Mathematical Methods for Physics 1 (F3201)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to functions: functions and graphs.
  • Classical functions: trigonometry, exponential and logarithmic functions and hyperbolic functions.
  • Differentiation: standard derivatives and the differentiation of composite functions.
  • Curves and functions: stationary points, local/global minima/maxima and graph sketching.
  • Integration: standard integrals, integration by parts and substitution, areas, volumes, averages and special integration techniques.
  • Power series expansions: Taylor expansions, approximations, hyperbolic and trigonometric functions.
  • Convergence of series: absolute convergence, integral test and ratio test.
  • Complex numbers: complex conjugates, complex plane, polar representation, complex algebra, exponential function and DeMoivre's Theorem.
  • Vectors: working with vectors, scalar product of vectors and vector product of vectors.
  • Determinants and matrices: definition and properties, matrices and matrix algebra and solutions of systems of linear equations.

The computer lab component of the course will introduce the you to Maple.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 53 hours of contact time and about 97 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: