Methods of Economic Analysis

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
22 January 2020


Requisites for this module
EC100 or EC111


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),
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),
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),
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),
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)

Module description

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.

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 [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.

Students will take two midterm tests, one held in the autumn term and one held in the spring term. There is also final exam in the summer term.
The coursework mark is the average of the two midterm tests. If the coursework mark is below 40, students may take the optional take-home assignment in the summer term. If the student passes the take-home assignment, their coursework mark is capped at 40. Students who fail or do not submit the summer term take-home assignment receive a coursework mark equal to the average of their two midterm tests.

If the coursework mark is 40 or more, the aggregate mark is the final exam mark [if the final exam mark is above the coursework mark] or the average of the coursework mark and the final exam mark.
If the coursework mark is below 40, the aggregate mark is the average of the coursework mark and the exam mark.

Anyone who cheats in a midterm test will be given a mark of zero for that test and cannot submit the take-home assignment for a capped mark.

Details of assessment and submission deadlines are contained in the Undergraduate handbook, available online at: .

Module aims

The module aims are threefold:

[i] to teach students the core mathematical techniques required for a modern degree in Economics;

[ii] to show how those mathematical techniques can be usefully applied to the analysis of economics questions of interest;

[iii] 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

EC115 is compulsory for all single honours economics schemes and is strongly recommended for all students who plan to take economics courses in years 2 and 3.

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.

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]


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


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:
Dr Miguel Gavilan Rubio, email:
Lectures: Prof Melvyn Coles (AU) & Mr Miguel Gavilan Rubio (SP) / Classes: Various academics
Send an email message to:



External examiner

Dr Hui Pan
Coventry University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 321 hours, 299 (93.1%) hours available to students:
10 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
12 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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