England.

# Mathematical methods

This module is designed to teach you about a variety of mathematical methods which are used in modelling through their application to solving real world problems. These methods include differential equations, linear algebra and vector calculus. You will become familiar with new mathematical skills mainly by using pencil and paper and by thinking. This module will give you a good foundation for higher-level study and is essential preparation for most OU level 3 mathematics, statistics or physics modules. To study this module you should have a sound knowledge of algebra, calculus, and geometry as provided by the appropriate OU level 1 study.

## Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

## Module

MST224

### Credits

Credits

• Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
• One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
• You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
• For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30

### Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
Level of Study
OU SCQF FHEQ
2 9 5

### Student Reviews

I found this a very enjoyable module to work through. In the first unit, it allows you to revise the...

This is a very in-depth and rapid paced module, quite the leap from 'Essential mathematics 1' (MST124) from which it...

## What you will study

The mathematical methods covered by this module are the core analytic methods that are useful for modelling the real world. The analytical (as opposed to numerical) solution of first and second-order ordinary differential equations is discussed, followed by linear algebra (vectors, matrices and determinants). We develop the elements of the calculus of functions of several variables, including vector calculus, which is followed by an introduction to methods for solving partial differential equations.

These mathematical methods are illustrated by putting them in the context of real world applications (such as simple mechanical systems). You will be assessed only on your mathematical skills, not on your knowledge of the context used. The module teaches ‘pencil and paper’ mathematical skills: although it explains where numerical methods are important, there is no programming or special software required.

You will learn all the core mathematical methods that are needed for further studies in applied sciences. In further study you will begin to appreciate the power of the methods introduced here – they are applicable in a very wide variety of situations.

The module is delivered as printed material in four books. There are some optional supporting materials on the website.

You can find the full content list on the Open mathematics and statistics website.

### Professional recognition

This module may help you to gain membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). For further information, see the IMA website.

## Teaching and assessment

• Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
• Guiding you to additional learning resources.
• Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
• Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.

### Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

Both the interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs) and TMAs will focus strongly on learning through practice rather than on assessment. The feedback you receive on your answers will help you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the study material and to develop important skills associated with the module.

## Future availability

Mathematical methods (MST224) starts once a year – in October.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2028.

## Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

### Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
Examination
No residential school

## Entry requirements

You must have passed one of the following modules:

Or be able to provide evidence you have the required mathematical skills.

## Preparatory work

You should aim to be confident and fluent with the concepts covered in the Are you ready? quiz here, and follow the advice in the quiz.

The key topics to revise include:

• algebra
• geometry
• trigonometry
• calculus.

Essential mathematics 1 (MST124) is ideal preparation, and Essential mathematics 2 (MST125) is also useful.

T194 is an alternative to MST124 for engineering students. However, we recommend you’ve also studied Core engineering A (T271) and Core engineering B (T272) to reinforce your skills in algebra, calculus and geometry.

## Register

Start End England fee Register
07 Oct 2023 Jun 2024 £1731.00

Registration closes 07/09/23 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2028.

### Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

## Ways to pay for this module

### Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

• Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
• Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

#### Joint loan applications

If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees.

• Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
• You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.

### Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module.

We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

### Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules

This information was provided on 29/05/2023.

In order to qualify, you must:

1. be resident in England
2. have a personal income of less than £25,000 (or receive qualifying benefits)
3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above, or completed 30 credits or more of OU study

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069 or you can request a call back.

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

• monthly payments through OUSBA
• part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

## What's included

• a week-by-week study planner
• course-specific module materials
• audio and video content
• assessment details, instructions and guidance
• online tutorial access

You’ll be provided with printed books covering the content of the module, including explanations, examples and activities to aid your understanding of the concepts and associated skills and techniques. In addition, you will have a printed handbook.

### Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

## If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying MST224 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.