MA210      Half Unit
Discrete Mathematics

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Peter Allen


This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Data Science, 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.

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.
Continuous assessment (10%).

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2021/22: 22

Average class size 2021/22: 11

Capped 2021/22: No

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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