Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

4 contact hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

Commencing students of Mathematics require a solid foundation in several aspects of Mathematics, including logic and algebra, both to support later units in the sequence and to start their study of abstract algebra which is a requirement of all ITE Mathematics courses This unit forms the first unit in the standard Mathematics sequence and introduces several ideas and objects that form a base for further mathematics. These skills will be developed with the express purpose of being able to solve relevant problems. Topics covered will include matrices, graphs (networks), vectors, sets, functions and complex numbers together with examples motivated by the development of Mathematics across ancient cultures and indigenous knowledges. 

The aim of this unit is to provide the introductory logic and algebra knowledge required for further study in Mathematics and for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students of Mathematics. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Use matrices to solve systems of linear equations (GA5, GA9) 

LO2 - Demonstrate a facility with the manipulation of matrices, graphs (networks) and vectors (GA5) 

LO3 - Apply vector ideas to solve simple problems in geometry (GA5, GA9) 

LO4 - Apply graphs (networks) to the solution of simple problems (GA5, GA9) 

LO5 - Apply their knowledge of complex numbers both to solve simple equations and to successfully manipulate complex numbers. (GA5) 

LO6 - Use their knowledge of logic and proof, including mathematical induction, to prove simple results. (GA5, GA8) 

Graduate attributes

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 

  1. Matrices – definitions and arithmetic 
  2. Systems of linear equations and the use of matrices in their solution 
  3. Other matrix operations (determinant and inverse) and transformations of the plane 
  4. Introduction to vectors, arithmetic and basic properties 
  5. Scalar product, equation of lines and planes, vector geometry 
  6. Logic and the basic techniques of proof 
  7. Proof, including mathematical induction 
  8. Introduction to graphs (networks) and their applications 
  9. Solving polynomial equations – introduction to complex numbers and their arithmetic 
  10. Complex numbers – Argand plane, polar representation 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

As is common in Mathematics a variety of Active Learning strategies promote the best acquisition of skills and understanding. This allows students to learn the skills via Interactive Lectures, or suitable online strategies, and then build understanding, competence and confidence via (face-to-face) tutorials involving cooperative groups, peer review and other relevant strategies. In all cases this should be supported using available online technology. 

This unit will normally include the equivalent of 24 hours of lectures together with 24 hours of face-to-face tutorials. 

150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 48 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 48 hours, all students will also have an option of attending a weekly 2 hour bridge and support session that assists those students coming to ACU with the bare minimum assumed knowledge. The balance of the hours becomes private study. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

To successfully complete an undergraduate Mathematics sequence, students need an understanding of a variety of basic Mathematical topics and an ability to apply that understanding to a variety of problems. To succeed at problem solving in Mathematics, students must have a variety of skills at their fingertips from which to choose and an ability to recall those skills under some pressure. The assessment strategy chosen, while traditional, tests and supports student learning. The continuous assessment component helps reinforce learning and builds collaborative skills. The examination components ensure that students have fully integrated the learning and can bring a variety of strategies to bear under pressure. 

Typing of Mathematical notation either requires a significant investment of time, or knowledge of advanced Mathematical typesetting software. Neither of those skills are suitable for an undergraduate course in Mathematics. Consequently, assignments, tests and examinations are expected to be handwritten and so submitted as hardcopy, or scans of hardcopy, rather than through Turnitin. The expected tasks for this unit will all fit into this category. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Continuous assessment – 2 or 3 small tasks, which may include student presentations, that are constituents of one assessment task, spaced across the semester 



GA5, GA8, GA9 

Mid-semester test 



GA5, GA9 




GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Recommended references 

Anton, H. & Kaul, A (2019). Elementary Linear Algebra, 12th Edition New York:John Wiley & Sons 

Croft, A., & Davison, R. (2016). Foundation Maths. 6th Edition Pearson Education 

Eccles, P. (1997). An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning: Numbers, Sets and Functions. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press 

Lay, D.C. & Lay, S.R. (2014). Linear Algebra and Its Applications. 5th Edition New York:Pearson Education 

Liebeck, M. (2010). A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics. Boca Raton:CRC Press 

Lisle, J. (2018). Introduction to Logic. Master Books 

Smullyen, R.M. (2011) What Is the Name of This Book? Dover Publications 

Strang, G. (2016) Introduction to Linear Algebra. 5th Edition Wellesley:Wellesley-Cambridge 

Wilson, R. (2015) Introduction to Graph Theory. 5th Edition Prentice Hall. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs