School of Mathematics

How will I study?

You will learn through a mixture of timetabled classes and independent studying, and through working on different kinds of coursework and projects.

Lectures

Students in a Year 1 lecture
Students discussing a problem in a Year 1 lecture.
You will learn from a variety of styles of lectures; from classes where the lecturer explains concepts at the blackboard with the class taking notes, through to interactive lectures where you will be asked to solve problems and discuss in small groups.

In first-year lectures in particular, you will have reading to do each week from the textbook and in the lecture itself, there will be some discussion of the main ideas and a series of problems to think about. The class votes on multiple choice questions via an app, and if the class are confused then there will be a few minutes of discussion in small groups. When the question is attempted again, the results are usually much better, because the discussion has resolved misconceptions and deepened understanding.

Workshops

Tutor helping a student in a workshop
A tutor helping a Maths student in a workshop.

Most courses have regular workshops where you will work with four or five other students around a table in one of our state-of-the-art teaching studios. These rooms are specially designed to facilitate cooperative group work.

Each pair of tables has a tutor who is on hand to guide you through the activities for the session. Tutors will also provide feedback on assignments and give you a chance to ask for help with any aspect of the course.

 

Overall, students should expect to have about 15 hours of timetabled sessions each week, although this will depend on your choice of outside subjects.

Assessment

In most courses you will have regular assisgnments (both written and online) so that you can get feedback on your progress from tutors and lecturers.

The majority of our courses are assessed overall by a combination of these weekly assignments with a final exam. In first and second year we have 'open book' exams where you can use a textbook and your notes. This is because we want you to concentrate on understanding and using the ideas and concepts involved instead of just memorising procedures.

After first year we have some courses which are assessed entirely by combinations of individual or group reports and presentations to groups of other students.