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Unit information: Discrete Mathematics 2 in 2021/22

Unit name Discrete Mathematics 2
Unit code EMAT20540
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Colin Campbell
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Engineering Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide an overview of advanced topics in discrete mathematics. In particular the unit will consider partial orderings, algebraic structures and vector spaces. These are axiomatic frameworks that generalise many mathematical systems as well as providing powerful tools for computer science in areas such as cryptography and databases. Also introduced will be mathematical concepts of probability.


The aim of this unit is to provide students with a foundational understanding of the abstract structures underlying much of mathematics and computing. It also aims to provide examples of how such ideas can be used in practical applications.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completing this unit students should be:

  1. Be competent in the manipulation of discrete abstract structures including groups, semigroups, monoids, rings, integral domains, fields, vector spaces and have an understanding of how they can be applied in areas such as computing and knowledge engineering.
  2. Be able to comprehend and design automata and Turing Machines for simple computational tasks, as well as understanding their practical uses and limitations.
  3. Have an understanding of the basic principles of game theory, including how a player can utilise optimal strategies to win a game, and how this applies to well-known problems such as rock-paper-scissors and the prisoner’s dilemma.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including video lectures, on-campus examples classes and Q&A sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises. The unit will be supported by weekly workshops, which will provide on-campus learning involving class discussion, problem solving, and/or group presentations. Students will be expected to actively participate in the workshops, and engage with readings, self-directed exercises, and problem-solving activities.

Assessment Information

3 homework sheets, set throughout TB1 (5% each for a total of 15%)

2-hour exam in TB1 exam period (85%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EMAT20540).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.