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Unit information: Mathematics for Computer Science A in 2021/22

Unit name Mathematics for Computer Science A
Unit code COMS10014
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Bernhard
Open unit status Not open

A* in A-level mathematics, or equivalent.


COMS10013 Mathematics for Computer Science B

School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit and its companion, COMS10013 “Mathematics for Computer Science B”, provide the mathematical foundations for the rest of the programme.

It assumes an A* in A-level mathematics or equivalent knowledge as a prerequisite, which is part of our entry requirements.

This unit introduces students to two main areas of mathematics:

  1. Discrete Mathematics, which is often called “the Mathematics of Computer Science”.
  2. Probability Theory, the area of mathematics that deals with uncertainty and that is essential for scientific modelling. A particular application of this in computing is the field of Machine Learning.

Cutting across all these topics, students will be introduced to principles of mathematical reasoning, for example: creating a mathematical model of a problem, being precise and formal where necessary (and knowing when this is necessary), using abstraction to focus on the important aspects of a problem, dealing with uncertainty, employing mathematical methods of reasoning (for example, inductive and deductive arguments).

Intended Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Perform the calculations, algorithms and other techniques taught in the unit.
  2. Recognise and apply mathematical precision and abstraction.
  3. Select appropriate mathematical tools and methods of reasoning to create models and solve problems.
  4. Recognise a correct mathematical proof.
  5. Solve problems in the areas of logic, set theory, combinatorics, and probability theory.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Exam (January, 100%)

In addition to the assessment, this unit has a “must pass” hurdle: students are required to attend and sign in to at least 75% of the workshop classes.


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. COMS10014).

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.