Undergraduate Study

Intermediate Mathematics and Statistics Handbook

General Information


Individual lecturers will have different arrangements for the assessment in each unit. During the first week of lectures you will be given an information sheet for each unit, which will include details of the precise arrangement for assessment in each course. Alternatively, this information may be posted on the web page for the unit. In some intermediate units the assessment includes tutorial participation marks, and quizzes, as well as assignments and the final exam. In general, the arrangements will NOT be the same as those to which you may have been accustomed in junior Mathematics units.

Semester Examinations

Each unit will be examined at the end of the semester in which it is offered. The exam does not count for 100% of the assessment.


Mathematical skills and understanding cannot be acquired passively – for example, by attendance at lectures alone. On the contrary, it is essential that you attempt, on your own, as many relevant problems as possible. Assignments are set in order to give you extra practice, and to provide you with feedback on how you are handling the material.

The number and assessment status of assignments in each unit will be announced by the lecturer during the first week of lectures. Where it is not possible to collect and mark assignments, voluntary assignments may be made available.

Individual lecturers organise all aspects of assignments, including distribution, marking and return of the assignments for their own unit. They will advise you as to the method of collection, return and distribution of solutions. For assignments that are to be marked for assessment, you will be asked to adhere to the following guidelines (unless you are told otherwise by your lecturer):

  • Solutions to assignments should be written in pen, not pencil, on lined paper using one side of the paper only, with plenty of space left for corrections by the markers. Work that is untidy or illegibile may not be marked.
  • Your solutions and the appropriately filled out cover sheet should be stapled to a manila folder. Paper clips are unsuitable as they catch on other folders and are pulled off.
  • On the cover of the folder you should write in block letters your name, faculty and SID. To aid the return of assignments, please place the first letter of your family name in the centre of the front of your folder, writing it very large.

If there are exceptional circumstances, an application for an extension of time may be made to the lecturer before the submission date. Late submissions without an approved extension of time will not be accepted.

Some collaboration between students on assignments is encouraged, since it can be a real aid to understanding. Thus it is legitimate for students to discuss assignment questions at a general level, provided everybody involved makes some contribution. However, students should produce their own individual written solution. Students should not look at another student's written assignment, nor allow their own assignment to be looked at by someone else. Students submitting identical solutions will be heavily penalised regardless of who copied from whom.

Quizzes, participation marks

If you are taking a course in which the assessment includes marks for quizzes, or for tutorial participation, you will be given relevant information in the first week of lectures. Make sure you know exactly what the assessment requirements are for each of the courses in which you are enrolled.

Illness or misadventure

Students who, through serious illness or misadventure, are unable to complete an assessment may be offered special consideration. Students have a right to ask for such consideration, together with an obligation to know the relevant requirements.

It should be noted that only well attested serious illness or misadventure during a semester or occurring at the time of an examination will warrant special consideration. Occasional brief or trivial illness would not normally be regarded as sufficient to explain an absence or a poor performance and students are discouraged from submitting certificates for absences totalling less than one or two weeks, although frequently recurrent short absences would need documentation. While it is important to ask for a medical certificate for illness of longer than a few days duration at the time of the first visit, there is no need to submit it unless the illness becomes prolonged or further frequent absences are required. The exact nature of misadventure will vary, but serious illness or death of a close family member, particularly at the time of the examinations, would clearly warrant consideration.

Students who, because of serious illness or adverse circumstances, are prevented from attending classes for prolonged periods should seek an interview with a member of the department(s) concerned and/or the relevant Sub Dean. Even if they do not exceed any specified permitted period of absence, they may need to consider whether their best academic interests are served by discontinuing with permission from the course until they are able to resume their studies effectively.

Special Consideration

For information on Special Consideration and Special Arrangements for assessment tasks, see the School's Special Consideration and Special Arrangements web page.

See also what happens if you miss an exam, and what happens if your performance in an exam is impaired.

Further Assessment

Further assessment is a privilege, not a right. Students who have been prevented by duly certified illness or misadventure from completing an examination or assessment task may be given the opportunity to be further assessed. Additionally, further assessment does not necessarily take the form of a written supplementary examination. It may involve an oral exam, or some other form of assessment. You will not automatically be granted further assessment if you miss an exam. Your application will be assessed in the light of all circumstances, including your performance and participation throughout the semester, and your academic record.


At the end of each semester, examination results are posted on the web, as well as being mailed to students. Any marks which are released prior to this are provisional only.

Academic Honesty

The Univerity's Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in Coursework Policy is viewable here.

Additional Information

Enrolment, Registration and Timetable

Students do not need to register separately with the School of Mathematics and Statistics. This will be done automatically at reenrolment.

Before Semester 1 begins, you will be given an individual timetable with lecture times, tutorial times and locations for any intermediate mathematics or statistics unit in which you are enrolled.

Change of Enrolment

Any change of enrolment must be made before the HECS cutoff date in each semester. (These dates are usually within a month or so of the beginning of semester.) After the cutoff dates it is not possible to enrol in additional units, nor to withdraw from a unit without incurring HECS fees. Note that some faculties may have earlier dates after which it is not possible to enrol in additional units.

It is your responsibility to make any desired changes to your enrolment before the relevant dates. All changes must be made at your faculty office.


You are expected to attend lectures. If you do not attend lectures, you should be aware that important announcements relating to all aspects of the unit of study are often made in lectures. It is your responsibility to find out the content of any such announcements in the event that you were absent when they were made.

Tutorials and Lab Sessions

The number of tutorials and lab sessions you attend depends on the units you are taking. Details for each unit are given in Chapter 2.

Tutorial exercise sheets are usually posted on the unit website by the preceding week. In some units they are printed in the back of the book of lecture notes. They may also be given out during the lectures of the preceding week. Tutors and lecturers do not have extra copies of tutorial and assignment sheets. You will gain maximum benefit from a tutorial if you have attempted the tutorial exercises before the actual tutorial. The tutorial hour is for discussion of the exercises, and for you to ask the tutor for help with any exercises that cause you difficulties.

Tutorial classes will usually begin in the second week of each semester, unless otherwise specified on the web page for the unit.

Webpages, Noticeboards and Pigeonholes

Important notices will be displayed on the Intermediate Mathematics webpage and on the unit of study webpages.

Noticeboards and pigeonholes may still be used by some lecturers. There are noticeboards for Intermediate Mathematics located on Level 3 of Carslaw (near the pyramids) and on Level 6 of Carslaw outside room 624. The noticeboard for Statistics is located on Level 8 of Carslaw, outside room 817. There are also assignment handin boxes, and pigeonholes for return of mathematics assignments located on Level 3 of Carslaw (near the noticeboards), and on Level 6 of Carslaw outside room 623.


Students should take general questions about course organisation to the appropriate coordinator. Questions about content of a course should be discussed with the lecturer or tutors for that course, during tutorials or scheduled consultation hours. Consultation hours will be announced in lectures and unit of study webpages early in the semester.

Solutions to Tutorials and Assignments

At the discretion of the lecturer, solutions to assignments and tutorials may be made available. If so, they will usually be posted on the website.

Kopystop and University Copy Centre

In some units of study material may be made available from either

  • Kopystop, 55 Mountain Street Broadway, or
  • University Copy Centre, Ground Floor Noel Martin Recreation Centre.

Scholarships and Prizes

Science students should be aware that the ranking for postgraduate scholarships in the Science Faculty is determined by combining the Science weighted average mark (SCIWAM) and the Honours mark in the ratio 35:65. The SCIWAM is calculated from all Intermediate and Senior units undertaken with a weighting of 2 for Intermediate units and 3 for Senior units.

A number of prizes are awarded to outstanding achievers. These are listed in the University Calendar.


If you wish to discuss the information in this handbook, or need general advice about mathematics or statistics in second year, you should consult the appropriate coordinator.

The coordinators are also the people you should consult whenever you have enquiries, or problems of an administrative nature, relating to intermediate mathematics or statistics courses.