)    50% 
Exam  180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Whichever is the Greater: EITHER 50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark OR 100 per cent Exam Mark IF Coursework Mark is a pass or better

Reassessment

Whichever is the Greater: EITHER 50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark OR 100 per cent Exam Mark IF Coursework Mark is a pass or better

Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Melvyn Coles, email: mcole@essex.ac.uk.
Prof Melvyn Coles
Send an email message to: ueco@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 322 hours, 301 (93.5%) hours available to students:
9 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
12 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Economics

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.