First-year and support studies

The School of Mathematical Sciences offers a variety of units at first-year level to students in science and other courses. A full list of these units is provided at List of units offered in the left-hand menu, but the advice both below and under Planning minors and majors should assist students in selecting the appropriate units.

Which level-one units should you take?

The level-one mathematics and statistics units recommended to prospective students depend on two factors:

  • The course chosen (for example, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Computer Science, Bachelor of Software Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering or a double degree with Bachelor of Science, such as BA/BSc or BSc/BE); 
  • Their level of preparation in mathematics, for example as part of their VCE studies..

Students in science courses

Satisfying course requirements

For students in the Bachelor of Science or associated double-degree courses, information on how to plan for studies in mathematics is available on the Managing your studies page on the Faculty of Science website. This includes recommendations on suitable level-one mathematics units that must be taken as part of those courses. This includes information such as:

Some of that information may also assist students in other courses who are planning to take minors and majors in mathematics.

Level of preparation

More generally, the entry-point into any studies in mathematics at Monash depends upon your background knowledge, for example based on your previous studies either from Year 12 or from another course. In relation to previous VCE studies (or their equivalents) this can be summarised as follows:

  • For students who have completed VCE Specialist Mathematics units 3 and 4, with a study score of 30 or above, the most commonly-recommended level-one sequence in mathematics is MTH1030 Techniques for modelling in first semester and MTH2010 Multivariable calculus in second semester. Students may also choose to take MAT1830 or STA1010 instead of (or in addition to) MTH2010 in their first year. (High achieving students may also be able to take MTH1035 and /or MTH2015 instead of MTH1030 and MTH2010, respectively).
  • For students who have completed VCE Mathematical Methods 3 and 4, with a study score of 25 or above, the recommended level-one sequence in mathematics is MTH1020 Analysis of change in first semester and MTH1030 Techniques for modelling in second semester.
  • For other students, the recommended level-one mathematics units to be taken in their first year are MTH1010 Functions and their applications in first semester and MTH1020 Analysis of change in second semester, with MTH1030 taken in the second year of study.

Students not intending to take any level-two mathematics units may choose any one of the above recommended sequences or can replace the second unit in any of the sequences by STA1010 Statistical methods for science. For Bachelor of Science students seeking some statistical training, but who have not completed VCE Mathematical Methods units 3 and 4, it is recommended that SCI1020 Introduction to statistical reasoning is completed prior to STA1010.

Other sources of advice

More detailed information and advice on the suitable choices of level-one mathematics and statistics units for science courses can be obtained by consulting staff in the Science Student Services office, or by seeking individual advice from the School by emailing enquiries@maths.monash.edu.au.

Students planning to leave open an option to complete a minor, major or extended major in an area of mathematics are also advised to read the planning advice and information provided under Planning minors and majors on the left-hand menu.

Taking some mathematics or statistics as elective units

For students taking mathematics units as part other Monash courses, the information on this page must be read in conjunction with the overall requirements for the course of enrolment. For example, students enrolled in some comprehensive courses, such as the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Commerce, can undertake a selection of mathematics units (including perhaps a minor or a major) within the elective requirement for that course. As another example, students in some courses in the Faculty of Education may wish to complete a minor in Mathematics in order to fulfil a specialist teaching requirement. In all these cases, students should consult the advice provided above for science students.

Some common examples where current Monash students may want to include some elective units in mathematics or statistics include the following:

  • Covering some additional foundation studies, for example to complete a unit equivalent to one of the VCE mathematics subjects. Here it is advisable to check with your current or planned faculty of enrolment to see whether, for example, MTH1010 Functions and their applications (which is sometimes considered to be broadly equivalent to VCE Mathematical methods 3/4) and/or MTH1020 Analysis of change (which is broadly equivalent to VCE Specialist mathematics) will be sufficient for these purposes;
  • Gaining some additional mathematical or statistical skills beyond those required for your course - In this case the starting point should be to find out where your current skills fit into the prerequisite chain of mathematics and statistics units offered by the School; see for example the science units listed under the List of units offered link at the left, or in more complicated cases it may be best to seek individual advice from the School by emailing enquiries@maths.monash.edu.au before enrolling.
  • Ensuring you have suffiicient background to become a specialist secondary mathematics teacher. In this case it is important to be aware of the expectations of the Victorian Institute of Teaching, or the corresponding requirements for any education course in which you are enrolled. Typically a minor in mathematics commencing from MTH1020 may be sufficient for these purposes.
  • Spreading your wings, just because you love mathematics. Feel free to select any unit offered to science students that is listed under the List of units offered link in the left-hand column, or even one of the minors or majors listed under Planning minors and majors. If you are a Monash student enrolled in a course that allows free electives, and have satisfied the unit prerequisite and prohibition requirements, then you should be able to enrol in any mathematics or statistics unit in WES directly.

More generally, when choosing a suitable mathematics or statistics unit as an elective within another course, it is important to ensure that the unit meets your needs and that you have covered the appropriate prerequisite knowledge in a previous unit. The broad information about which level-one unit to take listed for science students above (and at the Planning minors and majors link at the left) should also assist here, or come to the School and seek individual assistance, or email us at enquiries@maths.monash.edu.au.

Courses with compulsory mathematics requirements

In some other courses, for example the Bachelor of Computer Science and the Bachelor of Engineering, the course requirements may include mathematics units that are not listed in the handbook entries for a minor or major in an area of mathematics. These students should read the handbook entry for their course carefully, or consult an advisor in their faculty, for accurate information on which particular mathematics units they must complete, and whether they can choose to take any additional mathematics units as electives at any stage.

Coordinators and advisors

Individual advice on the choice of units can be obtained from the following academic staff in the School: