TFCMATHS 89F : Mathematics for Arts


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Aimed at linking mathematics to the world of students who are likely to be non-STEM majors. Includes several important mathematical ideas within historical, environmental, societal, political, financial, justice, entertainment and cultural contexts. The course will also be guided by the interests of its learners as citizens and consumers, who will be encouraged to draw on the mathematics they are already familiar with.

Course Overview

MATHS 89F is a one-semester 15-point course designed for students who have yet to meet the necessary background for tertiary courses in mathematics and plan on studying an Arts degree programme. The aim is to build confidence using Mathematics while demonstrating the role mathematics plays in understanding and guiding human activity. Mathematics embedded within familiar environmental, societal, justice and political contexts will be explored. Problem solving and mathematical modelling using number, measurement, exponentials and probability and statistics, will support our investigations. 

Successful completion of this course will meet the University of Auckland numeracy entry requirement. Further, completion of this course with at least a B- grade will provide students with entry to TFC MATHS 91F.

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Estimate reasonable answers to problems. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  2. Investigate proportional situations, including percentage problems. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Solve problems choosing relevant maths formulae. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Actively contribute to team collaborative activities by helping to arrive at group solutions to a number of tasks. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Use straightforward graphs and relate to rates, time and other quantities. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  6. Express maths in written form to communicate mathematical and statistical ideas to solve problems. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  7. Interpret the mathematics in real-life situations then reflect critically on how well their solutions match up. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  8. Use any of several possible problem-solving strategies to answer problems. (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments (3) 10.5% Individual Coursework
Quizzes (3) 4.5% Individual Coursework
Presentation 7% Group Coursework
Group Work Collaborations (2) 8% Group Coursework
Test - Mid Semester 30% Individual Coursework
Test - Final 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Assignments (3)
Quizzes (3)
Group Work Collaborations (2)
Test - Mid Semester
Test - Final
Students must achieve a minimum mark of at least 35% on the final test in order to pass the course. 


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Key Topics

  • Problem Solving
  • Gaming and chance
  • Politics and votes
  • Environmental ideas
  • Societal matters

Special Requirements

  • Expect full attendance and participation in lectures.
  • Each aspect of course work is compulsory.
  • The Mid-Semester Test will run in the evening outside of normal hours. This is usually held in the sixth week of semester and from 6pm - 7:30pm, according to availability of venues. Any updates will be shown in the schedule provided in Week One.

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. For each week of this course, you can expect 4 hours of lectures, a 1-hour tutorial and 5 hours of thinking and working on problems about the content, assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Tertiary Foundation Certificate students are expected to attend and participate on Campus and are therefore not remote students (unless the university is operating in levels determined by a pandemic regime). 
  • Attendance is required at scheduled activities, including classes and tutorials (such as, Group Work Collaborative tasks which receive credit for components of the course).
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities, including tutorials, will not be available as recordings. The course will not include live online events including tutorials.  
  • Attendance on campus is required for the tests and the Group Work Collaborations. The Quizzes may be submitted electronically on Canvas - the best eight out of ten will count toward the final mark.  
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable delivery.

Learning 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.

  • Course book
  • Calculators
  • Excel spreadsheet availability
  • Desmos graphing package (in class)

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.

Feedback from students is particularly useful if they cannot find something on Canvas, or if a resource needs to be unlocked. Student questions about how to interpret assignment or other assessment tasks are encouraged, and on occasion these have assisted to clarify a question. However, what is submitted must be always be a student's own work.

Other Information

Ensure you become familiar with the lecture schedule. This will be available about two weeks before the course begins and will provide you with all the dates of assessments, and approximately when chapters begin for the whole course.

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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.

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

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 11:28 a.m.