Mathematics at Queen's
A Handbook for Undergraduate Students
2014-2015

Most recent update: 4 September 2014

Department of Applied Mathematics
and Theoretical Physics
Department of Pure Mathematics
Phone (028) 9097 6001Phone(028) 9097 6003
Fax (028) 9097 6061Fax(028) 9097 6060
E-mail applied.maths@qub.ac.uk E-mail pure.maths@qub.ac.uk

School of Mathematics and Physics
Queen's University Belfast
University Road
Belfast BT7 1NN

For dates of lectures, assessment sessions and vacations 2014-2015: please see the beginning of Section 5

Contents

Section 1: General information for mathematics students

  1. Disclaimer
  2. Welcome
  3. Location
  4. Notice boards and websites
  5. Advisers of Studies and Personal Tutors
  6. Using e-mail
  7. Libraries
  8. Code of conduct
  9. University guidelines on attendance
  10. Work that we expect you to do
  11. Documenting absence or missed deadlines
  12. Safety and first aid
  13. Evacuation procedures
  14. Disability provision
  15. Staff-student consultative committees
  16. Seeking help with problems
  17. Complaints procedures
  18. BSc/MSci transfers
  19. Assessment and examinations
  20. External examiners
  21. Use of calculators in examinations
  22. Degree classifications
  23. Study abroad
  24. Prizes
  25. Module codes

Section 2: Degree programmes and choice of modules

Section 3: Staff and modules in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Statistics & Operational Research

Section 4: Staff and modules in Pure Mathematics

Section 5: General university support and services

Appendix 1: Module summaries, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Statistics & Operational Research

Appendix 2: Module summaries, Pure Mathematics

Appendix 3: Flowchart for Mathematics modules

Section 1: General information for mathematics students

  1. Disclaimer

    This handbook is intended to provide students with information specifically on the Mathematics departments and degree programmes. It is intended to supplement School and University publications, rather than to replace them. In the event of any conflict between the contents of this handbook and School or University publications (e.g., the it is likely that we have got it wrong!

  2. Welcome

    We hope that you will have an enjoyable, as well as a productive, time during your stay with us. We do all we can to provide you with the best mathematical education available. We succeed in this fairly well, as is evidenced by the 'Excellent' rating (scoring 22 out of a possible 24) that Mathematics in Queen's University Belfast (QUB) received from the QAA Subject Review in November 1999 and by the very favorable findings of the internal University Subject Review in 2005 and Education Enhancement Process in 2013. In particular, a number of Mathematics modules (Mathematical Investigations, Computer Algebra, Financial Mathematics and Mathematical Modelling in Biology and Medicine) have been picked out as examples of good practice.

    For administrative purposes, there are actually two Mathematics departments at Queen's: the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (which is responsible for those study modules that are coded AMA (plus a numerical identifier) and also for Statistics and Operational Research modules coded SOR), and the Department of Pure Mathematics (whose modules are coded PMA plus numerical identifier). Almost all of you will take modules from both departments initially, but will be able to specialise in later years.

  3. Location

    Mathematics is located in the David Bates Building (DBB), which was completed in 2007 and is to the east of the McLay Library. The DBB houses most of the staff offices and some small- and medium-sized teaching rooms. Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Statistics & Operational Research generally occupy the ground floor and the first floor; Pure Mathematics is on the second floor. Some of your maths classes, however, will take place in other buildings around the University.

  4. Notice boards and websites

    There are notice boards in the Applied Mathematics Department (ground floor and first floor, David Bates Building) and in the Pure Mathematics Department (second floor, David Bates Building). Areas are reserved for University notices, others for departmental notices. Students are advised to consult these notice boards at regular intervals in order not to miss information that may be important to them.

    A large amount of information concerning the Mathematics departments and the School of Mathematics and Physics is available online. You should be familiar with the School of Mathematics and Physics website http://www.qub.ac.uk/mp, from which the Education link can be followed.

  5. Advisers of Studies and Personal Tutors

    Upon acceptance into Queen's, each student is assigned an Adviser of Studies (AoS) and a Personal Tutor (PT).

    The primary role of your Advisor of Studies is to help you with module choices and to provide guidance in academic matters, e.g., requirements of your degree programme, progression between stages, resit examinations, change of programme, permissions of absence during term time, temporary withdrawal, etc. In particular, your choice of modules, as well as any changes, must always be approved by your AoS (see this Section). Students should meet with their AoS at least once a year at enrolment before the start of the academic year.

    The primary role of Personal Tutors is to support students in their transition from School or other previous occupation to Higher Education. During your first year, weekly personal tutor meetings will be held throughout term. The aim of these meetings is to provide regular contact with a member of staff in a small-group setting. While these meetings will be centred on mathematical topics of immediate relevance to your first-year Maths courses, feel free to raise any other issues with your PT, either during the meetings, or by contacting your PT in person or by email. For most students their PT will remain the same throught their studies, being a familiar friendly face and an important point of contact to you. (See also this Section for some general University guidance on PT.)

    Students experiencing any academic difficulty should consult their Adviser of Studies or Personal Tutor at an early stage.

  6. Using e-mail

    Your Queen's e-mail is the official means of communication between us and you. Important information is sent to you in this way, including details of module changes and examination arrangements. It is your responsibility to check your university e-mail account regularly and frequently - preferably on a daily basis.

    When using email to contact your Adviser of Studies, Personal Tutor or lecturers, always address the person you are writing to (e.g., Dear Dr Blanco ..., Dear Prof Williams ..., Hello Gleb ..., etc.). Even more importantly, always sign your email (e.g., With best regards, John) and provide your student number. Use meaningful Subject. Be concise. Always remain courteous and polite. Please remember that in the University context email is official and formal (though often friendly), making it different from texting (which is often informal, both in style and grammatically).

  7. Libraries

    The University's collection of mathematics texts is housed in the McClay Library adjacent to the David Bates Building. Although many Mathematics modules are very self-contained compared with other University subjects, your lecturers will usually identify some textbooks as recommended or supplementary reading, with additional exercises and so on, and students should take such opportunities of developing their research and scholarship skills. Check the Library webpage for access to the catalogue and various online resources. The Library Catalogue 'QCat', can be also accessed from http://qu-lms.qub.ac.uk/search~S3, where past exam papers for many individual modules can be found. Information on individual modules is normally provided by the lecturers through Queen's Online (QoL).

    A useful entry point to the Library resources is the Mathematics & Physics LibGuide page. Our Subject Librarian is Carol Dunlop.

  8. Code of conduct

    All members of the Mathematics departments are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous, considerate and honest manner in all dealings with students. They are expected to be aware of their obligations and responsibilities towards their students and to meet them on time.

    Students are equally expected to take a full part in their studies by attending all classes and by undertaking and handing in all the work that is set for them. The European Community believes that a full-time student needs to devote around 40 hours per week to their degree programme, including class contact hours. (Of course, coming up to examinations, it may well be a bit more!) Given that our modules usually have 4 to 6 contact hours per week, students should be prepared to be working an additional 8-9 hours per week on each of three modules. This should include plenty of time to make a serious attempt at each homework. Recent studies in QUB show that examination results are closely related to the effort that is put into each homework, rather than to the mark actually attained on it. In order to allow themselves time for this work, students are expected to limit any paid employment during term-time to an absolute maximum of 12 hours per week, which should be at hours which do not interfere with their ability to attend lectures, tutorials, etc.

    Students are also expected to contribute to the success of classes by keeping noise levels to a minimum: for example, by turning off mobile phones, by not eating during classes (especially crisps!) and by talking only when this is part of the educational activity of the class. Whilst occasional lateness in reaching classes may be inevitable, if you do find yourself arriving late please keep the disruption that you cause to a minimum by taking the nearest available seat.

    Users of the Mathematics building are expected to make all efforts to keep it clean and hazard-free: for example, by dumping litter only in rubbish bins, by draining half-full coke cans down a sink before binning them, by keeping exits clear of obstruction and by not jamming fire-doors open. Where individual students have been given an access code or card to let them into the building after hours or to work in particular rooms, the code/card is to be kept exclusively to that individual and not passed around to others; codes/cards that are abused in this fashion will be cancelled in order to maintain the security of the building.

  9. University guidelines on attendance

    “Students are expected to attend lectures for the modules for which they are enrolled. Failure to attend will inhibit your learning and therefore have a negative effect on assessment results. Attendance at lectures may be monitored and poor attendance could result in being interviewed by senior academic staff.”

    Under our own Code of Conduct you will have seen that we go further and expect you not only to attend all classes associated with a given module but also to attempt all work set for it, even if it does not form part of the final assessment.

  10. Work that we expect you to do

    The University recognizes that occasionally you will be unable to carry out tasks that are expected of you, through illness, family commitments, job interviews or other similar reasons. For this reason not many of the activities that you are expected to perform are formally made compulsory. Nevertheless, you are expected to play a full part in your own education by attending those classes that have been organized for you and by handing in work that has been set for you.

    You are expected to attend lectures. Copying a set of notes that someone else has made is an extremely poor substitute for the educational process that you should be undertaking by listening to a lecture and distilling its essence for yourself.

    You will be set written work to undertake for each module, usually on a weekly basis. Each piece of work will have a stated deadline for handing it in and work that is handed in after this deadline will not normally be accepted. Even if you think that your attempt is poor, we still want to see it, if only to be able to advise you what to do about your problems. If you fail to hand in work on a regular basis you will be requested to attend for interview with the Head of Teaching. In extreme cases your Adviser of Studies (AoS) and the School Office will also be informed of the problem.

    In return for your commitment to undertake the work set for you, we undertake to have the work marked with feedback in time for the associated tutorial and normally within one week of it being handed in.

    Tutorial classes are associated with each lecture module and we take these so seriously that we actually keep records of attendance at each one. Tutorials are the means by which you can find out ways in which you can approach problems, or could have tackled the work that was set for you, or find out what was wrong with your attempt if the feedback on your marked solution was insufficiently informative.

    The more preparation you put into tutorials, the more you will get out of them. If you fail to attend tutorials on a regular basis you may be requested to attend for interview with the relevant Head of Teaching. In extreme cases your Adviser of Studies and the School Office will also be informed of the problem.

    Apart from monitoring of your progress by the departments, the Mathematics departments have a Student Support Group. Poor attendance and homework hand-in record across a number of subjects will result in you being called for interview with this group. Failure to attend at this interview may result in you being called for interview by the Director of Education.

  11. Documenting absence or missed deadlines or underperformance due to circumstances beyond your control

    If illness or other emergencies cause you to miss lectures, tutorials or examinations, or prevent you from completing assessed work on time, then you should send or hand in a medical certificate (or other professional documentation) to the School of Mathematics and Physics Office on the top floor of the David Bates Building, or to the Mathematics Office on the ground floor of the David Bates Building, as quickly as possible. They will forward copies to all departments concerned. It is important to do this because of the possible penalties associated with failure to attend sessions or to submit work for assessment. Promptness in handing in medical certificates is especially important at examination time as they cannot be taken into account if submitted more than three days after the last examination of the session. Please see this Section for information regarding late submission of assessed coursework.

  12. Safety and first aid

    Your duties

    You have a personal duty and a legal responsibility to take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourself and of other persons who may be affected by your acts or your omissions.

    First aid

    The Departmental Office is usually staffed by trained first-aiders. In addition, Dr C. Ramsbottom (DBB, Room 01.038, telephone 9097 6047) and Mrs J. McKee (DBB, Room 02.012, telephone 9097 6005) are trained first-aiders. First aid boxes are situated in Rooms 0G.008 and 01.040 of the Applied Mathematics Department and in Room 02.007 on the top floor of the David Bates Building. Access to these can be granted through the Mathematics Departmental Office. Students should also be aware of the location of the University Health Centre, 5 Lennoxvale (off Malone Road, just beyond Chlorine Gardens), which has fully trained nursing staff.

    Accident reporting

    Any accident, no matter how small, must be reported to the lecturer or supervisor in charge as soon as possible. Accidents outside class in School buildings must also be reported as soon as possible to one of the Safety Officers or to the Mathematics Departmental Office. Details of the accident must be entered in the Accident Reporting Book and a QUB accident report form filled in. Non-injury accidents that could have caused injury should also be entered in the Accident Reporting Book.

    The David Bates Building Safety Officer

    is Dr M. Mathieu (Room 02.029, telephone 9097 6008, E-mail m.m@qub.ac.uk). Any student should bring any concern regarding safety to the attention of the lecturer or supervisor in charge, or a Safety Officer, or the Mathematics Departmental Office.

    Lifts

    If you get stuck in the lift, use the emergency call button and wait to be rescued. Under no circumstances should you attempt to force your way out of the lift.

    Medical conditions and pregnancy

    If you have a known medical condition (e.g., epilepsy, diabetes) please be advised to inform the Mathematics Disability Officer (Dr T. Todorov, telephone 9097 6030, E-mail t.todorov@qub.ac.uk) or the University Disability Office. The information will be treated in confidence. In case of an incident, it may be important that relevant staff have been made aware of your condition. Thus, to ensure that staff can make a swift and accurate assessment of the situation, and that they can respond appropriately to any incident, please inform the University by the route given above.

    If you are pregnant, please inform us through your Personal Tutor or your Adviser of Studies. Special regulations govern safety for new or expectant mothers.

    Security

    The telephone extension number of Queen's Security is 2222 for emergencies and 5099 for non-emergencies (9097 2222 and 9097 5099 if using an outside line).

    Smoking Policy

    The University has a No Smoking policy in place in all buildings. Designated smoking shelters are available throughout the campus. The one nearest to the David Bates Building can be found between the Library and the car park. Elsewhere on campus, smoking is not allowed, including in the vicinity of the entrance to the David Bates Building.

  13. Evacuation procedures

    Emergency evacuation procedures are posted throughout the David Bates Building and other buildings in the University. Locate and read them. Also locate the nearest Fire Alarm Break Glass Point in the area where you are working.

    Fire Alarm

    The fire alarm is a continuously sounding bell or siren.

    Fire Procedures

    If you discover a fire:

    If you hear the fire alarm:

    In the case of an emergency, DO NOT:

    DO:

  14. Disability provision

    If you have advised the University about a disability issue on your UCAS application form, you should have been contacted by the University's Disability Services to discuss any support needs you may have. If you have not been contacted by the Disability Services and you want specific needs in relation to your studies to be taken into account, you must register with the Disability Services: please refer to Section 5 ‘General university support and services’ of this document.

    If you are not registered and have a disability which is restricting your academic studies, please contact Disability Services or your Adviser of Studies or one of the School Disability Advisers:

    Dr Tchavdar Todorov (Mathematics)
    Tel. 9097 6030
    E-mail: t.todorov@qub.ac.uk
    Dr Chris Watson (Physics)
    Tel. 9097 3175
    E-mail: c.a.watson@qub.ac.uk

    If you are experiencing difficulty or are not receiving the support expected or required this can have a detrimental effect on your work. In such cases it is essential that you contact either you Disability Adviser or Disability Services immediately.

  15. Staff-student consultative committees

    Each of the two departments has a Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) - a committee of staff and students that discusses and advises on matters of mutual interest. Normally each Committee looks for one or two student representatives from each of Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 and one or more postgraduate students. Student nominations to this committee are sought in early October and, if necessary, elections are held soon after that. These committees have only a few specified tasks - their main purpose is to give students a forum through which to channel complaints or suggestions. However, most such matters can be dealt with more quickly by students (or their SSCC representatives) approaching lecturers (or the appropriate Head of Teaching/Director of Education) as soon as a problem arises, rather than waiting for the next SSCC meeting. One statutory obligation that we have is to consult the SSCC about any proposed changes to modules and degree programmes, as part of the module and programme review process.

    Notices related to the SSCC will be posted on the notice boards on the ground and second floors, including requests for items for the agenda of forthcoming meetings, the agenda themselves (so that you have an opportunity to comment on items on it) and draft minutes of meetings that have taken place.

  16. Seeking help with problems

    If you run into academic problems then a number of sources of help are available to you. If your problem is with your study program in general then you should consult with your Adviser of Studies. If you have a problem with an individual module, your first resort should be either the tutor for your tutorial group or the lecturer for the module. If neither of these can sort out your problem, you should next consult the relevant Head of Teaching (HoT). If you are still unable to obtain satisfaction, you should ask your SSCC representative to raise the matter at a SSCC meeting. This should be very much a last resort as this will certainly not result in a quick solution to your problem.

    Where problems impact upon your performance in some assessed work or upon compulsory elements of your degree programme, it is particularly important that you follow correct procedures; please see Section 11 above and Section 19 below.

    Mature students are an important part of our student body, and we are pleased to have so many people coming back to education. Returning to education after a break brings both advantages and possible drawbacks. On the plus side, you have seen more of life than a school leaver and this often gives your work an important degree of maturity. On the other hand, you may feel that students who are continuing their studies straight after school possess more finely tuned study skills. Although that is not necessarily true, we do appreciate that mature students often have different concerns from school leavers as they embark on university study. For this reason, please do not be afraid to take any concerns or queries you may have to a member of staff, e.g., your Adviser of Studies. Particularly in first year, you should feel free to see any lecturer about your studies, even if he is not your tutor.

  17. Complaints procedures

    Most difficulties can be resolved via the channels listed in Subsection Seeking help with problems above. Where you have tried these and been unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, the university has an official complaints procedure. Details of this can be found in the current version of the

  18. BSc/MSci transfers

    Students who perform sufficiently well may be permitted to transfer from a BSc programme to the corresponding MSci programme at the end of Stage 2. In exceptional circumstances, it may also be possible to transfer at the end of Stage 3 (provided the student has the necessary pre-requisites and completed the compulsory modules), but any student considering such a request should contact the Director of Education at an early stage. Students on an MSci programme are also free to transfer to the corresponding BSc programme. If you are uncertain about your intentions and have sufficiently good entrance qualifications, there is no disadvantage in enrolling as an MSci student in the first instance, and considering a switch to a BSc later.

    In order to progress on an MSci programme at the end of Stage 2, your weighted average mark must be at least 55% (and 60% or over is highly desirable); likewise, a weighted average of at least 55% is required by the end of Stage 3. Students who are enrolled for an MSci degree but who fail to meet these standards will be transferred to a BSc program. See Section 22 for how the different Stages are weighted for calculating these averages.

  19. Assessment and examinations

    It is very important that you make yourself aware, early in each semester, of the assessment format in each of the modules that you are studying. Normal practice is that the form of assessment to be used is announced at or near the first class meeting in each module, and again at some point later in the semester (for example, after the External Examiner's approval of the examination paper). Should you miss such an announcement (for example, because you change enrolment or enrol late), be sure to check this with your lecturer or through the QUB Student Information System (Qsis). The default form of assessment in Mathematics modules is the three-hour written examination, but there are many variations on this. Please refer to the module details in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.

    Where final written examination papers are employed as assessment, they normally take place at the end of the semester in which the module is delivered, that is, January for first semester modules and May/June for second semester modules. The dates and times of examinations are determined centrally within the university, and cannot be changed to suit individual circumstances. For the students who have not been successful in the main exams, resit examinations are provided in August (see below). Should you fail a module, please contact your Adviser of Studies for further advice.

    Even where a written examination is the only form of assessment, other work by the student, such as homeworks, may be taken into account by the Board of Examiners if the exam mark is a narrow fail. In such cases, the results of coursework are only ever used in a student's favour, never to their detriment.

    Plagiarism: Investigations modules and Project modules are examined by means of written work (reports) submitted either several times throughout the module or at the end of the module. These modules may also involve presentations of work to staff and other students. Students must be aware that such work is intended to be their own work, except where they are explicitly told otherwise. Plagiarism, that is, presenting as your own original work, material that has been copied from other students or from published sources, or even your own earlier work, without due acknowledgement, is a serious examination offence. Any suspicion of this must be reported by the examiner(s) to the Chair of the Board of Examiners. If he/she agrees that there is any case to be answered, the matter must be referred to the Board of Examiners and possibly to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs. Penalties available to the Board of Examiners and to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs range up to and including awarding a mark of zero for the whole of the module. The Boards of Examiners in Mathematics have an obligation to treat instances of plagiarism extremely rigorously. In extreme cases the matter may be referred to the Academic Offences Committee which can impose even more severe penalties. (See for details.)

    Late submissions: all coursework assessed as part of the examining process will have a deadline associated with it. Work that is handed in late will be penalised. You will be informed of the deadlines at the start of the module. According to the “Assessed work submitted after the deadline will be penalised at the rate of 5% of the total marks available for each working day late up to a maximum of five working days, after which a mark of zero shall be awarded.” If you become aware that circumstances will prevent you from meeting such a deadline, it is important that you contact the lecturer concerned (or, failing that, staff in the Departmental Office) as soon as possible - preferably three days or more before the deadline - to see if alternative arrangements can be made. For exemption from penalty or flexibility of deadline to be granted, documentation covering the circumstances will normally be expected (at the time of your request or, if that is not possible, shortly thereafter). Please also see Section 11.

    Progression: in order to progress from one stage (‘year’) of study to the next, you should have passed the assessments in all of that stage's modules (and must already have passed all from any earlier stage). Students who have passed all but one module's assessment at a given stage are allowed to progress to the next stage, but will need to pass their ‘missing’ module assessment during that stage.

    Resits or supplementary examinations: students who fail an AMA, PMA or SOR examination are permitted (and, in Levels 1 and 2, are expected) to register for the supplementary or ‘resit’ examination, and will be required to pay the appropriate fee at the time of registration. Resit examinations usually take place during the second half of August. Students' individual supplementary exam timetables are made available through Queen's Online at the end of July. The current charge is about £60 per module, subject to a maximum of about £180 - for updates please check with the Student Guidance Centre. Resit assessment scores will appear in full on degree transcripts, but for the purposes of calculating degree classifications only the ‘bare pass’ mark of 40% is automatically used unless the Examination Board is made aware in good time of any exceptional circumstances (e.g., serious medical or personal problems) that have resulted in the student having to do a resit exam. We will not be able to take account of such circumstances unless they are professionally documented: please see also this Subsection. If, as part of your degree programme, you are taking a module from another School, be aware that their resit policy may be different from ours and - if relevant to you - find out in good time what it is.

    Anticipated emergency: if, in advance of an examination or deadline for returning assessed work, you believe that your performance may be adversely affected by exceptional circumstances such as illness, then you should seek advice from your Adviser of Studies, your doctor or the University Health Service, regarding the options open to you. These may include temporary withdrawal from the University, deferral of the examination, applying for an extension to the deadline for submitting coursework or applying for a waiver to any penalty imposed for late submission. Medical certificates and documentary evidence of extenuating circumstances must be presented to the School Office (as discussed in Section 11 on documenting absence above). Note that the decision on whether to attempt the examination or submit the assessed work, and the consequences of that decision, shall remain your sole responsibility.

  20. External examiners

    The external examiners for the three Mathematics areas are:

    According to the External Examiner Handbook, external examiners have two main functions: to act as moderators and to act as consultants.

    As moderators, external examiners should ensure that the assessment system is equitable and is fairly operated in the classification of students. This work should include:

    As consultants, external examiners should ensure that the degrees awarded by Queen's are comparable in standard with those awarded in other UK or Irish universities, and are consistent with the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education. External Examiners are members of Subject and/or Programme Boards of Examiners. This work should include:

  21. Use of calculators in examination

    Only simple scientific calculators are permitted for use in examinations in Mathematics. Programmable calculators and graphics calculators are not allowed, nor any calculator that can store information prior to the examination. If you are in doubt about the acceptability of your calculator, please consult the lecturer for the module concerned.

  22. Degree classifications

    Each module is marked on a 0-100 scale. The mark is indicative of the quality of the work being assessed, according to the following categorisation used throughout the University.

    Mark BandQuality
    70-100First class (1st)
    60-69Second Class, First Division (2.1)
    50-59Second Class, Second Division (2.2)
    40-49Third Class (3rd)
    0-39Fail

    For students on the BSc degree programmes first enrolled in 2009-10 and thereafter, the degree classification is determined by taking averages of the six best modules at each of Stages 1, 2 and 3, and adding these using weightings of 10%, 30% and 60%, respectively. Where this total weighted average (prior to rounding to the nearest integer) is within 3 percentage points of a higher classification and the weighted number of modules scoring in that higher classification or above is at least one half, then the higher classification shall be awarded (Predominance Rule). The award of an MSci degree is similar, except that the weightings used for the Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 are 5%, 15%, 30% and 50%, respectively. Note that it is Stage rather than Level that counts here: for example, where a student opts to take a Level 3 module as part of the Stage 2 programme, the mark gained is used in calculating the Stage 2 average and weighted accordingly. Again, where regulations permit a student to take a Level 3 module at Stage 4, that mark is used in calculating the Stage 4 average and weighted accordingly.

    Students who first enrolled before 2009-10 have their degree classifications determined by different weightings. Most importantly, their Stage 1 module scores are not taken into account. More precisely, for BSc pathways the weightings are 25% for Stage 2 and 75% for Stage 3; for MSci pathways they are 12.5% for Stage 2, 37.5% for Stage 3 and 50% for Stage 4.

    Be aware that the rules for the classification of degrees are from time to time reconsidered by the university. However, if this occurs, you will certainly be informed about the change.

    Students should consult School/University regulations concerning the possible award of other degrees such as Combined Honours or an Ordinary degree.

  23. Study abroad

    There are numerous international exchange programmes in Mathematics within the SOCRATES programme of the EU. We currently have partner universities in Estonia, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. Depending on their choice of university, students can spend up to one academic year at one of these institutions. The stay will be financially supported by an EU grant.

    Information on the exchange programme is available from Dr Huettemann [office DBB 02.038, email t.huettemann@qub.ac.uk] who will be happy to assist outgoing students in planning their stays. Further information is available from the website of the International Office at http://www.qub.ac.uk/ilo.

  24. Prizes

    The Department of Pure Mathematics has two prizes that it may award each year. The A.C. Dixon Prize may be awarded each year to the best first class honours student at Stage 4 in Pure Mathematics. It is currently worth £100 in book tokens. Alfred Cardew Dixon was Professor of Mathematics in Queen's from 1901 until his retirement in 1930. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1904 and was President of the London Mathematical Society between 1931 and 1933. In 1937, shortly after his death the previous year, his niece, Mrs. Mona Woolnough, endowed the prize named after him. The Burgess Prize was set up, in memory of Derek Burgess who lectured and researched in Topology in this Department from 1957 until 1989, by his friends and colleagues. The prize is awarded for the best marks in papers at Level 4 on Topology and related topics and is currently worth £40 payable by cheque. 

    The Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics each year awards the William Blair Morton Prize in Applied Mathematics. This prize was founded in 1945 to commemorate William Blair Morton, Professor of Physics in Queen's from 1897 to 1933. It is awarded to students who have distinguished themselves in the honours course in Applied Mathematics, particularly in their essay work. The annual value of the prize is approximately £300. The Raymond Flannery Prize is awarded annually “to the MSci graduate in the School of Mathematics and Physics with the best overall mark, with the condition that the student must have specialised in Applied Mathematics or Theoretical Physics and have taken a minimum of 3 AMA modules at MSci level”. Professor Flannery was pupil of St Columb's College Derry. In 1961 he graduated from Queen's University Belfast with a First Class Honours BSc degree in Mathematics, and completed his PhD at Queen's University in Theoretical Physics in 1964. At the time of establishment of the prize (2012) Professor Martin Raymond Flannery was Regents' Professor Emeritus at the School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. In 2012/2013 the value of the prize was £750. Another award is the Bates Prize. This prize was founded in 1982 by the friends and colleagues of Sir David Bates, Professor of Applied Mathematics and of Theoretical Physics in Queen's from 1951 to 1982. It is normally awarded annually to a student who has performed with distinction in the final honours examination in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and who subsequently pursues research in the Department. The value of the Prize is approximately £100 and should be used for the purchase of books on mathematics and theoretical physics.

    Details of prizes available through the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics that are associated with Statistics and Operational Research modules and pathways may be obtained through the departmental office.

    Here you can find more information on the awards and past recipients for the prizes in the School of Mathematics and Physics.

  25. Module codes

    The alphanumeric codes which identify individual study modules consist of three letters indicating the subject area (‘AMA’, ‘PMA’ or ‘SOR’ in our case) followed by four digits, the first of which corresponds to the level at which the module is given. For example, the Level 2 Pure Mathematics module Complex Variables has the code PMA2003. Note that, prior to 2008/2009, the module codes were different, with the first three digits identifying the semester in which the module was given and its weighting. Thus, Complex Variables (a first semester module) was previously coded as 110PMA203. Sometimes it can still be useful to know both ‘versions’ of the code numbers in order to be clear which modules you have the right pre-requisites for, or which past exam papers may contain material useful to your programme of study.

Nine out of ten cats prefer Mathematics

Nine out of ten cats prefer Mathematics

Section 2: Degree programmes and choice of modules

In this section we outline the requirements for various degree pathways involving mathematics, and give suggestions for possible choice of modules at each stage. Full details of the pathway specifications can be found on Qsis and on the School of Mathematics and Physics Programme Specifications webpage. Module summaries for all Mathematics modules can be found in Appendix 1 (AMA and SOR modules) and Appendix 2 (PMA modules). To begin with, we highlight some useful study regulations. Full details of the university study regulations may be found in the Here is what I want you to complete by tomorrow

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Section 3: Staff and modules in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Statistics & Operational Research

Section 4: Staff and modules in Pure Mathematics

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“We are all star stuff.” (Carl Sagan)

Section 5: General university support and services

Appendix 1: Module summaries, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Statistics & Operational Research

NOTE that when stating pre-requisits below, the term 'MSci or a BSc Mathematics pathway' includes other Mathematics pathways, such as Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research, Mathematics and Computer Science, etc.

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Appendix 2: Module summaries, Pure Mathematics

Appendix 3: Flowchart for Mathematics modules

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Flowchart for Mathematics modules