Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module MATH41120: Algebraic Topology

Department: Mathematical Sciences

MATH41120: Algebraic Topology

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to G1K509


  • Prior knowledge of Topology at undergraduate level.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Topology


  • Provide a deeper knowledge in the field of topology.


  • Homotopy theory of cell complexes.
  • Fundamental group.
  • Covering spaces.
  • Elements of homological algebra.
  • Homology theory of topological spaces.
  • Homotopy groups.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have a knowledge and understanding of toplogy demonstrated through the following topics:
  • the fundamental group;
  • the homology groups and their ranks;
  • homotopy theory;
  • homological algebra.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Have developed advanced technical and scholastic skills in the areas of Topology and Algebra.
Key Skills:
  • Have highly specialised skills in the following area: Spatial awareness and Abstract reasoning.

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.
  • Subject material assigned for independent study develops the ability to acquire knowledge and understanding without dependence on lectures.
  • Assignments for self-study develop problem-solving skills and enable students to test and develop their knowledge and understanding.
  • Formatively assessed assignments provide practice in the application of logic and high level of rigour as well as feedback for the students and the lecturer on students' progress.
  • The end-of-year examination assesses the knowledge acquired and the ability to solve complex and specialised problems.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 42 2 per week for 20 weeks and 2 in term 3 1 Hour 42
Problems Classes 8 four in each of terms 1 and 2 1 Hour 8
Preparation and Reading 150
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 90%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 3 hours 100%
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Eight written assignments to be assessed and returned. Other assignments are set for self-study and complete solutions are made available to students. 100%

Formative Assessment:

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