IF0FM1-Foundation Mathematics

Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Rehana Bari
Email: r.bari@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides an introduction to basic mathematical techniques to ensure that students can deal with arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus to a standard which will support entry to an undergraduate degree programme. In statistics we cover contents such as representation and summary of data, probability, correlation and regression, binomial and normal distribution.


To provide a solid grounding in the key elements of pure mathematics and statistics to a good A-level standard for students approaching a degree in economics, finance, management, business or science pathways.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • handle with confidence and accuracy the techniques of algebra required for the solution of equations, differentiation and integration

  • interpret a range of problems, selecting the relevant procedure needed for solution

  • find  graphical solutions  to  questions

  • analyse statistical  data, recognise Normal and Binomial distributions and be able to calculate probabilities associated with them

Additional outcomes:

Students are expected to learn to work independently under pressure of time and may be required to present their solutions orally in a small group context. They should grow in confidence in assessing the essential elements of a solution and in the written explanation of problems.

Outline content:

The syllabus for Foundation Mathematics normally covers a total of 15  topics each of which takes between one and three weeks to complete. All students will study pure maths and statistics topics (80%). In addition students will study some subject specific content (20%). Those on HBS pathways will study the HBS content below and all other students will study the science pathways content below.

Pure Maths: The module begins with the basic concepts of algebra and number theory. The study of functions and mappings, including composite and inverse functions follows. This is followed by the calculus needed for maximisation and minimisation for practical problems. In the second term, arithmetic and geometric progressions, further differentiation and integration are introduced

Statistics: Descriptive statistics and probability theory complete the first term. Regression and correlation and time series are followed by a study of the binomial distribution. The module is completed in the Summer Term by a study of the normal distribution.

Science Pathways : Algebra and functions – graphs to simple cubic functions, effect of simple transformations, binomial expansion, trigonometry – sine, cosine and tangent functions, their graphs, basic identities including double angle formula; differentiation of trigonometric functions, use definite integrals to find the area under a curve and the area between two curves.

Business, Economics and Finance:  Graphical analysis of linear functions is applied to supply and demand problems. This is followed by the calculus needed for maximisation and minimisation applications of the economic and business model. Savings and compound interest applications, marginal functions and price elasticity for demand, Integration - application to business problems,  index number

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures and small group tutorials.

Weekly surgery hours for individual assistance as required.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 40 44 20
Seminars 10 11 5
Guided independent study:      
    Other 100 110 60
Total hours by term 150 165 85
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Set exercise 10
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 3-hour (Pure Maths) and one 2-hour (Statistics) written examination papers.

The examination for this module will require a narrowly defined time window and is likely to be held in a dedicated exam venue.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Autumn and Spring term assessed exercises and tests.

Coursework has a total weight of 30% in the overall mark, comprised as follows:

10% assessed exercises; 10% Autumn test; 10% Spring test.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/cqsd-old-site-documents/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-assessment is by written examination only in August/September of the same year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: A Concise Course in A Level Statistics with worked examples, Crawshaw and Chambers (revised edition 2013), £31.99

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

4) Printing and binding: 

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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