CIMA Business Mathematics

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The Business Mathematics course equips you for CIMA Paper: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics, the third of the CIMA papers on the way to the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. Teaching you the fundamentals of business mathematics, this CIMA Paper will be testimony to employers of your high skill levels, going well beyond basic accountancy.

The CIMA Business Mathematics course will start by ensuring you have the fundamental mathematical skills required for this field of work, including simultaneous and quadratic equations, percentages and proportions.

You will learn how to tabulate and use data and explore financial mathematics. Through the Business Mathematics course you will also study the interrelationships between variables and look are forecasting and probability. You'll also look at the uses and limitations of spreadsheets.

CIMA is introducing an updated syllabus for its professional qualification and new assessment methods which will take effect from January 2015. Students can continue to study for their CIMA qualification, more information about the new syllabus can be found here. Information on the transition can be found here.

Course Content

Key Topics

Fundamental Mathematics

  • Understand the order of operations in formulae. Practise two-variable simultaneous equations and quadratic equations. Calculate percentages and proportions. Draw graphs of linear and quadratic equations.

Summarising and Analysing Data

  • Understand the difference between data and information. Examine the concept of frequency distribution. Learn how to tabulate data. Consider Pareto analysis. Revise how to calculate the following for both ungrouped and grouped data: arithmetic mean, median, mode, range, variance, standard deviation and coefficient of variation. Consider the function of indices, and learn how to calculate indices.

Financial Mathematics

  • Discover how to calculate future values of an investment. Examine geometric progressions. Learn how to calculate the present value of a future cash sum, as well as the present value of an annuity and perpetuity, using formula and CIMA tables. Study loans and mortgages. Practise calculating the net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) of a project.

Inter-relationships between Variables

  • Learn how to prepare scatter diagrams and how to calculate the correlation coefficient and the coefficient of determination between two variables. Discover how to calculate the regression equation between two variables, as well as how to apply the regression equation to predict the dependent variables, given a value of the independent variable.


  • Learn how to prepare a time series graph, as well as how to identify patterns and trends using an appropriate moving average, and how to identify the components of a time series model. Discover how to calculate seasonal factors for both additive and multiplicative models. Gain the skills to calculate predicted values given a time series model. Understand the limitations of forecasting models.


  • Learn how to conduct probability calculations. Understand the use of expected value tables in decision-making, and consider the limitations of expected values. Explore the concepts of risk and uncertainty. Discover how to prepare graphs and diagrams of normal distribution.


  • Examine the features and functions of spreadsheet software, and consider both their uses and limitations in business. Discover how to apply spreadsheet software to the normal work of a Chartered Management Accountant.

Entry Requirements

You don't need any previous experience or qualifications to enrol in our CIMA courses. That's because we believe in making home study - and a rewarding future - as accessible as possible. However, you will need a good standard of maths, and a solid grasp of English.

Please note the following technical requirements needed in order to access and use the online course:

Microsoft Windows requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 or higher
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v6.0 or higher, or Mozilla Firefox v1.5 or higher
  • 256 Kbps or faster Internet connection
  • 128 MB or more RAM
  • Screen resolution of 1024 * 768 pixels
  • 32-bit (Truecolor) color depth/video display
  • Sound capabilities (sound card and speakers)
  • Adobe® Flash Player plug-in version 6.0 or higher

Macintosh requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.3.0 or higher
  • Apple Safari v1.3 or higher
  • 256 Kbps or faster Internet connection
  • 128 MB or more of RAM
  • Screen resolution of 1024 * 768 pixels
  • 32-bit (Truecolor) Color Depth/Video Display
  • Sound capabilities (sound card and speakers)
  • Adobe® Flash Player plug-in version 6.0 or higher

Where will I go from here?

With the skills you gain from the Business Mathematics and other papers that make up this qualification, you will be able to provide accounting, management and finance skills from a variety of roles within business. You'll be in demand for positions as diverse as systems analyst, sales manager, Chief Financial Officer or consultant, depending on your particular interests. 

What will I gain?

On completion, you'll receive the CIMA Paper 3: Business Mathematics qualification.

Completion of Papers 1 to 5 qualifies you for a CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.

Awarding Body

CIMA is the world's largest and leading professional body of management accountants with 172,000 members and students in 165 countries. The papers we offer make up the Certificate in Business Accounting. It is the entry level accounting qualification for students with little or no accounting background and is a recognised qualification in its own right which is valued by employers. 


As you progress through your online course there are end of unit questions and answers which are assessed and your scores recorded. In addition, at the end of the course there is a complete mock exam which is timed, assessed and scored as in the real CIMA Computer Based Assessment. This will determine your readiness for taking the final assessment set by CIMA and taken at a CBA exam centre.

Final CIMA Exam

  • a computer-based exam consisting of 50 questions which must be completed within 2 hours

The format of the exam is subject to change. The details provided are intended only as a guide and should not be regarded as definitive.

Please note that you will be required to register with CIMA to sit the exam. Exam fees are £45 but exam centres will also charge a fee which is determined by the centre and can vary across the UK.

What will I get?

Because we're experts in home learning, we offer all the support you need along the way. 

Along with 12 months of access to the fully online CIMA learning tool, you'll also receive CIMA approved study materials, including the CIMA Exam Practice Kit and CIMA Exam Revision Cards. These paper-based study resources complement the online learning that contains everything you need to study this CIMA Paper.

You'll have access to an experienced personal tutor both online and over the phone, ready to help you with guidance and motivation.

You'll also be part of the ICS Learn Online Student Community, where you'll have access to library materials and your account information, as well as vital links with your fellow students, with the chance to discuss your work and ask questions.

Payment Options

You can either pay for your Fundamentals of Business Mathematics course in full or opt for a monthly payment plan.

Speak to one of our course advisors now for payment plans.

Additional fees

There are CIMA registration, subscription, exam and exemption fees that are additional to your course fees:

  • CIMA Registration Fee: £75
  • Annual CIMA subscription fee: £106
  • Exam fees: £58 per paper (exam centres may charge administration fees in addition.)
  • Exemption fees: £53 per paper

Find out more information about arranging your examinations.

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  • Hours of Study 130 hours
  • Course Code M28
  • Study Period 12 months
  • Support Period 12 months

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Easy to understand.

"The course material is easy to understand, my tutor is easy to approach for help! Assignments are marked in a timely manner. I would recommend this course to anyone starting a small business or looking to start a career in accounting."
Business Mathematics Reviewed by anonymous on
Rating: 4.6
CIMA Business Mathematics