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Educational aims

This diploma develops the concepts and approach of mathematics, providing a basis for the study of mathematics and the mathematical sciences. The aim is that you should acquire:

  • the notion of a mathematical approach
  • the ability to use mathematical software
  • the skills necessary to use mathematics in employment
  • an introduction to some topics in statistics and probability
  • the basic ideas of two of the following three strands:
    • pure mathematics (particularly analysis, linear algebra and group theory), and the technique of recognising and constructing valid mathematical proofs
    • applied mathematics (particularly mathematical methods including calculus, mathematical modelling, mechanics and numerical analysis)
    • exploratory data analysis, models for distributions, statistical inference, experimental design, statistical modelling techniques and a range of probabilistic models.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will:

  • be aware of the need for rigorous mathematical proof, and understand and be able to use some of the techniques involved
  • have gained a knowledge and understanding of two of the following three strands:
    • the elements of linear algebra, analysis and group theory and understand and use some of the techniques of rigorous mathematical proof
    • the basic concepts behind the methods of Newtonian mechanics, differential equations, vector calculus, linear algebra and numerical analysis
    • the use and application of a variety of methods for exploring, summarising and presenting data; and a range of methodologies for data analysis.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will have acquired the ability (at a level appropriate to the diploma) to:

  • carry out mathematical/statistical calculation and reasoning using the concepts listed above
  • analyse real world problems in appropriate contexts
  • select and apply a range of mathematical/statistical tools and techniques, and the ability to create appropriate mathematical or statistical models and draw appropriate inferences
  • apply qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills
  • interpret the results of such analysis
  • reason with abstract concepts.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Application: apply mathematical/statistical concepts, principles and methods
  • Problem solving: analyse problems (both theoretical and practical) and plan strategies for their solution
  • Information technology: use information technology to acquire and present mathematical/statistical knowledge, and to model and solve practical problems
  • Communication: communicate relevant information and mathematical/statistical ideas, using a form, structure and style that suit the purpose
  • Independence: be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to demonstrate the following key skills:

Communication

  • read and/or listen to documents and discussions having mathematical/statistical content, with an appropriate level of understanding
  • communicate information having mathematical/statistical content accurately and effectively, using a form, structure and style that suit the purpose

Application of number

  • exhibit a high level of numeracy, appropriate to the level of the diploma

Information technology

  • use information technology to acquire and present mathematical/statistical knowledge, and to model and solve practical problems

Learning how to learn

  • be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Teaching is carried out using text, a virtual learning environment (VLE), software (where appropriate), audio-visual resources (AV), self-assessment questions (SAQs) and activities, exercises, and tutorials.

Assessment is in the form of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), computer-marked assignments (CMAs), interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs), and examinations.

Key skills

Skill 4 is implicit and not formally assessed. The other skills are taught, learned and assessed using text, VLE, software (where appropriate), AV, online SAQs and activities, and online tutorials.

TMAs, CMAs, iCMAs, examination.

Practical and/or professional skills

Skill 5 is implicit and not formally assessed. The other skills are taught, learned and assessed using text, VLE, software (where appropriate), AV, online SAQs and activities, and online tutorials.

TMAs, CMAs, iCMAs, examination.