Mathematics in Everyday Life (G5089)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

This module covers:

  • Money: Rule of 72, repayments, annuities, APR, compounding, present value, tax system, Student Loans.
  • Differential equations: how they arise, how they can be solved. Applications include radiocarbon dating, cooling of liquids, evaporation of mothballs, escape of water down plugholes, war, epidemics, predator-prey models.
  • Applications in sports and games -- tennis, rugby, snooker, darts, athletics, soccer, ranking methods.
  • Business applications: stock control, linear programming, pound-cost average, hierarchies and promotions policies, the Kelly strategy.
  • Voting methods and paradoxes: Arrow's Impossibility Theorem. 
  • Simpson's Paradox, disease testing (false positives etc), gambling, TV game shows.
  • Mathematical essay: eg book reviews, topic descriptions.


79%: Lecture
21%: Practical (Workshop)


20%: Coursework (Problem Set, Test)
80%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 42 hours of contact time and 108 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.