KC4010 - Engineering Mathematics

What will I learn on this module?

This course will introduce and delve into the following maths concepts

Basic algebra and trigonometry
This course develops the foundational mathematics skills and language set that underpin analytical sciences. This will include the transposition and manipulation of algebraic expressions, the notion of functions and the basics of trigonometry

Basic calculus
We will define the derivative, how one quantity can change with respect to another, and learn how to compute these. We will also encounter the integral, related to areas and averages, and tackle computations involving these

Complex numbers
This course introduces complex numbers, important in electrical engineering and beyond, and teaches students about their property, their algebra and how these numbers can be understood geometrically.

Further Calculus
Further into the course, we will build upon our understanding of calculus with more advanced methods, introducing partial differentiation for functions of multiple variables, as well as more advanced integral techniques to simplify complex problems.

Matrices and Vectors
A fundamental aspect of modern computing, we will define what vectors and matrices are and how one can undertake computations involving these and their special properties. We will demonstrate how large systems of equations can be formulated as matrix-vector problems, making them far easier to solve.

Differential Equations
A cornerstone of modern physics, we will learn how to identify and solve differential equations by several techniques. We will also encounter the wave equation, which underpins a great number of applications, and learn methods as to how it can be solved and understood.

How will I learn on this module?

The delivery of this module is primarily formed of delivered lectures, supplemented by a weekly seminar and a workshop session to demonstrate how one might put the taught material into practice in engineering scenarios. Within the seminars, group work will be highly emphasised, in order to help students exchange ideas and understanding of the course content between one another and support their own learning.

The assessment for this module will be formed of two components – one will be a coursework (30%), aimed at assessing the elementary aspects of the course and solidifying their understanding. The second component will be a formal 3-hour open-book examination (70%) which will assess the content of the whole course and assess the student’s individual understanding of the material in a closed environment.

Formative feedback is available at every stage of the course in both the seminars and the workshops, with the coursework providing a summative feedback exercise which highlights strengths and weaknesses is both the understanding of the material and its presentation.

Independent study will be supported an array of supplementary material, including recorded content, additional noted material and external resource hubs.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Seminars and workshops will form the primary contact between students and lecturer, giving the students ample opportunity to expand their understanding of the course material as well as a forum in which they can resolve gaps in their understanding. Supplementary to this, one-on-one support is available in the form of office hours, allowing the student personalised contact and help with the course materials.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Understand the fundamental principles of mathematics and algebra, using these to resolve expressions involving functions, complex numbers, vectors and matrices

2. Utilise the basic principles of calculus to solve problems involving derivatives and integrals, and be able to apply these notions to the solution of ordinary and partial differential equations

(C1,C3 )
These cover AHEP-4criteria, by introducing the mathematical techniques used throughout the engineering degree and introduces the families of problems for which they can be used.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3., To use regression analysis to model trends within data, and use derivatives to solve minimisation problems and estimate measurement errors

4. Employ techniques of differentiation, integration and differential equations to model simple mechanical systems and electrical circuits. (AHEP 4 C3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Increased awareness of the role of mathematics in modern engineering and exhibit a proficiency in exploiting mathematics within it. (AHEP 4 – C3)

ML05 reinforces AHEP-4 criteria C3 by highlighting where the mathematics of this course fits into the context of modern engineering, what the content of this course can help students achieve in realistic problem solving and where its limitations lie.

How will I be assessed?

The course features two assessments, the first being a coursework (CW) (30%), covering MLOs 4,5 which assesses your ability to apply mathematical knowledge to solve electrical problems. The coursework will present problems that encourage students to apply their knowledge, analyse unseen problems and create new results outside of content that was delivered in lectures (Bloom’s Taxonomy Points 3,4 and 6)

The second assessment takes the form of a 3-hour open book examination (EXAM) (70%), assessing MLOs 1,2,3. Feedback will be provided and annotated scripts to be returned to students in order to aid them in later mathematical content and modules. The key aim of this assessment is to assess how students apply their understanding of the material and analyse mathematical problems (Bloom’s Taxonomy points 3 and 4)





Module abstract

Mathematics is a fundamental language across all the sciences, and within it one can understand a great many things about physics and engineering. This module introduces many of the key mathematical ideas an engineer needs to not only formulate problems but to solve them as well, building a toolset that will allow students to engage with engineering concepts throughout their degree. This module starts at the basics of algebra and working towards more advanced concepts such as differential equations, regression and matrix algebra, demonstrating that many problems within modern engineering can be cast and understood within the framework of mathematics. This skill set will then equip students to tackle much more interesting and challenging problems across their course and beyond with a standard set of quantitative approaches.

Course info

UCAS Code H601

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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