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BSc (Honours) Mathematics and its Learning - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This degree introduces you to mathematical and statistical concepts and thinking, helps you to develop a mathematical approach and develops ideas about the learning of mathematics. You should achieve

  • understanding of the notion of a mathematical approach
  • a foundation in mathematics, statistics and mathematics education
  • ability to use mathematical thinking in a range of situations
  • awareness of the ways that people learn mathematics
  • awareness of, and facility with, ICT in the learning of mathematics.
  • familiarity with the essential ideas of pure mathematics and the ability to recognise a rigorous mathematical proof
  • an ability to apply the main tools of applied mathematics (including mathematical methods, mathematical modelling and numerical analysis).
  • ability to use a modern mathematical computer software package
  • awareness of some uses of modelling in real world situations
  • ability to follow complex mathematical arguments, and to create short arguments of your own
  • experience of study in some breadth and depth in mathematics and mathematics education
  • development of your capability for working with abstract concepts
  • ability to communicate mathematical and statistical ideas, arguments and conclusions effectively
  • the skills necessary to use mathematics in employment, especially teaching mathematics.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of
  • the basic elements of linear algebra, analysis and group theory; the basic concepts behind, and the application of, mathematical methods for differential equations, vector calculus, multi-variable functions, numerical methods, Newtonian mechanics and mathematical modelling; basic methods for analysing data, probability models and statistical inference
  • the mathematical and/or statistical concepts and methods included in the chosen electives.
  • the role of mathematical thinking
  • some current issues in mathematics education
  • different theories relating to the teaching and learning of mathematics
  • connections between different mathematical topics between mathematics and other subjects and between mathematics and the world.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, you will have acquired ability
  • in mathematical and statistical manipulation and calculation, using a computer package when appropriate
  • to assemble relevant information for proofs and construct appropriate mathematical and statistical arguments, and exercise judgment in selection and application of a wide range of mathematical and statistical tools and techniques
  • to create appropriate mathematical and statistical models and draw justifiable inferences
  • to reason with abstract concepts
  • to approach mathematical and statistical problems and tasks in a flexible way
  • in qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
  • apply mathematical and statistical concepts, principles and methods
  • analyse and evaluate problems (both theoretical and practical) and plan strategies for their solutions
  • be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support
  • develop and use mathematical resources effectively with learners
  • recognise opportunities where learners can be encouraged to develop their mathematical thinking.

Key skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following key skills:

  • read and/or listen to documents and discussions having mathematical/statistical content, with an appropriate level of understanding
  • communicate information having mathematical or statistical content accurately and effectively, using a format, structure and style that suits the purpose.
  • prepare mathematical or statistical content for a range of purposes, which may include writing for both specialist and non-specialist audiences; writing reports on mathematical or statistical experiments or models; producing and/or delivering a presentation on a mathematical or statistical topic. Preparation of some content may require working collaboratively with others on projects.
  • exhibit a high level of numeracy, appropriate to a graduate of a numerate discipline
  • use information technology with confidence to acquire and present mathematical and statistical knowledge, and to model and solve practical problems
  • articulate personal strengths and weaknesses in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge, understanding and application skills, as well as cognitive (thinking) skills, are acquired through distance-learning materials that include specially written module texts, with practice exercises, guides to study and mathematical handbooks, comprehensive websites and a range of multimedia material (including computer software). Modules at higher levels build on the foundations developed in pre-requisite modules at lower levels.

You will work independently with the distance-learning materials, while being supported by a tutor. You will be offered the opportunity to attend online tutorials, which you are strongly advised to attend. You are also encouraged to interact with other students, for example via moderated online forums.

Written tutor feedback on assignments provides you with individual tuition and guidance. Your learning is further assessed through examinations and projects. Generally, you are permitted to bring the module handbook into examinations, thus reducing the need for memorisation, and concentrating on your ability to apply concepts and techniques and express them clearly and coherently. Your module results will be determined by your performance on both the assignments and the examination/project. For each module the final result will be based on a combination of the examination (or end-of-module assessment) score and the score obtained on (or engagement with) the continuous assessment. In some cases there is a threshold on individual components.