Module code: MAT2007

Module provider


Module Leader

DERKS GL Prof (Maths)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 5

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 34

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test IN-SEMESTER TEST 20%
Examination EXAMINATION 80%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

MAT1030 Calculus

Module overview

This module builds on the differential equation aspects of the level 1 modules Calculus and Linear Algebra and considers qualitative and quantitative aspects of Ordinary Differential Equations.

Module aims

This module aims to study both qualitative and quantitative aspects of Ordinary Differential Equations.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Find exact solutions to certain types of differential equations KCT
Plot and interpret phase portraits on the line or in the plane KCT
Determine the stability of equilibria and periodic solutions KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Scalar first-order differential equations; review of separable and linear equations.
Phase portraits on the line; equilibria and their stability.
Theorems on existence, uniqueness, continuous dependence on initial conditions.
Linear systems of differential equations: the solution set, solution matrix and Wronskian.
Scalar, linear higher order differential equations: relation with systems of differential equations.
Linear, autonomous systems of differential equations: relation between stability and eigenvalues; classification of planar phase portraits. 
Nonlinear systems: equilibria and their classification, linear stability analysis, Lyapunov functions, phase portrait near an equilibrium.
If time allows: Periodic solutions and their stability: Poincare maps; introduction to Floquet theory

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide:

A detailed introduction to the theory of ordinary differential equations (ODEs);
Experience (through demonstration) of the methods used to interpret, understand and solve ODEs.


The learning and teaching methods include:

3 x 1 hour lectures per week x 11 weeks, with notes written on the board to supplement the module handbook and Q + A opportunities for students;
(every second week) 1 x 1 hour seminar for guided discussion of solutions to problem sheets provided to and worked on by students in advance;
(every second week) 1 x 10 minutes quiz to recap material and provide Q+A opportunity for students.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

·         Understanding of and ability to interpret and solve ODEs  

·         Subject knowledge through the recall of key definitions, theorems and their proofs.

·         Analytical ability through the solution of unseen problems in the test and exam.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         One two hour examination (three of four best answers contribute to exam mark, with Question 1 compulsory) at the end of Semester 1; worth 80% module mark.

·         One in-semester test; worth 20% module mark in total.


Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive written feedback via two marked coursework assignments over an 11 week period.  In addition, verbal feedback is provided by the lecturer in class or during meetings of small groups e.g. in an office hour. Furthermore, weekly exercises for formative assessment are available online, feedback can be obtained in small group meetings during office hours and via online solutions (provided with a short delay).

Reading list

Reading list for ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mat2007

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.