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Tampere University Student's Handbook

Studying mathematics

Studying mathematics at university level is different to upper secondary school. It may become as a surprise to students that good grades are not so easy to come by at university where student success takes hard work. The teaching and learning of mathematics at university level is different, because the overall goal is for students to develop an in-depth mathematical understanding. A long break from routinely performing calculations may also cause some extra challenges.

Finding the best methods and practices that work for you will take some effort but is well worth it. We people differ in terms of our personality traits and previously learned skills, so what works for one may not work for another.

Regardless of how courses are delivered, it is important not to fall behind and to make sure you meet the learning outcomes set for each week. Our courses may be delivered as follows:

  • Courses may be implemented using the flipped classroom method, which is an instructional strategy where students work independently by utilising diverse learning materials, instructional videos and assignments and the teacher provides support for learning. The flipped approach also includes weekly calculation exercises and small group meetings (prime time) with the teacher. 
  • Courses may combine lectures, videos, online materials and different calculation exercises.
  • Courses may combine lectures and calculation exercises.
  • Courses may be delivered fully online.


How to facilitate the study of mathematics?

If you are having trouble studying mathematics alone, you could set up a study group, schedule a meeting and complete the calculations together. If you get stuck on a problem, someone else may already have it figured out and vice versa. When you teach others, you usually learn things on a deeper level and your own thoughts become clearer. By looking at the solutions devised by your fellow students, you will learn new ways to address problems.

Your study group could comprise, for example, the members of your tutor group or some of the students who are sitting closest to you in the lecture hall. You can also put together a study group through the course-specific Moodle discussion forum or by asking around in your student guild room. One thing is certain: there are others who are sharing the same struggle!


Support provided by Tampere University:

  • Some mathematics courses in English have had their own practice groups called Laskutupa or Reenaamo. The practice groups Laskutupa and Reenamo and workshops will help students through the early stages of their studies in mathematics. These practice groups bring students together to work in small teams, with help provided by coaches (staff at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences) and supporters (student teachers). These sessions will explore mathematical concepts in everyday language, enable you to revise the maths you learned back in secondary school and support your studies in mathematics at university level. 

  • You can consult your mathematics teacher and ask about the possibility of support, for example instructional videos and online exercises or links to learning materials.

Published: 27.2.2019
Updated: 10.6.2022