BØA111 Mathematics for economists

Course description for academic year 2020/2021

Due to Covid-19, changes may occur in course descriptions for the autumn semester of 2020. Changes in each course will be published on Studentweb or Canvas. When a course description has been changed there, the description on web is no longer valid. Examples of such changes could be accomplishment of practice, course type, or whether letter grades or passed/not passed will be used as grading scales.

Contents and structure

The course should provide the necessary mathematical foundation for the other courses in the study program and link the mathematics knowledge to issues within social and business economics. The course should therefore come in the first semester. It is a central goal of the course to develop the  student's  logical and analytical reasoning. This should provide a basis for understanding mathematical modeling in economic contexts and for working with problem-oriented tasks. The course will provide in-depth knowledge and skills related to the specified topics. The course is based on good prerequisite knowledge in mathematics from upper secondary school (the equivalent of S1+S2 level is recommended) and the course aims to significantly improve this knowledge.


  • Basic algebra, including solving inequalities, equations and systems of equations.
  • Analysis of single-variable functions such as polynomial functions, rational functions, exponential functions, logarithmic functions and combinations thereof. This analysis should include: roots, asymptotes, limit values, continuity, derivation (including implicit derivation), extreme value problems, and elasticity.
  • Analysis of various function types of multiple variables, including Cobb-Douglas functions and functions with exponential and logarithm elements. This analysis includes finding and classifying stationary points, finding the maximum and minimum for a restricted domain, finding the maximum and minimum under equation constraints, including the application of the method of Lagrange multipliers.
  • Analysis of arithmetic and geometric series, convergence and sum of geometric series.
  • Analysis and calculations in financial mathematics, including annuities, payment plans for loans, saving plans and present value computations.
  • Introduction to basic integration, both definite and indefinite integrals, for single variable functions included in the course.

Learning Outcome


  • the student has knowledge about basic mathematical terms
  • the student has knowledge about using derivatives to analyse functions, both functions of one and two variables
  • the student has knowledge about mathematical modelling within the context of economics
  • the student has knowledge about using computations with interest and series to calculate annuities
  • the student has knowledge about integration
  • the student has knowledge about systems of linear equations


  • the student masters basic algebra
  • the student can analyse different types of mathematical functions,  both functions of one and two variables
  • the student can use mathematics and mathematical models in analysis of economic problems
  • the student can du computations with interest and use series to calculate annuities and solve problems in financial mathematics related to payment plans for loans, saving plans and present value
  • the student can do basic integration
  • the student can solve inequalities, equations and systems of linear equations

General expertise:  

  • the student can use their knowledge in mathematics to do calculations related to economics and in other courses in the study program
  • the student understands the mathematical calculations used in other relevant courses 

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

The course requires good prerequisite knowledge in mathematics. The course builds on knowledge corresponding to S1+S2 in the Norwegian upper secondary school. Students without the prerequisite knowledge must be prepared to put in extra effort. 

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercise classes and obligatory assignments. 

Course requirements

Up to 10 obligatory assignments which must be graded as passed before the exam can be taken. The assignments might possibly be held on a digital platform. 


Written exam, 5 hours. The exam might possibly be held on a digital platform. Time and place for the exam will be given on Studentweb. Grades between A and F will be given, where F corresponds to fail. 

Examination support material

A sheet with mathematical formulas will be attached to the exam.

All calculators are allowed, with the following exceptions/limitations

- the calculator can not communicate

- the calculator can not handle symbolic mathmatical expressions

- the calculator will not be connected to electricity

- the calculator can not make noise in the exam fascilities

More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • ØMO001 (1) - Mathematics - Reduction: 7.5 studypoints
  • ØKB1020 (1) - Mathematics - Reduction: 7.5 studypoints
  • ØKB020 (1) - Basic Mathematics - Reduction: 6 studypoints
  • SA066 (1) - Mathematics - Reduction: 6 studypoints
  • RE001 (1) - Calculus for Economists - Reduction: 7.5 studypoints
  • ME6-1000 (1) - Mathematics - Reduction: 7.5 studypoints
  • MA6-100 (1) - Mathematics - Reduction: 5.5 studypoints
  • LOØMA1 (1) - Mathematics I - Reduction: 6 studypoints