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Congratulations and Welcome to Mathematical Sciences

Welcome to the Department of Mathematical Sciences! Congratulations on gaining a place on a Maths degree and joining our department. We look forward to meeting you in October. You will find university mathematics very different from what you are used to. There will be a lot more of it! You will have the chance to study lots of new subjects and may create some new mathematics yourself.

And there will be more emphasis on rigorous arguments, constructing proofs and writing and communicating clearly and precisely. We will set you assignments that are designed to help you develop these skills. Don’t worry, there is plenty of help available if you ask for it. Your lecturers and tutors are there to help you, so make good use of them and seek them out when you need to.

University maths is an active pursuit, not a passive study.   The more you work at it, the more you will understand.  Of course, along the way, you will sometimes get stuck on problems, which is frustrating (and inevitable).   But then you will also experience the joy that comes when you see a solution or understand something new.  Mathematics is difficult but hugely rewarding, and it can be fun.  Have an enjoyable time!

John Parker

Head of Department



University student
Welcome to Maths at Durham! I hope you are excited to start your degree here – I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time. Your next few years will be packed with new experiences, new opportunities and lots of challenging Maths - but it will be very rewarding and enjoyable. The Maths lecturers are inspiring and always encourage you to engage as much as possible, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions to your lecturers and your peers. Best of luck and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Tom Phelps
Maths Student

Before You Arrive

Before your arrival, you should have received:

  • IT log-in details for Blackboard Ultra, so that you can regularly keep up to date with staff communication and select modules.
  • Freshers welcome pack, including a welcome letter from the Head of Department, Professor John Parker.

If you have not received any of this information by mid-September, please contact our Learning and Teaching team at, or phone (0191 334 3050).

You should also look through the following content available online before arriving in Durham:

  • The Degree Programme Handbook which contains information about the department, our staff and who you should contact, teaching and learning policies, assessment policies, progression regulations and student support.
  • The Maths induction page can be found from Blackboard Ultra (go to "courses" and search for "induction"). There you can find (amongst other useful info) the summer workbook (available by Sep 1st). This gives a series of questions to help you revise / get ready for the degree. In addition a diagnostic test will be available on our DUO pages closer to the start of term. The online diagnostic test is compulsory for all Maths Honours students, and non-Single Maths Honours students (eg Natural Scientists on the combined Maths & Physics programme) taking the two core maths modules in the first year.



Programme and Module Registration

Assuming that you already have a valid(ated) CIS username and password (see Enrol Online), you can proceed to register for your programme and modules as follows:

  • Log into Learn Ultra - Blackboard Learn Ultra
  • Open the Course called 'Maths Induction'
  • From within the Before You Get Here section, click on Enrol Online and click on the link to “Banner Self Service”
  • Choose Registration and Enrolment

Module registration

Module registration is a two stage process which includes:

  • Selection of modules
  • Approval of modules

The first stage is where you confirm your programme of study and choose your optional modules. The second stage of the process is where department(s) approve your choice of modules.

More information on module registration can be found at:

Useful information on choosing your first year modules

As a student on a Mathematics degree, you will automatically be registered onto seven core (compulsory) modules: Calculus I, Linear Algebra I, Analysis I, Probability I, Statistics I, Programming I, and Dynamics I, altogether worth 100 credits. You then choose one 20-credit module from another department.


You also have the option to study an appropriate 20 credit language module offered by the University's Centre for Foreign Language Study, depending on timetable compatibility. You will need to ensure you meet the prerequisite to study a language module. Details can be found here.


A list of all Level 1 modules offered by the University and their descriptions can be found in the Faculty Handbook. Here you can find out whether you meet the prerequisites for any module that you might be interested in, and check that it fits into your timetable. It is your responsibility to check that you meet all the requirements for any modules that you choose and that they fit into the timetable around your core modules.


Further information on all of the modules offered by the Maths department can be found on our module description pages (you need your new CIS login to access these pages).


Not on a Maths degree but want to choose an elective Maths module? Click here (CIS login required) to find out what is available for you and how to register.


Your first week in Durham – University Induction Week Events Timetable

The Timetable has been designed so College events don’t clash with any of your academic departmental events, but offer you lots of opportunities to meet your fellow Freshers, find your way around and settle into student life.

To help you keep track of where you need to be, and what you need to do during your first busy days at university, in your College and your Department, we have created a day-by-day University Induction Planner. This should help you to plan your schedule, so you don't miss anything - from being issued with your Campus Card or meeting the staff in your Department, to trying out for a sports team or joining a student society.
Your Personal Induction Planner
Students on laptop with cups of tea in Josephine Butler College café

Once Term Begins

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

Week 1 of term starts on Monday 3 October. Lectures start immediately, so make sure you are familiar with the timetable (use mytimetable) and room locations by this point. Also make sure you keep checking your email and the module ultra sites as your lecturers will be communicating with you this way.

Tutorials, practical classes and support classes begin (with some exceptions) in week 2 of term. You will be allocated to specific tutorial groups at the start of term, so please be aware that these classes may not appear on your timetable until then.

Academic Advisors

We hope that one of the highlights of your time studying Maths in Durham will be interacting with the staff, who are hoping to share their passion for the subject with you. Although some first year lectures have over 300 students in them, small group tutorials supporting the lectures means getting help from staff is made easier.

One particularly important member of staff is your personal academic advisor who will be assigned to you for your time here at Durham. Over the years, he or she will be able to help you with your module choices, more generally provide academic guidance, and when the time comes be a natural person to ask for a reference. See here for more information on what you can expect from your Maths departmental advisor.

You will be invited for a meeting with your academic advisor already on the Tuesday of WOW.


Further questions?

We are all looking forward to meeting you in the Maths department in October. If you have any other questions before then, please feel free to contact the department and we will help you.


Main office phone: 0191 334 3050

Once you arrive in Durham, you are very welcome to email us or to call into the main office, MCS 2093: go into the main Maths entrance, up one flight of stairs, go straight ahead turn right and you'll see the sign for Mathematical Sciences Reception. If you have any problems or questions, we will be happy to help you.



Student updates

Check out our student blogs to read more about life at Durham from our students. Don't forget to follow us on social media!


What to bring to University

Read our top recommendations to add to your packing list ready for your arrival at Durham.

Welcome to Durham – and stop worrying!

Moving to University can be a daunting prospect but there’s no need to worry, you’ll feel right at home here.
Durham Cathedral and Framwellgate Bridge over the River Wear

Get in touch

If you have any queries about any of this information or any aspect of coming to Durham please contact us.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Upper Mountjoy Site

+44 191 334 3050