ECON1202 Quantitative Analysis for Business and Economics - 2020

6 Units of Credit
On Campus
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Mathematics is an important part of theoretical and applied analysis in economics and business. This course equips students with a working knowledge of the most common techniques, providing the basis for their further studies. Topics include the mathematics of finance, matrix algebra, calculus and (unconstrained and constrained) optimisation. Special emphasis is put on the illustration of the covered concepts and techniques with applications to typical problems in business and economics.

Presumed Knowledge

This course assumes a level of knowledge in mathematics equivalent to HSC Mathematics. If you have not studied HSC mathematics in New South Wales, remedial work might be necessary. Knowledge of the following topics is essential: basic functions and graphs, including logarithms and exponentials, and solutions of linear and quadratic equations.

Students also need to practice in their own time using Excel, which is the environment in which most problems will be worked through. There will not be any official training or class for Excel as part of the course.

It should be emphasized that this is an online course. A proper internet connection and reliable internet access are essential throughout the course. Students with slow or intermittent internet connections are encouraged not to enrol. No special consideration will be granted for internet problems, including the inability to upload files in a timely manner.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

This course is offered as part of the first year core in the Bachelor of Economics degrees. For students in the Bachelor of Commerce program, it is not part of the 1st year core BUT it is a prerequisite for most 2nd year economics courses, so it is strongly recommended for those contemplating one of the economics majors.

The course aims to give students a good insight and understanding of how mathematical concepts, theories and techniques are applied to the fields of business, economics and the social sciences in order to generate solutions to problems encountered in these fields. The course builds on mathematical knowledge which you should have gained in high school.

After completing ECON1202, your use of mathematics and statistics in your studies will vary depending on the major(s) you choose. If you choose majors such as Economics, Business Economics, Financial Economics and Econometrics you will study further courses in econometrics. These majors are designed to equip students with statistical and other quantitative skills that are widely used and increasingly demanded by employers in commercial fields and the public sector. If you choose other majors where quantitative skills are needed, such as Accounting, Finance and Marketing, a good understanding of concepts taught in this course will be a major asset.

The aims of this course are for you to:

  • Develop your ability to perform calculations;
  • Develop your ability to solve real life business problems using formal mathematical tools and algorithms;
  • Extend your skills in analysis, oral communication and written communication.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeAProfBenoit JulienBUS 4059385 3876Wednesdays 1-4pm

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​The philosophy underpinning this course and its Teaching and Learning Strategies are based on “Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching at UNSW". Specifically, the content and assessments have been designed to appropriately challenge students and support the achievement of the desired learning outcomes. A climate of inquiry and discussion is encouraged between students and teachers and among students. The lecturer-in-charge aims to provide meaningful and timely feedback to students to help improve learning outcomes.

This is not a course where you can expect to perform well just by passively observing. You will need to be actively involved in your learning: evaluating information, asking and answering questions. You also must learn to organise your independent study and practice enough problems to gain a thorough understanding of concepts and how to apply them. You are expected to:

  • put a consistent effort into both online and offline learning activities throughout the session;
  • develop communication skills through engaging in online activities and preparing your assignments;
  • concentrate on understanding how and why to use formulas and less on memorising them;
  • make continuous improvements by using the feedback you are given on your assignments.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​The examinable content of the course is defined by the textbook chapters referred to in the course schedule; the content of the lecture slides; the content of the course website; and the content of the recorded online learning sessions.

Offline learning

You are expected to read assigned chapters in the text and to review lecture slides (and recorded lectures, if desired) each week, as we move through each topic. To get the most out of your online learning time, you are advised to work through the relevant lecture material and textbook chapters assigned for a given week prior to joining a online learning session that week. Links to all materials required for offline learning, with the exception of the text itself, will be provided through the Moodle site.

The purpose of your offline learning is to provide a logical structure for the topics that make up the course; to develop a basic grasp of the important concepts and methods of each topic; and to start engaging with relevant examples to which the concepts and methods are applied.

Online learning

A two-hour online learning session will be held each week of the term, in which the computing and tutorial material for that week will be worked through interactively. These sessions are designed to help students deepen their conceptual understanding and to practice applying the material. Online learning sessions also provide students the opportunity to ask specific questions about the material covered in lecture slides and in the text. The sessions will be recorded for future revision by students and the schedule will be published closer to the start of Term.

Finally, you may find other resources provided on the Moodle site to be of use, including links to recorded lectures from previous offerings of ECON1202, and links to other online question sets and learning support.

General Strategy

An “ideal” weekly study strategy (on which the provision of course materials is based) might look like the following:

  1. Read the relevant chapter(s) of the text after going through the lecture slides (and the recorded lectures, if desired). Complete your reading and review by the middle of the week.
  2. Briefly review the tutorial questions (available via Moodle) on your own. This helps you to identify issues that need to be clarified or resolved. You might need to go back to the textbook or lecture slides for more clarification.
  3. Join an online learning session to cement your understanding and practice applying the material. Participate in other online activities via Moodle if desired.
  4. (if applicable) Complete the quiz for that week.

5. Course Resources

​The website for this course is on UNSW Moodle at:

The Moodle site provides access to announcements, links to online learning sessions, facilities for uploading assignments, softcopies of course-specific files uploaded by staff (including this course outline), and other resources including YouTube videos, and Harvard Business Publishing materials relevant to the course.

The textbook for this course is:

Haeussler, E.F., R.S. Paul and R.J. Wood, Introductory Mathematical Analysis for Business, Economics and Life and Social Sciences 13th ed., Published by Pearson, 2011.

The text is referred to in the Lecture Schedule below as ‘HPW’. The text and (optional) student solution manual, which contains solutions to the odd numbered questions, are both available at the UNSW bookshop and in the High Use Collection in the library.

Students may also find the following books useful for some parts of the course:

​Supplementary Texts
​Brown, R.L., S. Kopp, and P. Zima, Mathematics of Finance, 7th ed, Published by McGraw‐Hill, 2011.
​This book is highly recommended additional reading for topics covered in the first week of the course. Selected sections (indicated in italics in the Course Schedule below) are available electronically through the UNSW library, and the entire book is also held in the High Use Collection and at the UNSW Bookshop.
​Morris, C., Quantitative Approaches in Business Studies, 6th ed., Published by Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2003.
​This book has an easy-to-read style. It is an excellent resource for the linear programming and decision theory topics. Available in the High Use Collection.
​Watson, J., Managing Mathematics: A Refresher Course for Economics and Commerce Students, 2nd ed., School of Economics, UNSW, 2002.
​Recommended for those who have previously gained the assumed knowledge of mathematics, but who now need to refresh algebra or calculus. Available in the
High Use Collection.


A basic scientific calculator is required for this course. Usually the calculator you used at school will be satisfactory. It must be able to perform logarithmic and exponential calculations such as ln x and exp(xy). The calculator must not be a programmable one (i.e., it should not have a full alphabetic keyboard) or a financial one. If you need to purchase a new calculator, keep in mind that for further use, it will be desirable to have a two-variable statistical mode available for performing linear regression calculations.


If you wish to complete the computing requirements of this course using your own computer rather than the university laboratories you will need to have the Microsoft Excel program installed. Make sure that you install the full version of Excel that enables add‐ins to be used.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​​The School of Economics strives to be responsive to student feedback. If you would like more information on how the design of this course and changes made to it over time have taken students’ needs and preferences into account, please contact the Director of Education at the School of Economics.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 6th January

Lectures 1 to 4 HPW 5.1-5.3 Brown et al. 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 3.1, 3.4, 8.1, 8.2, and Appendix 2

  • Introduction to functions
  • Time value of money
  • Geometric progressions and annuities
Week 2: 13th January

Lectures 5 to 8 HPW 6.1-6.3, 6.6, 8.2, p. 360-362

  • Introduction to matrices and matrix algebra
  • Permutations and combinations
Week 3: 20th January

Lectures 9 to 12 HPW 8.5-8.7, 9.3, 7.1-7.3

  • Probability
  • Markov chains
  • Introduction to linear programming
Week 4: 27th January

Lectures 13 to 16 HPW 10.1-10.4,11.1-11.3, 11.5, 12.1-12.4, 12.7, 13.1, 13.3-13.4, 13.6

  • Using solver
  • Differentiation
  • Optimization in one variable
Week 5: 3rd February

Lectures 17 to 19 HPW 14.1-14.7, 14.9, 15.5- 15.6

Lectures 20 to 22 HPW 2.8, 17.1-17.7

  • Integrals
  • Differential equations
  • Multivariate calculus and partial derivatives
  • Multivariable and constrained optimization with applications

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

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