Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Subjects>Study Mathematics>Teaching and assessment

Work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. 

Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.


You'll spend around a quarter of your time in scheduled teaching. You time will be split between large group teaching and smaller classes to focus on specific problems and concepts. 

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. You'll be introduced to a huge range of new concepts, meaning you'll have to spend time outside of your classes consolidating your knowledge. 

Contact hours and independent study

Your contact hours will vary based on a number of factors such as the time of year. These hours are an estimate based on a representative first-year student on this course.

Teaching typeHours

Large group sessions that will introduce you to the main themes of each module.

10-12 hours per week

Problem classes
Medium group sessions which demonstrate how to apply principles discussed in lectures.

1 hour per week

Interactive, computer laboratory-based sessions where you will work through tasks under the guidance of a tutor.

1 hour per week
Small group sessions where you’ll discuss a particular topic, usually based around an assigned reading.
2-3 hours per week

Fortnightly small group sessions, usually with your supervisor, who acts as your academic and personal tutor.

5 hours per term
Supervisor meetings
A chance to meet with an academic member of staff to talk through your progress, celebrate your achievements and raise any concerns.
1-2 hours per term

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Mathematics on Campus West. You'll also be taught in a variety of locations across Campus West.

Explore our campus


Your assessments will mainly be examinations and regular coursework. In your final year, you'll do an individual project that combines a final report, poster presentation and short written assignments.

You’ll submit summative work, which counts towards your final degree score, and formative work, which doesn’t count towards your final grade but gives you the chance to practice techniques and identify areas to improve. We’ll provide detailed feedback on the work you submit, supporting you to develop your academic skills.

Types of assessment

Essays are extended pieces of writing. Essay questions in your earlier years will usually be set by your tutors. As you progress through your course, you’ll have the opportunity to set your own essay questions. 
Closed exams take place within a set time limit (usually a few hours) under set conditions in the presence of invigilators.
Reflective portfolios give you the chance to think about your work on placements and evaluate the ups and downs.

Presentations are an assessment of how well you can present your ideas or your argument to your coursemates and tutors. Sometimes, you might be asked to lead a seminar or a lecture.

You need to pass your first year to continue your degree, but your marks won't count towards your final grade; we recognise that students are beginning to develop over the course of their degree.