The University of Southampton

MATH3023 Communicating and Teaching Mathematics

Module Overview

This module runs under the national Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme ( and provides an opportunity for students to act as ambassadors for their disciplines. For Mathematics students this will usually be in mathematics and mathematical skills, although for example students in Mathematics and Music may instead use their musical expertise

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To develop a range of skills in the student and to offer an early taste of teaching to those possibly interested in pursuing it as a career. • To help students gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and understand how to address the needs of individuals. • To learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the relevant age group they are working with. • To help inspire a new generation of prospective undergraduates by providing role models for school pupils. • To help teachers convey the excitement of their subject to their pupils, for example by showing them the long-term applications of school studies. • To help teachers by providing an assistant who can work with and support pupils at any point on the ability spectrum.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Be able to assess and devise appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Have gained substantial experience of working in a challenging and unpredictable working environment


An initial presentation by the UAS coordinator(s) at the start of semester 1 will outline the nature of this module to those registered for MATH3023. Each student will be asked to provide a 300 word personal statement, and to complete a short application form giving information relevant to potential school placement. All students will be given a short interview, and those accepted for the module (max: 15 places) will be notified well before the end of semester 1. Placements in schools will be arranged (along with those for UAS students in other subject areas and also for Student Associate Scheme (SAS) students) centrally by Academic Administration, and students will be notified of their placements before the start of semester 2. All UAS and SAS students attend a Training Day (probably in November), and will also need to arrange DBS clearance through the University. Students are expected to spend the equivalent of a half day each week for ten weeks during semester 2 in their school (though often students may want to do more). They are expected to keep a regular blog recording, reflecting on and evaluating their experiences, in order to provide the evidence base for their final written report. There are no formal lectures associated with the module, although there are four supporting tutorials which also provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences. Feedback on the individual blogs will be given by the Current Module Co-ordinator Students will typically be involved in the following activities: Classroom observation and assistance: Watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level being taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical support to the teacher. Teaching assistance: The teacher will assign the student actual teaching tasks, which will vary dependent on specific needs and the student’s own ability as it develops over the term. This could include, for example, offering problem-solving coaching to a small group of high ability pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class. The student will have to demonstrate an understanding of how the level of the knowledge of the pupils they are teaching fits into their overall learning context in other subjects. Whole class teaching: Students will typically be offered, in collaboration with their teachers, at least one opportunity to undertake whole class teaching, albeit possibly only for a small part of one lesson. University awareness: Students will represent and promote their academic discipline as a potential university choice to pupils across the social and academic range represented at their partner schools. Special projects: The student will devise a special project on the basis of discussion with the teacher and their own assessment of what is suitable for the particular pupils they are working with. The student will implement the special project and (important)evaluate it. A successful project will show that the student can analyse a specific teaching problem and devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials, practical demonstrations and/or basic 'tests', where appropriate. A special project might consist of an extra-curricular activity of some kind. For example, the student may be supervised by the teacher in helping to run an out-of-timetable activity, such as a lunchtime club or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils. The student will have to demonstrate an ability to think laterally in order to formulate interesting ways to illustrate more difficult or unusual concepts.

Special Features

Students taking this module will spend around 30-35 hours working in a school. Some schools are located quite a distance away from the university. Although travel expenses are paid, students should be aware that they may need to spend some time travelling to and from their school

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Initial short training course, tutorials and discussions with Course Current Module Co-ordinator (s), preparation and delivery of teaching materials, interaction with teachers and pupils in school, keeping a reflective and evaluative online journal, private study.

Independent Study142
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

To find out about careers in teaching consult the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

To find out about the National Curriculum consult.

For reports on individual schools.



MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 25%
Report 60%
Report 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Course texts are provided by the library and there are no additional compulsory costs associated with the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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