Skip to main content

Unit information: Algebraic Topology in 2021/22

Unit name Algebraic Topology
Unit code MATHM1200
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Mark Hagen
Open unit status Not open

MATH20006 Metric Spaces and MATH33300 Group Theory



School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science


Unit Aims

The aim of the unit is to give an introduction to algebraic topology with an emphasis on cell complexes, fundamental groups and homology.

Unit Description

Algebraic Topology concerns constructing and understanding topological spaces through algebraic, combinatorial and geometric techniques. In particular, groups are associated to spaces to reveal their essential structural features and to distinguish them. In cruder terms, it is about adjectives that capture and distinguish essential features of spaces.

The theory is powerful. We will give applications including proofs of The Fundamental Theory of Algebra and Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem (which is important in economics).

Relation to Other Units

This is one of three Level M units which develop group theory in various directions. The others are Representation Theory and Galois Theory.

Intended learning outcomes

Learning Objectives

Students should absorb the idea of algebraic invariants to distinguish between complex objects, their geometric intuition should be sharpened, they should have a better appreciation of the interconnectivity of different fields of mathematics, and they should have a keener sense of the power and applicability of abstract theories.

Transferable Skills

  • The assimilation of abstract and novel ideas.
  • Geometric intuition.
  • How to place intuitive ideas on a rigorous footing.
  • Presentation skills.

Teaching details

Lectures, problem sets and discussion of problems, student presentations.

Assessment Details

50% Exam, 50% Coursework - assessed problem sheets


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MATHM1200).