Course Title: A Calculus Toolbox for Scientists

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: A Calculus Toolbox for Scientists

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Dr Simon Johnstone-Robertson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0464

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge

  • A Mathematical Toolbox for Scientists; or   
  • VCE Mathematical Methods; or  
  • VCE Specialist Mathematics; or  
  • Introduction to Engineering Mathematics; or  

A combination of prior qualifications and experience equivalent to the prerequisites specified above. 

Note: it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.   

Course Description

This course aims to provide a broad introduction to single variable calculus, including the differentiation and integration tools needed by mathematicians and most applied scientists. The course builds on the foundations laid in secondary school mathematics and in turn aims to lay the foundation for more advanced studies undertaken in the following semester and beyond. Topic areas include differential calculus, integral calculus, complex numbers, differential equations, and numerical techniques.  

The course will consider the wider significance and importance of the mathematical sciences across major global societal, industrial, technological, and environmental priorities and challenges. The course will enable you to develop an appreciation of the mathematical sciences, the universal language it provides and the associated technical and transferable skills that will support your future studies and careers.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

This course contributes to the program learning outcomes for the following program(s):  

BP083 Bachelor of Applied Mathematics and Statistics   
BP330 Bachelor of Space Science   
BP350 Bachelor of Science (Space Science, Physics, & Mathematics majors)  

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:  

  1. Apply mathematical knowledge of functions and calculus to problems requiring complex numbers, differential equations, and numerical techniques. 
  2. Explain concepts and communicate results from differential and integral calculus in the context of problems drawn from a wide range of scientific disciplines.  
  3. Use technology with proficiency to confirm calculations and solutions of results worked by hand. 
  4. Articulate and explain the important role that mathematics plays in developing theory in science through mathematical models. 
  5. Reflect on inclusive and global perspectives of mathematical knowledge including those of Indigenous peoples. 

Overview of Learning Activities

You will undertake an integrated series of immersive learning experiences and activities to develop fundamental conceptual and practical understanding and experience in mathematical sciences. A blended learning approach will be used involving face-to-face experiential learning activities complemented by online learning and collaborative study.  

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources

Blended learning resources will be provided via the Canvas learning management systems and associated tools, in conjunction with practice-based in-class experiential learning activities.  

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Weekly Problem Sheets  
Weighting: 45%  
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4  

Assessment Task 2: In-class Invigilated Assessments (3)   
Weighting: 45%   
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3 

Assessment Task 3: Reflections  
Weighting: 10%  
This assessment task supports CLO 4 & 5 

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.