MATH65740 Transferable Skills

This course is compulsory for all students taking part in the M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics, and contributes 15 credits to the final degree. The aim of the course is to develop the necessary skills for industry or academia, including presentation, communication, writing and modelling. The course syllabus can be found here.

On this page you will find an up-to-date timetable, together with essential information and links about the course. Since details of the classes and projects may change during the course of the year, please check this page regularly to ensure that you have the most recent information.


Each assignment will be assessed separately, and you will receive feedback either through comments on the assignment / presentation / poster, or a marked piece of work will be returned to you. You can also get further feedback on your understanding directly from me, either at my office hour (10am–11am on Thursdays, office number 1.115: email me if you wish to come at a different time) or by sending me any questions by email. My email address can be found at my contact page.

Course components

Attendance at each of these components is compulsory.

  • Modelling projects
    • Three mathematical modelling projects are presented during the course of the year, one in semester 1, and two in semester 2. For each project, the first lecture will present and describe the problem. You will then gather into small groups to formulate the problem in mathematical language, and work together to solve it. Each group will present their work in the final session for that project. The first session will include background information on mathematical modelling in general.
  • Poster
    • Prepare a poster based on your favourite modelling project. You will present this in semester 2 at an event which will be open for anybody to attend.
  • Industrial talks
    • Speakers invited from industrial collaborators will give lectures focusing on specific aspects of importance to them in their work, and you will have an opportunity to discuss the mathematics used with the industrial contacts. These talks are held on Wednesday mornings and lunch will be provided.
  • Mathematical writing
  • Informal applied mathematics seminars
    • These Friday afternoon sessions, usually held at 4pm, are run by Ph.D. students and will be very informative and helpful for future careers in either academia or industry. They will also act to enhance the social environment by mixing M.Sc. and Ph.D. students.
  • Short Matlab project
    • This short course will be held in week 1 of semester 1 and presented by Dr Stefan Güttel. See the website for further details.


  • Poster: 30%
    • This will be assessed at the poster presentation, based on the poster itself (content, accuracy, presentation), and the discussion that the academics and industrialists have with you.
  • Paper/literature report: 30%
    • A 7–8 page report on a mathematical topic, to be submitted before the Easter break (details below).
  • Modelling group talks: 30%
    • All three group talks will be assessed (content, accuracy, presentation), accounting for 10% each. Groups will be changed for each modelling project to ensure fairness.
  • Mathematical writing and Matlab project: 10%
    • You will be assessed on Prof. Nick Higham's short course and the Matlab course. Each will account for 5% of the final mark.

Material to download

All downloadable files require University ID/password for access.

Writing skills presentation

You can download the presentation on writing skills from 7 November 2019 here.

Mathematical modelling presentation

The presentations I gave on “What is mathematical modelling?” on 14 November and “Some tips on making good presentations” on 21 November are downloadable here.

You may also download the LaTeX source files for the modelling talk as a template to use for your own group presentations.

Mathematical modelling group project 1

The information sheet about the problem can be downloaded by following the link.

See here for a list of the groups for project 1.

Mathematical modelling group project 2

See here for the problem description.

The groups for project 2 are listed here.

Mathematical modelling group project 2

See here for the problem description (now including information about the applied pressure amplitude).

The groups for project 3 are listed here.

Literature review files

The semester 2 literature review assignment must be prepared using this LaTeX template.