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Last modified: 04 Jul 2017 11:58

Course Overview

The course is aimed at a general science audience and it focuses on providing the students with the working knowledge of a good set of mathematical skills needed in all science subjects.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Jean-Baptiste Gramain

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This is a maths course for all science students. It aims at providing the students with a good set of working mathematical knowledge needed in nearly all science subjects including Biology, Chemistry and others. The main emphasis is on gaining practical skills togther with understanding the mathematics behind them. The topics discussed in the course will include: Manipulations with numbers, Algebraic manipulations and applications; Area and Volume; Graphs and relationships; Rate of change; Formulae for derivatives; Recurrences, Exponentials, Powers and Logarithms; Trigonometry; Differential equations; Average, Mean, Median.

Further Information & Notes

Course Aims
The course is aimed at any student not undertaking a degree in Mathematics or in Engineering. The course is designed to give students some elementary (and some quite advanced) tools and methods they will need throughout their university years, and throughout their life. Whenever possible, examples will be drawn from various disciplines (biology, physics, chemistry…). Topics covered will likely include:
  • Algebraic manipulations
  • Change of units, rule of three (dilutions, concentrations ...)
  • Surfaces and Volumes (Surface/Volume ratio, Isometric Growth ...)
  • Linear, Affine and Polynomial Relationships.
  • Rate of change, Derivatives (Velocity ...)
  • Exponentials, Powers and Logarithms (Population growth, rates of change, Q10, log-log scales ...)
  • Differential Equations (Lotka-Volterra models for competition and for predator/prey systems)
  • Trigonometry?
  • Averages, Means and Medians?
  • Elementary Statistics?
Learning Objectives
By the end of the course the student should:
  • Be able to solve simple linear equations.
  • Be able to apply a rule of three to solve dilution and concentration problems
  • Be able to compute the perimeter, surface area and volume of simple objects (cuboid, sphere, pyramid, cone …), and apply these to study more complicated objects.
  • Be able to compute the equation of a straight line given two points, or one point and the slope, and be able to compute the coordinates of the intersection of two straight lines.
  • Be able to manipulate and multiply integral and rational powers, as well as polynomials.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

33 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt

  • One 2-hour written exam (60%)
  • Continuous assessments (two online tests) (40%)


  • One 2-hour written exam (100%).

Formative Assessment



Feedback on formative assessment will be offered throughout the course during the example classes and individually to students.

Feedback on summative assessment will be given both in writing and by means of one-to-one discussions with students.

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