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MSci Hons Mathematics with Statistics (Study Abroad)

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Mathematics and Statistics
UCAS Code: G1GH Duration/Length: 4 Year(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Director of Studies: Not known
Total Credit Points: 480 Credit Points Year 2: 120
Credit Points Year 3: 120 Credit Points Year 4: 120

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • The Department's educational aims are to:

    • create a teaching and learning environment which supports all students in reaching their full potential in their study of mathematics with statistics at MSci level;
    • offer a high-quality teaching and learning programme, informed by staff research, designed to provide adequate preparation for postgraduate studies or employment involving a similar high level of knowledge and skills.

    The explicit aims of this programme are to:

    • provide students with analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied systematically and creatively in many types of employment, especially those involving logical skills, decision-making in complex circumstances, or advanced skills of numeracy;
    • offer modules of study which, individually and collectively, enable students to appreciate both the theoretical and problem-solving aspects of mathematics with statistics, and encourage students to show self-direction and originality in tackling problems;
    • provide students with enough core material, of sufficient depth and variety, in the first two levels of study that they are adequately prepared and informed for subsequent study in either or both of pure mathematics and statistics;
    • enable students to experience a programme of study at an overseas partner university in their third year which is comparable with and complementary to a third year of study at Lancaster;
    • enable students to learn about a different higher education system and a different society and culture;
    • encourage students to develop confidence and success as independent learners;
    • provide a programme of study that allows students to specialise in either pure mathematics or statistics at the third and fourth years of study of an MSci, during which students must take a range of modules in their fourth year that require both greater technical maturity and increased self-directed learning in comparison with that needed at BSc level;
    • maintain a programme of study that leads directly into current research in pure mathematics and statistics;
    • produce alumni recognised for the distinctive value of their education on this programme.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Subject-specific knowledge, understanding and skills

    On completing the programme students should have acquired:

    • An understanding of and competence in the key ideas and techniques, and knowledge of the statement and proof of key results, both within the core areas of real and complex analysis, linear and abstract algebra, and probability and statistics, and in the more advanced topics chosen in the third and fourth years of study;
    • An appreciation of the progressive and hierarchical structure of mathematical knowledge;
    • An understanding of mathematical notation, and an ability to use it correctly and coherently;
    • An appreciation of the importance of proof, generalization and abstraction in the logical development of formal theories;
    • An ability both to follow and correctly to construct mathematical proofs of appropriate degrees of complexity;
    • An understanding of the mathematical and contextual basis of statistics as a science, and an appreciation of the statistical paradigm, linking design and conduct of experiments and observations with data analysis,modelling and inference;
    • Experience of implementing the statistical paradigm in a range of general applications;
    • An ability to read and comprehend mathematical literature at an appropriate level;
    • An ability to use computers and specialist software to investigate and solve practical mathematical problems.

    General knowledge, understanding and skills

    On completing the programme students should have acquired:

    • An ability to learn from various styles of presentation of material;
    • An ability to apply previously acquired knowledge to new situations, both to gain understanding and to solve problems;
    • An ability to use information skills to gain access to library and IT resources effectively in researching topics;
    • An ability to produce documents which accurately and effectively communicate scientific material to the reader;
    • An ability to make presentations based on prepared material;
    • An ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a small group;
    • An ability to work to deadlines, and experience in time management when working to a range of deadlines;
    • An ability to produce a substantial dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor;
    • An enhanced degree of self-reliance and confidence in independent study through the experience of teaching and assessment methods used at an overseas university.

Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • Years 1, 2 and 3

    The primary method of instruction is the lecture. Lectures are used to teach key concepts and offer learning guidance.

    All lecture courses in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are supported by weekly problem-solving classes. Students are set weekly assignments which are marked and returned, with feedback, by tutors who are either academic staff or graduate teaching associates. This assessment is designed to be formative, but a small amount of summative credit is awarded. Regular computer lab sessions, especially in the first two years, are used to teach the programming language R and train students to solve problems using software. The labs are designed to complement the lecture courses and problem-solving classes.

    The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a dedicated Project Skills course, MATH390, which carries 15 credits at Level 6 and is taught in the third term of Year 2 and, for students spending a year abroad, the first term of Year 3. Students are trained to use the mathematical typesetting software LaTeX, write scientific reports, enhance their communication skills and deliver oral presentations. Working in small groups, the students are asked to write and present a substantial report on an advanced topic in mathematics or statistics.

    Year 4

    There is a greater emphasis on deeper learning and extended pieces of work. Lecture courses are still important but all students are expected to prepare, research, draft and compose a substantial dissertation, supervised by a member of academic staff in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, which carries 30 credits at Level 7.

    In the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, a wide range of pure mathematics and statistics courses are available, though the student's choice is limited by the options chosen in Year 3, as all modules have prerequisites. Courses often include a significant project assignment carrying summative credit. All Mathematics and Statistics courses in the fourth year have a final examination taken in the Summer Term.

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Testing of knowledge and understanding is conducted through a range of formative and summative assessment methods. The assessment strategy reflects the progressive nature of the subject and moves from testing simple skills and methods through to more complex arguments and independent projects. Work in Year 1 is usually based closely on lecture material and includes basic skills in mathematical techniques, the understanding and application of simple abstract concepts and an appreciation of the role of proof. As the level of study progresses, the work becomes more demanding and requires a firm understanding of the main theoretical approaches and methodological techniques in core topic areas, and a developing experience of transferring these skills to new problems.

    In Year 1 all courses are assessed by a combination of written examination and coursework, in equal proportions. Coursework includes weekly assessed work, end-of-module tests, computer lab work and short project work.

    In Year 2 all courses are assessed by a combination of written examination and coursework, with the examination allocated the majority of marks.

    In Year 3 all courses, except MATH390, are assessed by the overseas partner university according to its own regulations and translated into an equivalent Lancaster aggregation score.

    The course MATH390, worth 15 credits, is assessed entirely through coursework and continual assessment.

    In Year 4, the lectured courses offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are assessed by a combination of written examination and coursework, which may include a short project. There is a mandatory individual dissertation (MATH491, MATH492 or MATH493), worth 30 credits, assessed by the dissertation and possibly an oral presentation.

    Examinations are designed to test the learning objectives. The guiding philosophy is to reward students for what they know rather than penalise them for what they do not know. Formal examinations provide experience of single-minded concentration, critical time-management, preparation skills and working under pressure.

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