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General Advice to First Year Students

As described in the "General" section, first-year Mathematics students get regular supervisions in groups in Terms 1 and 2, and the first 6 weeks of Term 3, in groups (normally of five) which are assigned at the start of the year. Personal tutors are available to answer questions about the course, individual modules, or anything else within reason.

Your A level background. There are many different A level syllabuses, with wide variations from one exam board to another, and from one selection of modules to another; in addition, not all schools teach the entire syllabus. Thus, some students may have missed out on some material which is needed for degree work, or may only have covered some topics skimpily and without adequate practice.

For the success of your career at Warwick, it is most important that you know these topics inside out, and are able to work with them fluently, confidently, and rapidly, even in the new and sometimes unexpected contexts of university maths. In the middle of a complicated argument, a lecturer may well simply assume that you can handle this kind of stuff easily and transparently, and lack of this ability may be a serious impediment to getting the most out of the course. Before you arrive you should have attempted the Refresher Mathematics module, MA1K2, to make sure that you are up to date and proficient in the material that you need to know. This module will appear on your registrations, but does not count for any credit towards your degree.

Tutorials. Every student has a personal tutor, with whom they will (where possible) remain throughout their degree. Tutors usually see their first-year students in groups of five once every two weeks, though students can see their tutors individually, in principle, as often as they want. The aim of the regular meetings is to find out how the students are getting on, and to provide extra help where needed. At the start of the year, your tutor can also help you to choose your optional modules.

The relationship between student and tutor is an important one. Your tutor is there to help you not only with mathematical difficulties, but also with other problems that may arise: difficulties in settling down to a steady programme of study, noisy neighbours in the Halls of Residence, how to catch up after an absence through illness, etc. etc. He or she also plays an important role after examinations at the end of each year. For example, if your marks are lower than they should be because you were unwell during your exams, they can give you advice and in teh case of mitigating circumstances provide secondary evidence for the exam board (you must always provide primary evidence from third party professionals such as doctors or counsellors). Of course, this can only happen if he or she knows you and has a good idea of your ability. See also the section on Mitigation.

First year Core and List A options

The Warwick course regulations and our options scheme is listed elsewhere, but the 8 core modules (shared by all students in the Mathematics Department) add up to 90 CATS:


MA106 Linear Algebra 12 CATS
MA133 Differential Equations 12 CATS
MA124 Mathematics by Computer 6 CATS
MA134 Geometry and Motion 12 CATS
MA132 Foundations 12 CATS
MA136 Introduction to Abstract Algebra 6 CATS
MA131 Analysis 24 CATS
ST111 Probability A 6 CATS

List A

ST112 Probability B 6 CATS

We recommend students to take as many of the List A options as possible during their degrees, for the sake of flexibility with maths modules in future years. ST112 Probability B is a prerequisite for most second and third year Statistics options, and is either a prerequisite or recommended for many courses in Economics and Business Studies. Students on joint degree courses have additional core modules.