Improving Outcomes on a Foundation Mathematics Module to Complement Progression onto Science Degrees

  • Beverley J. Allan University of Nottingham


The use of mathematical concepts is fundamental for students embarking on science degree programmes. However, it has become increasingly apparent that many students are not sufficiently equipped with the mathematical skills required. This is likely to be due to several factors relating to degree entry requirements, prior mathematical education and the level of enjoyment of mathematics. This study discusses the outcomes of redesigning a foundation mathematics module to focus on the scientific application of mathematical concepts and therefore prepare learners for progression onto their chosen science degree. The new mathematics module has learner outcomes that are more in line with the outcomes of other content-driven science modules on the foundation year course because of the significantly enhanced achievements of the home students entering the foundation course with level 2 mathematics and a break from mathematics study of two or more years.


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Author Biography

Beverley J. Allan, University of Nottingham

Beverley completed her PGCE in 2004 after a brief career in atmospheric chemistry research, and since then has been involved in learning and teaching in secondary, further and higher education, acquiring fifteen years of teaching experience. She has convened modules on undergraduate and MSc courses and is currently co-course director for Foundation Science at the University of Nottingham, convening modules on ‘Foundation Chemistry’ and ‘Maths for Foundation Science’ ( Her current interests are in the effectiveness of student response systems (, the impact of flipped learning on attainment ( ukfyn/article/view/14/14), and student engagement with feedback.