UCL Department of Economics


Computational Methods for Economists - ECON0114

ECON0114 > undergraduate module > 2019/20.

Taught by: Frank Witte.
Intended teaching term: Term 1.
Credits: 15 (FHEQ Level 6).

Syllabus: Comp Methods.
Year: 2/3.

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UCL Module Catalogue: computational-methods-for-economists/ECON0114.


This module covers intermediate mathematical methods presented in contexts relevant for economists and students of connected subject fields. It aims to equip students with operational skills in applying intermediate, applied-mathematical methods to problems taken from various contexts in Economics and Social Sciences; and to train students in planning and systematically executing lengthy calculations both on paper as well as using software aids such as Mathematica/Matlab/Python.


To build student-confidence in tackling interesting questions in Economics, Social Sciences and Sciences without being put off by the computational complexity involved and effort required.


Vectors and matrices, Fourier methods, dynamical optimization, networks, centrality, communities, random networks and optimal networks.

Suitable for

  • 2nd/3rd year Economics (L100, L101 and L102) students.

Students from other degree programmes can take the module so long as they meet the pre-requisite requirements.


ECON0010 or an equivalent 30 credits in year 1 (applied) Mathematics is required. Some experience with Mathematica/Matlab such as acquired through ECON-skills lab (Year-1) is recommended but not required.

Assumed knowledge

The prerequisites cover a good familiarity with the key results from linear algebra and the calculus of several variables, in particular in optimization, and some elementary familiarity with ordinary, linear, differential equations and their solutions. Some familiarity with Mathematica, Matlab or Python will be useful but is not required. A general familiarity with Economics at the level of the ECON0002 of an equivalent 30 credits in Economics is beneficial but also not strictly required. 

Teaching and assessment

  • 20 hours of lectures and 20 hours of practical classes.  
  • All assessment is in term-time (no summer term exam): 40% for 5 problem sets completed during term and 60% for take home exam due at end of Term 1.