Algebra and Arithmetic - PHYS0020

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 3 15 (7.5) Gabriela Roch checkmark-circle


  • Arithmetic
    Significant figures
    Standard form
    Simplification of fractions
    Percentages and fractional changes
    Logarithmic and exponential functions

  • Algebra
    Basic rules (operations and indices).
    Solving equations (substitution and order of operation).
    Changing subject of a formula
    Inverse operations
    Rules of indices
    Long division
    Expansion and Factorisation
    Quadratic equations
    Solving linear and simultaneous equations
    Partial fractions
    Binomial Theorem


    Contact hours

    36 hours of lectures; 8 hours of workshops.


    This is not available as a wild module.

    Method of assessment

    Class Tests 30%; Final Examination 70%

    Indicative reading

    Core Text:

  • Maths: The Core Mathematics for A Level, by Bostock and Chandler, ISBN 0-85950306-2. Copies are in the library
    Supplementary texts:
  • Foundations Maths by Croft and Davison, 2nd ed., pub. Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-17804-4. Copies are in the library.
  • Foundation Mathematics, Stroud & Booth, (2009) ISBN 0230579078. Copies are in the library.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

  • To understand mathematics in relation to arithmetic and other basic numerical manipulations.
  • To deal with the accuracy of numbers in terms of decimal places and significant figures.
  • To obtain a good understanding in the areas of logarithmic and exponential mathematics.
  • To Learn to solve a large of equations including linear, quadratic, simultaneous logarithmic and exponential.
  • To split complex fractions by the method of partial fractions.
  • To obtain a basic understanding of series and binomial expansions.
  • To lay a firm foundation in maths (in combination with similar modules) to facilitate entry into year 1 of maths-based degree programmes in the Faculty of Sciences.
  • Problem-solving skills, 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.
  • 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.
  • Personal skills – the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact with other people.
  • Numeracy and computational skills, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation.
  • Generic skills needed for students to undertake further training of a professional nature.
  • Study skills needed for continuing professional development and professional employment.


    1. Credit level 3. Foundation level module taken in preparation for a degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
    Back to top

    University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.