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Module details


Year: 2014/15
Department: International Academy
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No

Supervisor: Richard Barnard  
Teaching Staff: Richard Barnard  
Contact details: jpsumm (Non essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create the full email address) 

Module is taught during the following terms

Module Description

The module covers the mathematical skills needed to proceed to any degree course where knowledge of mathematics to AS level standard is required. The syllabus initially covers the basic mathematics of number work, equations and graph work to ensure that all students have acquired basic skills before proceeding on to more advanced topics. The syllabus then expands to cover calculus, further algebra and series, with lectures developing in range and content. The associated work in classes develops the skills used to solve relevant problems, until the student is handling questions involving a broad spectrum of mathematical knowledge and skill.

Module aims

- to ensure that students from a wide range of educational backgrounds have a broad understanding of basic mathematical skills

- to develop the ability to acquire knowledge and skills from lectures, from text books and class work exercises, and from the application of theory to a range of weekly coursework material

- to develop students' ability to use these skills in their subsequent degree course

- to equip students with the mathematical techniques needed to solve problems and to clearly structure their solutions and conclusions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module a student will demonstrate:

- knowledge of the basic mathematical techniques of algebra

- knowledge of calculus and an understanding of the methods of differentiation and integration when applied to a range of functions

- an ability to analyse a problem and to choose the most suitable method for its solution

- an ability to work well under examination conditions

- an ability to absorb and retain concepts

- the application of appropriate study strategies

- an ability to clearly communicate knowledge without immediate recourse to source material


The syllabus covers the following topics:

- basic arithmetic and number work

- algebra: formulae; solution of linear, simultaneous, quadratic and polynomial equations; logarithms; inequalities; trigonometric ratios and functions for any angle; vectors and matrices

- graphical representation of functions and inequalities; curve sketching; graphical solution of equations; tangents and normals

- calculus: differentiation of linear, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions, including function of a function, products and quotients; second derivative; turning points; applications of differentiation; integration; definite integration; areas under curves

- sequences and series: arithmetic and geometric progressions; summation of a series; binomial theorem


Coursework is comprised of:

One in-class test in week 8 (25%). Feedback provided in week 11.

One in-class test in week 22 (75%). Feedback provided in week 25.

End-of-year two-hour exam.

Learning & Teaching Methods

The module is delivered via a weekly one-hour lecture for all students and a weekly two to four-hour class for small groups of students. The two hour classes are used to go over the lecture material and to consolidate it with exercises. Allocation of students to particular groups is based on their ability, as indicated by a mathematics assessment test in week two. Each group therefore contains a small number of students of similar ability. Students who exhibit lower ability in the assessment test are allocated additional one or two hour classes per week. Weekly one hour tutorials also take place throughout the course for students needing additional support. There are a total of 19 one hour lectures, plus 19 two hour classes, over the period from week 3 to 11 and week 16 to 25. There are three weeks of revision lectures and classes in weeks 30 to 32.


40 per cent Coursework Mark, 60 per cent Exam Mark

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.


  • Recommended textbook:
  • Bostock, L and Chandler, F (2000) Core Maths for Advanced Level. (3rd ed) Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
  • For basic revision:
  • Croft, A and Davidson, R (2003) Foundation Maths (3rd ed) Prentice Hall.

Further information

Should you have any queries about the Module Directory pages, please contact the Course Record Team, Systems Administration Office, Academic Section; email: crt (non Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk)