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Student and tutor module reviews

Mathematical methods and fluid mechanics

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: MST326
  • Level: 3

Student reviews

This is a great course, is well written, and well supported and also really quite interesting.

So as not to duplicate what others have said, I'll restrict my comments to the assessment.

The TMA questions can be quite challenging, and there is a very large number of topics that need to be revised/mastered to do well in the exam, and revision took me a lot longer than for other modules.

I did this as my first level 3 module (together with the predecessor of MS327), and did not feel disadvantaged (I interpret the wording of the MS327 Module description as implying that MS327 should be done before MST326... which I don't think is necessarily right). On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree that you need to have done well in MST210 to be in a good position to tackle it.

Paul Culliney

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: August 2016

A good course in applied mathematics. Good tutor support, certainly a step up from MST209. TMAs were as good as the past exam papers. Expect heavy vector calculus and eigenvalue problems. A very good course to support quantum mechanics at Level 3.

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: July 2013

A very good course, which did exactly what it said it would do.

There are three sections, really, vector calculus and partial differential equations, which I really wanted to do, and fluid mechanics in which I had no real interest when the course started. I was surprised by how interesting this section was, particularly in the fourth block on turbulence. Some of this, (the most interesting part), is not assessed.

The course units are extremely well written, and cover all the concepts clearly. The TMAs follow the texts, and though thought is necessary,the questions are accessible and develop understanding of the concept. The most taxing unit is Unit 10, on Fourier series, mainly the section on generalised Fourier series and the inner product.

This was my first Level 3 course, and I warn that the exam involves very torturous algebra - there is a real time problem here, I found.

Over all, this was probably the most interesting course so far.

Course starting: January 2011

Review posted: August 2012

Great course, great tutors. The maths gets harder as the course progresses, but it is a Level 3 maths based course, so this is not a surprise. Good use of real-world models brings the subject into the realms of reality.

Course starting: January 2011

Review posted: July 2012

MST326 is a stimulating, challenging course with excellent course materials (texts and a fluids DVD), and a very well run course forum. It's a tough course so I suggest that a couple of other Level 3 courses should be attempted before MST326.

MST326 includes vector calculus, partial differential equations, and generalised (i.e. not just trigonometric) Fourier series - these techniques have a wide range of applications. This makes MST326 the ideal Level 3 course subject-wise to follow on from MST209. Pure mathematicians who like analysis will also find these techniques interesting.

One other thing: the M in the title means that MST326 is primarily a mathematics course. Some students from a technology / science background said it was too mathematical and did not like the vector-based approach.

Course starting: January 2011

Review posted: March 2012

This was my first Level 3 course after having completed MST209 the previous year. The first Blocks A and B follow on nicely and the Block B TMA was the most satisfying piece of work I've done to date with OU.

I didn't find Block C very easy though. The material is definitely a step up from MST209 and some of the algebra is less than straightforward. At least for me, this block only started to really come together in the final stages of my exam revision - persevere and don't duck it for the exam. Looking comments on the course website, students who had done MS324 seemed to take Block C much more in their stride. Block D is interesting and I wished there was more of it.

It is possible to do well in the exam but you really do need a sharp exam technique - you cannot afford to get stuck and dwell for too long on one question. I have yet to find a better alternative to taking a few days off work and practicing every available past paper (many thanks to those who put old papers and solutions up on the course website). Suitably prepared, I found the exam quite satisfying.

There is much rewarding work in this course but you do need to be up for it. That committment was easy for me because this course has some relevance for work. The mathematical side even sharpens you up for applications beyond fluid mechanics. However, I would advise that previous completion of MST209 is essential otherwise you are at high risk of getting badly hacked off.

Course starting: January 2011

Review posted: December 2011

A very challenging course. The course notes were excellent. The TMA's were enjoyable and again, challenging.

However, it is one of two courses alongside 'Waves and diffusion' where the degree of difficulty is higher from the other modules I did. So be prepared to put in some extra hours. However it is excellent preparation for the Msc, I started the M820 and found the material covered in this course a major advantage in taking M820.

The exam was extremely difficult, the hardest one I took to get my Maths Bsc, so I would strongly recommend extra revision and preparation for the exam. Speed in the exam is quite an important factor.

Course starting: January 2009

Review posted: April 2010

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the October 2016 presentation of MST326. The survey was carried out in 2017.

68 students (a response rate of 31.6%) responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module.

Please note that if the percentage of students who responded to this module survey is below 30% and/or the number of responses is below 23 it means that only a small proportion of students provided feedback and their views as shown here may not be fully representative of all students who studied the module.

See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

% Count
Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 92.5 62
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 89.4 59
The module provided good value for money 78.5 51
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 95.5 64
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 91 61
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 94 63
I would recommend this module to other students 89.6 60
The module met my expectations 88.1 59
I enjoyed studying this module 86.6 58
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 81.5 53
Faculty comment: "The module team is pleased and thankful for the positive responses to the student survey. Key areas such as overall satisfaction, teaching materials, and support provided by tutor/study advisor are particularly high, and some feedback suggested that the recorded online tutorials were popular and helpful. We aim to consider carefully the areas where improvement is possible."
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