MA210      Half Unit
Discrete Mathematics

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Peter Allen


This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Mathematics and Economics, BSc in Mathematics with Economics and BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Business. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.


MA103 Introduction to Abstract Mathematics, or an equivalent course giving a background in rigorous mathematics.

Course content

This is a course covering a number of concepts and techniques of discrete mathematics. Topics covered: Counting: selections; inclusion-exclusion; generating functions; recurrence relations. Graph Theory: basic concepts; walks, paths, tours and cycles; trees and forests; colourings. Coding theory: basic concepts; linear codes.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and online video lectures.

Formative coursework

Written answers to set problems will be expected on a weekly basis.

Indicative reading

PJ Cameron, Combinatorics (CUP 1994)

An alternative book is: NL Biggs, Discrete Mathematics (OUP 2004)

Extensive notes covering the course content in full will be distributed, so you may well not need either book.


Exam (90%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Problem sets (10%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2020/21: 30

Average class size 2020/21: 10

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills