Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module MATH3986: MMath (Euro) Level 3 Year Abroad

Department: Mathematical Sciences

MATH3986: MMath (Euro) Level 3 Year Abroad

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 120 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to Module tied to MMath (Euro)


  • Mathematics modules to the value of 120 credits at Level 2.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To contribute to the overall aims of the MMath degree programme, as well as providing students with the experience of learning in an overseas institution. This will enable them to develop personally and to acquire transferable skills unlikely to be widely available in the UK


  • This will depend on the topics chosen at the Overseas Partner University

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of a range of sophisticated modeling techniques, their conditions, limitations and interpretations within areas chosen from the fields of Pure Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Numerical Analysis, Statistics and Informatics, and an awareness of their applicability to current research within one or several of these fields.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An enhanced ability to describe, in detail and with logical completeness, the deduction of theoretical results from given assumptions.
  • An enhanced ability to recognize the power of a formal mathematical proof, and to use it in contexts that require critical thinking.
  • An enhanced ability to apply logical reasoning to solve novel and complex problems based on appropriate acquired mathematical theories.
  • An enhanced ability to write discursive and logically developed accounts of advanced mathematical techniques.
  • An enhanced ability to investigate and synthesize, with minimal guidance and from a highly specialized and advanced standpoint, the mathematical content of a topic chosen within the fields of Pure Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Numerical Analysis, Statistics and Informatics, and to expound in an articulate manner and in depth on the outcome of the synthesis.
Key Skills:
  • An enhanced ability to communicate complex mathematical ideas, including the conclusions drawn from a project concisely, accurately and informatively to a non-specialist and specialist audience.
  • An ability to work independently or in collaboration with colleagues as appropriate, to decide courses of action and to develop new skills and understanding at an advanced level.
  • An ability to exercise initiative in making effective use of appropriate texts and research articles in planning and implementing tasks. Confidence to advance and extend knowledge through development of an independent learning ability and personal responsibility.
  • An ability to manage one's affairs and to be assessed within an overseas environment.
  • An ability to communicate, both orally and in writing, mathematically and socially in a foreign language.

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

  • Sample tutorials and a practice oral examination delivered in the appropriate foreign language prior to year abroad will provide preparation for tuition in a non-English speaking country during the year abroad.
  • While abroad, lectures, problem classes and homework problems will be experienced in a foreign language at an overseas Mathematics Department. Students are introduced to most of the basic concepts and techniques in mathematics in lectures; their knowledge and understanding are reinforced in tutorials, homework problems and/or problems classes through attempting problems embodying the concepts. The year abroad enhances students' perception of the universality of the scientific method, although they study mathematics in a novel environment, and are exposed to a different learning culture.
  • Students will also produce a short (approximately four pages) experiential essay written in a foreign language contrasting their mathematical experience in Durham and abroad.
  • Assessment (other than of the experiential essay) will be carried out by the European university. This will typically involve one or more of written examinations, oral examinations, marking of homework problems. The assessment of experiential essay will be undertaken by an appropriate member of the Durham Mathematics Department. These various methods of assessment will test knowledge and understanding at the appropriate levels in the context of the specific mathematical material, as well as reflecting the language skills of the student.
  • The assessments within the overseas institution will show that the student is able to understand and communicate subject content delivered in a different language, and to work successfully in a different international environment.
  • Teaching methods and contact hours will depend on the overseas partner university, but the following is indicative.
  • Summative assessment methods will depend on the overseas partner university, but the following is indicative.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 180 9 per week 90 minutes 270
Tutorials 20 1 per week 90 minutes 30
Preparation and reading 900
Total 1200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 90%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
End of year written examination 3 hours 80%
End of year oral examination 30 minutes 20%
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Experiential essay 100%

Formative Assessment:

This will depend on the overseas partner university, but, typically, will consist of solving assigned problems from Problems Sheets, with each assignment being about 2 pages long. Students will usually be given 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