Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Mathematical Sciences


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Normally grade A in A-Level Mathematics (or equivalent).


  • MATH 1012 (Core Mathematics A), MATH1051 (Core Mathematics B1).

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Maths for Engineers and Scientists (MATH1551), Single Mathematics A (MATH1561), Single Mathematics B (MATH1571) and Foundation Mathematics (MATH1641).


  • To provide (a) explicit strategies for beginning, working on and reflecting on open ended mathematical problems.
  • (b) an understanding of elementary classical Newtonian dynamics.


  • Rubric writing – keeping records of problem solving.
  • Problem solving using the techniques of: Specialising; Generalising; Attack; Review; Proof.
  • Dynamics Newton's laws, frames of reference.
  • Mass, force, energy, momentum, angular momentum.
  • Sample motions: simple harmonic oscillator.
  • Projectiles.
  • Charged particle in constant electromagnetic field.
  • Orbits.
  • Waves on strings.
  • Wave equation for small amplitude oscillations, separation of variables.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will: be able to engage in explicit strategies for beginning, working on and reflecting on mathematical problems;
  • have an awareness of the basic concepts of Problem Solving.
  • Dynamics: Newtonian Mechanics, frames of reference, Newton's laws.
  • Sample motions.
  • Two body systems.
  • Waves on strings.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • students will have basic mathematical skills in the following areas: Modelling; Spatial awareness; Abstract reasoning and problem solving.
Key Skills:
  • students will have basic problem solving skills and further their abilities in oral and written communication.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures demonstrate what is required to be learned and the application of the theory to practical examples.
  • Seminars provide active engagement and feedback to the learning process.
  • Weekly homework problems provide formative assessment to guide students in the correct development of their knowledge and skills. They are also an aid in developing students' awareness of standards required.
  • The examination provides a final assessment of the achievement of the student.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 26 6 in Michaelmas term (weeks 1,3,5,7,9,10) and 2 per week for 10 weeks in Epiphany and Easter terms 1 Hour 26
Tutorials 12 Weekly for Epiphany Term & Easter 1 Hour 12
Seminars 14 Two per week in weeks 2,4,6,8 of Michaelmas Term, 1 per week in other weeks of Michaelmas term 1 Hour 14
Preparation and Reading 148
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 1 hour and 45 minutes 100% Yes
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Three rubrics 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

- One written assignment each teaching week. Normally it will consist of solving problems from a Problem Sheet and typically will be about 2 pages long. Students will have about one week to complete each assignment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University