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Teaching and Learning


Our teaching was rated ‘excellent’ during our most recent quality assessment and we’re ranked number one for teaching in Mathematical Science in the University of London (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2013). These rankings reflect the care we take in the design and delivery of our courses. Our research interests, such as number theory, cryptography, quantum dynamics and information theory, influence our curriculum, particularly in the final year. These subject areas are extremely useful – they give students the tools to apply their Mathematics in real-life situations.

We use an array of teaching methods, with a focus on small groups. Our approach is to start in the first year with plenty of academic support and gradually reduce this as our students gain confidence.  First year courses are generally taught through lectures, problem-solving workshops and tutorials in groups of four or five students.

This changes to a focus on lectures and workshops in the second year and mostly lectures in the third and fourth years. We also encourage you to practice your Mathematical skills through weekly worksheets: we collect your work, correct it where necessary and return it with comments. This feedback is a vital part of the teaching and learning process.

Computers are also used as an aid in many courses, especially statistics. We teach you how to use a powerful mathematical computing package that can be used in a range of ways such as checking routine calculations (numerical or algebraic).

Learning to prepare and present the results of your work is something we (and employers) see as important so we give you the chance to do this in the second year. You’ll work in a small group to prepare a report and oral presentation on a topic of your choice. In the third year, two of our course units are entirely assessed by project work, while a supervised project makes up 25 per cent of the work in the final year of the MSci.

In a typical week, you’ll attend 12-15 hours of formal teaching – lectures, tutorials, workshops and computer classes. Outside of this, you’re expected to work on worksheets, revise and prepare for projects.

Apart from the projects already mentioned, all course units are examined by written papers in the Summer term.

There is more to learn in a Mathematics course than the material presented in lectures. You must be able to convince yourself of the validity of a piece of Mathematics and present results to others in an understandable fashion.


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