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David S. Jones School of Pharmacy

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High Academic Background (circa 435 tariff points) Requirements (AAB or ABB with an A in a fourth AS subject) Subjects required at A2 Chemistry At least one from Physics, Mathematics, Biology One other A2 subject Mathematics required at GCSE

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Key Numeracy Skills/Algebra Needed throughout the course Assessed at entry to level 1 30% failure rate Limited opportunity to address deficiencies Examples include: Rearrangement of equations Calculation of doses/concentrations/molarity Use of equations

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Pharmaceutical Statistics Needed throughout the course (but mostly in Level 4) Assessed in the skills component in Level 1 30% failure rate Limited opportunity to address deficiencies Examined in levels 2 and 4

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LEVELS 1 AND 2 Probability and distributions Central tendency/Variation Confidence Intervals Transformations One sample parametric/non-parametric tests Two sample parametric/non-parametric tests Paired and unpaired Chi-squared test Linear regression LEVEL 4 Multiple hypothesis tests ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis test Post hoc tests Multiple regression Logistic regression Epidemiology Introduction to Bayesian statistics

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Logarithms Base e Other bases Changing bases Use of Log/Semi-log graph paper Trigonometry Basic details ranging through to calculus of trigonometry

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Calculus Key component of several scientific sub- disciplines Pharmacokinetics Chemical Stability Population growth studies

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Students navigate through the course to avoid mathematical topics Some students leave QUB with a good degree but devoid of many skills that are required in clinical practice (research???)

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Mathematics is not a specified subject at A level Content of the Advanced/Advanced Subsidiary and GCSE courses Modular design of the Advanced and Advanced Subsidiary courses

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GCSE Gradual reduction in content over 20 years Reduction in problem solving activities Variation in standards across examining boards Is the mathematical standard at GCSE level suitable for science based courses?

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ADVANCED SUBSIDIARY Modular Subjects studied in isolation Different mathematical experiences for each student All students study C1 and C2 Third subject is usually M1 or S1 (Decision mathematics?) Reduction in content ADVANCED 2 Modular Subjects studied in isolation Different mathematical experiences for each student All students study C3 and C4 (usually) Third subject is usually M2 or S2 Reduction in content

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Key Numeracy Skills/Algebra Covered in GCSE (in theory not practice) Expanded depth through AS and A2 studies Logarithms Fundamentals ▪ Covered in AS (in theory not practice) Base e ▪ Covered in A2 Other bases and changing bases ▪ Covered in A2

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Trigonometry Basic definitions provided at GCSE level Calculus and use provided at A2 level Calculus Introduction provided at AS level Expanded at A2 More emphasis given to Differentiation Applications are not taught or examined By level 3 this knowledge has been forgotten

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Statistics Level 1 basic requirements are provided by S1 and S2 modules Students are lacking in a basic understanding of the meaning and applications of the information studied In first year assessments, some of the student who have failed the examination have completed the above modules

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Problems have been identified Surveyed mathematical needs Identification of how students most effectively learn mathematics Summer 2011 Generation of pdf descriptions of key mathematical topics Accompanying podcasts and worked examples (Camtasia) Provision of mathematical examples placed within a pharmaceutical context

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