Mathematics and Science

EuclidEuclid’s Elements written in c. 300 BC has been called the most successful and influential textbook ever written. In the quadrivium of the Middle Ages it was an essential part of all undergraduate study, and the mathematics it teaches have proven instrumental in the development of logic and of modern science.

After the study of Euclid’s text, students will have the option of continuing their mathematical studies to consolidate their competence in calculus, algebra, mechanics and statistics.

At the end of the course all students should be sufficiently confident in the subject to teach Mathematics up to GCSE (age 16) in the UK system.

The Mathematics Modules in Terms 3 and 4 of the First Year are best suited to those who have previously performed well in the subject to Advanced Level (for example for AP, IB, French Baccalaureate or A-level examinations). Those having followed these optional modules may, depending on their level of achievement, be capable of teaching the subject beyond GCSE.

The Second Year of the Chavagnes degree proposes a study of the Philosophy and History of Science, followed by a general introduction to the main themes of science as presented in modern education. The first question to be treated is “What is Science?” Other questions include “What is the relationship between science and religion?”, “If scientists shape society, can society, in turn, shape science?” Students will learn how science actually works, what exactly is meant by the term “scientific method”, how science and society interact, and how Faith and Science can and should live in intellectual harmony with each other.

The place of this limited scientific component in the context of a humanities degree is an important one; it ought to be permit students to see the way in which scientific ways of thinking and reasoning complement the poetic voice explored in literature study. In practical terms it should also equip them to teach Mathematics in high school at least up to age 16, and sciences up to age 13 or 14 (or indeed combined Science GCSE in the UK system, up to age 16.)