MA316      Half Unit
Graph Theory

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Graham Brightwell


This course is available on the 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 or equivalent course giving a background in rigorous mathematics.

Course content

This course examines the basic concepts and techniques of graph theory. The topics to be covered are: fundamental concepts, connectivity and matchings, colourings, extremal problems. Optional topics include flows, Ramsey theory, the probabilistic method, spectral graph theory, or matroids.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

This course is taught through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours in Lent Term.  This year, there will be pre-recorded lecture videos and regular live online sessions.  Depending on circumstances, classes might be online.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

D. B. West, Introduction to Graph Theory, Prentice Hall 2001

R. Diestel, Graph Theory, Springer 2010.

N. L. Biggs, Discrete Mathematics, OUP 2004

J.A.Bondy and U.S.R. Murty, Graph Theory with Applications, North-Holland, 1976

B. Bollobas, Modern Graph Theory, Springer 1998.


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

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: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

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