Studying mathematics with foundation year
At Plymouth, supporting you to succeed is at the core of what we do. We’re very proud of the support we offer you. In the latest National Student Survey we scored 86 per cent for “I have received detailed comments on my work” (the UK average for mathematics degrees was 64 per cent), 82 per cent for “Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand” (UK average 67 per cent) and 100 per cent for “My communication skills have improved” (against 69 per cent elsewhere). Here are some of the other ways we support your learning:

People supported learning
Giving you access to the people you need, when you need them is a key part of our approach. At Plymouth you’ll benefit from support in various ways, including:

  • Our open door policy, providing you with direct access and support from staff when you need it.
  • The Maths Lab, located close to staff offices, gives you easy access to help and feedback. With walls covered in boards for problem solving and a projector system for practising presentations, our lab is the ideal environment for students to support each other in their learning.
  • Our personal tutor system provides you with individual academic and personal support from one of the lecturers who you regularly see in classes. Personal tutor groups meet every two weeks.
  • Our problem-solving approach to learning, develops your presentation skills and supports you to become a confident communicator.
  • Peer-assisted learning (PAL), offers weekly classes (PALS) where second year students help first years to master new concepts and techniques.
  • SUM:UP, a drop-in centre, provides you with support to resolve mathematics and statistics-related problems. The resources are open 24/7 and are staffed from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday during term time. 
  • You can expect excellent teaching – the UPSU SSTAR Awards are organised by our Students' Union to reward teaching excellence. The Head of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor David McMullan, the Programme Manager of the Foundation Year, Dr Matthew Craven, and the Admissions Tutor, Dr Martin Lavelle, have all been nominated by their students for an SSTAR teaching award.

Recent examples of final year projects carried out by students who started on the foundation year have included:

  • Time series modelling of the North Atlantic oscillation.
  • An introduction to potential theory with applications to aerofoil modelling.
  • Solitons.
  • Quantum entanglement and its application to encryption.
  • The capacitance of a deformed coaxial cable.
  • Multivariate analysis.