module specification

MA4F01 - Logic and Problem Solving (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Logic and Problem Solving
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 25%   1st Test (1 hour)
In-Course Test 35%   2nd Test (1 hour)
Group Coursework 40%   Group coursework (2500 words)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module gives students systematic ways of solving problems as well as introduces them to a range of ideas in mathematical logic. It also gives some grounding in standard software packages.

Module aims

The module aims to give the students an understanding of how problems can be solved systematically, plan their solutions and write them in the form of algorithms. This module also develops a range of mathematical techniques including set theory, logic, relations ,functions and operational research techniques.  In addition it gives a grounding in standard software packages, to give students an understanding of their use in problem solving as well as to make students able to apply these packages appropriately in subsequent modules.


• Puzzles: developing logical reasoning, introducing systematic approach to solving puzzles, developing appropriate strategies to solve puzzles
• Propositional Logic: representation of simple verbal arguments; truth-tables; logical equivalence, validity and consequence, logic circuits. Predicate logic.
• Sets: introduction to notation; set operations; Venn diagrams; universal, empty set and subsets; set identities (De Morgan etc); duality; power sets, ordered pairs and Cartesian products.
• Algorithms: understanding how problems can be solved systematically, plan their solutions and write them in form of  algorithms (e.g. Euclid's Algorithm)
• Combinatorics: combinations, permutation and probability
• Relations: representations of relations (matrix and digraph);
• Functions: ways of defining functions.
• Linear Programming, Maths of Finance and Break-even analysis

Learning and teaching

Learning technologies will be used for providing the teaching materials (e.g. WebLearn). The module will be taught by a mixture of lectures, supervised computer laboratory sessions and self study practical exercises. In particular, the lectures will be used to introduce the various concepts and principles of the module's topics or demonstrate worked examples. Each lecture will be followed by a practical supervised session where the students will be able to apply/experiment with the various notions introduced in the lectures, using examples and following detailed instructions. The materials that will be used in the practical sessions will allow each student to work at his/her own speed. Furthermore, students will be pointed to self-study exercises which they will attempt in their own time. The students will also be expected to spend time on private study and on preparation for the assessments.

Learning outcomes

LO1   Create algorithmic methods of real-world problems, and to develop and present the solutions.
LO2   Understand the meaning of mathematical definitions of sets/propositions and perform set/logic operations.
LO3   Understand the meaning of mathematical definition of relations.
LO4   Understand the meaning of mathematical definition of functions, to use it to construct functions.


Assessment strategy

This module is assessed through tests and coursework.
In the first test the students are assessed on problem solving strategies, sets and logic (LO1,LO2).
The test and feedback is administered early in the module so that students can identify any deficiencies in their learning strategies and put corrective strategies in place at an early point in their studies. The other test will assess an increasing amount of the syllabus. (LO3  to LO5). The final component will be take-away coursework and it will assess LO1.
Feedback will be given after the second test so that students will have the opportunity to improve their performance in the final test.


Maureen Sprankle (2008), Problem Solving & Programming Concepts, Prentice Hall.
Rod Haggarty(2006), Discrete Mathematics for Computing, Addison Wesley.