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FSMA001 Mathematics 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Mathematics is the study of space, number and quantity. It is the language of science, providing concepts and tools to help understand the complex reality in which we live. It is therefore assumed or prerequisite knowledge for many university degree subjects.  

This unit is designed to build on learnings from Mathematics 1 and to equip students further with the mathematical skills they need to commence tertiary studies. In this unit students develop their ability to solve problems within a range of mathematical contexts including sets, functions and graphs, trigonometry, financial mathematics and introduction to calculus. Development of the students’ ability to understand and produce the language of Mathematics is embedded in the learning and teaching activities for each topic. 

The aim of this unit is to develop students’ ability to solve problems within a range of mathematical contexts including data analysis, mechanics, trigonometry and probability. 

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 - Describe number sets and analyse functions and their graphs including linear, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions, identify the key features of their graphs, using technology where appropriate. (GA5, GA10)

LO2 - Use concepts and techniques of trigonometry to explore a variety of problems concerning triangles in both 2D and 3D contexts. (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10)

LO3 - Use concepts and apply techniques in financial mathematics, models relevant to financial situations using appropriate tools and make predictions and decisions about real life financial situations. (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Use introductory calculus techniques of differentiation to explore functions and their graphs in order to model and solve a variety or problems, using technology where appropriate. (GA5, GA6, GA10)

LO5 - Apply problem-solving skills and techniques across a variety of mathematical contexts and communicate strategies and solutions using appropriate mathematical language. (GA4, GA6, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Sets, Functions, and Graphs
  • Trigonometry
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Introduction to Calculus
  • Problem Solving Language and Techniques
  • Appropriate Mathematical Language and Expression. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode for International Students: This unit includes five hours of class contact per week.

Mode for Domestic Students: This unit includes 2.5 hours of class contact per week, and 2.5 hours asynchronous online study.  

Duration: 10-week Term 

This unit facilitates an active and multi-modal (for domestic students) approach to learning. Classes include expert input but are student focused and collaborative and are designed to maximise opportunities for students to interact with mathematical concepts in various contexts as well as interact with each other. Students are encouraged to actively participate in classes and will be assigned learning activities to complete online. Students will be required to build on past experiences of learning and assisted in transferring this knowledge to new learning contexts.  

Classroom strategies will centre around establishing the students’ current level of knowledge and skill level, and then build on that to bring it up to be comparable in standard to content covered in the Australian Year 12. 

Students will be taught to use appropriate technologies to support their learning. This could include scientific calculators, Casio Class-pads. DESMOS, Excel spreadsheets, etc.

There will continue to be a focus on the language encountered in the topics, thereby extending and enriching the language skills of the students in this context 

Collaborative learning will continue to be developed through small group and class activities. Students will continue to contribute to the glossary of mathematical terms, and to hints and tips for problem-solving. These will be posted on the Learning Management System. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment in this unit is supported in class. Each of the assessed criteria is included in the assessment details before the task is submitted to ensure that students know which mathematical skills are being assessed.

Assessment Task 1 is designed for students to demonstrate their problem-solving and modelling skills. Students will present their own understanding of the task, the methods used and the solutions in writing

Assessment Task 2 is an opportunity for students to apply their mathematical knowledge to a problem-solving task from topics within the unit. Students will communicate their understanding of the task and its solution in appropriate spoken academic and mathematical language.

The final exam is designed to evaluate the extent of students’ understanding and skill in the topics covered over the term. These tasks provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge that relate to the learning outcomes of the unit

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:  

Problem Solving and Modelling Task: individual written responses describing and evaluating the process of problem solving and the techniques and strategies used 


LO1, LO2, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10 

Assessment Task 2:  

Oral presentation based on a problem-solving task. Students must explain the problem and the method used to solve it using appropriate mathematical language, 


LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10 

Assessment Task 3:

Final Examination  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Required Texts

Evans, M., Lipson, K., Jones, P., & Greenwood, D. (2015). Mathematical methods units 3&4: Cambridge senior mathematics Australian curriculum/VCE. Cambridge University Press. 

Jones, P., Evans, M., Lipson, K., & Staggard, K. (2016). Further mathematics revised units 3&4: Cambridge senior mathematics Australian curriculum/VCE. Cambridge University Press.


Fitzpatrick, J. B., & Aus, B. (2019). New senior mathematics. Advanced. For Years 11 & 12: NSW Stage 6. Pearson Australia.

Grove, M. (2017). Maths in focus: Year 11 Mathematics advanced. Cengage Learning Australia.

Grove, M. (2019). Maths in focus. Year 12: Mathematics advanced. Cengage Learning Australia.

Powers, G. (2018). Cambridge maths stage 6 NSW maths standard two Year 12: Print bundle (textbook and Hotmaths). Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

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