Mathematics

Mathematics including a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code G108

2018

Mathematics is important to the modern world. All quantitative science, including both physical and social sciences, is based on it. It provides the theoretical framework for physical science, statistics and data analysis as well as computer science. Our programmes reflect this diversity and the excitement generated by new discoveries within mathematics.

Overview

This programme is for you if you do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry to a Mathematics degree, as you spend a foundation year developing your mathematical knowledge and skills. You then have the option to continue to one of the following programmes: Mathematics - BSc (Hons), Mathematics and Statistics - BSc (Hons), Mathematics and Accounting and Finance - BA (Hons), Financial Mathematics - BSc (Hons). 

You also have the option of spending a year working in industry between Stages 2 and 3. We can offer help and advice in finding a placement.

Independent rankings

Mathematics at Kent was ranked 19th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

For graduate prospects, Mathematics was ranked 19th in The Complete University Guide 2017. Of Mathematics and Statistics students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 92% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Foundation year

If your qualifications are not sufficient, for whatever reason, for direct entry onto a degree programme, you can apply for this programme. It covers the mathematical skills you need to enter Stage 1 of the degree. 


Possible modules may include Credits

This module will focus on the topics which are fundamental across mathematics and the sciences. We will learn about the properties of many functions such as straight lines, quadratics, circles, exponentials, logarithms and the trigonometric functions. The focus of this module is on applied problem solving in many real-life situations, as well as some coverage of the rigorous theory behind many of these ideas. The material is delivered through lectures and examples classes, so that students have many different ways to learn. Many harder, extra-curricular examples are provided for keen students.

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a) Vectors: Vectors in two and three dimensions. Magnitude and direction. Algebraic operations involving vectors and their geometrical interpretations including the scalar product between two vectors. Use vectors to solve simple problems in pure mathematics and applications.

b) Kinematics: Fundamental and derived quantities and units in the S.I. system. Position, displacement, distance travelled, velocity, speed, acceleration. Constant acceleration for motion in one and two dimensions. Motion under gravity in a vertical plane. Projectiles. Use of calculus for motion in a straight line.

c) Forces and Newton's Laws: Newton's laws of motion applied to simple models of single and coupled bodies.

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a) Functions: Functions, inverse functions and composite functions. Domain and range.

Elementary functions including the exponential function, the logarithm and natural logarithm functions and ax for positive real numbers a. Basic introduction to limits and continuity of a function, without epsilon-delta proofs.

b) The derivative: The derivative as the gradient of the tangent to the graph; interpretation of the derivative as a rate of change. The formal definition of the derivative and the calculation of simple examples from first principles. Elementary properties of the derivative, including the product rule, quotient rule and the chain rule; differentiation of inverse functions; calculating derivatives of familiar functions, including trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions. Applications of the derivative, including optimisation, gradients, tangents and normal. Parametric and implicit differentiation of simple functions. Taylor series.

c) Graphs: Curve sketching including maxima, minima, stationary points, points of inflection, vertical and horizontal asymptotes and simple transformations on graphs of functions. Additional material may include parametric curves and use of Maple to plot functions.

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This module introduces the ideas of integration and numerical methods.

a) Integration: Integration as a limit of a sum and graphical principles of integration, derivatives, anti-derivatives and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus (without proof), definite and indefinite integrals, integration of simple functions.

b) Methods of integration: integration by parts, integration by change of variables and by substitution, integration by partial fractions.

c) Solving first order differential equations: separable and linear first order differential equations. Construction of differential equations in context, applications of differential equations and interpretation of solutions of differential equations.

d) Maple: differentiation and integration, curve sketching, polygon plots, summations.

e) Numerical integration: mid-ordinate rule, trapezium rule, Simpson's rule, use of Maple in estimating definite integrals.

Additional material may include root finding using iterative methods, parametric integration, surfaces and volumes of revolution.

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Students will be introduced to key mathematical skills, necessary in studying for a mathematics degree: use of the University Library and other sources to support their learning, present an argument in oral or written form, learn about staff in the School and beyond, etc. In particular, students will study various techniques of proof (by deduction, by exhaustion, by contradiction, etc.). These techniques will be illustrated through examples chosen from various areas of mathematics (and in particular co-requisite modules).

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Lecture Syllabus

INTRODUCTION TO MATLAB – 20 Lectures

An introduction to the use of computers and the process of programming them

Introduction to the MATLAB programming environment

MATLAB basics: Variables and Arrays, Displaying Output Data, Data Files, Operations

Built-in MATLAB Functions

Branching statements and Loops

An introduction to problem solving techniques and the Program development cycle

Program design tools: Flowcharts and Pseudocode

User-defined functions

Introduction to Plotting: Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, Multiple Plots and Animation

Additional data types: Cell arrays, Structures and Graphics handles.

Coursework

22 hours terminal based exercises integrated with the lectures. This will take the form of 11, 2-hour exercises during the year of which 6 will be assessed.

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Since Plato's Dialogues, it has been part of philosophical enquiry to consider philosophical questions using logic and common sense alone. This module aims to train students to continue in that tradition. In the first part students will be introduced to basic themes in introductory logic and critical thinking. In the second part students will be presented with a problem each week in the form of a short argument, question, or philosophical puzzle and will be asked to think about it without consulting the literature. The problem, and students’ responses to it, will then form the basis of a structured discussion.

By the end of the module, students (a) will have acquired a basic logical vocabulary and techniques for the evaluation of arguments; (b) will have practised applying these techniques to selected philosophical topics; and (c) will have acquired the ability to look at new claims or problems and to apply their newly acquired argumentative and critical skills in order to generate philosophical discussions of them.It will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars in the first half of the term, and seminars only in the second half of the term.

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Year in industry

The year in industry included in this programme provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and greatly enhances your cv. We can help you to find a placement and support you while you are there.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching amounts to approximately 16 hours of lectures and classes per week. Modules that involve programming or working with computer software packages usually include practical sessions.

The majority of Stage 1 modules are assessed by end-of-year examinations. Many Stage 2 and 3 modules include coursework which normally counts for 20% of the final assessment. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • equip students with the technical appreciation, skills and knowledge appropriate to a degree in Mathematics
  • develop students’ facilities of rigorous reasoning and precise expression
  • develop students’ abilities to formulate and solve mathematical problems
  • encourage an appreciation of recent developments in mathematics and of the links between the theory of mathematics and its practical application
  • provide students with a logical, mathematical approach to solving problems
  • provide students with an enhanced capacity for independent thought and work
  • ensure students are competent in the use of information technology and are familiar with computers and the relevant software
  • provide students with opportunities to study advanced topics in mathematics, engage in research at some level, and develop communication and personal skills.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the core principles of calculus, algebra, mathematical methods, discrete mathematics, analysis and linear algebra
  • statistics in the areas of probability and inference
  • information technology as relevant to mathematicians
  • methods and techniques of mathematics
  • the role of logical mathematical argument and deductive reasoning.

Intellectual skills

You develop your intellectual skills in the following areas:

  • the ability to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of mathematics
  • the calculation and manipulation of the material written within the programme
  • the ability to apply a range of concepts and principles in various contexts
  • the ability to use logical argument
  • the ability to solve mathematical problems by various methods
  • the relevant computer skills
  • the ability to work independently.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following areas:

  • the ability to demonstrate knowledge of key mathematical concepts and topics, both explicitly and by applying them to the solution of problems
  • the ability to comprehend problems, abstract the essentials of problems and formulate them mathematically and in symbolic form so as to facilitate their analysis and solution
  • the use of computational and more general IT facilities as an aid to mathematical processes
  • the presentation of mathematical arguments and conclusions with clarity and accuracy.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following areas:

  • problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
  • communication skills
  • numeracy and computational skills
  • information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including through online computer searches
  • information technology skills such as wordprocessing, spreadsheet use and internet communication
  • time-management and organisational skills, as shown by the ability to plan and implement effective modes of working
  • study skills needed for continuing professional development.

Careers

Those students who choose to take the year in industry option find the practical experience they gain gives them a real advantage in the graduate job market. Through your studies, you also acquire many transferable skills including the ability to deal with challenging ideas, to think critically, to write well and to present your ideas clearly, all of which are considered essential by graduate employers.

Recent graduates have gone into careers in medical statistics, the pharmaceutical industry, the aerospace industry, software development, teaching, actuarial work, Civil Service statistics, chartered accountancy, the oil industry and postgraduate research.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

Applications are individually considered. Please contact an Admissions Officer

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

Applications are individually considered please contact an Admissions Officer.

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2018/19 regulated UK/EU tuition fees have not yet been set.  As a guide only the 2017/18 full-time UK/EU tuition fees for this programme are £9,250 unless otherwise stated: 

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £15200

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2017/18 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,350. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay £1,350 for that year. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.