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Unit information: Mathematics for Social Sciences in 2020/21

Unit name Mathematics for Social Sciences
Unit code AFAC10014
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. John McTague
Open unit status Not open

Students should hold appropriate qualifications in Mathematics at equivalent of QCA level 2, or demonstrate equivalent ability by taking a diagnostic test during the admissions process for the Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences.



School/department Arts Faculty Office
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit will develop students' understanding of statistical methods and using data to a level equivalent to QCA level 3. The unit will prepare students on foundation and preliminary year programmes for entry or progression into higher level qualifications in the social sciences that require a more advanced understanding of mathematics.

Assessment for Learning/Formative Assessment

Regular problem sheets, with feedback provided during weekly seminars

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of and use elementary probability theory
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a probability distribution
  3. process data sets
  4. test statistical hypotheses
  5. interpret results of data sets and draw conclusions

Teaching details

2 x 2hr seminars per week

Assessment Details

Assessment of Learning/Summative Assessment

2.5 hour written examination (ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (100%)

Reading and References

Recommended Reading

Many textbooks cover the material taught in this unit, for example:

  • Understanding Pure Mathematics, A.J. Sadler and D.W.S. Thorning (Oxford University Press 1995)
  • Olive, J. (2003) Maths: A Student’s Survival Guide

Further Reading

You may also find the following books helpful:

  • Help yourself to algebra, Hugh Neill (Longman 1996)
  • New Head Start to A-Level Maths (CGP A-Level Maths 2017-2018)