Student advice and resources

Students in lecture landscape

Everyone needs support or assistance from time to time. Our staff, UC's Student Support team and other UC students all offer support and guidance, so get in touch. Email us, talk to us after lectures and tutorials, or leave a message at reception and we will arrange a meeting.

Support services

Our staff are always happy to answer your questions and can direct you to the many services available at UC to help with your academic achievement and physical and mental well-being. Follow the links below for more infomation about the services available on campus.

Advisors to students with disabilities

Jenny Harlow

Senior Tutor
Senior Academic Tutor
Erskine Rm 421
Internal Phone: 95986

Helen Rowley

Administrator
Administration Assistant
Erskine 402
Internal Phone: 95891

Mathematics and Statistics greivance contacts

Irene David

Director of Teaching - Tutors
100-Level STAT Co-ordinator / Director of Teaching (Tutors)
Erskine 500
Internal Phone: 92439

Mike Steel

Distinguished Professor
Director of Teaching (STAT) / International Student Co-ordinator
Erskine 623
Internal Phone: 92153

Course selection

First year Mathematics courses explained

Core Mathematics courses

The core of the 100-level (first-year) programme consists of linear algebra and calculus, contained in the two papers MATH102 and MATH103. MATH 102 is required for students intending to major in Economics, Finance or Operations Research, and is strongly recommended for students aiming to major in Management Science.

MATH103 follows on from MATH102 and has MATH102 as a prerequisite. Anyone wanting to do a significant amount of Mathematics in their degree should take both MATH102 and MATH103. This includes students aiming to major in subjects like Mathematics, Astronomy, Computer Science, Electronics, Physics or Statistics.

Other first-year courses

MATH101 is designed for students who have some mathematics background but do not meet the prerequisites for MATH102 or EMTH118. It is also helpful as a refresher for students who have not studied mathematics for some time. MATH101 aims to raise the technical and understanding levels of students who lack confidence in their mathematical skills. It can be taken as a stand-alone paper or as preparation for MATH102 or EMTH118.

MATH120 is designed as an additional paper for students who are interested in the structure and logic of Mathematics. It is strongly recommended for students majoring in Mathematics, Statistics or Computer Science.

First year Statistics courses explained

Many students need Statistics to support their studies in other subject areas, such as Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Forestry, the Life Sciences, Management, the Physical Sciences and the Social Sciences. Others will wish to do a substantial amount of Statistics in their undergraduate programme.

STAT101 is our first-year course in Statistics. It will give you a sound basic knowledge of the subject and a good grounding in how Statistics is applied to tackle genuine problems. You can enter our 200-level statistics courses from STAT101.

Engineering Mathematics

The School also offers a range of 100-level Engineering Mathematics (EMTH) courses. These are intended for students doing an Engineering intermediate year, which is a prerequisite for enrolling in a professional Engineering programme. Contact the College of Engineering for course advice for your intermediate year.

Direct entry

Students who have achieved very highly at NCEA Level 3 in mathematics with calculus and/or statistics and modelling (i.e. passed most achievement standards with an Excellence grade) should consider direct entry into MATH103 (or EMTH119 for Engineering intermediate year students) or 200-level Mathematics and Statistics courses. For more information on these options, please contact the 100-level Mathematics Course Advisor.

Students who have been credited with the STAR course MATH199 are eligible for direct entry into 200-level mathematics courses, and should typically take mixture of 100-level and 200-level courses in their first year at university.

Need further advice?

Finally, if you feel you need further advice on which are the best courses for you, we are always happy to help out. Please call into reception on Level 4 of the Erskine building, or email enquiries@math.canterbury.ac.nz, and you will be directed to a staff member who can advise you.

Students who have Year 13 Mathematics with Calculus (or an equivalent qualification) would normally begin with MATH102 or EMTH118 in Semester 1 followed by MATH103 or EMTH119 in Semester 2. Please see the prerequisites for these courses below. Students who do not have the prerequisites for these courses should consider MATH101: Methods of Mathematics. See the recommended background for this course below.

Each year, the School of Mathematics and Statistics offers direct entry to MATH103 or 200-level in Mathematics/Statistics to a few outstanding students. If you have achieved a high number of NCEA Level 3 mathematics passes with an Excellence grade or obtain a scholarship pass at outstanding level, please contact the 100-level Mathematics Course Advisor.

MATH102 (Semester 1, Semester 2)

  • MATH101; or
  • 14 credits of Level 3 NCEA Mathematics (no distinction between Calculus and Statistics and Modelling); or
  • Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in Mathematics; or
  • IB: 4 at HL or 6 at SL in Mathematics; or
  • Approval of the Head of School based on alternative prior learning.

EMTH118 (Semester 1, Semester 2)

Prerequisites:

  • MATH101, or
  • NCEA 14 Credits (18 strongly recommended) at level 3 Mathematics (including the standards 'Apply differentiation methods in solving problems (91578)' and 'Apply integration methods in solving problems (91579)), or
  • Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in Mathematics, or
  • IB: 4 at HL or 6 at SL in Mathematics, or
  • Approval of the Head of School based on alternative prior learning.

MATH103 (Semester 1, Semester 2)

Prerequisite: MATH102

EMTH119 (Semester 2, Summer)

Prerequisite: EMTH118

MATH101 (Semester 1, Semester 2)

This course is aimed at students who do not reach the criteria for MATH102 or EMTH118. It is a course that may be taken to support other subjects areas or as a preparation for MATH102 or EMTH118. Students should have the equivalent of at least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics, including the algebra and calculus external standards.

Students who take MATH101 in Semester 1 can  then take MATH102 in Semester 2 followed by MATH103 in Semester 1 the following year.  Engineering intermediate students can take EMTH118 in Semester 2 followed by EMTH119 in the summer semester (or a two-year intermediate pathway). 

If you haven't studied maths for some time, you may want to consider enrolling in the Mathematics Bridging course BRDG016. See the Bridging Programmes webpage for further information or contact Transition Programmes.

MATH120 (Semester 2)

  • MATH101 or MATH102 or EMTH118 or COSC121 or STAT101, or
  • NCEA 14 Credits (18 strongly recommended) at level 3 Mathematics, or
  • Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in Mathematics, or
  • IB: 4 at HL or 6 at SL in Mathematics, or
  • Approval of the Head of School based on alternative prior learning.

STAT101 (Semester 1, Semester 2)

There are no entrance criteria for STAT101, but any of the following NCEA Level 3 Achievement Standards would be useful preparation for the course:

  • 3.9 "Investigate bivariate data",
  • 3.10 "Use statistical methods to make a formal inference",
  • 3.13 "Apply probability concepts in solving problems" and
  • 3.14 "Apply probability distributions in solving problems".

If your background in Statistics is weak, you may want to consider enrolling in the two-week Science Headstart course in January or February. Contact Transition Programmes for further information.

Our course advisors can help you select the courses that best suit your needs.

100-level Mathematics

Phillipa Gourdie

Senior Tutor
Senior Academic Tutor
Erskine 424
Internal Phone: 92464

100-level Statistics

Irene David

Director of Teaching - Tutors
100-Level STAT Co-ordinator / Director of Teaching (Tutors)
Erskine 500
Internal Phone: 92439

200-level Mathematics

Felipe Voloch

Professor
200-Level MATH Co-ordinator / Director of Research
Internal Phone: 92427

200 and 300-level Statistics

Daniel Gerhard

Lecturer
200/300-Level STAT Co-ordinator
Erskine 611
Internal Phone: 92440

300-level Mathematics

Rick Beatson

Professor
Erskine 602
Internal Phone: 92470

Ngin-Tee Koh

Lecturer
300-Level MATH Co-ordinator
Erskine 701
Internal Phone: 92461

400-level (Honours)

Mark Hickman

Senior Lecturer
400-Level Co-ordinator
Erskine 613
Internal Phone: 92450

Postgraduate

Miguel Moyers Gonzalez

Senior Lecturer
Postgraduate Co-ordinator
Erskine 700
Internal Phone: 92467

We offer a wide variety of courses in mathematics and statistics at 200-level and 300-level.

The mathematics course range from abstract pure mathematics through to computer-oriented applied courses. If you are unsure which ones best suit your needs, contact one of the course advisers or the lecturer in charge of the course you are thinking of taking.

Second year

You should be doing at least 60 points at the 200-level, including the core courses MATH201, MATH202 and MATH203. MATH240 is an excellent course to do at some stage. For a degree in statistics, STAT213 is highly recommended. Choose from our other second year courses according to what you are most interested in. In the three main areas, consider:

These programmes place you into what is sometimes referred to as pre-honours in Mathematics or Statistics. At this level, you may wish to leave your options open regarding your preferred subject and take courses in two subjects. Common combinations are Mathematics and Physics, Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Mathematics and Economics, Mathematics and Chemistry, but other combinations are possible. No matter in which subject you want to graduate, you should seriously consider taking one of these programmes if you are good at mathematics.

Third year

You now become more specialised because you are normally concentrating on one subject. Typically you take 60 points of 300-level Mathematics or Statistics. For an honours degree, a further 30 points of 300-level Mathematics or Statistics is required.

Mathematics

You should take the core courses MATH302, MATH303, MATH353 and MATH363, and choose from our other courses according to your interests. All honours students should seriously consider taking MATH343, either at 300-level or as a special topic at 400-level. Students should seek advice on their choice of programme.

Statistics

You should normally take five or six courses from 300-level Statistics depending on your interests. Papers from Mathematics and/or other schools/departments can be substituted and will increase your options in your fourth year.

Study advice

See your lecturer during their office hours or ask your tutor in a tutorial. See Learn for details of your lecturers' availability. Make sure you have specific questions to ask and that you have first worked at the problem yourself.

Lectures are the framework on which to base your studies. If you are not happy about any aspect of lectures, first approach your lecturer. They do appreciate the chance to sort matters out at a personal level. You may wish to do this through your class representatives.

You could also approach your tutor or the departmental grievance committee, or finally the Head of School.

Tutorials

Our 100-level lectures often contain several hundred students, but they are supplemented by regular small–group tutorials in which you will be given personal assistance with problems arising from the lectures. We also offer tutorials at levels 200, 300 and 400.

The importance of tutorials cannot be over-emphasised. If you do not participate in tutorials, you will have great difficulty passing the tests and examinations; you should regard tutorial attendance as compulsory.

Talk to your course co-ordinator or tutor if tutorials are not working for you.

Personal circumstances can cause you to miss a test or exam, or impair your performance in them. The University Calendar or the Enrolment Handbook should be consulted for the regulations concerning special considerations (formerly aegrotats), but you should also see the lecturer in charge of the course.

If you don't tell us, we can't help you!

Past exam papers

Past exam papers back to 2007 are available. Not all subjects necessarily are taught, or have an exam, every year. Off-campus access is only available to UC staff and students.

Print copies and earlier exams are available at the Macmillan Brown Library.

Marked assessment items and tests can be picked up from the Mathematics and Statistics reception, level 4, Erskine Building from 11am until 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Please note: You will be required to present photo ID (UC Student ID Card, Drivers Licence).

If you need regular individual help, a list of private tutors is available from Mathematics and Statistics reception, level 4, Erskine Building.

Class reps are invaluable for the School and act as a liaison between students and lecturers.

A list of the 2017 class reps for Mathematics and Statistics courses will be advised when nominations and selection are complete.

The UCSA also has details about the Class Rep System and a list of current class reps.

Other resources