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Durham University

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Induction for New Students 2019; Mon 30 September - Fri 4 October


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.

Professor John Parker

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

Before you arrive

Enrol online

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. After your acceptance has been processed you will receive two email messages from which provide:

  • Your Computing and Information Services (CIS) username
  • How to derive your CIS password and guidance on how to access the system

The messages are sent 24 hours apart and are sent to the email address you provided when you applied so it’s important to let us know of any changes to this information by contacting the Student Records Team at You may also need to monitor your spam folders to see if the messages have arrived there.

After you have received both emails you will need to:

  • Change your password
  • Log into Durham University Online – duo
  • Choose the “Banner Self Service” link in duo under “External Tools”
  • Choose Registration and Enrolment
  • Enrol with the University
  • Upload a photograph for your campus card

You will receive information from your department about registering for your programme and modules. You should follow the advice given about whether to complete registration for programmes and modules before you come to Durham, or whether to wait until you arrive before making final choices, so that your department can give you further advice and information.

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. You then choose one optional module, which can be Discrete Mathematics - offered by the Maths department, or by any other department in the university. There is a wide range of courses available, so you should be sure of finding something that suits your interests.

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.

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

Pre-arrival checklist

Before your arrival, you should have received:

  • IT log-in details for DUO, 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 Anne Taormina.

If you have not received any of this information by mid-September, please contact our Learning and Teaching team at, or our Admissions 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 Brush up Your Skills web page, from which you can find the summer workbook. A diagnostic test will be available on our DUO pages from 16 September, as well as other maths revision materials and resources. 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.

Your first week in Durham

University Induction timetable

The university has put together a comprehensive package of induction activities which will take place from Wednesday 25 September for International students and from Monday 30 September for home students.

Use the Online Induction Planner to plan your first week’s activities by College and Department.

The Online Induction Planner has been designed to let you know where you need to be and when, according to your Department and College Induction activities and events.

Attendance of department based activities is compulsory and we have tried to plan the week's activities so that wherever possible they do not clash with any other college, university or sport commitment, many of which are repeated to allow you several opportunities to take part.

You will also collect your free calculator from the Maths Office during Induction Week.

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 200 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 first meet with your academic advisor. Besides being an opportunity to get to know each other, your academic advisor will be able to help you with your choice of modules.

After induction - once term begins

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

Week 1 of term starts on Monday 7 October. Lectures start immediately, so make sure you are familiar with the timetable and room locations by this point. You can find out individual module timetables in our teaching pages: Click here. On this page you will also find a link called "My Maths timetable", which will display your personal timetable of Maths activities once you are fully registered.

Tutorials and practical classes begin 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 will not appear on your timetable until then.

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 Maths office (CM201: go into the main Maths entrance, up one flight of stairs, turn right, and it's at the end of the corridor) if you have any problems or questions. We will be happy to help you.

Student Testimonial

"Freshers week was such a great way to start first year! Not only was it key in helping me to get to know my fellow students, it also gave me a strong social base to work from to succeed academically."

Jacob, MMath Master of Mathematics

Student Testimonial

"I've enjoyed reading mathematics at Durham immensely and, without a doubt, it has greatly improved my future prospects. The diverse range of modules offered exemplifies the scope of modern maths, and has exposed me to many fascinating topics I otherwise wouldn't have encountered. With the high-quality teaching offered by world-leading academics, studying at Durham has helped me discover and focus my interests and has challenged me to realise my potential."

Steven Charlton (MMath student 2008-2012, now studying for a Maths PhD)