Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Mathematical Sciences


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap 20 Location Durham
Tied to G100
Tied to G103
Tied to G104
Tied to G108
Tied to G109
Tied to CFG0
Tied to FGC0
Tied to QRVA
Tied to QRV0


  • At least 3 Maths modules taken in second year, at least two of which are at level 2.


  • At least two other level 3 maths modules.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • The 'Science Into Schools' modules from other departments.


  • To encourage the students to reflect on the content, method and learning of mathematics from the points of view of school and university
  • To help understand how mathematics teaching fits into a wider education system
  • To give relevant practical experience within a school
  • To develop students' group and presentation skills
  • To help inform students' future career decisions


  • The educational landscape: the mathematics curriculum, assessment, performance indicators, and accountability issues
  • Academic writing in an educational context
  • Issues in mathematics teaching and learning and its assessment
  • The advanced standpoint and the psychology of mathematics teaching
  • Lesson observation
  • Teaching difficult concepts
  • High level teaching
  • Problem solving and catering for the most able

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have gained an awareness of current issues in mathematics teaching and learning and its assessment,
  • will be able to analyse novel and/or complex problems in mathematics teaching,
  • will have acquired a coherent body of knowledge of the issues related to mathematics teaching and learning, demonstrated through the observation and reflection on mathematics teaching through school visits and project work.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to reflect on a number of areas of school mathematics from an advanced standpoint.
  • Development of a broad mathematical capability to plan approaches for the delivery of the school mathematics curriculum
Key Skills:
  • Students will have advanced skills in problem solving.
  • Students will gain relevant delivery skills in a teaching context

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

  • Students will be selected for the module by interview in June before the module is taken
  • Seminars will examine the key issues that influence mathematics teaching in the current educational climate
  • Students will be expected to contribute material from their own research through assessment and discussions at seminars
  • Students will engage in topical issues in mathematics teaching
  • Students will be assessed by continual assessments related to one or more issues relevant to mathematics education or the wider educational landscape
  • Students will visit a secondary school on three occasions in Michaelmas term to observe lessons
  • The school file will consist of a report and analysis of lesson observations in Michaelmas term, and should demonstrate how their knowledge of the pedagogy of mathematics teaching has influenced their observation of lessons
  • In Epiphany students will be involved in a school placement throughout the term and will act as a classroom assistant. They will complete a major project on assessment through this placement
  • In addition to the student's own school project report, schools will be asked for some qualitative input into the assessment of the project
  • Towards the end of Epiphany term, students will give a presentation of around 10 minutes on their school project

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 24 2 per week for 10 weeks in Michaelmas and 4 in weeks 18 and 19 of Epiphany 1 Hour 24
School Visit 3 3 times during Michaelmas 2 Hour 6
School Placement Project 9 1 half-day per week in Epiphany 4 Hours 36
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continual Assessment Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Two assignments during Michaelmas 100%
Component: School visit file Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
School visit file describing the student's school experience 100%
Component: School Project Report Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report on assessment project in Epiphany term approx 4500 words 100%
Component: Presentation Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation on assessment project 100%

Formative Assessment:

Fortnightly assignments in Michaelmas term

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