This page describes how each module is taught on the Graduate Certificate, and includes the content (directed reading and exercises) for the first week on one of the three modules.

Module Structure


Despite the fact that no face-to-face lectures will take place in the course, with the material being delivered over the web, we retain this term to cover the basic units conveying material to be read, understood and learnt. The material is divided into small pieces, each akin to approximately the amount of material that might be covered in a familiar undergraduate lecture. Again following the undergraduate pattern, two lectures are to be covered in each module each week.

At the appointed time for each topic, a web page (within MOLE: the University’s online learning environment) is made visible outlining the lecture subject, the material to be read and other activities to perform. Each lecture begins with a statement of the key facts to be assimilated on this topic. Typically the core text will come from one of the set books for the module (or occasionally one of the other modules), but in some cases this core material is in separate document(s) released alongside the lecture. Sometimes supplementary reading is advised from set books or separate documents. The lectures also specify tasks to be undertaken to consolidate the material. The section on related material is intended to indicate cross-referencing of topics within and between modules. Occasionally further notes of clarification are given.


Most lectures will specify a number of basic tasks to be attempted to reinforce the reading. They might typically ask you to apply a given formula, ‘fill in the gaps’ in an argument outlined in the text, etc. Often these will be self-test questions from the core texts, so that solutions are available. These tasks are not assessed in any way and no further solutions are provided.


Supplied alongside the lectures are more searching exercises. These are typically taken from our undergraduate programme and solutions are not available in the books. Their aim is to consolidate, but also extend, the material covered. Exercises will be provided at the rate of one sheet of (typically) 4 questions per week, i.e. per 2 lectures. They will be released alongside the lecture material. Solutions will be provided one teaching week later.


The formal coursework element of the assessment comes through assignments. Following a preliminary assignment, which will be marked and returned for feedback purposes but not used in the assessment, 5 assignments will be released at 4-weekly intervals (with allowance for vacations).

Discussion boards

Each module has a discussion board, in which you can post questions you may have about the material you have read.

Example content

Below are the lectures and exercises for the first week of study on MAS5051 Probability and Probability Distributions. Each lecture sets out the reading and associated tasks that you would need to do from the textbook for this module: John E. Freund’s Mathematical Statistics with Applications by Miller and Miller.

SoMaS Graduate Certificate information page