MATHS 120 : Algebra


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A foundation for further mathematics courses, essential for students intending to major in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, or who want a strong mathematical component to their degree. Develops skills and knowledge in linear algebra, together with an introduction to mathematical language and reasoning, including complex numbers, induction and combinatorics. Recommended preparation: Merit or excellence in the Differentiation Standard 91578 at NCEA Level 3. Prerequisite: MATHS 208, or B- or higher in MATHS 108, or A- or higher in MATHS 110, or A+ or higher in MATHS 102, or at least 18 credits in Mathematics at NCEA Level 3 including at least 9 credits at merit or excellence, or B in CIE A2 Mathematics, or 5 out of 7 in IB Mathematics or equivalent

Course Overview

MATHS 120 (Algebra), alongside Maths 130 and Maths 162, forms a foundation for further study in mathematics at the University of Auckland. It is essential for students intending to major in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, or for anyone who wants a strong mathematical component to their degree. 

MATHS 120 is an introduction to linear algebra; more generally, along with Maths 130 it is an introduction to mathematical thinking and problem- solving. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to un derstand and write logical mathematical arguments, and will be comfortable reading and using mathematical language and notation. In particular, they will be confi dent with algebra involving complex numbers, able to solve sys tems of linear equations of several variables, capable of a wide variety of vector and matrix operations, and will understand these operations from both an algebraic and geometric perspective.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Display Display mathematical competency in the topics covered in the syllabus, i.e. logic and linear algebra. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  2. Capable Be able to write, analyse and solve equations both algebraically and geometrically. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  3. Understand Understand and write logical and mathematical arguments, using appropriate language and sufficient detail and structure. (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  4. Think Think critically about logical arguments, and use basic techniques to solve problems. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Understand Understand the interplay between algebra and its geometric interpretation. (Capability 2 and 5)
  6. Engaging Engaging in group work and communicating mathematical ideas to others. (Capability 1, 4 and 6)
  7. Conscious Conscious of the wider social, economical and environmental context to which the techniques learnt apply. (Capability 1 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 5% Individual Coursework
Assignments 15% Individual Coursework
Tutorials 5% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Team task 5% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Team task
Final Exam

You must achieve at least 35% in the final exam in order to pass the course.

Learning Resources

An online course book will be provided, this course book will also be for sale in the student resource centre.

Special Requirements

It is expected you can attend tutorials and team tasks. No exceptions apart from (medical) emergencies can be granted.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in. However note that individual needs vary, so more importantly you should study until you have understood the material.

For this course, there are 36 hours of lectures, 10 hours tutorial. You are strongly advised to put in the amount of work you need to keep up with the course from the start, as once you fall behind it is almost impossible to catch up.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:09 p.m.