The aim of this free online course is to introduce you to some of the physics and maths that engineers find useful. The content comprises: parts of A-level maths and further maths (mechanics); the physical laws which this maths is used to model; and examples of how these skills are employed in mechanical, aerospace, civil, environmental, materials and electrical engineering.
The course is run over six weeks, and every week has a different theme, such as forces, motion or energy. Each week is split into bite-sized chunks, taking less than 30 minutes per day. You’ll watch videos, read articles, answer questions, do tests and quizzes, and discuss problems with other learners and help them with their problems too.
You’ll learn maths skills like: calculus (integration, differentiation, and solving differential equations); trigonometry (e.g. resolving forces); and geometry (calculating where things are). You’ll learn laws of physics like Newton’s laws of motion and the laws of thermodynamics. Finally, you’ll see how these tools and principles allow engineers to design: planes, cars, skyscrapers, bridges, dams, ICT networks, self-healing materials, robots, water treatment systems, wind turbines, hydro-power systems, biofuel plants.
The course is designed to be adaptable to your needs with quick questions (to check knowledge) and optional work sheets (so you can focus on areas that are new to you or practise skills that you want to improve). The aim of the course is to “have a go, get it wrong, and learn some new skills and knowledge”, it is certainly not to complete every single task perfectly.
The course is aimed at A-level students and first year undergraduates who want to “up-skill” themselves with some of the maths they’ve not been taught or have forgotten. However, the maths worksheets are optional, so this course is suitable for anyone with an interest in physics, maths or engineering. In short, A-level maths is useful but not essential.