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Mathematics and Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad)

Course overview

(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Mathematics and Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematical Sciences
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree

A-levels: BBB, including Mathematics
Please note we are unable to accept A-level Use of Mathematics in place of A-level Mathematics

IB: 30 points, including Higher Level Mathematics grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level.

Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 MA101-4-FY Calculus Core 30
02 MA108-4-SP Statistics I Core 15
03 MA114-4-AU Linear Mathematics Core 15
04 CS101-4-FY The Enlightenment Core 30
05 Humanities option(s) from list Optional 30
06 MA199-4-FY Mathematics Careers and Employability Compulsory 0

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The aim of the programme is to cater for mathematics students with a strong secondary interest in the Humanities.
Students choose from a wide range of Arts subjects that will then be taken through to the final year.
The Humanities portion of

The degree aims to teach students the history and development of Western intellectual thought, cultivate an appreciation of different types of knowledge, modes of perception and philosophical thought.
When combined with the study of the history of scientific ideas and mathematics, students will be able to think, write and critically evaluate fundamental issues of human knowledge.
The same Humanities discipline should be pursued in both second and third years of the scheme.
The Director of Humanities will advise students with a view to enhance the overall coherence of the scheme of study.
Moreover, the coherence of the programme should be considered also in the choice of the final year project, whether it is taken within the Humanities, or within Mathematics.
For example, a suitable History of Mathematics project could be an appropriate culmination of the students programme of study.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Knowledge and understanding of the basic mathematical methods and techniques of linear mathematics, calculus and statistics that underpin the study of more advanced mathematical ideas.
A2 Knowledge and understanding of some of the ideas and methods used in the proof of results in mathematics and familiarity with some specific examples.
A3 Appreciation of the importance and development of radical ideas in the arts and/or sciences.
A4 Knowledge of a more advanced strand in the Humanities.
A5 Experience in the preparation and writing of essays.
A6 Appreciation of the general development of intellectual thought.
A7 Experience of education in mathematics and humanities in the year abroad.
Learning Methods: Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in A1 - A4.
Students are also directed to reading from textbooks, academic journal papers and material available on-line.
Understanding is reinforced by means of classes (A1 - A3), essays and assignments (A4, A5).
A7 is learned during the year in the USA
Assessment Methods: Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed through unseen closed-book examinations (A1 - A3), and also, in some modules, through marked assignments and tests (A1 - A3).
Achievement of knowledge and understanding is assessed through marked assignments, tests, and essays (A4 - A6).
Regular problem sheets provide formative assessment in mathematics.
A7 is assessed by passing the year in the USA

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Analyse a specified problem and choose the most suitable methods and tools for its solution.
B2 Assess the relative merits of a range of theories, techniques and tools needed for a problems solution or to articulate arguments.
B3 Synthesise and interpret information from a range of sources (lectures, classes, journals, books, etc.) developing a critical evaluation of the importance and relevance of the sources to an area of study.
B4 Construct reasoned, informed and concise descriptions and assessments of new intellectual ideas.
B5 Ability to think across disciplinary boundaries.
Learning Methods: The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and the skills are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and independent study, and assignments.
Outcome B1 is developed particularly in exercises designed for core mathematics theory, mathematics and quantitative methods classes.
Students acquisition of intellectual and cognitive skills, B1 - B5, is enabled primarily through lectures and further sustained via classes.
Outcomes B2 - B5 are key elements in students preparation for assignments and essays.
Supervision and guidance for term paper study are especially important in providing opportunities for students to acquire B2 - B5.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of intellectual/cognitive skills is assessed through marked assignments and essays (especially B1 and B3), tests (especially B1), term papers (especially B2 - B5), and unseen closed-book examinations (especially B1, B2 and B4).

C: Practical skills

C1 The ability to apply a rigorous, analytic, highly numerate approach to a problem.
C2 Identify, select and gather information, using the relevant sources.
C3 Take notes and organise ideas in a systematic way.
C4 Present intellectual ideas and arguments coherently in writing.
Learning Methods: The practical skills of mathematics are developed in exercise classes, assignments and project work.
C1 is acquired and enhanced throughout the programme.
C2 is developed via directed reading from textbooks and academic journal articles together with searches for online materials.
C3 is acquired during lectures and classes, and as a consequence of studying course materials.
C4 is articulated in the preparation of assignments and term papers.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of practical skills C1 - C4 is assessed directly through marked assignments, tests, term papers and unseen closed-book examinations.
Skill C4 is assessed indirectly via assignments, term papers, projects and final examinations.

D: Key skills

D1 Communicate effectively, both mathematical arguments and textual accounts of ideas, evidence and critical assessment in Mathematics or the Humanities.
D2 Capacity to organise and implement a plan of independent study.
D3 Capacity to express complex ideas and arguments in clear prose.
D4 Use mathematical techniques correctly.
D5 Analyse complex problems and find effective solutions.
Learning Methods: Students are guided in lectures, classes and individual advice from teachers in acquiring skills D1 - D5.
D1 is practised throughout the scheme in the writing of solutions to mathematical problems, both for assessment and as exercises.
D4 and D5 are reinforced through the quantitative methods sequence of courses and the mathematics element in the programme, where they are developed in exercises and assignments throughout the degree.
D2 and D3 are developed through homework assignments and essays and is enhanced as students reflect upon the knowledge they need.
Only minimal formally assessed requirements for the completion of the programme are listed here.
In reality, the overwhelming majority of mathematics and humanities students acquire a broader range of key skills, and at greater depth, in ways that are integrated seamlessly throughout their studies of the subject.
Assessment Methods: D1 and D4 -D5 are assessed through marked assignments, tests, term papers, projects and unseen closed-book examinations.
D2 - D3 are assessed particularly through coursework.
D2 is assessed indirectly through students capacity to construct submitted work and their study plans for unseen tests and examinations.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: