Algebra and Arithmetic - PHYS0020

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module covers a range of arithmetic and algebraic aspects of maths, including: Lowest Common Multiples/Highest Common Factors, Significant Figures, Scientific/Engineering Notation, Fractions, Percentages, Indices, Functions, Logarithmic and Exponential Equations, Algebraic Long Division, Factorisation, Quadratic Equations, Linear and Simultaneous Equations, Partial Fractions and Binomial Theorem.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 110
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Moodle Test 1 (15%) – 1 hour
Moodle Test 2 (15%) – 1 hour
Examination (70%) – 2 hours
Academic year 2022/23 examined: In-Person Exam (Standard Exam)

Indicative reading

Core Text:
Maths: The Core Mathematics for A Level, by Bostock and Chandler, 1994

Supplementary texts:
Foundations Maths by Croft and Davison, 6th Ed., pub. Addison-Wesley, 2016
Foundation Mathematics, Stroud & Booth, 2009

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Understand mathematics in relation to arithmetic and other basic numerical manipulations.
Deal with the accuracy of numbers in terms of decimal places and significant figures.
Understand areas of logarithmic and exponential mathematics.
Solve a range of equations including linear, quadratic, simultaneous, logarithmic and exponential.
Split complex fractions by the method of partial fractions.
Understand binomial expansions.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate a firm foundation in maths (in combination with similar modules) to facilitate entry into stage 1 of a science- or maths-based degree programmes in the Faculty of Sciences.
Solve problems, including an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
Use analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.
Work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact with other people.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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