Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Mathematics : Mathematics

Undergraduate Course: Mathematics for the Natural Sciences 1a (MATH08072)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Mathematics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course is a first university level course for students interested in the natural sciences and is compulsory for some degree programmes in the School of Chemistry.

The course provides key basic mathematical skills and leads naturally to calculus in MATH08073 Mathematics for the Natural Sciences 1b.
Course description This course will cover topics in a first university course in Mathematics but not including calculus and includes the following syllabus:

Inequalities, modulus and intervals.
Functions: the circular, hyperbolic and logarithmic functions and their inverses.
Sets, counting and probability.
Random variables, discrete and continuous probability distributions.
Complex numbers: Basic operations, Cartesian, polar form.
Basic vector algebra; scalar product, vector product, triple product and geometry.
Matrices, inverses and determinants, linear equations and elimination.
Eigenvalues, eigenvectors.

Basic mathematical skills will be developed using on-line quizzes and end of week e-assessments.
Mathematical writing skills will be developed in five written assessments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Engineering Mathematics 1a (MATH08074) OR Introduction to Linear Algebra (MATH08057)
Other requirements A in SQA Higher Mathematics or equivalent
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  156
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 20%, Examination: 80%.

Students repeating the course will be assessed as 100% exam only.

Students must pass exam and course overall.
Feedback STACK questions (including practice) give feedback on submission. Written work will have written comments on return and solutions addressing common errors. Further feedback in workshop and peer discussions.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December) 3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Display fluency in algebraic and numerical manipulations of functions including polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic.
  2. Display fluency in manipulating vectors and matrices up to and including eigenvectors.
  3. Display fluency in manipulating complex numbers including finding powers and roots of complex numbers.
  4. Display fluency with computing probabilities and manipulating probability distributions.
  5. Present clear written solutions to problems involving one or more areas of the syllabus.
Reading List
Students will require a copy of the course textbook. This is currently "Mathematics for the Natural Sciences 1" compiled by Antony Maciocia ISBN:9781787267725. This is a special edition and is available only from Blackwell's bookshop at South Bridge, Edinburgh, or electronically.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will have key skills in basic algebra, functions, probability, statistics, vectors, matrices and complex numbers.
KeywordsMNS1a,algebra,polynomials,functions,complex numbers,vectors,matrices,probability,statistics
Course organiserDr David Quinn
Course secretaryMrs Frances Reid
Tel: (0131 6)50 4883
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information