BN1.2 Undergraduate Ambassadors' Scheme (2019-2020)

External Lecturer(s): 
Dr Nick Andrews
General Prerequisites: 

BN1.1 is an essential prerequisite. This course is not available as a unit; it must be taken alongside BN1.1 Mathematics Education.

Course Term: 
Course Lecture Information: 

Quota: There will be a quota of approximately 10 students for this course.

Course Weight: 
1.00 unit(s)
Course Level: 

Assessment type:

Course Overview: 

Option available to Mathematics, Mathematics & Statistics, Mathematics & Philosophy students.

Learning Outcomes: 

The Undergraduate Ambassadors' Scheme (UAS) was begun by Simon Singh in 2002 to give university undergraduates a chance to experience assisting and, to some extent, teaching in schools, and to be credited for this. The option focuses on improving students' communication, presentation, cooperation and organizational skills and sensitivity to others' learning difficulties.

Course Synopsis: 

Course Description and Timing:

The Oxford UAS option, BN1.2, is a unit, mainly run in Hilary Term. A quota will be in place, of approximately 10 students, and so applicants for the UAS option will be asked to name a second alternative unit. The course is appropriate for all students, whether or not they are interested in teaching subsequently.

A student on the course will be assigned to a mathematics department in a local secondary school (in the Oxford, Wheatley, Abingdon, Didcot area) for half a day per week during Hilary Term. Students will be supervised in school by a teacher in the mathematics department. Students will be expected to keep a journal of their activities in school. These activities are likely to begin by assisting in the class, but may widen to include teaching the whole class for a part of a period, or working separately with a smaller group of the class. Students will be required at one point to give a presentation to one of their school classes relating to a topic from university mathematics. Students will also run a small project in school based on some aspect of mathematics education with advice from the course co-ordinator and school teachers. Final credit will be based on the journal (20%), the presentation (30%), an end of course report (approximately 3000 words) including details of the project (35%), together with a report from the teacher (15%).

A key attribute for the course is the ability to communicate mathematics, and a reference will be sought from college tutors in support of this. Should the quota for the course be exceeded, short interviews will take place on Thursday or Friday of 0th week in Michaelmas term to select students for this course. In the interview (of roughly 15 minutes) the student will discuss how they might choose to introduce a piece of university mathematics to A level students. Students will be chosen on the basis of their ability to communicate mathematics and to account for the educational needs of others. Applicants will be quickly notified of the decision.

Those on the course will also need to complete a DBS form, or to have done so already. By the end of Michaelmas term students will have been assigned to a school and have made a first, introductory, visit to meet their teacher supervisor. The course will begin properly in Hilary term with students attending school for half a day each week. Funds are available to cover travel expenses. Support classes will be provided throughout Hilary for feedback and to discuss issues such as the planning of the project. The deadline for the journal and report will be noon on Monday of 1st week of Trinity term.

Any further questions on the UAS option should be passed on to the option's co-ordinator, via (

Reading List: 

Tickly, C., Watson, A. and Morgan, C. (2004) Teaching School Subjects: Mathematics. Abingdon: Routledge Falmer.

Please note that e-book versions of many books in the reading lists can be found on SOLO and ORLO.