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Unit information: Mathematical Investigations in 2021/22

Unit name Mathematical Investigations
Unit code MATH10009
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Bouyer
Open unit status Not open

A in A Level Mathematics or equivalent


MATH10015 Linear Algebra, MATH10011 Analysis, and MATH10012 ODEs, Curves and Dynamics

School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

Unit co-organiser: Rachael Carey

Unit Aims

Independent studying is a key skill of mathematicians. In this unit students work in teams on three mini-projects and explore in workshops topics related to their studies, all with the overall aim to foster independent study skills. Other benefits will be a better understanding of our assessment criteria, learning how to give and receive feedback and easing the transition from School to University by providing an opportunity to make friends and work with other students.

Unit Description

Investigation projects: Students have weekly meetings in small groups with their personal tutor to discuss the three mini-projects that they are working on over the year. For each investigation project they break up in small teams. produce a short report (in LaTeX) and give a presentation at the end of each activity. The meetings are used to support the students; students will give updates on their progress and report on problems. Some sessions will focus on skills, like how to write mathematics, how to prepare a presentation and how to assess a project report.

Investigation workshops: There will also be weekly workshop sessions where students meet for a 2-hour block each week assisted by a teaching assistant. For the first hour students self-organise into small groups to work through the steps of that week's investigation workshop, with the teaching assistant on hand for support and guidance. Once students have finished their worksheet they have the opportunity to engage in further discussions, either about the topic that they just studied or about questions related to current homework problems.

The goals of the investigation workshops are

  • To reinforce, in a structured and supportive setting, ideas and techniques taught in lectures;
  • To give the students context and time to help them digest course material;
  • To engage the students in an enjoyable experience working through problems that elucidate course material;
  • To help students build their study skills and create learning communities.

Investigation topics: The topics of the investigation projects and workshops will be linked to other units in the curriculum and the workshops will see an emphasis on topics from Analysis and, to lesser extent ODEs, Dynamics and Curves. All workshops in a given week will have the same topic. The topics for the mini projects will offer the possibility to explore the material beyond what has been covered in the units.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit, the students should:

  • be able to work independently on mathematical problems with suitable guidance
  • be able to work in teams
  • be able to write short reports in LaTeX
  • have gained experience in presenting mathematical arguments

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through

  • weekly group meetings with supervisor
  • weekly workshops
  • guided independent study
  • working in teams to progress mini-projects

Assessment Information

100% continuous assessment

To receive credit for this unit, students must attend and engage with the investigation workshops. Failure to do so may result in credit being withheld, even if the overall mark is above the pass mark for the unit. Supplementary or resit assessment of this unit is only possible through engagement in the following academic year.


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. MATH10009).

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.