Further Mathematical Methods

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jozef Skokan and Dr James Ward


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Actuarial Science, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Financial Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Mathematics and Economics, BSc in Mathematics with Economics and BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Business. This course is available on the BSc in Economics, BSc in Management and MSc in Economics (2 Year Programme). 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.


Students should ideally have taken the course Mathematical Methods (MA100) or equivalent, entailing intermediate-level knowledge of calculus (proficiency in techniques of differentiation and integration) and linear algebra (including linear independence, eigenvalues and diagonalisation).

Course content

This course develops ideas first presented in MA100. It is divided into two halves: calculus and linear algebra. The calculus half explores how integrals may be calculated or transformed by a variety of manipulations, and how they may be applied to the solution of differential equations. This aim is achieved by studying the following topics: Limit calculations. Riemann integral. Multiple integration. Improper integrals. Manipulation of integrals. Laplace transforms. Riemann-Stieltjes integral, to a level of detail dependent on time constraints. The linear algebra half covers the following topics: Vector spaces and dimension. Linear transformations, kernel and image. Real inner products. Orthogonal matrices, and the transformations they represent. Complex matrices, diagonalisation, special types of matrix and their properties. Jordan normal form, with applications to the solutions of differential and difference equations. Singular values, and the singular values decomposition. Direct sums, orthogonal projections, least square approximations, Fourier series. Right and left inverses and generalized inverses.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 60 hours across Michaelmas and Lent Terms. This year, apart from pre-recorded lecture videos, there will be a weekly live online session of an hour. Depending on circumstances, classes might be online.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Useful background texts:

(i) for the calculus half:

Ken Binmore and Joan Davies, Calculus, Concepts and Methods (Cambridge University Press 2002);

Robert C. Wrede and Murray R. Spiegel, Advanced Calculus (McGraw-Hill Education; 3rd edition 2010).

(ii) for the linear algebra half:

Martin Anthony and Michele Harvey, Linear Algebra: Concepts and Methods (Cambridge University Press 2012).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2020/21: 291

Average class size 2020/21: 15

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: One 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